Yang Public staff

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David Mcleary
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Yang Public staff

Post by David Mcleary » Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:21 am

My Sifu whom I train in Yang public form has mentioned to me that the staff form is only used as a strengthening excerise ect. and is not atcually practial staff fighting. This seems a little odd to me that a the Taiji staff form would not be intended for use as a weaopn. I am not sure if Sifu has just misunderstood or if he was only taught the staff with that intent. I would like to clarify this for myself and my futer training.

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J HepworthYoung
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Re: Yang Public staff

Post by J HepworthYoung » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:30 am

it is very common for that kind of emphasis to be found in Yang Public taiji
one might say that in general public taiji is used more for health and less for martial purpose, largely because of the way it was modified, transmitted and taught.

David Mcleary
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Re: Yang Public staff

Post by David Mcleary » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:11 am

He is very into martial applications with empty hand but dosn't seem to with weapons.

Dan Pasek
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Re: Yang Public staff

Post by Dan Pasek » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:55 am

David,

While conditioning drills (including development of fajin power) often uses staff (or spear), some Yang style traditions do have staff as a sparring weapon. I personally have learned one choreographed sparring set for staff (coming from BP Chan lineage) as well as being shown another short one from another Yang tradition. There are also sparring drills for partner practice as well as solo practice that go beyond being only for strengthening. Staff work does not, however, seem very common, and I am not surprised that some traditions may use it exclusively for strengthening. Some of the two person Yang style staff sparring training drills can be found in the following sources from the 1980s (I do not know if they are still available):

“The Wind Sweeps Away the Plum Blossoms – The Principles and Techniques of the Yang Style T’ai Chi Spear and Staff” by Stuart Alve Olson (1985)

“T’ai Chi Sword, Sabre & Staff” [Yearning K. Chen Series, Vol. 5] by Stuart Alve Olson (1986)

“Tai Chi Weapons In Action” [Volume III] by Douglas H. Y. Hsieh (1986)

Olson was a student of Yang style teacher T.T. Liang.

Jian seems to be the preferred weapon in most Yang style traditions that I am familiar with, but few of those school practice even that for fighting. I suspect that it would be much more difficult to locate a Yang style Taijiquan school that teaches staff (or spear, or dao, or other weapons) for fighting.

Dan

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Re: Yang Public staff

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:23 am

Dan Pasek wrote:... While conditioning drills (including development of fajin power) often uses staff (or spear), some Yang style traditions do have staff as a sparring weapon... There are also sparring drills for partner practice as well as solo practice that go beyond being only for strengthening. Staff work does not, however, seem very common, and I am not surprised that some traditions may use it exclusively for strengthening...
I fully agree with Dan's comments. Both T.T. Liang & Wang Yen-nian taught taiji staff & spear as weapons. But these are both excellent strength training tools. Some movements can be done larger, even much larger, than they would be used in combat, to help with the strengthening process. I imagine that this is where the misunderstanding of the staff as exercise only came from. Master Liang also taught two-man sets for staff that are recorded in Chen Gong's book. Stuart Olson did a translation of Chen's book single published as 5 separate volumes. I haven't looked closely at how he translated the staff section, but the jian & dao sections had serious errors, even translating cuts incorrectly. IN any case, it is long out of print.

Concerning full contact spear play, it is much more dangerous than free swordplay. Even though at Great River we regularly engage in swordplay that can & does lead to injuries. We do not partake of full contact spear play. A solid strike to the chest, with a spear, could very easily break the ribs & damage the heart or other internal organs seriously.

taiwandeutscher
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Re: Yang Public staff

Post by taiwandeutscher » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:11 pm

In my school, we differenciate between staff and long pole. For staff we have some warm-up exercises, then a 36 posture soloform and a set for partner play. There is no stricking, only sticky staff, though, as it would be too dangerous like Scott said. For that reason, we don't use spear heads at all, but many staff techniques can be used on a spear as well.

The long pole has no form, only around 10 or so drills, with [i]dantian[/i] work transmitting to the end of the long and heavy 3,1m waxwood. Main aim is to get a more pronounced [i]Dantian[/i] rotation, learn how to transmitt outward. I like that wood so much, so that I seldom use my redwood or rattan stuffs anymore. Redwood is very heavy and really stiff, rattan tends to get too soft after a certain anount of training. And waxwood in good quality is now available in all possible sizes, from short sticks up to around 5m, so thick that you can't hold it right anymore, lol. I use a 2,3m for form work and also for the partner stuff set.

The mentioned author was a real thorn in the eyes of my teacher, very bad experiences here in Taiwan. Met the guy once at my teacher's and didn't find him very knowledgable, rather unpolite and not really good, neither in gongfu nor Chinese. But then, I might have some prejudges (?). :oops:
hongdaozi

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