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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 1999 2:54 pm 
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Location: Evansville, IN, USA
Osu John!

Thanks for the information. I'll see if they have T'ai Chi Classics in the local books store, if not I will order it.

Also, I appreciate the warning. The last thing I want to do is injure anybody.

Osu!
Jason


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 1999 3:18 pm 
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Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
Jason San:

Thesticky hands I have not worked with. The best I can offer is relax and feel your partner and move with him with as little muscle involvement as possible. This is not easy to us as practioners of a system that is "hard" and somewhat "externaL" although not completely so in either area.

If you can find an instructor, it would be best to do so.

Mantak Chia's Book is good on structure and should be on Amazon.com as well as the "Tai Chi Classics which appears to use Chen Mang Chings form offshoot as a model. I am sure there are other books on "t'au Chi Classics"

But I haven't found them, and I haven't finished those I have.

The WEi Hei Ba FA FORM is a bit more "martial" in appreance than the Tai Chi Forums. It is supposed to be a "fusion" of Hsing I and Tai Chi. But since I know nothing about Hsing I I can't verify this.

Websites: patiencetaichi.com
Mindspring.com
The latter is a web site on Wie Lun Huang
An Instructor's Instructo.

Please don't interpret my interst in T.C. as a waning enthusiasm for Uechi. Perhaps every body should study (eventually) a "hard" (for purposes of discussion) and a "soft" system.



JohnT



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 1999 3:43 pm 
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***** STATION BREAK *********


Please read my post in To Bill Aksteter. Thanks.


****** AND NOW, BACK TO THE SHOW ******


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 1999 12:42 am 
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Doctor X:

You are right. Forgive me if I don't undertand all that is going on.

One of the reasons that I stay with my current Sensei and Sifu is that they have a bit of charisma mixed with some degree of humility. My Sifu's internal arts instructor was mantak Chia for a while, Now Wei Lun Han (Heung). Wei Lun, for the few times I have been to his seminars, seems scary (a lot of latent power) and fairly considerate.

The Bruce Kumar Frantis discussed does have a bit of a rep.. I guess he kept challenging the Chinese Masters to fight at various gatherings, but that's really all I've heard.

Hopefully I can attend Wei Lun's Seminar on the Weekend of the 29th.

J.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 1999 3:37 am 
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Location: Florida
JohnT:

Push hands seems to have a commonality with sticky hands of Uechi or chi sao of Wing Chun. It's keeping your center or "horse" anchored without overcommitting the body. For every force their will be a counterforce. It's learning a language of kinesthetic sensitivity and energy transfer and keeping within functional neutral and being able to command, send and control the energy.

Some of the most gently powerful uke's I have worked with in chi sao were in fact Taiji teachers. It was like working against smoke that had the power of steel! They give you absolutely nothing and take your slightest move and send you into oblivion!

Have you found that you get some of your best work in after you are exhausted, must relax, must sink, can no longer use your muscles to force your play?


JohnC


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 1999 8:00 am 
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Location: LA, CA, USA
JohnC said
"Internal approaches tend to focus on rootedness, sinking of the dan tien or hara,
control and flexing of the dan tien in concert with the hips and back, along with more efficient alignment of the various body systems to deliver or receive energy in various forms and manifestations. These can be very difficult to explain, teach, learn and master over a shorter period of time."

"External approaches focus more on linear strategies, muscle power and conditioning
and usually require more delivery space and distance and tend to be a little easier to
teach and learn."

You know, I've heard this sort of thing before and still don't see much differnce.
For example, boxing is about as external as an art can be, but biomechanics (or "alignment") are incredibly important in delivering a good punch. Someone who has read Championship Streetfighting (for get the author, and can't look 'cuz the cat's on my lap), or read Dempsey knows that a technically skilled boxer knows how to put every part of his body into a punch, for example.

An ideal hook is not an arm swing by a big muscular guy, but is based on power coming from a shift in the feet, a balanced drop in body weight on a central axis based in the hips (or lower), hip power (lots of it), a twist of the torso/abdomen/back and shoulder, _and_ arm power, done in conjunction with an exhale. Muscle power and conditioning are important, but boxing is not something decided simply by who is bigger, stronger, and in better condition. There have been boxers at the low end of a weight class who have won and held titles against many larger opponents due to superior technique.

Also, practicioners of Boxing, Muay Thai, and other "external" arts are quite capable of delivering incredibly powerful close-in shots. Hooks, uppercuts, shovel-hooks, elbows, and knees are only some examples of the techniques common in such styles.

I don't know exactly what you consider a "linerar strategy," but, for example, bobbing and weaving seems pretty circular, and in at least some manner hook punches, and roundhouse kicks seem to have circular (certainly not strictly linear) natures.

As far as I've seen or read about, external stylists focus on both proper biomechanics to maximize efficiency, _and_ conditioning, and engaging in training that gets them used to surviving a punch. As far as I've seen, the common distinguishing characteristic of internal arts is an avoidance of sparring and the sort of condiditioning generally associated with athletes and fighter.

The other distinguishing characteristic of some "internalists" seems to be a belief in some occult forces realted to their martial practice. I don't mean this pejoritavely, but just as a matter of definition.

Of course, not all martial traditions really focus on this internal/external dichotomy. I thought that it was mostly (some) Chinese stylists who focused on this idea.

Any clarifications on the differences between the two, if both (well taught) internal and external arts stress balance, hip and lower body awareness, and good biomechanics?

Is a focus on chi and a lack of medium to heavy contact sparring, and a lack of focus on physical conditioning really the only thing that defines an art as internal?

Scaramouche


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 1999 2:18 pm 
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Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
To John C. and Scaramouch:

Always loved the movie Scaramouch. There were two versions and I represented a Rock Band in the 70's who used that name.

Oh Well.

How awkward to agree with you both.

Boxing is an incredible effective fighting art. Sifu (for what it is worth) used to basically say:

"Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali (etc. etc.--people at that level of natural skill seem to find proper flow and structure on their own----I think the rest of us have to work at it in different ways"

I can talk about the various "methods of training" I have been exposed to-but there is little question in my mind as to the outcome if I stumbled onto a good boxer---one (porbably me) would end up hospitalized.

John C.-

I had two whole classes (wow huh!!) of Chi Sao with Dave Paulsen in Kingston, Ma.. It seems similar to push hands as you noted.


But I haven't been back to see Dave.


It's a problem to discuss these matters constructively and not seem like a "know it all" on paper.


Let me say that there are things that I've been exposed to in Uechi and T.C. that might help me to be a better boxer.

When I boxed and wrestled (and did other sports) the more naturally talented got most of the coaches time. We are fortunate to have instructors available to give us "Limpings Oxes" some coaching time.

You CAN identify CHI a bit and move it around in Tai Chi and Sanchin. But the concept was Not addressed clearly when I started learning Sanchin. Nobody's fault, just the way it was.

J.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 1999 3:15 pm 
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P.S. To John C.:

Yes, when I am tired the upper body muscles relac and let the shoulders stay where they are (mostly) supposed to be in Push Hands, Sanchin and the Bulk of the Tai Chi Form; in their sockets.

John T.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 1999 10:21 pm 
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Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
A PPS to Scaramouche:

While I agree that many T.C. Practioners are "diletanttes" (martial arts wanna bes without getting hurt)I wish to make a few comments without seeming defensive or combative:

1. Free Style Push hands is darn near as rough, at least, as medium contact sparring.

2. I have on several occassions been "launched" for several yards and had ribs cracked and cracked others with an explosive push. Explosive "push" may seem like a contradiction in terms, but it is not.

3. Sifu and I spar a bit, medium contact, full gear, and he trys to point out what strengths in his sparring come from Tai Chi influences and what from Kung Fu.

4. I am over 50 and a backing of on the sparring is expected I guess. I like to be sure I work with full equipment at least every month instead of every week. I could be wrong in this-so if you think so-tell me-it's ok.

JT

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 1999 11:15 pm 
John,

I had been doing karate for several years before I started [Chen's] Tai-Chi. By the time I had learned all the movements of that Tai-Chi set, I discovered that my karate SPARRING ability had improved DRAMATICALLY. A quarter-century later I still say Tai-Chi is for fighting. The body mechanics are all there -- It's how you use them.

Allen
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[This message has been edited by moulton (edited 01-22-99).]


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 1999 2:24 am 
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Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
Allen:

good to hear from you. I think my sparring has improved after Tai Chi, but as I am getting older and slower at the same time, this is impossible to prove.

I do not believe that any system is superior.
I like 'em all. But a good grounding in a "hard" system is a good place to start. Tai Chi can make one's Uechi sometimes a little "lazy". They complement each other well.

But that's just an opinion.

Best to you my friend.

JohnT.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 1999 6:27 am 
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Location: Florida
Several points well taken to my posts regarding internal vs. external. Let's keep this going. BTW, I love the hook and certainly respect boxing as a true martial art. I think much of this points out the fluxation between internal and external and the need for both in either side to be effective.

More later,

JohnC


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 1999 8:15 am 
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I wish to stress that I was _not_ even thinking paricularly about Tai Chi when I did the last post, and that I was _not_ putting down or attacking that or any other art.

I just wanted to point out that at least some external arts (if taught well) do focus very heavily on such things as biomechanics, efficiency, alignment, balance, and hip power, (and include short-range attacks and display use circular techniques, and that they are not just about strenght, linear attacks, and physical conditioning. I used boxing as an extreme example, as it is clearly an external art, yet focuses on most or all of the things JohnC identifies with internal arts.

More importantly, I wanted to know that, since at least a fair number of external arts focus heavily on what JohnC identified as things central to internal arts, what really makes them differnt except for the belief in chi or similar energies in the case of some internal arts, and the focus on sparring that one typically finds in the external arts.

Scaramouche


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 1999 7:42 pm 
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Scaramouche:

Of course you are right. There is no clear deliniation of a crossover from internal to external.

The "systems" closest to Taoism do claim to be able to affect health andor restructure the body in a "preventitive" medicinal way.

Claim is perhaps an operative word here.

When asked about Chi I responded as though it was a given and restated matters I had been taught, observed, or felt.

I am not prepared to prove its existence empirically.

When asked about internal vs. external I guess I can only re-relate "claims" and what I have felt and seen.

In theory all martial arts systems should be a mix of internal (healing arts) and external
(lessons in boimechanical transfer of power.)

However, Karate and T.C. have a common ground, I think, in utilizing a "meditational exercise" as a core. Since meditation, whether moveing or stationary, "claims" to and may actually have a positive if not quantifiable effect on ones well being, then both Uechi and Tai Chi do claim to be both internal and external arts, and I think both are.

Does this mean that Boxing is not interanl at all?

I don't know, I don't think so, what do you think?

JOHN T

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 1999 12:41 am 
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Does this mean that Boxing is not interanl at all?
I don't know, I don't think so, what do you think?

JOHN T

Well, once again we have the definition problem, but if decide to let internal have a fairly broad meaning, I suppose that boxing is, or at least _can_ have, external elements.

Certainly aside from conditioning, a good boxer will stress good biomechanics, and in addition place some stress on breathing (though not the same kind more purely internal styles). In addition, a good boxer, as I understand it at least, also works heavily on mental focus and the building of strong will useful in achieving their goals, even if that goal may sometimes be "don't fall down 'till the bell rings," or "just one more lap, no matter how much it hurts." Good boxing can sertainly be about self-mastery and the inner game

While the Southeast Asian arts don't tend to look at internal or external at all the same way that the Chinese do, there are internal and/or spiritual and/or occult levels to their arts also. For example, the headpiece that Thai boxers wear into the ring contain bits of paper on which (I forget which) spells or Budhist prayers are written, and there is a magico/religious significance to various other things associated with their art. Few people think of Muay Thai as an internal art, or know that it has its own mysticism.

There are things generally associated with internal arts that are found to various degrees in the Filipino arts, and perhaps much more so in the Indonesian ones. Once again though, these cultures don't tend to be strongly influenced by Budhism or Taoism, so their cultural frames of reference tend to be much different than that of the Chinese or Japanese.

Scaramouche


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