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#358683 - 08/27/07 04:39 PM The Essence of T'ai Chi Ch'uan
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Excerpts from: 'The Essence of T'ai Chi Ch'uan: The Literary Tradition' (Trans. Lo/Inn/Amacker/Foe)

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#358684 - 08/27/07 04:41 PM Re: The Essence of T'ai Chi Ch'uan [Re: harlan]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Chapter One: 'T'ai Chi Ch'uan' by Chang San-feng

In motion
all parts of the body must be
light
nimble
and strung together.

The ch'i (breath) should be excited,
the shen (spirit) should be internally gathered.

Let the postures be without
breaks or holes,
hollows or projections,
or discontinuities and continuities of form.

The motion should be rooted in the feet,
released through the legs,
controlled by the waist,
and manifested through the fingers.

The feet, legs and waist
must act together simultaneously,
so that while stepping forward or back
the timing and position are correct.

If the timing and position are not correct,
the body becomes disordered,
and the defect must be sought
in the legs and waist.

Up or down,
front or back,
left or right, are all the same.

These are all i (mind) and not external.

If there is up, there is down;
if there is forward, then there is backward;
if there is left, then there is right.

If the i wants to move up,
it contains at the same time
the downward idea.

By alternating the force
of pulling and pushing,
the root is severed
and the object is quickly toppled,
without a doubt.

Insubstantial and substantial
should be clearly differentiated.

One place
has insubstantiality and substantiality;
every place
has the same insubstantiality and substantiality.

All parts of the body are strung together
without the slightest break.


Ch'ang Ch'uan (T'ai Chi Ch'uan)
is like a great river
rolling on unceasingly.

P'eng (wardoff), lu (rollback),
chi (press), an (push),
ts'ai (pull), lieh (split),
tsou (elbow), k'ao (shoulder),
are the eight trigrams.

Step forward, step back,
look left, look right,
and central equilibrium
are the five elements.

P'eng, lu, chi, an are ch'ien, k'un, k'an, li,
and are the four cardinal directions.
Ts'ai, lieh, tsou, k'ao, are sun, chen, tui, ken,
and are the four diagonal directions.

Step forward, step back,
look left, look right,
and central equilibrium
are metal, wood, water, fire and earth.

Together
these comprise the thirteen postures.

Top
#358685 - 08/28/07 08:27 AM Re: The Essence of T'ai Chi Ch'uan [Re: harlan]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
cool, thanks Harlan.
_________________________
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

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#358686 - 08/28/07 08:26 PM Re: The Essence of T'ai Chi Ch'uan [Re: trevek]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Harlan, not sure why this is in Meditation... care to explain?
Or how about some commentary as to what this might mean... to you?

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#358687 - 08/28/07 10:49 PM Re: The Essence of T'ai Chi Ch'uan [Re: harlan]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
dito the interest in eyrie's question. I read it as a physical to mindset metaphor (or maybe not really a metaphor, but a kind of parable written in 'alive' metaphor - whats the word for that?)

{turns his cup upside down and listens... }

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#358688 - 08/28/07 11:31 PM Re: The Essence of T'ai Chi Ch'uan [Re: Ed_Morris]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Thought it fell under Philosophy.

But found it interesting...from a Goju/Sanchin perspective.

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#358689 - 08/29/07 08:09 PM Re: The Essence of T'ai Chi Ch'uan [Re: harlan]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Interesting... in what way? What does it mean to you (from a Goju/Sanchin perspective)? What makes you think it is a philosophical discourse?

I have quite a different take on what it is/means, but I wanted to hear your thoughts first.

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#358690 - 08/30/07 07:53 AM Re: The Essence of T'ai Chi Ch'uan [Re: eyrie]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Well, like I said to Bossman, to a beginner, every martial art is the same.


These would seem to be underlying physical 'rules' applicable to Goju:

In motion
all parts of the body must be
light
nimble
and strung together.

Let the postures be without
breaks or holes,
hollows or projections,
or discontinuities and continuities of form.

The motion should be rooted in the feet,
released through the legs,
controlled by the waist,
and manifested through the fingers.

The feet, legs and waist
must act together simultaneously,
so that while stepping forward or back
the timing and position are correct.

If the timing and position are not correct,
the body becomes disordered,
and the defect must be sought
in the legs and waist.

P'eng (wardoff), lu (rollback),
chi (press), an (push),
ts'ai (pull), lieh (split),
tsou (elbow), k'ao (shoulder),
are the eight trigrams.


These are mind instructions:

Up or down,
front or back,
left or right, are all the same.

These are all i (mind) and not external.

If there is up, there is down;
if there is forward, then there is backward;
if there is left, then there is right.

If the i wants to move up,
it contains at the same time
the downward idea.


And these ideas are used to design the form/kata:

Step forward, step back,
look left, look right,
and central equilibrium
are the five elements.

P'eng, lu, chi, an are ch'ien, k'un, k'an, li,
and are the four cardinal directions.
Ts'ai, lieh, tsou, k'ao, are sun, chen, tui, ken,
and are the four diagonal directions.

Step forward, step back,
look left, look right,
and central equilibrium
are metal, wood, water, fire and earth.

Together
these comprise the thirteen postures.

Top
#358691 - 08/30/07 10:33 AM Re: The Essence of T'ai Chi Ch'uan [Re: harlan]
Bossman Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 1785
Loc: Chatham Kent UK
Excellent posts Harlan

I loved this bit:

Let the postures be without
breaks or holes,
hollows or projections,
or discontinuities and continuities of form.

Because it's not found in other classics and it really epitomises the yin yang body shaping of form.

A good find!
_________________________
supporting standards in the martial arts www.shikon.com www.masa.org.uk

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#358692 - 08/30/07 07:17 PM Re: The Essence of T'ai Chi Ch'uan [Re: Bossman]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Dang Harlan... you sound like someone who has come full circle, rather than a beginner.

Nice interpretation BTW.

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