Not Style, Principle…

“What would you guys like to do?” he [Wai Lun Choi] asked. We inquired about the Hsing-I five fists, Pa-Kua’s single and double palm changes and getting an introduction to Liu Ho Pa Fa. “Well, O.K. but you must understand the Principles-don’t talk style, only one style-human style! You must analyze and understand the physics and physiology of movement.”

Reflections on Grandmaster Choi by Paul Abdella


About wujimon

taiji, meditation and health
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6 Responses to Not Style, Principle…

  1. Pingback: wujimon » Blog Archive » Style affect content?

  2. lgs says:

    I would say that style affects content inasmuch as theory and philosophy direct method, goals, and results. In the end, yes, there is only human style, but there are particular things that can be accomplished and particular ways of going about it. Yangs slowness yields relaxation. Relaxation and concentration increase the presence and ability of Qi, which is to be your true strength when executing the techniques in combat. In physics terms, relaxation reduces resistance, which increases current proportionately. Concentration increases the overall potential electrical differential within yopur body, which then allows for the presence of higher current. So the slow speed is the technique for training and using a particular power source. However when the techniques are actually applied, they are done at ‘combat speed’ in which the principles trained are now put into use: you have more Qi to use, are used to using it instead of the brute force of li, and are able to generate the necessary power and technique to accomplish the particular goal at hand. SO in the end you are still punching, kicking, grabbing, and throwing just like every other style on earth. That doesn’t change. But, your strategy is different, which is to use jin rather than li, which has been built by the training style. So style just comes down to a strategy that is applied to a particular goal.

  3. wujimon says:

    Hey LGS. Thx for your comments. I like your point about the slowness builds qi so that you have more qi to use when the time requires. Would you say this is a plus over chen? Would chen build less qi than yang?

  4. lgs says:

    I know so little about Chen that I don’t feel qualified to answer…the stuff stated in the previous comment is pretty basic physics stuff..Ohm’s Law in fact:

    quick laymans version: V=IR

    V stands for voltage,otherwise known as potential difference
    I is current
    R is resistance

    I and R are inversely proportionate to each other. They have to balance each other to create V.

    The Taiji equivalents of these are:
    V still means the same thing, you just have to think of it in terms of electrical power to your muscles or skin or whathaveyou.

    The key is that V can be increased in the human body via improved concentration, i.e. meditation.

    This is where things like the long form, Zhan Zhuang, qigong, etc. come into play.

    My guess is that as long as there is a significant amount of some kind of qigong happening in Chen training, and the attacking is built off the same principles, then there shouldnt be much difference in the physics of this, as this model applies to all martial arts.

    For example, in Dragon or Xingyi, the previous formula is used, then the R gets jacked up to the absolute maximum at the very last second (the brief full tension of a punch)and released, which SHOULD increase the overall V for a split second. Note that the type and depth of damage incurred depends on the nature of the attack. Whipping attacks strike deeper into the internal body than does, say, a vertical punch or beng chuan or the like, despite the sheer power that those two can generate.

  5. wujimon says:

    Hey LGS.
    Interesting formula, however there are many cases where I feel chen is similar to xingyi in terms of power generation, especially in regard to the fajing movements.

    Personally, I’m not too sure if I would categorize the fajing moments in chen to be “whip-like” in nature. While some chen practitioners executer fajing in this manner, others do not, especially Chen Xiaowang and/or Chen Xiaoxing. To me, they are more like explosive cannons, similar to the xingyi I’ve been exposed to where the goal is alternating points of tension/relaxation.

    I’m also not sure on why a whipping strike would penetrate deeper into the body??

  6. lgs says:

    Like I said, I know next to nothign about Chen style, so really I was speaking about Yang style. I should have specified…sorry. Here’s a link to a diagram from one of Yang Jwang-mings books that may help:

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