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A Discussion on Yielding

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  • A Discussion on Yielding

    Hello everyone,

    I have been compelled to start this thread as a result of an interesting development in another. My aim is to enable all readers to have a deeper understanding on the concept of "Yielding". This is a very important concept of Kung Fu, especially the internal arts.

    Speaking on the concept of yielding (please see Post 258 on the Shen Man Tao thread in this section of the forum), Sifu Stier said,
    'Yielding' is no longer a matter of trying to avoid the fight, but now entails acceding to their wishes by giving them what they insist on having...i.e. a good fight.'
    I find Sifu Stier's understanding of the yielding concept as revealed here shallow and will explain why further on.

    Sifu Stier also said,
    'If they choose to charge forward...let them do so, and pull them face first into the wall or some other unmoving, solid object. If they choose to pull you...let them do so, and push them backward to stumble over some obstacle on the ground or into something solid.'
    I find Sifu Stier's techniques as revealed here low-level and will explain why shortly.

    Finally Sifu Stier most recently wrote:
    A skilled, trained defender with good automatic reaction and spontaneous response skills already in place will at least have a chance to lean, turn, twist, bend, duck, step, jump, or otherwise get out of harm's way in that micro-second window of opportunity to do so. It is not at all unusual when this happens, that the attacker has set in motion more speed, power, and momentum than they can control if it doesn't make contact with the intended target. And so they fall into or onto something sufficiently solid and immovable to hurt themselves...perhaps seriously.
    This seems to advocate: just get out of the way of the attacker and hope that they fall, stumble or otherwise manage to knock themselves out.

    Here are my reasons why I think Sifu Stiers concept of Yielding is shallow and why his techniques are low level:

    'Yielding' is no longer a matter of trying to avoid the fight, but now entails acceding to their wishes by giving them what they insist on having...i.e. a good fight.'
    This statement shows Sifu Stier is unaware that yielding is part of a countering process, and not a complete process by itself. In other words a competent martial artist does not merely yield and stop there. Doing so would be committing the mistake of having yin without yang. This will result in the yielding practitioner in an awkward position. If I remember correctly, in an earlier post connected with the Bow-Arrow Stance (but I cannot remember which post) Sifu Stier did mention about the occurrence of this awkward position following yielding. This further confirms his shallow understanding of the yielding concept.Yielding is to lead the opponent to futility, then his attacking momentum is turned against the opponent himself, thus completing the yang part of the yin-yang harmony. This continuous process is expressed in Chinese as 'xian hua hou ji', which means 'first neutralize then attack'. In Shaolin Kung Fu it is expressed as 'dun du', or 'swallow-shoot'.

    'If they choose to charge forward...let them do so, and pull them face first into the wall or some other unmoving, solid object. If they choose to pull you...let them do so, and push them backward to stumble over some obstacle on the ground or into something solid.'
    The techniques used here are low-level for the following reasons:
    1. They do not take advantage of the 'xian hua hou ji' principle, which is actually the main principle underlying the yielding tactic. In other words, they defeat the purpose of yielding.
    2. Sifu Stier presumes that there is a wall or some unmoving solid object, and there is some obstacle on the ground or something solid. If these presumed objects are not present, these techniques would be futile.
    3. On the other hand, if these presumed objects are present, they may be disadvantageous to Sifu Stier. Following Sifu Stier's pulling momentum, the opponent may push Sifu Stier onto the wall. Following Sifu Stier's pushing momentum, he may pull Sifu Stier to fall onto the obstacle.
    4. There are many more effective techniques to use in place of those suggested by Sifu Stier. For example, when an opponent pushes, the exponent may respond with 'Black Bear Sinks Hips' to cause the opponent to fall onto his front knee. When the opponent pulls, the exponent may use 'Shoulder Strike' to ram into the opponent's chest.
    5. Notwithstanding this, as we are on the topic of yielding, we should use its underlying principle of 'first neutralize then attack'. One example each is as follows. As the opponent pushes, first neutralize (or yield) to his push, then redirecting his momentum throw him onto the ground with 'Carry Tiger Back to Mountain' (called 'Felling Tree with Roots' in Shaolin Kungfu.) As the opponent pulls, follow his momentum and responds with 'Cross Hands Thrust Kick' to his chest (called 'White Horse Presents Hoof'' in Shaolin Kungfu.)

    I shall leave it here for now as I'm going to source some suitable pictures to illustrate the points I have made. Until then I look forward to how this thread develops.

    Kind regards


    Namo Amitabha Buddha Namo Amitabha Buddha Namo Amitabha Buddha

  • #2
    May I humbly assume that the silence here means that all concerned have been able to benefit from Marcus' excellent post which "ADDS SOMETHING SPECIFIC" from "MARCUS' OWN DIRECT EXPERIENCE and UNDERSTANDING of the subject" in reponse to Sifu Stier's post on 'Yielding'?

    Sifu Andrew Barnett
    Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland -

    Flowing Health GmbH (Facebook:
    Healing Sessions with Sifu Andrew Barnett - in Switzerland and internationally
    Heilbehandlungen mit Sifu Andrew Barnett - in der Schweiz und International

    Chi Kung Courses: May 2019 in Landquart CH
    QEA Discussion Forum:


    • #3
      One Step of the Process

      Greeting, Everyone.

      I would like to share my own analysis and perspective on "yielding". It is my hope that you may join in the discussion as I am interested to hear your experiences and perspectives.

      From my understanding, merely yielding or avoiding an incoming strike does not necessarily result in being in an advantageous position. If the exponent is skilful enough, he may continue to press with attacks and lead his opponent to defeat.

      In order to use yielding effectively, one must follow the yielding by safely neutralising the opponent and applying an appropriate counter or control. Hence, not only will one be safe when correctly applying this process, one will gain the advantage.

      I have attached an image to this post to help illustrate my points on yielding. Please find it at the end of this post.
      1. Tai Chee Yong, the exponent in white, has initiated a hook punch (or "Hang a Golden Star at the Corner" in Shaolin Kungfu) at Sifu Wong's head who is the exponent in black.
      2. Sifu Wong "yields" to the incoming strike. In this case, he sinks in his stance to avoid Tai Chee Yong strike. Please note the use and the importance of stances in this situation.
      3. Once the strike is spent or nearly spent, Sifu Wong neutralises Tai Chee Yong striking arm with his right hand while immediately striking his right hand. Please note the importance of Sifu Wong's placement of his right hand on Tai Chee Yong's arm. Also, it is good to point out the process of neutralising and countering can almost simultaneously.

      This is merely one example of the "yielding process" of yielding, neutralising, and countering. It is interesting to also note that yielding and other concepts of Taijiquan can be found in Shaolin Kungfu. So, I'm certain that the Shaolin Kungfu exponent have something to share.

      I hope that the discussion on yielding may continue. I look forward to hearing your comments, opinions, and other examples of yielding in physical situations and your daily life.

      Looking forward to some fun discussion,


      • #4
        Hello everyone,

        Apologies for the lack of "debate" on this thread. Whilst we wait for Sifu Stier to add something "genuinely refreshing" from his "own direct experience and understanding" to this debate I believe a quick review of why this thread became necessary is in order.

        Disrespect, bad language and threatening behaviour :
        Originally Posted by Sifu Stier
        you appear to merely post here in order to pat one another on the back, and to kiss one another's arses...while sucking up to others!
        Sifu Stier uses bad language directed and myself and Shaolin Wahnam student Joko.
        Originally Posted by Sifu Stier
        To Sifu?Santer
        In the same post, Sifu Stier questions my postion as a Sifu by the use of a question mark. Sifu Stier explained this was a keyboard error, but this seems unlikely despite his further questioning of my position later in his post, for example :
        Originally Posted by Sifu Stier
        It would have been very much appreciated...and genuinely quite refreshing for a see you guys ADD SOMETHING SPECIFIC from YOUR OWN DIRECT EXPERIENCE and UNDERSTANDING of the subject to my post on 'Yielding'!!!
        and also here :
        Originally Posted by Sifu Stier
        And by the way, Kevin...anyone who uses the title 'Sifu' IS in fact claiming to be a 'Master'...and yet very few seem to offer anything of real value or substance to any discussion.
        These comments imply that Sifu Wong chose people who could not "offer anything of real value or substance" (Sifu Stiers words), as his Shaolin Wahnam Instructors. This is disrespectful towards Sifu Wong.

        Threatening behaviour :
        Originally Posted by Sifu Stier
        and also just like me, probably wouldn't be that hard to track down for anyone who really wanted to connect with them live and in person. I respect anyone like that who is willing to either 'put up or shut up'!
        And so, Kevin, since you seem to feel fully entitled to pass judgement on me from the secure privacy of your anonymous computer keyboard, I'll extend my usual offer to guys like you. My name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address are openly listed on numerous Teacher Directories. I am NOT difficult to find, and unlike you, I don't intend to be. So if and when the spirit so moves you to do so...please seek me out and show me what you have to teach me. I'd love to see it! I guarantee that you'll leave with a different perspective on who and what I am.
        So far, no apology has been offered, neither in public, nor in our private messages.

        I am now going to catch my train to London to teach the London Shaolin Kung Fu students. Hopefully by my return tomorrow Sifu Stier will stop posting pictures and enter into this debate.

        Until then

        Kind regards


        Namo Amitabha Buddha Namo Amitabha Buddha Namo Amitabha Buddha


        • #5
          Clear throat, wipe away imaginary lint, check tie on straight, walk up on stage and take the microphone. “Testing, testing, 1, 2, 1,2, 1, 2, 3, 4. Good evening ladies and gentlemen, my name is Marcus Santer and I am an instructor for the Shaolin Wahnam Institute in the UK. I’d like to welcome you to this friendly debate on “Yielding” between myself and a man who needs no introduction Sifu Stier.”

          Deadly silence.

          “Err, hello? Is there anybody out there?”

          It’s very quiet on this thread, you’ve probably noticed. It’s impossible to have a debate with someone when they refuse to take part. 10 days ago I made a 5 line post on the Shen Man Tao thread (post #262). My post was a follow up to one made by Sifu Stier regarding the concept of “Yielding”. I saw it as a continuation of the theme, allowing members who wanted to read more and watch a video on this principle to increase their understanding.

          My intention all the time has been to help members of this forum to increase their understanding. I never imagined that my post would stir up such hostility and mis-understanding. This was completely unexpected and I have learnt that little things really can make a big difference.

          Since the 10th of February a lot of posts have been written, a lot of things have been said. Now that the dust has had time to settle it appears that a simple apology from Sifu Stier could resolve this situation.

          To people not exposed to the philosophy and practice of Tai Chi Chuan as an internal martial art, Sifu Stier’s concepts and techniques may be deep and high-level. But when compared to what we believe and practice at the Shaolin Wahnam Institute, I honestly find his concepts and techniques incomplete and basic, and I am prepared to give my honest views supported with more than adequate reasons to back this view up. I am not worried if Sifu Stier points out my mistakes if there are any. In this way I hope all of us, including Sifu Stier, may help to bring the understanding and practice of Tai Chi Chuan to a higher level.

          My intentions are still the same – increased understanding, it is one of the key reasons that this thread was created.

          Think back to the Zen/Tao thread, or the Breathing methods in Taijiquan thread for example. All of the forum members benefited a lot from these exchanges. It is still my hope that the same can happen here. Whilst my views on Yielding may differ from those of Sifu Stier I for one value his presence and contribution to the Shaolin Wahnam Forum. I hope that Sifu Stier can return to the forum and that this debate can continue for the benefit of all.

          Kind regards


          Namo Amitabha Buddha Namo Amitabha Buddha Namo Amitabha Buddha


          • #6
            teaste of tea

            Sifu Marcus,

            Yielding is good but after a certain time period true skill can only be ascertained by conduct and behaviour. One walks into another domain and one's intention should be to show homage. WHether one agrees or not with the host, one gets to observe and learn and that is a difficult task for many.

            I am now even more motivated to take a course with Sifu Wong in the near future because his students reflect the proper attitude of respect.
            Emptying one's cup is a vital lesson.

            I am only interested in the taste of tea


            • #7
              Originally posted by Marcus
              Whilst my views on Yielding may differ from those of Sifu Stier I for one value his presence and contribution to the Shaolin Wahnam Forum. I hope that Sifu Stier can return to the forum and that this debate can continue for the benefit of all.
              Hello Sifu Marcus. I have been away from these forums for several days, having just returned from vacation in Las Vegas. It's good to see that things have settled down a bit. I was also happy to read your kind words above about past discussions and your desire to return to them. I agree with you.
              I know that you are waiting to hear from Sifu Stier. Regarding that issue, I do not speak for Sifu Stier or anyone other than myself; however I would like to ask that you consider things from another perspective for just a moment. After his original post, Sifu Stier stated that he did not mean any disrespect towards Master Wong Kiew Kit and that the question mark he typed near your name was a typo. Several people then stated that they did not believe him; everyone is entitled to their opinion and I am not arguing that, however that and some of the subsequent vitriol made for an atmosphere that was not very conducive to fruitful discussion. For that reason I respect Sifu Stier's decision to yield and stay out of things for a while. I do not say these things to criticize anyone or lay blame, I'm just trying to add some perspective.
              Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that your kind words are appreciated Sifu Marcus. I look forward to future discussions.

              -- Chris Hudson


              • #8
                Dear Chris (chud),

                Thank you for offering your perspective. I think it is noble of you to try to make ammends by offering everyone your side of the story. Nevertheless, I would like to offer my own perspective in respone to your perspective.

                In essence, what you are saying is that Sifu Stier does not feel that he has insulted anyone, and therefore has no need to apologize. So one "camp" (Shen Men Tao) feels that there is no need to apologize. Meanwhile the other "camp" (Shaolin Wahnam) feels strongly that Sifu Stier owes an apology.

                This is called an impasse. Neither side will budge. One side feels strongly that an apology is necessary, and the other feels strongly that it is not necessary.

                As a show of good faith, Shaolin Wahnam will be the one to budge.
                However, this does not mean that we have changed our minds. We still feel strongly that an apology was in order. But we also feel strongly that it is important to find a resolution. And although we differ with Sifu Stier in many respects, we also value his contributions to this forum.

                In bowing out of the conflict, we would like to make one thing clear. In essence, Chris, your side is saying that Shaolin Wahnam was wrong to find insult in Sifu Stier's words. If you take a step back, you may see that this is yet another insult. It is saying that we can't even recognize an insult when we see one. Even if Sifu Stier genuinely believes that there was no insult, the fact remains that many people, including his hosts, took his words as an insult. This fact alone should be enough for an apology.

                But this is water under the bridge now. Shaolin Wahnam will graciously back off. No apology is necessary.

                I hope that we can now proceed with the topic at hand -- i.e. yielding. With Sifu Stier's participation, I think that this may prove to be a fascinating thread.

                Last edited by Antonius; 21st February 2006, 03:19 PM.
                Sifu Anthony Korahais
                (Click here to learn more about me.)


                • #9
                  A Final Respose!

                  Out of respect for Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit, whom I regard in high esteem, I now wish to address the incredible chain of events which has transpired here during the past many days, now that cooler heads have prevailed for at least a few days time. This will likely be my last post on this Forum, so bear with me as it may be quite lengthy.

                  To begin, I have never directly or indirectly insulted Master Wong, nor have I intended to insinuate or imply that I was doing so. To insist that this is not true is to continue calling me a liar, a direct insult to me, and to create conflict over an issue which simply does not exist. I am not resposible for your personal perceptions and decisions, and I have no control over what you choose to think about these things. I can only hope to influence your thinking in some small way by saying that there is absolutely no rational or logical reason for me to insult another Master who has graciously allowed me to use his Forum to bring greater public awareness to the Shen Men Tao System and its practices. None whatsoever! A review of every post I made in which I mention Master Wong by name or specifically refer to him has always been with great courtesy, respect, and admiration towards him as an Honored Master, a Revered Teacher, and a successful author and businessman. I feel certain that Master Wong is well aware of the deep loyalty, love, and respect which his students feel for him. It is not necessary to seize every imagined insult in order to rally group solidarity and support in his defense. Unless a direct insult by name is put forth by someone, I believe that it would be better to assume that others hold your Master in high regard, because they probably do!

                  This whole fiasco began with a post I made on the topic of 'Yielding' in the Shen Men Tao Thread. It was intended to be a simple description of a potential 'first response' or 'initial reaction' to sudden and unexpected physical assault. It certainly wasn't meant to be a thorough and exhaustive treatise on the subject, in which I offered everything I could on the topic. Instead, I meant to leave plenty of room for others to contribute as well. Then Sifu Santer comes on and attempts to redirect the entire discussion to an article previously posted by Sifu Korahias on another thread, while totally ignoring my initial post on the topic and implying that he thought very little of it. Did I read this wrong? I don't believe so! The topic of 'Yielding' was in fact high-jacked to another thread....THIS ONE right here! And Sifu Santer has repeatedly stated in several posts since then that he considers my understanding of the subject to be "shallow', and my techniques to be "low level". Logic would suggest that such strong views were in fact present in the post I took exception to!

                  I commented on observed intentions and attitudes which have since been verified. Had I not been annoyed by this kind of subtle 'put down' and 'dismissal', I probably would have described his behavior in less provacative language. So...I read it right, but I didn't describe it appropriately and courtesly enough....and for this I apologize.

                  Thereafter, nobody 'yielded' to my comments. Instead, a viscious group attack usual. During the following week, no less than 16 different individuals posting on three different threads spanning 10 pages subjected me to direct, personal insults, slanders, false allegations, and general character assassination unlike anything I have ever previously experienced! I was called a "smart-assed", "patronizing", "disrespectful guest" who is the "main cause of conflict and misunderstanding on this Forum", mostly because I am apparently a "arrogant and disgusting", "rude know-it-all" who is "unable to see past my own ideas and ways of thinking".

                  I was told that I am "a jerk" with a "closed heart", "unclear thinking" and "mental rididity" who is "filled with his own ideas and preconceived notions" and "thinks he is smarter...and better than everyone else". I am accused of "dishonor" in my use of Sacred Objects and Feng-Shui Tools, and of "seeking negative attention like spoiled child out of insecurity and a need to inflate an ever growing ego founded on no objective basis". Furthermore, I was assured that I "lack greatness and humility", that I "have been unable to grasp the most simple kung-fu lessons", and thus my "knowledge and skills could be easily surpassed" since my "understanding of Kung-Fu is shallow and my skills are low-level".
                  I'm sure I left out a few of the insults given to me here, so feel free to add to this list if you find something pertinent missing!

                  Then, as the final kicker, readers everywhere are assured that "In Shaolin Wahnam, we are courteous even to our adversaries"! Whew!!! How do you figure that? Because you decide that apologies from me are no longer necessary a week and a half later? Because I've now been 'punished' long enough for my 'indiscretions' with sufficient verbal abuse? Because this isn't FUN anymore?

                  I am so happy and proud to note that in spite of no directive from me whatsoever about all of this, none of my students and no other Shen Men Tao Masters came on this Forum to respond in kind to the treatment I have received here.

                  And so, in closing, I regret that so much conflict has arisen from so little provocation, but in retrospect I believe that I received worse and more than I gave!
                  Last edited by Sifu Stier; 21st February 2006, 05:12 PM.


                  • #10
                    Hello Sifu Stier,

                    It is good to see you posting again.
                    This will likely be my last post on this Forum
                    I hope not.

                    I'm not going to disect your post quote for quote and justify or defend my position. You have your version of events, I have mine. Instead I will quote something my father once told me:

                    "No matter how thin you slice it, there are always two sides"

                    Do we continue to explore the topic of Yielding for the benefit of everyone else on the forum, or was the post above your final one?

                    I shall continue to watch with interest.

                    Kind regards


                    Namo Amitabha Buddha Namo Amitabha Buddha Namo Amitabha Buddha


                    • #11
                      Debate on Yielding between Sifu Marcus and Sifu Stier

                      It Would Be Very Sad If SifuStier Leaves This Forum For Never Write a(one) Replie(s) Again!

                      My Heart Is Broken And My Tears Fall Down ! In Silenced And Invisible! In Hope that this is not his end here, his last thread!

                      BUT WE ALL HAVE FREE WILL .
                      Last edited by HugoDarien; 21st February 2006, 09:50 PM.


                      • #12
                        Im honestly sad it came this far. I think we've all made mountains out of molehills on this one. I for one have enjoyed having sifu stier here, while not being as dramatic as hugo I wouldnt enjoy seeing him go. Also I dont know Marcus very well but I think he's a reasonable guy and you two could work it out. You could probably work it out better in private messages than on the thread where everyone jumps in and starts taking sides.

                        Anyway hope this thing blows over cos its honestly too small to stay angry about

                        from the ♥


                        • #13
                          I sincerely hope that this thread may now continue in its original direction and purpose and allow all of us to learn more about the concept, practice and implementation of "Yielding". I also sincerely hope that Sifu Stier will contribute to this learning process.

                          I would now request that posts regarding the events of the last week and a half between Sifu Stier and Shaolin Wahnam are kept away from this thread. Posting additional comments here will not change the situation as it is and will only serve to distract from the topic at hand.

                          If anyone wishes to comment further on the past 10 days' events, then please do so either in private with the perons involved or create a thread in the Miscellaneous area to do so.

                          Personally I think that enough has been said. Both involved parties have presented their cases adequately. An impasse occured and attempts have been made to break that impasse. It is now Sifu Stier's decision whether or not he continues to post on our forum or not. I am convinced that all of Shaolin Wahnam would like him to do so --- as would I. But we must also allow Sifu Stier to make his own decision -- whatever it may be.

                          Sifu Andrew Barnett
                          Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland -

                          Flowing Health GmbH (Facebook:
                          Healing Sessions with Sifu Andrew Barnett - in Switzerland and internationally
                          Heilbehandlungen mit Sifu Andrew Barnett - in der Schweiz und International

                          Chi Kung Courses: May 2019 in Landquart CH
                          QEA Discussion Forum:


                          • #14
                            Hello all,

                            Although I am sad to read of the recent happenings on the forum between Shaolin Wahnam and Sifu Stier, I want to add some comments about yielding to encourage some more discussion of this deserving topic.

                            One of my favorite patterns that demonstrate yielding in Taijiquan is "Embrace Tiger Return To Mountain". One way it can be used is to counter someone's knee strikes, like Jade Girl Kicks The Shuttle. The exponent merely "Embraces Tiger" by following the momentum and pulling the lifted knee up, and then "Return To Mountain".

                            Another one of my favorite patterns showing yielding is "Hit Tiger". I think noticing the similarity in the sinking jin in "Hit Tiger" shows the similarity to the plucking jin in "Needle At Sea Bottom". I think what this shows is one way to make a "sinking" more effective is to first seal/trap your opponent like in the application to picking up the "Needle At Sea Bottom" to get out of your opponents grab, you'd first place a hand on his gripping hand to make the sinking significantly easier. The way "Hit Tiger" sets up sinking is by first swinging the grabbed arm around in the shaking jin manner found in "Hit Tiger". Doing this can move your opponent into quite an exposed posture, depending on the grab used, for further attack.

                            I hope more Shaolin exponents post about yielding in Shaolin Kung Fu.
                            "The nine energies are necessary for immortality, but they are not something for any person to be allowed to come in contact with or hear about. The populus common, in their unending worry, their concern is only with riches and honors. They may well be called walking corpses." - Ge Hong


                            • #15
                              Let us continue

                              Sifu Stier,

                              As you are a lover of Martial Art and a frequent contributor to our forum (I am relieved to see that you are still posting on the forum), I believe that you continue to check the discussion here. So I would like to pose the following question for you.
                              On Link to post 222 of the Shen Man Tao thread you wrote:

                              'Tai-Chi Chuan defensive responses generally move forward into the attack, rather than retreating from it. 'Peng' or 'Ward-Off' for example expresses dynamic forward motion both energetically and physically. So...if I respond to an opponent's jab or straight punch by advancing toward him with either foot while using 'Ward-Off' Form as played in the Set, I will be shifting my weight forward into a 'Bow and Arrow Stance'. I will also be lifting his outstretched arm and hand upward as I advance and will be rotating it outward to the side.'
                              In my humble opinion I find your concepts basically wrong. Please accept this as an invitation for you to post your reasons for choosing the above counters, before I explain the reasons why I find them flawed.

                              Kind regards


                              Namo Amitabha Buddha Namo Amitabha Buddha Namo Amitabha Buddha