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Yang 108 pattern set : 10 Quesions for the Grandmaster

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  • Joan
    replied
    Thank you!

    Dear Sifu,

    Thank you for giving us this opportunity to make the Yang 108 Pattern set become even more alive and for taking the time to answer our questions.

    Indeed it is because of chi flow that we have attained unbelievable results in force training for daily living as well as in clearing blockage in overcoming illness. The 108-Pattern Yang Style Taijiquan Set in Ireland is an excellent course for chi flow. For those who have learnt Iron Wire before, this 108-Pattern is an excellent complement. For those who have learnt Iron Wire, the flow method in 108-Pattern Set course will enhance any force development and, more importantly, our daily life. Answer 10-Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
    .

    We are indeed very blessed to have Sifu teach us Iron Wire here in Ireland a few years ago and what a treat that was. How exciting that we are also now going to have the 108 Pattern Yang Style Taijiquan Set here in February

    We are very grateful to Sifu.

    Thank you also to Kevin. You have done a super job on this thread and thank you for offering to facilitate it. Well done!

    Thank you to everybody who took part and I am sure you are glad now and have learned so much.

    We are looking forward to welcoming everybody to beautiful Killarney in February for the Valentine's Festival. It is going to be absolutely FANTASTIC and each year it has grown in size and in people's hearts.

    Not long now but still time to book if you wish. Send me a PM or an email at sifujoan@gmail.com

    Happy Chi Flows!

    With deepest respect,
    Joan

    Leave a comment:


  • Anton S.
    replied
    Dear Sigung!

    Thank you for your brilliant answer!

    Dear Kevin Sihing, thank you very much for updating!!

    It´s going to be an amazing course!

    Kindest regards, Anton

    Leave a comment:


  • Dominic Roche
    replied
    Dear Sigung,

    Thank you for giving us incredible answers and insights into the wonderful Art of Tai Chi Chuan.

    Dear Kevin Sihing,

    Thank you for sharing Sigung’s answers with us and facilitating this great thread.

    Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family,

    Thank you for all the wonderful answers.


    Less than three weeks to go, wo-hoo!!

    Shaolin Salute,
    Dominic.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kevin_B
    replied
    Well now... that is that!

    We had ten fantastic questions and ten absolutely superb answers from Sigung.

    I would like to offer my thanks to all those who asked the questions. Thank you very much.

    But above all else, I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Sigung for so generously taking the time to offer Sigung's extraordinary wisdom and knowledge in helping us prepare for next month's 108-Pattern Yang Style Taijiquan course in Killarney. The answers were simply amazing and wide ranging. Thank you Sigung. Thank you so much.

    And of course the benefits are not just for those of us taking the course, but for all students in the school, both now and in the future. The thread stands as a modern classic on the wonderful art of Taijiquan and will bring much benefits for many years to come.

    I am really looking forward to next month's incredible adventure in Kerry. Less than three weeks to go!!!

    All the best,

    Kevin

    Leave a comment:


  • Kevin_B
    replied
    Here is part 3 of Sigung's answer to Question 10.

    Thank you Sigung!
    Thank you Sifu Anton for asking the question.


    Question 10

    Answer (part 3 of 3)

    This may explain why students whose style has limited sets, like those who practice popular Wing Choon, are generally more combat efficient than students whose styles have many sets, who in turn are more combat efficient than students learn in schools with many different styles, often with conflicting nature. It also explains why masters advocate that students should focus on only one art at a time.

    On the other hand, kungfu geniuses like Ng Mui and Pak Mei, who had spread and depth, were far superior to other kungfu masters.

    It is incredible that now we in Shaolin Wahnam have the opportunity of spread and depth that even masters in the past did not have. Contrary to what has been the norm in kungfu practice throughout the ages, in our case the more opposite the two arts are, the better will be our benefits.

    With reference to the list of kungfu sets ranging from the softest to the hardest mentioned above, because the range between Wudang Taijiquan and Triple Stretch is wider than the range between San Zhan and Flower Set, if all other things were equal, those who practice Wudang Taijiquan and Triple Stretch will have more benefits than those who practice San Zhan and Flower Set.

    Why is this so? It is because the wider range gives it more spread.

    As Yang Style and Iron Wire has the widest range, practicing both sets will give the best benefits. In Yang Style, one learns flowing soft force. In Iron Wire he learns consolidated hard force. These two modes of internal force training, generating flowing soft force and consolidating energy into hard force, represent the two extreme range of internal force training methods. All other internal force training methods fall in between these two extremes.

    Letting energy flow and consolidating energy into internal force are required in all internal force training methods. Depending on the type of force desired, practitioners adjust the proportion between flowing energy and consolidating energy.

    In Yang Style Taijiquan, about 90% of the energy is flowing, and 10% is consolidated. In Iron Wire about 10% is flowing and 90% is consolidated. Other types of force are somewhere in between. In San Zhan, for example, about 80% of the energy developed is flowing, and 20% consolidated. In Baguazhang about 70% of the energy is flowing and 30% consolidated. Hence when one has learnt Yang Style and Iron Wire, he is able to let the energy flow and consolidate energy at their extreme, which results in learning other methods of force training easier.

    When one practices both the 108-Pattern Set or any set of Yang Style and San Zhan or any set of Wuzuquan, his range of force training methods is narrower because both sets use the flow method. Another practitioner who practices the 108-Pattern Set and also the Iron Wire Set has the opportunity to use both the flow method and the force method. Someone who has both methods is more effective than another who knows only any one.

    This evidence is abundant in our school. Shaolin practitioners who also learn some Taijiquan sets, or Taijiquan practitioners who also learn some Shaolin sets, find their kungfu performance improve tremendously. Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan represent the crystallization of the force method and the flow method. We are very lucky that we can integrate both methods in yin-yang harmony.

    We may sound arrogant but it is true that this phenomenon happens only in our school. In other schools, including myself in my own training as a student, training two opposing methods, like Yang Style Taijiquan and Iron Wire, is highly discouraged as the two opposing arts cancel each other’s benefits.

    In our school the two methods are not opposing but complementary., which means that our results in these two arts, and by transference of skills in all other arts, will be much enhanced instead of diminished! This phenomenon is unprecedented in kungfu history.

    Do you know why two opposing arts in other schools become complementary in our school? Yes, it is because of the magic of chi flow.

    Indeed it is because of chi flow that we have attained unbelievable results in force training for daily living as well as in clearing blockage in overcoming illness. The 108-Pattern Yang Style Taijiquan Set in Ireland is an excellent course for chi flow. For those who have learnt Iron Wire before, this 108-Pattern is an excellent complement. For those who have learnt Iron Wire, the flow method in 108-Pattern Set course will enhance any force development and, more importantly, our daily life.

    <End>

    Leave a comment:


  • Kevin_B
    replied
    Here is part 2 of Sigung's answer to Question 10. Part 3 follows tomorrow.


    Question 10


    Answer (part 2 of 3)

    If all other things were equal, as mentioned earlier, the Yang Style practitioner is superior. But in real life, other things are not equal. If a practitioner has breadth and depth like in Shaolin Wahnam, the San Zhan practitioner is superior. He does not need to carry different credit cards for different purposes and places. He uses his platinum card regardless of what and where he makes purchases.

    In terms of internal force, the Yang Style practitioner is flowing and soft, whereas the San Zhan practitioner is flowing and hard. If you wish to defeat a stronger, bigger opponent, or fell an opponent onto the floor, flowing soft force is relatively more efficient. If you wish to press an opponent to a wall, or damage an opponent with one strike, flowing hard force is a better choice.

    In daily life, flowing soft force from Yang Style Taijiquan will make you elegant and graceful in your daily life, while the flowing hard force from San Zhan will enable you to be assertive yet flexible. Such transfer of internal force developed from Yang Style and San Zhan training to daily work and play is spontaneous and even expected in our school, but may not happen in other schools.

    This is because we are clearly aware that our Taijiquan training is meant to enrich our daily life. We also have the skill for transfer, especially in the magic of chi flow. Practitioners in other schools may not have this philosophy, and therefore do not make any conscious effort to purposely apply their Taijiquan training to enrich their daily life. Even if they do, they do not have the skill. Most other practitioners perform Taijiquan or Taiji dance for recreation. They have no idea of flowing soft force or flowing hard force.

    It is worthwhile to realize that spiritual cultivation ranges from the basic level to the supreme, and is irrespective of religion or the lack of it. The onus of attainment in any art is practical experience. In other words, we must not just talk about spiritual cultivation, but actually enjoy the result of having cultivated our spirit.

    The basic level is to be relaxed and peaceful, while the supreme level is to merge with Cosmic Reality, called attaining the Tao in Taijiquan terms, or returning to God the Holy Spirit in Western culture. There are countless stages in between.

    If someone is nervous and agitated, but after practicing the Yang Style Set or San Zhan he becomes relaxed and peaceful, he has achieved much in spiritual cultivation. He has cultivated his spirit from being nervous, which means his spirit is weak, and agitated, which means his spirit is disturbed, to being relaxed, which means his spirit is at ease, and peaceful, which means his spirit is tranquil.

    The Yang Style Set is relatively more cost-effective in attaining these benefits at the basic level. This, of course, does not mean that the San Zhan Set is not effective. It can be very effective, but if all other things were equal, the Yang Style Set is relatively more effective.

    Benefits at the intermediate level, like becoming determined and confident in whatever we do, San Zhan is relatively more cost-effective. San Zhan is also more cost effective at the supreme level of merging with Cosmic Reality.

    Aiming at spread and depth, and presuming all other things were equal, practicing flowing and consolidated styles like Yang Style and Iron Wire is more cost-effective than practicing both of these flowing styles, though one is flowing soft and the other is flowing hard. This is because practicing flowing and consolidated styles have more spread than practicing two different flowing styles.

    Similarly, when we narrow down the spread, practicing two different flowing styles, like Yang Style and San Zhan is more cost-effective than practicing two sets of the same flowing style, like Yang Style and Wu Style. Narrowing down further, practicing two sets of the same flowing style is more cost-effective than practicing the same set twice.

    This phenomenon is peculiar to our school because of our spread and depth. In other schools because they do not have the advantage of spread and depth, the outcome is reverse. For them, practicing the same set twice is more cost-effective than practicing two sets of the same style. Practicing two sets of the same style is more cost-effective than practicing two different styles, especially if the two styles are of opposite nature.

    (Part 3 follows)

    Leave a comment:


  • Kevin_B
    replied
    Here we go - the answer to our final question!

    Thank you to Sifu Anton for asking the question and sincere thanks and gratitude to Sigung for kindly answering it so fabulously.

    Question 10

    At the Xingyi Course this year you mentioned that Yang Style Taiji and Wuzuquan were the most flowing styles in our Treasure House of Kung Fu Sets!

    Yet what is the difference between Yang Style Taijiquan and Wuzuquan in terms of combat application, internal force and spiritual cultivation?

    Aiming spread and depth, what are the benefits of practicing both of these flowing styles as opposed to the benefits of practicing flowing and consolidated styles like Yang Style and Iron Wire?

    Sifu Anton

    Answer (part 1 of 3)

    Our Treasure house of Kungfu Sets has more and a greater variety of kungfu sets than in any school I know now or in the past, with the exception of the Shaolin Temple. In the long history of the Shaolin Temple over 1500 years, the Shaolin Temple had more kungfu sets than us, but it may not have as great a variety!

    This statement, of course, is not made out of vainglory, but to state a fact.

    Taking representative sets from our Treasure House, the range from the softest to the hardest is as follows:

    Yang Style Set – San Zhan – Baguazhang – Flower Set – Dragon Strength – Wudang Taijiquan – Flowing Water Floating Clouds – Siu Lin Tou – Xingyiquan -- Triple Stretch – Iron Wire

    The 108-Pattern Yang Style Set of Taijiquan and San Zhan of Wuzuquan are not only the softest, they are also the most flowing. But there are differences between the two sets in terms of combat application, internal force and spiritual cultivation. The comparison, of course, is based on the presumption that all other things were equal.

    The combat application of the Yang Style is more sophisticated yet more discernable than that of San Zhan. Yang Style practitioners have a greater variety of responses against different attacks from opponents, whereas San Zhan practitioners employ about the same responses against a great variety of attack.

    If an opponent uses a thrust punch, for example, depending on various factors like the opponent’s force, speed and stability, or the exponent’s strategy and experience, a Yang Style practitioner may respond with Immortal Waves Sleeves, Double Dragon Plays with Pearl, or Cross Hand Thrust Kick. A San Zhan practitioner would not worry about all these factors, and just respond with Catch Hand, Strike Palm.

    Depending on whether an opponent applies a Muay Thai knee jab, a Judo throw or a gripping attack, a Yang Style practitioner would respond with Repulse Monkey, Jade Girl Threads Shuttle, or Green Dragon Shoots Pearl. For a San Zhan practitioner, it does not matter what attack the opponent uses, he would still respond with Catch Hand, Strike Palm!

    Now, whom do you think is superior, the Yang Style exponent with sophistication to choose the best response for a particular situation, or the San Zhan practitioner who uses the same response regardless of the opponent’s attack?

    (Part 2 follows)

    Leave a comment:


  • Chiahua
    replied
    And thank you Sisook Kevin for giving us this great opportunity to ask questions!

    Leave a comment:


  • Chiahua
    replied
    Originally posted by Sigung
    As an analogy, suppose a person’s income is $5000 a month. He may use $1500 for housing which he calls housing money, another $1500 for food which he calls food money,$500 for transport which he calls transport money, $1000 for miscellaneous expenditure which he calls expenditure money, and $500 for saving which he calls saving money....

    I would advise that we train manifestation in all the five different ways, and not just on one way, i.e. ward off force or peng jin.
    Thank you Sigung, for your explanation. The analogy makes the concept crystal clear!

    Leave a comment:


  • Kevin_B
    replied
    The amazing answers continue with the answer to Question 9!

    Thank you Sigung for another absolutely fabulous answer. Thank you Chiahua for asking the great question.



    Question 9

    In prior training, I had been taught that peng jin ("ward-off energy") is one of the most important "jins" in Yang Family Taijiquan. In fact, it was so important that we were instructed to manifest peng jin whenever we performed the set. My teachers would have us freeze our postures and "test" our ability to manifest peng jin.

    I am curious of Sigung's thoughts on the relative importance of peng jin in Yang Family Taijiquan vs. Wahnam Taijiquan.

    Chiahua.



    Answer (part 1 of 1)

    My interpretation of the five different types of force, or jin, in Taijiquan is quite different. In my understanding all the five different types of force are the same force but used differently.

    The five different types of force are:

    1. Ward off force, or peng jin
    2. Roll back force, or lu jin
    3. Press forward force, or qi jin
    4. Sinking force, or chen jin
    5. In contact force, or an jin

    The difference in these five types of force lies in their application, not in their nature. These five types are the same internal force, but depending on how the force is used, it is called ward off force, roll back force, etc. In one situation he may use his force as ward off force, and in another situation he may use the same force as roll back force.

    As an analogy, suppose a person’s income is $5000 a month. He may use $1500 for housing which he calls housing money, another $1500 for food which he calls food money,$500 for transport which he calls transport money, $1000 for miscellaneous expenditure which he calls expenditure money, and $500 for saving which he calls saving money.

    Depending on their uses, he has five different types of money, namely housing money, food money, transport money, expenditure money and saving money. But all these different types of money is the same money. If a situation warrants it, he may use, for example, some of his transport money for food, or vice versa.

    My advice for the manifestation of the different types of force is also different. I would advise that we train manifestation in all the five different ways, and not just on one way, i.e. ward off force or peng jin.

    Ward off force is used mainly to deflect an opponent’s attack, especially a thrust punch. If a practitioner practices only ward off force and neglects the other types, he would be in difficulty when opponents attack him in other ways. If he trains all the different types of force, he is versatile.

    In our school we go beyond training just the five different types of force for combat. We develop internal force, which we know to have three main functions:

    1. To maintain life
    2. To enhance life
    3. To have better result no matter what we do

    Being more combat efficient is only one of the many aspects of the third function. Instead of sparring, when we read a book or plan a marketing project, we shall also have better result due to our force training. Those who follow the advice mentioned by you may only be able to ward off an opponent’s attack effectively, but may not benefit much in other aspects of life.

    Even masters may not benefit from the benefits that we have. I believe one of the main reasons, though it is not widely discussed or even understood, why not one of the three great Yang masters lived beyond 60 was because they did not realize the three functions of internal force mentioned above.

    Obviously they did not just train peng jin or ward off force, as they could handle any attack extremely well. But they employed their tremendous internal force only for combat. They might not have better result if they read a book or planned a marketing project. They also did not use their internal force to maintain life and enhance life.

    <End>

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  • Kevin_B
    replied
    Originally posted by Andy View Post
    The question of modes and how they are employed was in my mind recently, so I found Sifu's answer to Leo's questions particularly illuminating!

    So much profundity is hidden in the simplicity of our basic sets. It is humbling.

    Thanks to Sihing Kevin for communicating the answers, Leo and others for their great questions.

    Thank you very much to Sifu for the answers.
    I'm delighted to hear you are loving these answers Sisook! They are indeed truly humbling and quite amazing.

    Stay tuned for the answer to question 9 which will be coming your way very shortly...

    Leave a comment:


  • Andy
    replied
    The question of modes and how they are employed was in my mind recently, so I found Sifu's answer to Leo's questions particularly illuminating!

    So much profundity is hidden in the simplicity of our basic sets. It is humbling.

    Thanks to Sihing Kevin for communicating the answers, Leo and others for their great questions.

    Thank you very much to Sifu for the answers.

    Leave a comment:


  • Joan
    replied
    Dear Sifu,

    Thank you for another clear answer.



    Although some sophisticated techniques are closed secrets, generally secrets lie in skills and application, not in form. If a teacher says that he hides some techniques, which are form, so as to keep some secrets from leaking to the public, we can safely conclude that he has not reached a high level in the art.

    To put it crudely, and this does not refer to your school, Taijiquan has been so debased nowadays that it does not even measure to folk dancing, who except self-deceived fools who cannot even perform folk dancing but think they are practicing a fantastic martial art, would be interested in such secrets. From another perspective, when teachers cannot even teach ordinary Taijiquan properly so that their students can derive some basic benefits of a physical exercise instead of knee injuries, what secrets do they have?
    I think these two quotes from Sifu's answer above are well worth repeating.

    Thank you Kevin, you are doing a superb job!

    With deepest respect,
    Joan

    Leave a comment:


  • DarkCosmoz
    replied
    Thank you and Sigung and Kevin for posting the response!

    Best regards,
    Stephen

    Leave a comment:


  • Kevin_B
    replied
    Dear family,

    I am very happy to present the answer to Question 8. Its another gem with much wisdom on the wonderful art of Taijiquan!

    Thank you to Stephen for asking the great question. Thank you to Sigung for the fabulous answer.


    Question 8


    The Yang Taijiquan I currently practice is different and involves a lot of intricate movements to complete one pattern. I would like to use "Cloud Hands" as an example.

    Before the hand completes its downward movement in "Cloud Hands," there is a downward backhand strike, a side strike and downward chop! The same three striking movements are repeated on the left side and the right side in one continuous flow, completing the sequence of "Cloud Hands." The three striking movements are executed very subtly from the wrist to perhaps prevent outsiders from "stealing" the art. From the outside, it looks like one large continuous flow with no break.

    Aside from training strikes, the extra movements seem to serve no actual purpose in combat. My flow of internal force also feels choppy when I perform it this way. However, I can't help but wonder about the correlation between the wrist movement and generation of internal force.

    Could this version of "Cloud Hands" be developed from spontaneous chi flow? Perhaps Yang Lu Chan discovered this movement one day in spontaneous chi flow while practicing his Chen Taijiquan and decided to formalize his discovery into a new pattern. After all, nothing is rigid and structured in spontaneous chi flow. Yang Deng Fu would later simplify "Cloud Hands" to be one continuous movement.

    Stephen


    Answer (part 1 of 1)

    What you have described is not what we do in our Wahnam Taijiquan. It is also not what Yang Style practitioners do. It was also not what I conclude from reading their records what Yang Style masters did in the past

    From my understanding of Taijiquan philosophy in particular and kungfu philosophy in general, the actions described by you do not serve any useful purposes.

    Unless a practitioner already possesses a lot of internal force using these movements, which are not normally visible to observers, for striking or any combat application is not effective. But you can have an informed guess whether these subtle movements are used for combat application by asking yourself, with due respect to the master, whether the master teaching these movements have a lot of internal force, and whether he is very competent in combat.

    If the answer is no to one or both questions, then combat application is unlikely to be a reason for such practice. If the answer is yes to any one of or both the two questions, then combat application may be, but not surely, a possible reason for the training of these movements.

    But the best is to ask the teacher himself why these subtle movements are included in the version of Cloud Hands he teaches. You questioning must be polite, and it must indicate that you ask to find out, not to question his authority. If he hesitates or refuses to answer the question, you must tactfully change to another topic.

    It is also unlikely that the subtle movements are made to hide some secrets. Although some sophisticated techniques are close secrets, generally secrets lie in skills and application, not in form. If a teacher says that he hides some techniques, which are from, so as to keep some secrets from leaking to the public, we can safely conclude that he has not reached a high level in the art.

    To put it crudely, and this does not refer to your school, Taijiquan has been so debased nowadays that it does not even measure to folk dancing, who except self-deceived fools who cannot even perform folk dancing but think they are practicing a fantastic martial art, would be interested in such secrets. From another perspective, when teachers cannot even teach ordinary Taijiquan properly so that their students can derive some basic benefits of a physical exercise instead of knee injuries, what secrets do they have?

    It was unlikely that this version of “Cloud Hands’ was developed from spontaneous chi flow. If you observe chi flow, generally the movements are big and smooth, not jerky and minute. It is pertinent to know that chi flow was not common in Taijiquan in the past, not even amongst masters.

    It was unlikely that Yang Lu Chan discovered these subtle movements in spontaneous chi flow, and Yang Deng Fu later modified these subtle movements into big continuous movements. Such small movements were unlikely in spontaneous chi flow.

    Presuming that this unlikelihood actually happened, there was no good reason why Yang Lu Chan preserved these jerky, minute movements and passed them on to selected disciples. Even if this were true, there would be other schools today practicing these minute movements, though they may not know their significance.

    My conjecture why these minute movements occur is not complimentary, and I hope your teacher’s answer will prove me wrong. Somewhere down the lineage, a teacher added these minute movements to make his teaching grandiose, without realizing that his addition contradicted fundamental Taijiquan principles.

    <End>
    Last edited by Kevin_B; 18 January 2014, 02:16 PM.

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