Sunday, April 20, 2008

What's Wrong With This Picture?



Hummmmm...
There's something missing in this practice session. Can you Taiji people out there see it?
There is no use of "ward off" (peng), and "press" (ji). This is a criticizm that has been pointed out about my current level of push hands by my instructor. I, like these guys, am using my hands too much and not my forearms. They even have their forearms in the exact position against the opponents body at times, and don't use it. As my instructor tells me, if you only use your hands, you are already at the limit of reach. If you plan well and use wardoff with your forearm, you can continue to unfold your arm in a wave-like fashion and really, really extend through the opponent. Secondly, you can press with your palm against the inside of the wrist or forearm as it "pengs" outward for united power of both arms.
None-the-less, this looks like a fun session, at a speed where the student can understand and learn about strategy and positioning. I also do like that when the student pushes him, he grabs the wrist and elbow in the "play guitar" or "raise hands" posture as a counter.

8 comments:

Formosa Neijia said...

Learning to ji with the forearms instead of the hands or the wrist will change everything for you. You'll find that most people then become vulnerable to ji and your ji will be much more powerful. It's one of my main weapons.

Dojo Rat said...

I'm starting to see that Dave, it seems to be a matter of working my way in closer so I can use peng. That can be a problem with people that have very long arms. Any thoughts about establishing that distance?

Formosa Neijia said...

Ji with the forarm is different from ji with the wrist/hand. Don't try to ji the chest with the forearm version, use this ji to attack the peng in the upper arm near the shoulder. This ji only uses one side to ji instead of the normal two handed version.

This doesn't seem too clear. I might need to write a post about it. Let me know if this is confusing.

Dave C.

Dojo Rat said...

Would a one-handed ji actually be Peng?
I will provide a link to your post if you write something on this, I'm very interested in your suggestion
D.R.

Formosa Neijia said...

No, the power is definitely ji. You will bruise their arms if you do it hard enough.

Think of ji with the wrist/hand as a triangle type of power. Look at the formation of it -- your two shoulders are two angles and the hands together form the third angle. That triangle faces forward and the point of the triangle needs a broad target because it's sharp.

Ji with the forearm uses squarish energy because you're hitting with the forearm at a 90 degree angle. Because this ji surface is broad, it's best used against narrower targets like the arms.

Everyone likes to keep peng in their arms to prevent people from getting in to the body. But ironically, that same peng ALLOWS direct access to the body through the limbs. I'm sure you see that.

So with the forearm ji, you ji through the peng they keep in the upper arm near the shoulder in order to ji the whole body. It hurts like a bitch if you do it right.

When you find yourself on top of his arm above his elbow and his peng has dipped a bit below his shoulder level, this is the time to use forearm ji. Roll your forearm up his upper arm and then JI the shoulder where it meets the arm. If your mechanics are good, you can really knock the crap out of them.

This ji is great for people who are smart enough to keep their centers away from you so you can't use normal ji against the chest. They usually like to turn to one side, giving the perfect opportunity for the forearm ji.

Hope that helps. Thanks for the opportunity to talk about this. Few blogs go this much into detail.

Dave C.

Scott said...

I teach a simple two person shaolin routine that uses the forearm ji, we call the exercise 6 Harmonies because you set yourself up to root in 6 directions against the ji you know is coming. It hurts. If you do it full power it can easily break the arm.

Watching those guys push hands, their biggest problem is that they are not matching pressure on all the points of contact.
It is like the big guy is spreading himself thin by surrounding the little guy in his castle and waiting for him to starve.
In such a situation the little guy's only hope is to sally forth with his best men and horses and break the big guy's encirclement. Going slow, as the big guy schemishly proposes, will not work against an opponent who is not keeping the points of contact matched.
Attack his center using elbow or split.
I agree that they are not using peng (or ji), the bigger guy is using An for everything. I know he is not matching because his palms are being used for defense.

Dojo Rat said...

Dave;
"Everyone likes to keep peng in their arms to prevent people from getting in to the body. But ironically, that same peng ALLOWS direct access to the body through the limbs. "
I see, you are connecting to their center (through the upper arm) because they are so rigid in their peng.
Scott;
"I know he is not matching because his palms are being used for defense."
Are you saying that the palms are not to be used in defense?
Thanks to both of you for great ideas,
D.R.

Scott said...

Hi Dojo rat,
Not exactly, in general I prefer not to block. But all the internal arts use techniques in which a palm is used for control or power diffusion while striking. But those are instantaneous techniques and they don't use both hands at the same time.
The palms are one of the insensitive parts of the body, the wrists are far better for ting jin (feeling).
The way I learned the rules of push hands, if someone grabs you, you are free to hit them or break their arm. But in my school we never do that, we just smile and move on.
I teach my students that if you find yourself defending, you have already lost. Your opponent may not have the skill yet to beat you, but you would do better to concede and re-start.
Also, if you've got qi moving around your hands, you're not going to want to use them to defend, that would stop the qi flow and cause the spirit to leave your body.