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Thread: Chen Xiaowang on Internal Power

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    Default Chen Xiaowang on Internal Power

    Chen Tai chi chuan master Chen Xiaowang discusses and demonstrates principles of connected internal power. along with some of its martial applications and strategies, in this video:

    Cady Goldfield

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    Default Ancient wisdom....

    ".... the soft is not floppy..." Indeed.

    Yes, these insights have been around for centuries. In fact, a couple of thousand years ago, Ezekiel in the Old Testament may have been the original taichi master:



    For those readers not fluent in southern American English, the lyrics:

    Ezekiel connected dem dry bones
    Ezekiel connected dem dry bones
    Ezekiel connected dem dry bones
    Now hear the word of the Lord


    Well, your toe bone connected to your foot bone
    Your foot bone connected to your heel bone
    Your heel bone connected to your ankle bone
    Your ankle bone connected to your leg bone
    Your leg bone connected to your knee bone
    Your knee bone connected to your thigh bone
    Your thigh bone connected to your hip bone
    Your hip bone connected to your back bone
    Your back bone connected to your shoulder bone
    Your shoulder bone connected to your neck bone
    Your neck bone connected to your head bone
    Hear the word of the Lord!

    This is well known in traditional Japanese jujutsu, which even takes its name from the concept from ancient China, integrated into the open and hidden teachings of any number of Japanese jujutsu koryu for hundreds of years:

    黄石公 - 三略
    ●上略
    柔能制刚
    弱能制强


    Huang Shigong's Three Strategies (Huáng Shígōng Sān Lüč)
    ● Upper (or Higher) Strategy:
    Flexibility controls Hard
    Softness controls Strength

    Ancient history aside, would anyone care to opine if this gent is:


    • basic?
    • good?
    • advanced?
    • excellent?
    • actually hiding his tremendous ki from the cute interviewer?


    Lance Gatling

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    Quote Originally Posted by LGatling View Post
    "....would anyone care to opine if this gent is:
    • basic?
    • good?
    • advanced?
    • excellent?
    • actually hiding his tremendous ki from the cute interviewer?
    Why would anyone waste their time answering a question phrased like that?
    I had a teenager watch some tapes of koryu jujutsu. He dismissed them out of hand, saying... "That stuff wouldn't work on the kids I know."
    Then he watched Rickson and said " I thought only kids fought on the ground. You told me never go to the ground if I can help it."

    Budo opinions are everwhere!
    A good friend of mine ( Japanese shihan in Karate) once said to an aiki news reporter after watching the ki demonstrations and flipping and flopping of seminar people of another Japanese karate teacher. "Don't ask budo people what they think about a teacher. Budo people are stupid." He said it in English to so we would all know what he said.
    We all but fell over. The cute interviewer was stunned into silence.
    That's a bit over top for me, but he's Japanese and figured he could get away with it.
    Last edited by Dan Harden; 17th June 2014 at 11:50.
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

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    Default

    Edit:
    Maybe it's just better to say that you think this or that is nonsense, or you think this or that idea has no merit instead of being sarcastic. The way you phrased it is a conversation stopper about a widely accepted, no nonsense teacher (no, I don't train with him or do ICMA).
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    Why would anyone waste their time answering a question phrased like that?
    ....
    I thought anyone could see the latter question was a joke. Perhaps more smiley faces are in order. Since I can't edit it, here's a couple to make it up.

    The base question was serious - and a question one might expect that a subforum on Internal Power - is this gent good or not? Does he demonstrate internal power? Not even a scale of 0 to 10, just mediocre / good / excellent would work for me.

    This gent moves very well, (in some other videos, beautifully) but the interaction with his 'uke' seems nothing spectacular to me. Compact, smooth, solid, integrated movement. There is at least one spot where the 'attack' seems too set up, uke reaches out from a bad angle and is doomed to fail. Other than that, I don't see anything remarkable. He does spend a lot of time yakking so that might have affected his game, I don't know.

    Lance Gatling

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    Quote Originally Posted by LGatling View Post
    The base question was serious - and a question one might expect that a subforum on Internal Power - is this gent good or not? Does he demonstrate internal power? Not even a scale of 0 to 10, just mediocre / good / excellent would work for me.

    This gent moves very well, (in some other videos, beautifully) but the interaction with his 'uke' seems nothing spectacular to me. Compact, smooth, solid, integrated movement. There is at least one spot where the 'attack' seems too set up, uke reaches out from a bad angle and is doomed to fail. Other than that, I don't see anything remarkable. He does spend a lot of time yakking so that might have affected his game, I don't know.

    Lance Gatling
    Hi Lance,
    Videos, unfortunately, are not great at conveying what's going on inside, and with documentary videos, it's pretty much expected that scenarios will be set up for the benefit of academic presentation, not street fighting. We have only external views of "effects." I don't think that CXW intends to do anything terribly fancy in these videos - he is showing and describing some of the basics. That said, even basics can seem remarkable to someone feeling and experiencing something unfamiliar and unconventional for the first time.

    In this clip, CXW is demonstrating a few specific aspects of Chen-style tai chi chuan's internal method, mainly the expression of force ("fajin") and how he generates that force. The segment from about 7:39 to 8:10 probably is the clearest and simplest explanation and demonstration in this video.

    CXW is the generational gatekeeper of the Chen style, and one of only four people (if I am not mistaken - drawing from some historical materials) who are recognized as having mastered the full system. So, he likely would be considered the authority and best model of the art and its internal processes and capabilities.

    Btw, I take issue with your use of the Delta Rhythm Boys film rendition of "Dry Bones." Clearly, the superior adaptation of this inner knowledge was demostrated by Patrick McGoohan and his cohorts.

    Cady Goldfield

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    And there I was about to post the version from the TV Drama "The Singing Detective" starring Michael Gambon as a hospital patient with extreme psoriasis, who keeps hallucinating the staff and patients singing songs from the 30s, 40s, 50s, etc.

    Thread drift of the highest quality. Hats off to those of you who can remain in good humour. It is the one essential fluid methinks.
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

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    Default The Prisoner

    Quote Originally Posted by Tripitaka of AA View Post
    And there I was about to post the version from the TV Drama "The Singing Detective" starring Michael Gambon as a hospital patient with extreme psoriasis, who keeps hallucinating the staff and patients singing songs from the 30s, 40s, 50s, etc.

    Thread drift of the highest quality. Hats off to those of you who can remain in good humour. It is the one essential fluid methinks.
    I thought it funny that Cady used the Prisoner - that episode, the final of 5 seasons of obscure references and surreal situations, sort summed up how I feel reading some endless verbal slugfest about internal power versus aiki versus..... no common language, definitions, or endpoints. No grounding in common, observable phenomenon.

    Guilty! but what's the charge? we'll figure that out later, but no ki/aiki/ non-believers allowed.

    Lance Gatling

    PS - Cady, Patrick McGoohan and the cast don't sing - that's the Four Lads' version.

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    One of the biggest obstacles to discussing "internal" is the lack of a common language, but I think that can be worked out and through.

    The human body is finite in its contents, including bones, joints, muscles, even nerves. If we stop to think about the mechanisms at play in movements and methods we consider to be "external," we realize that each is describable, involves parts of the body that can be pinpointed and labeled anatomically, and movements that can be documented - whether easily visible and observable or not. The same must be true for the "internal."

    Mental processes, however, are not as easily pinpointed and defined in specific terms, as humanity is still trying to divine how the brain/mind works. Even so, there must be ways that the role of the willful mind in effecting martial (and all other) movement - both internal and external - can be described and expressed. This doesn't mean that those who have not experienced the methods, sensations and effects of these things will suddenly be able to do them without proper hands-on instruction, but having an intellectual understanding is a start for those with a curiosity.

    Likewise, a common vocabulary in itself will not lead directly to mutual understanding, but it is a start.

    P.S. Yes, I know it was sung by the Four Lads. But the mayhem of the final episode of "The Prisoner" was a unique venue for the recording.

    P.P.S. Just for fun: CXW taking force to the ground.
    Last edited by Cady Goldfield; 18th June 2014 at 05:50.
    Cady Goldfield

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    Cady
    No one I know is much interested in an information dump by students.
    I'm not sure what your goals are here, but if you want involvement by the community of other people seeking this, that will pretty much nail the coffin shut.
    So unless you want to continue talking to yourself or to people in the JMA who have no idea what you are talking about.... I would go slow.

    There is a larger community who doesn't trust e-budo any more. Here's hoping that credibility of the new owners may change all that.
    Small steps are best
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

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    Mr. Gatling.
    Chinese exhibition videos are farcical. They are many times a staged performance. They even make mismatched fight displays. It's truly bizarre.
    Sadly, this undermines what could have been better displays of real skills.

    Now lest we are accused of picking on the Chinese. Go watch any number of Japanese uke/ nage videos or your choosing.
    Fighting:
    This a different topic. There are ICMA guys who can fight with internal skills but it is best see the internals as power displays: dynamic stability (incredibly hard to throw) absorbing power and putting tremendous load out with out it being able to be accessed (push when pulled simply doesn't work). The dissolving of forces can be a very weird feeling for most MA people to encounter. Great punching and kicking power, etc.
    But just like in most all martial arts. .. if someone doesn't know how to fight, well, uhm.... They don't know how to fight. That's it and that's all. There are very few who know both.

    Videos:
    Just like watching weapons kata, internals are about as exciting as watching paint dry...it is best felt and not observed.
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cady Goldfield View Post
    One of the biggest obstacles to discussing "internal" is the lack of a common language, but I think that can be worked out and through. ....
    Mental processes, however, are not as easily pinpointed and defined in specific terms, as humanity is still trying to divine how the brain/mind works. .....
    Likewise, a common vocabulary in itself will not lead directly to mutual understanding, but it is a start.
    I think that would be a very worthwhile exercise, a real contribution. I'm not aware of a common vocabulary, and apparently I'm really missing something, as Mr. Harden claims to teach 'aiki' which as far as I know is a Japanese term for something in Japanese martial arts, but he doesn't teach JMA, but rather aiki, which some claim is the core of certain JMA..... I bet I'm not the only one confused..... (now that I think of it, that could have been the point of all the DR G1 G4 GX altercation! Man, I am obtuse!!)

    Speaking of mental processes, one of the dumbest, mouth-breathing, only grunts to talk MA guys I know is one of the most stable guys I've ever seen. His IQ can't be north of 85-90, but, man, is he stable. A veritable unmovable object, and strong as an ox. I'm a pretty big guy, and am accustomed to moving other big guys, and with him I feel like a monkey climbing on a tank - the tank doesn't really seem to notice. He's got something, or lacks something, I dunno.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    Cady
    No one I know is much interested in an information dump by students.
    I'm not sure what your goals are here, but if you want involvement by the community of other people seeking this, that will pretty much nail the coffin shut.
    So unless you want to continue talking to yourself or to people in the JMA who have no idea what you are talking about.... I would go slow.

    There is a larger community who doesn't trust e-budo any more. Here's hoping that credibility of the new owners may change all that.
    Small steps are best
    Why, Ms Cady, I do believe he threatened you.

    I'm not always sure what she's talking about, but that post makes more sense than most everything else I've read herein. A common vocabulary would be great, I think, and the rest of the post is basic physiology (brain, nerves anklebone connected to the .....). Just leave the fascia membranes kikikikiki and such for much much later, please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Harden View Post
    Mr. Gatling.
    Chinese exhibition videos are farcical. They are many times a staged performance. They even make mismatched fight displays. It's truly bizarre.
    Sadly, this undermines what could have been better displays of real skills.

    Now lest we are accused of picking on the Chinese. Go watch any number of Japanese uke/ nage videos or your choosing.
    Fighting:
    This a different topic. ...
    So you categorize the subject video of the 'widely accepted, non-nonsense' CXW as farcical? Sounds a bit harsh but what do I know?

    Yes, fighting is indeed off topic.

    Anyone else have comments on the video?

    Lance Gatling
    Last edited by LGatling; 18th June 2014 at 14:11. Reason: correct typo

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    The purpose of having these forums at all, is to allow anyone with interest, curiosity and/or experience to broach topics, ask questions, share insights from experience, and seek answers on any aspect of the forum subject matter.

    The initial posting of new threads, videos, etc. here is to provide fodder. If there are JMA people who don't know what this subject area is about, there can't be a vacuum, but must be something to start the questions. If someone is interested in discussing the "what, how and why," that's good. If not, no harm done. People already training in internal systems should feel free to take over this function themselves.

    Even goofy demo videos can have a kernel of substance to them, even if that item of substance is a very fundamental and simple thing. Every complex entity starts from one, small and simple thing. All it would take is a person saying "how does he/she do that" and there is the beginning of what could be a useful conversation.

    I'm all for anyone stepping up and starting a discussion on any subject relevant to this forum section. Ideally, the content would be both determined and sustained by members themselves. Instead of harsh criticism of what's here, members can change the game by making this forum section their own.

    P.S. For the record, I may be a student of IMA, but I'm an IMA student of 16 years, so hardly a neophyte. I can demonstrate with power, and explain it too. I'd like to think that regardless of how many years-in we have, we will always be students of these arts we love, even long after we have started guiding others on the path.
    Last edited by Cady Goldfield; 15th October 2014 at 05:56.
    Cady Goldfield

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cady Goldfield View Post
    I'm all for anyone stepping up and starting a discussion on any subject relevant to this forum section. Ideally, the content would be both determined and sustained by members themselves. Instead of harsh criticism of what's here, members can change the game by making this forum section their own.
    I know your are very eager and excited. But the very parameters you outlined are going to be the cork in the bottle. I also understand we don't agree on that.
    So.....
    We will see. As I said I am FOR you and not against you. I just think, all things taken into consideration, that were it to succeed, this will be a very slow, trust building, endeavor here at e-budo.
    Don't mess up baby, all eyes are on you!! ;-)

    Lance
    Caddy and I know each other very well. The "inside baseball" comment was spot on but try to think more positively about the fallout here. It really only involved three main people. Another came along later. Almost no one that we personally know and/or know of, in Daito ryu actually agrees with them. They are unsupported extremists.
    Check in later.
    In the mean time it's best to let those DR people go be DR people.
    Dan
    [url=www.bodyworkseminars.org][COLOR=#B22222][B]Ancient traditions * Modern Combatives[/B][/COLOR][B][/url] [/B][COLOR=#B22222][/COLOR]

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    Must not know a lot of Daito ryu folks...
    Christopher Covington

    Daito-ryu aikijujutsu
    Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage-ryu heiho

    All views expressed here are my own and don't necessarily represent the views of the arts I practice, the teachers and people I train with or any dojo I train in.

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