Questions about Practical Method Book of Hong Junsheng

by admin on 2007/07/12

Dear Master Chen
(please forward to master Chen)
My name is David Fadjar, and I appreciate very much your effort to translate GM Hong’s book. I have a question about Bow stance as described by GM Hong’s book (page 10)

It is said that “the front knee bend and lock, while the rear knee extends, relaxed and toes swing to left or right. Its rear knee bends down with toes turned “OUTWARD” 45 degree.

My understanding of outward is: for right leg, toes turn outward if while pivoting on heel, the big toes goes further to the right getting towards the little toe’s position.
I would like to make some descriptions about forward, left and right so as to make things clear on what my question is.
Assuming Taiji force confrontation is sideways, than the left side or right side will be the front side in the situation of confrontation. As I understand sideways stance is to prevent opening the deadly points in the middle of heart, throat and dang area. So to prevent this confusion I would like to define things in reference to the body.

Front: chest area, back is back area, left side is the side on left leg and right side is on the side of right leg.

Assuming pubu left, then left leg bend, right leg extend. Now following the “opening outward 45 degree” my understanding is in Dan Bian posture for example, the right leg is extended right and to further open outward the toe will result in having the toe as the most right ward body organ.

In contrast (because the people I learned Hong style also learned Yang style). they insist that the right toe should be pulled in 45%, which I found too exerting for my knee, especially during the change (ie after lanzhayi to liufeng sibi or from danbian to jingang daodui).

As it is also mentioned in the book, the toe is swinging to the right or left, then it would be better to let it fall comfortably as it swings (usually It swings inwards a little bit, sometimes my toes does not swing at all after the lanzayi move to liufeng sibi). I also find it easier to swing the heel instead of the toe, although I found it would mean less power.

Could you please give some guidance with regard the toe position of the extended legs in Bow stance as well as the meaning of “knee opens slanted inward on the front/bent knee”

Another question is on page 9 it mentioned that foot must move in an inside or outside curve according to the size of the posture. Inside curve meaning heel seek heel first then separate? And then what does outside curve means? I also do not understand the sentence “The knee must face the heel” Does that means the line of foot’s heel to toe must face same direction of line of hip to kneecap?

Thank you very much for your kind reply. I am looking forward to the day I can get the second and third book.

David Fadjar

 

 

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

BlogEditor July 12, 2007 at 9:27 pm

“Front: chest area, back is back area, left side is the side on left leg and right side is on the side of right leg.”
This is a simple but good description. The important point is that the directions change as the body moves in action.
Chen Zhonghua

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BlogEditor July 12, 2007 at 9:30 pm

“In contrast (because the people I learned Hong style also learned Yang style). they insist that the right toe should be pulled in 45%, which I found too exerting for my knee, especially during the change (ie after lanzhayi to liufeng sibi or from danbian to jingang daodui).”
They are right. Eventually you have to follow the 45 degree rule. At this point you will find it difficult to do. The reason is because your kua is not open yet. In the end, the kua RESOLVES all difficult corners. At the begining, one has to move the foot, toes, hands and fingers in order to accommodate movements of the inner body. Later only the outer limbs must be fixed so that the inside can move.
Chen Zhonghua

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BlogEditor July 12, 2007 at 9:33 pm

“As it is also mentioned in the book, the toe is swinging to the right or left, then it would be better to let it fall comfortably as it swings (usually It swings inwards a little bit, sometimes my toes does not swing at all after the lanzayi move to liufeng sibi). I also find it easier to swing the heel instead of the toe, although I found it would mean less power.”
As a matter of fact, it is the heel that rotates on the ground that causes the toes to “swing”. Make sure that you grind the heel like a screw, don’t swing it.
Chen Zhonghua

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BlogEditor July 12, 2007 at 9:37 pm

“Could you please give some guidance with regard the toe position of the extended legs in Bow stance as well as the meaning of “knee opens slanted inward on the front/bent knee””
The normal rule is: the toes opens, the knee closes, the kua opens, and the hip closes. These must be remembered and attempted throughout your training. They are extremely difficult to accomplish.
Chen Zhonghua

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BlogEditor July 12, 2007 at 9:40 pm

“Another question is on page 9 it mentioned that foot must move in an inside or outside curve according to the size of the posture. Inside curve meaning heel seek heel first then separate? And then what does outside curve means? ”
When the rear foot comes up to the front foot, it travels in an inside curve, heel to heel first. After that, the heel that came up will continue to travel away from the front heel. This part is in an outside curve.
Chen Zhonghua

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BlogEditor July 12, 2007 at 9:43 pm

“I also do not understand the sentence “The knee must face the heel” Does that means the line of foot’s heel to toe must face same direction of line of hip to kneecap?”
If you push vertically on a stick, it will be very firm to the push. This is because one end of the stick “faces” the other end of the stick. Try this with sticks of different quality: soft, bend, straight and hard. You will find that the principle mentioned above is very important.
Chen Zhonghua

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David Fadjar July 13, 2007 at 4:57 am

Thank you very much for your insightful comment, Master Chen. After carefully reading the paragraph in the book and sink in your comment, I realized all my confusion is because I thought Pubu and Bow is the same (and hence put description about pubu into DanBian posture). I realized now that Single whip uses Bow stance, not Pubu (Pubu and Bow have similar leg position but different torso direction, and hence the reverse/PuBu stance).

Another thing I gained from your comment is that because the toe of extended leg is allowed to swivel, during the change from lanzhayi to liufeng sibi, tension/pressure on the extended knee can be reduced greatly by swiveling it naturally. However as one have more flexibility in the kua, the swiveling movement can be reduced to none to resolve the awkward position.

This is a great enlightment for me, and may be the cure to many knee problem experienced by taiji practitioner. As I tried to describe my questions into questions that can be understood, it dawned to me how difficult it is to describe movements of form into words. What to use as reference, which is front and back, what stays and what moves. So I understand how great effort Grand Master Hong must have put to write a book about movements that people can understand, and how great effort the translation must have been. So thank you very much for the great gift to taichi community (and the world) by translating this marvelous book.

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