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# Toilets and spirals

by on 2007/02/13

John and Dave Dahms

We have been both thinking and practicing. We began by thinking that every part of the body is kind of like a cylinder, and vertically they are strong but horizontally they have no strength. So if everything just moved along its predetermined path or track you would be tremendously strong and maybe this is what you mean by horizontal and vertical maybe not. Our thoughts have led us to new concepts. Dave was looking at the toilet. He noticed something strange, he made the correlation that when the water goes down the drain, the air comes up. It means that the water and the air are travelling, occupying the same space with two different directions. We know that this action is caused by a spiral. We also think that a spiral continuously refines it’s aim until it reaches an infinitely small point. So this brought us back to taiji, now we are thinking about yin yang let’s say or maybe the laser beam of Hong and all the other analogies relating to this. Now we thought about this, one side of the spiral is sucking all force one way, while if we add force on the other side of the spiral then what is there to meet that force , because to everything that could meet it is on the other side of the spiral sucked all out. So then we thought about how even the gravity acting on the person would also be sucked out. That would make the effect our force has on the person like pushing someone in space. This reminded us about the time when one of Grandmaster Hong’s students was having trouble with a move. When Hong demonstrated it he went flying 30 feet HORIZONTALLY just by touching Hong’s elbow. Upon further thought we wondered what would happen if even someone’s inertia could be sucked out. We talk as if the forces in the spiral are separated by a extremely thin line. Now we think that the persons force is two dimensional and a spiral is a 3 dimensional direction. This is like if you look at a cube from a two dimensional perspective the top and bottom lines will look like they are the same but in three dimensions they are not.We remember in one of your dvds you say that grandmaster Hong goes into a different dimension. Flush them out and blow them up! It is weird yesterday john got a haircut and ever since he looks different for some reason. And further, we wondered a new theory, this one looks at the positive circle. We are thinking that maybe if when we make the first turn of the circle everything aims towards the center. Meaning that all of your body tensegrity falls inward as much as possible (ultimately to an infinitely small point) Then when your hit by a person they get a bounce effect from hitting a solid point that’s super small, but yourself doesn’t fight the person’s move it’s just that you lead them to hit your center, then this explosion let’s say leads them outwards away from you and propels you to make the turn over in the circle. So if they were to push you, you reduce it to a nothingness center which causes a bounce and then you hit them while they are moving outwards. So the hand going out part of the circle is about making your center stretch to infinite. So it’s like breathing you inhale and reduce infinitely and then you exhale and exhale outwards infinitely (small without inside, big without outside). So maybe it’s not that you actually ever have two directions at the same time, it’s rather just that you flip back and forth so fast it’s undetectable or maybe it’s that if you do both enough times, that you learn to combine there quality’s into one revolution or something. This we are confused about, so lets say were practicing the circle, it seems right to reduce on the inward part, but should we try and reduce further on the outward part or should we try and do the opposite and expand. We should note, that when we mean expand, were thinking of the joints opening up, and coming in every thing aims towards the center. Or what.

Maybe we are thinking too much about and should just PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, Or what.

John and Dave

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

practicalmethod February 13, 2007 at 4:46 am

Everything is on the right line till you say:

So if they were to push you, you reduce it to a nothingness center which causes a bounce and then you hit them while they are moving outwards.

When you are pushed, your positive circle, the part that comes back, already both neutralized his push and sent him back. These two things are supposed to be done as one move. Any 1,2, is wrong and not taiji.

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practicalmethod February 13, 2007 at 4:52 am

Here is what you said when you are confused:

So maybe it’s not that you actually ever have two directions at the same time, it’s rather just that you flip back and forth so fast it’s undetectable or maybe it’s that if you do both enough times, that you learn to combine there quality’s into one revolution or something. This we are confused about, so lets say were practicing the circle, it seems right to reduce on the inward part, but should we try and reduce further on the outward part or should we try and do the opposite and expand. We should note, that when we mean expand, were thinking of the joints opening up, and coming in every thing aims towards the center. Or what.

The reason for this confusion is two fold:
One. You are still thinking there are two moves. There is only one.
Two. Your mind is locked on the hand/arm circle only. To deal with the push, you need to uses the hand circle to come towards your own center the way you described but at the same time you step forward with your front foot without disturning the hand circle at all.
These two actions must be performed seamlessless and perfectly so that they are actually one move.
In a case like this, the addition of the leg move is the added dimentions. Remember the rule: one part of the body can only be responsible for one thing.

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wujimon February 20, 2007 at 2:28 pm

Wow.. some great thoughts on training, especially the notion of thinking “anything 1,2 is wrong and not taiji”!

One suggestion, create a new category called “taiji” so that each post will be ‘tagged’ with said category for search engine optimization 🙂

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chenquestion March 17, 2007 at 7:23 pm

This is a challenging post that I finally took the time to really read carefully and ponder what was being said. I became very excited when I realized that what was under discussion was the oneness of neutralization and issuing. This is the pot of gold in the taiji rainbow (in my opinion) and rare to find detailed discussion!

I can sense that this post ties in closely with “Movements Must be Powered” and helps to explain just WHY it’s so important to have full-time power in the Circles; that a rollback move (as it’s commonly called) is more than simply “yielding”. To paraphrase Grandmaster Hong Junsheng, moving inward is not about “retreat”.

The comments from PracticalMethod are very fascinating. I made some notes of my own after “Remember the rule: one part of the body can only be responsible for one thing.” If it is permitted I will put my note here for possible comment/correction: >>>This ties in with, when one part moves, all parts must move. But to put it in a perhaps oversimplified way, they must all move in different directions! What coordinates this seeming chaos is knowing (constructing) the center; correct silk-reeling which produces good, true spirals; practice which prepares the joints to move in the sung way; and martial intent which contains the proper method. But the effect upon the opponent is he feels the “chaos” which his structure does not have sufficient time, ability or intent to adapt to. Almost like a computer virus which overwhelms the infected machine and destroys its ability to function properly.

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chen zhonghua March 19, 2007 at 12:11 pm

when one part moves, all parts must move. But to put it in a perhaps oversimplified way, they must all move in different directions! What coordinates this seeming chaos is knowing (constructing) the center; correct silk-reeling which produces good, true spirals; practice which prepares the joints to move in the sung way; and martial intent which contains the proper method. But the effect upon the opponent is he feels the “chaos” which his structure does not have sufficient time, ability or intent to adapt to. Almost like a computer virus which overwhelms the infected machine and destroys its ability to function properly.
******************
Your above comments are absolutely correct. Let me make some suggestions here just because the way I like to write is different from yours. My comments are in Capital letters.
must all move in different directions! PRACTICAL.
What coordinates this seeming chaos is knowing (constructing) the center; PRACTICAL.
correct silk-reeling which produces good, true spirals;
YOU CANNOT USE A CONCEPT TO PRODUCE AN ACTION.
practice which prepares the joints to move THIS IS GENERALLY TRUE BUT IS IS NOT SPECIFIC TO OUR PRACTICE
in the sung way; WHAT WAY IS THAT?
and martial intent which contains the proper method. HOW DOES THAT WORK?
But the effect upon the opponent is he feels the “chaos” which his structure does not have sufficient time, ability or intent to adapt to. Almost like a computer virus which overwhelms the infected machine and destroys its ability to function properly. PRACTICAL.

WHENEVER I USED THE WORD “PRACTICAL, YOU WERE USING SPECIFIC WORDS THAT ARE DIRECT AND UNIVERSAL TO READERS. IN ALL OTHER PLACES, YOU USED WORDS THAT ARE BEAUTIFUL BUT NOT MEANINGFUL.

WHEN CORRECT UNDERSTANDING IS CARRIED OUT THROUGH SPECIFIC AND CORRECT ACTIONS, THE PRACTICE IS IMPROVED. OTHERWISE ONE STAYS AT THE UNDERSTANDING STAGE. MOST PEOPLE DO.

IF I MAY REWRITE WHAT YOU WROTE IT WILL BE SOMETHING LIKE THIS:
when one part moves, all parts must move. But to put it perhaps more directly, each move must have its own direction! What coordinates this overall seeming chaos is to have an independent center for each body part; each body part rotates on its own center and at the same time move up and down (with knees only not the body part) on the center to produce spirals; this type of movement is in a “sung way”, either stiff or loose; and you must know what your action is for. But the effect upon the opponent is that he feels the “chaos” which his structure does not have sufficient body part, time or method to deal with (his body moves as one and only has one action at any given time). Almost like a computer virus which overwhelms the infected machine and destroys its ability to function properly.

Hope this helps.

Chen Zhonghua

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chenquestion March 19, 2007 at 2:06 pm

It helps indeed! Many thanks. One more question, Mr. Chen: when you write above “either stiff or loose”, I think you mean “there is neither stiffness nor looseness”? I read this on an old page of yours called “System”. It said not to reprint the contents but I think you won’t mind if I mention it here?

I do get the main message of your comment which is that I will need proper instruction and much directed practice if I hope to progress beyond words, into realities. Thanks again.

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chen zhonghua March 19, 2007 at 2:19 pm

You are right. It should be neither stiff nor loose.
You can quote from the old page called “System”.
I have not met you so I cannot say “you need proper instruction and much directed practice…” I meant to say that words that are direct (action) can help readers much more than words that are indirect (conceptual). People tend to be romantic and like to write like poets. That is to be avoided in taiji learning (like instructional books and blogs) and maybe encouraged in taiji writing (like novels and story books for fun).

In my view, it is crucial to distinguish actions (move here, point your finger there, etc.) and conclusions (jin is better than force therefore use jin, not force). Learning takes place with actions.

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