Turning of the Joint and Maths

by Gene Hess on 2008/02/11

On Daqingshan in January of 2007 you descibed the example where the positive circle was Yang (to attack) and the negative circle was Yin (to adhere). You talked about the effect on an opponent when you would turn your negative circle into a positive circle. If the other person was attacking and you were using the Yin (to adhere) and suddenly you changed to a positve circle at just the right moment, this would send an impact into your opponent. You also explained that the quicker the change (the turning of the joint), the more power that would be generated. The part that really got my attention was when you explained that the Taiji theory stated that if the change from Yin to Yang could be done instantaneously, then there would be infinite power generated at the ‘Turning of the Joint’ contact point.
Please let me start my comparison of the Western science to Taiji with the subject of the contact point or the one dot where the two players hands meet. I want to refer to this link to show the relevance of the impulse function and the contact point:
This article starts out by saying “In engineering, we often deal with the idea of an action occurring at a point. Whether it be a force at a point in space or a signal at a point in time, it becomes worth while to develop some way of quantitatively defining this.”
The rectangle on the graph says that as we shorten the time (of the ‘Turning of the Joint’ ) on the X-Axis, we get a corresponding increase in the power (the magnitude of the response) on the Y-Axis. One key point here is that the area of the rectangle (which in our case whould be the total power that you used at the ‘Turning of the Joint’ ) is the same, whether you did the move slowly or extremely fast (an Impulse). If you compress the time that it takes to expel that energy into your opponent, the force (power) is stronger (over that time interval). Here is another links that shows the idea of the same area (power) at different time intervals and how the height increases as the time gets shorter:
These equations are only models and models were created to attempt to describe the natural world. Taiji is real, so the models can only be approximations of the amazing complexities of Taiji. I was, however, impressed by the similarities. Also, in Taiji, it could be the attacking person that supplies the power (area of the rectangle) and the defender’s ‘Turning of the Joint’ that turns the power back on the attacker. Here again, we are still talking about that ‘point’ where it goes from Yin to Yang. (I suppose in reality that there is some power from both people and never just from one person)
Mathematical theory is not particularly exciting unless I can relate it to something real (like Taiji), so for me, this comparison was very interesting. I hope this had some appeal for you too!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Chen Zhonghua February 11, 2008 at 3:11 am

Gene, thanks for the article. I am glad you are the one who had to deal with all the numbers and equations. I hope this will help those who understand maths.


allanbelsheim February 11, 2008 at 11:28 am

Very interesting and a thought provoking explanation. Thanks Gene. Math for me has always been too complex, but this makes math actually informative relating to Taiji.


cantonesedimsum August 7, 2008 at 4:39 pm

I am applying for MIT as we speak… 😉


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