Archive for the ‘Traditional Martial Arts’ category

Internal power seminar info

October 2, 2014

October 1st: Wednesday 7 pm – 10 pm Hsing-I Chuan – Five Elements $65
& Two Man Five Element Drill
October 2nd: Thursday 7 pm – 10 pm Hsing-I Chuan – 5 Tigers Form $65
Double Hand Methods of the 5 Elements
October 3rd: Friday 7 pm – 10 pm Hsing-I Chuan – 8 Powers $ 65
Whole Body Power Method
October 4th – 5th: Saturday 12 noon – 7:30 pm San Shou Sticky Hands
Sunday 10:30 am – 6:00 pm Weekend Seminar $235
October 6th: Monday 7 pm – 10 pm Tai Chi Push Hands $65
4 Main Energies
Double Roll Back & Double Press
Eight Skills to aid in finding Fa Jing Point
October 7th: Tuesday 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm Hsing-I Chuan $65
12 Phoenix Fist

I came across this from an indirect reference.

But if you want to see for yourself what internal power (gravity acceleration) is about, this might be a good opportunity. Especially if you like direct training, rather than do it yourself kits. (If you live in that area of California, although I discovered there’s no address for it, so going to find it now.)


That was for August, but it might still be good. If not and the registrations are already closed, there’s always China.

Be back either either after Ebola US is over or just as quarantine is over.

Western relationship with Japan in WWI

September 25, 2014

A connection between Britain and Japan, which probably influenced Japan’s colonial policies later. But before the bad news, there is a lot of good news concerning Britain’s focus on Eastern martial arts, especially when women got involved.

I knew of some American connection to the export of Japanese jujutsu around WWI, but this video gives a better and fuller picture of Western relations.

Internal Power list

August 1, 2014

[A person asked me to list some of what I knew, in the most basic format that is easy to understand for a Westerner, here is what I sent them]

Yes I practice Chinese style boxing and internal arts like Taiji Chuan. Although I am still discovering things as I go along.

The recent post (Taiji Chuan Force Vectors) is my recent work, so it is based on my current level. Previous early work blog posts from years ago, keeps things simpler.

For the simple list of internal power principles

1. Gravity 100% conversion. Falling directly in line with the acceleration of gravity 9.8 m/s/s such as dropping a knee on a fallen target, directly down and below your center of gravity.

2. Gravity partial conversion. Example, falling on/across someone and breaking their arm/leg, like in football injuries.

3. Force reflection is where energy projected into the target does not affect the target, instead it chooses the path of least resistance which is going back into the attacker’s body. Examples are when you push or punch a wall. You get a lot more energy back than if you punched water. The proof of which substance takes most energy, can also be seen in the displacement value of how much distance the target object has moved. Thus if a fat kid runs into a small kid, and the small kid gets ejected across the hallway while the fat kid is just standing there, then we can say the energy mostly went into the small kid. If the fat kid ran into a wall and got bounced off, then the energy went back into the fat kid. If the fat kid ran into a judo ka and got hip thrown, then this is a combination of various energies. The judoka uses the incoming energy, makes it go into a circle, and then feeds it back into the target, using gravity as an assist.

The judoka uses the incoming energy, makes it go into a circle, and then feeds it back into the target, using gravity to assist. This is an example of a technique that fuses together multiple principles into one technique.

4. Muscle acceleration: Just like in bench press where your triceps do a lot of the work, punches use the muscles to accelerate the arm and thus acceleration times mass equals force. The higher the mass, the lower the acceleration for the same effort, but the more force the mass hits with. Number 1 above is merely using one’s entire body mass, with gravity accelerating it. Muscle acceleration is limited by the limitations of the skeleton and tendon structure.

5. Intent. Desire, emotion, state of mind, all is included. This is either the strongest or the weakest force, as it is behind the use of all other forces. Intent controls the human body, so a weak intent produces weak results. In order to apply maximum power, one must look right at a target and then go through the target. Thus people who tend to look away when slamming a bat unto a target, can’t apply 100%. In H2H fighting, people flinch a lot, protecting their eyes or face. When attacking, it’s important to see the target. When moving, it’s important to use peripheral vision.

If there is no Will, there is no Way. So long as there is a Will, there is a Way to solve a problem.

Vector Energy in Taiji Chuan

June 30, 2014

Subject Summary_02

It’s been quite some time, but now I have a visual aid for what I’ve been working on. From my visualization centers to the net. I worked this up via a program and uploaded it. It’s not like the Chinese translations of Taiji instruction manuals or silk reeling, but it’s the Western engineering for the same topic or result.

This is two dimensional, to keep it simple. Movements are in 3 dimensions, and fighting is in 4 dimensions, time is the 4th.

Since it’s been some time since I’ve done vector math, let’s all refresh ourselves on the knowledge. Read this first unless you know this topic like the back of your hand (Cloud hand in Taiji). Try to absorb as much as you can, until you get to the trig calculations, that’s not necessary.

Any sufficiently advanced technology will seem indistinguishable from magick, as one person was quoted saying or writing. So if this looks like sorcery symbols and pentagrams, it is because we are getting to some very advanced logick, which seems like magick. Or magick is advanced logick. Either way, let’s continue.

First we have the human stick figure, a perfectly vertical line with a bubble head at the top. Then the arms and limbs are the X superimposed. The center in which everything meets is the dantien or center of gravity or central hip joint. Doesn’t matter what people call it, it’s the center where all the vectors converge on the human body.

What has stumped people on this matter is that real physics forces aren’t in perfectly straight lines. Yet a Taiji movement must mold it so that the body makes things into a straight line, that is the “root” where the vertical pressure of your weight on the ground, gravity pulling you into the ground, and the muscular push of your legs creates a stability. 5N Down plus 5N Up equals 0 or “no movement”. Nothing moves, yet the forces are active and working. Gravity cannot be seen, but it can be felt. So physically, a person converts this horizontal force bar and uses it for vertical movements such as punches and etc. The dantien links the incoming force from the hands to the feet, via the joints and fascia and proper structure of spine and bones. Since the human body has a number of complicated forces working in and around it, the diagram is a mathematical or magickal representation of simplified concepts.

It shows how pushing on the left leg of the diagram, can cause force opposing the right hand. If you’ve ever pushed on a wall before, you may know that you are using your back leg, not the front leg. If you geometrically charted the human body in the push, it wouldn’t look like those two sticks. Because the force vectors are being transformed, added, and subtracted from each other INSIDE the human body, where it cannot be seen, only felt. And there’s a vector (at least one) for every joint segmentation of the skeleton, which I won’t draw for obvious reasons.

The second picture, drawn in red, is what happens when you receive a vector on your hands and using the axial alignment axis of the vertical on moving door hinge, you transform the vector down, into the ground. This is vector addition. You then take the bounce or excess energy of that vertical line, via your legs, and reflect it back into your hands. This then adds or doubles the power of the incoming vector, back into the source. It’s like you pushed a wall, and all that happened was that you pushed yourself. That’s reflection. Then imagine if the wall could move, and it pushed you just as your energy reflected back into you. The end result vector would be your energy plus the wall’s energy, plus a number of vector angles. Since we’re using the dantien for conversion, not merely adding or subtracting, and because we’re harnessing the vertical vector of gravity and using it to perform horizontal work, this counts as mechanical leverage. It multiplies the force humans can normally exert via muscles. That is thus internal power.

The axial line doesn’t have to be your spine. In the example given, it would be a line from your hand down to your knee. Or from your shoulder down to your hip joint. So long as that line doesn’t move, is rooted, you can use it as a door hinge, for mechanical leverage. That’s why in Taiji movements, if your hand moves beyond the circle of your knee… it has lost power. The vector energies disconnect, they are too far away, and can no longer be added because physically nothing connects them. Vertical lines become vertical. Horizontal lines become horizontal, you can no longer use the human body to convert one energy to another.

The funny Leonardo Da Vinci human X on a circle diagram, is my symbol for rotation. It’s difficult to imagine how the human body can rotate or why that is better for generating force or power (work). So instead of trying to do the impossible, making ourselves into a spinning ball of death like some manga, I chose to interpret it as the tangent. The hypotenuse of a 90 degree triangle. The conversion of gravity vector with a horizontal vector of a different angle, creates a hypotenuse. This can then be seen as the tangent of a circle. Thus you can make a circle by continually shooting out these rays of energy at a tangent to an imaginary circle. Thus you can cause rotation in other objects, even if you can’t cause rotation in yourself because your joints won’t go past their angle limits or else they break.

While I find this interpretation of mine to be useful, other people’s mileage will vary. However, using the geometric circles and triangles as diagrams to help a person think of energy, should be generally useful for those studying internal martial arts like Taiji Chuan, where a lot of “stuff” is really invisible like EM (electro magickal) fields.

Addendum, for the red line, the down arrow signifies the force of gravity. After you convert this line to an up line, you can then shoot it from your legs to your dantien (even though that’s a 45 degree line, we’re simplifying it to a vertical). The dantien then compresses the force, closes the doors, so that the only way the energy can shoot out is back where the initial force came in on, your arm or your legs. Since your legs are closed off by the ground, it shoots out your hand. Force obeys the path of least resistance. This is why Zhongua says “poping” is not good. If you “pop” as in your height increases, then the energy vector went into making you taller. It didn’t go into the target at your hands. If your hips popped out or your spine misaligned, that’s where the energy goes, path of least resistance. Thus internal arts requires the body to become like a funnel, to shoot out explosions inside. If the internal chamber, such as of a gun, is weak, then it explodes and harms the user. If the internal chamber is strong and can take the charge, then the explosion sends the bullet down the right path.

What I’ve done is combine 2 or more fields together, using my own Will and imagination. It’s not something generally taught in public education or universities, where the focus is on over specialization, like ants. Believe it or not, almost all the great individual scientists that nobody believed in, did something similar when pioneering fields. Scientific breakthroughs, as opposed to scientific and engineering applications, were not made by committees or huge government funding. It also helps if you can think in two languages, like for example Zhonghua’s ability to think in Western English physics but also think in Chinese Taiji ying/yang concepts. English as the language, Chinese as the language. Two concepts as one, the differences of either, demonstrating the reality of the universe. Grind them together, spin the wheel of yin and yang, use torsion and twist, to see what comes out.

Finally, the last image of two equilateral triangles superimposed over each other, one inverted, represents the arms and center of gravity. The other one represents the base of the two legs and the brain spine. Generally, to develop power via using energy for work, one must keep one of those triangles still and move the other one. Moving both, is what Zhonghua calls “movement” that looks right. It looks right because it’s not doing anything useful. When the energy moves your body, it doesn’t move the target. So when the arms are moving, the legs are not. When the legs are moving, the arms cannot move. Or to put it another way, the vectors of the upper triangle must maintain stability and structure, if the bottom triangle is changing the force vectors around by addition. Chen Zhonghua also talks about triangles and 2 lines at 45 degree angles. I get a sense that the application or concept is very similar to this one.

Yea, math, what is it good for. Nothing much beyond counting change, the way most people teach and use it.

Learning Taiji/Taichi Chuan via videos

June 29, 2014

From the 1980s onwards, most people couldn’t learn much martial arts from videos or VHS because most of it was merely the forms or kata. Rigid, prescribed and patterned movements designed for the experienced practitioner to stretch, build up athletic abilities, and to remember techniques and movements required for applications. The beginner or ignorant user, had no idea of the power mechanics behind the moves or even what techniques the kata, from say karate or the forms of Chinese kung fu, were supposed to be used with.

Now in the 21st century, something else is going on with video format. People are beginning to explain the principles involved. Which is just as effective a learning process as being at a lecture hall or solving mathematical equations online. Math doesn’t change whether the equation is written down in front of you or on a computer screen. Same for the physics involved in physical force generation and fighting.

Here’s the review I left at the trailer link.

Really good training setup for people that can already pool yin and yang in the dantien, center hip joint from both legs, and releasing it. The 5 point pin helps me pinpoint where the energy is going, as well as using the knowledge of where force vectors go in my own body, to set things up in advance for the enemy’s body, since those bodies function on the same principles. I was vaguely aware this was possible, but had yet to develop workable applications or theory for it.

The middle section reminds me of Sun Tzu’s the Art of War. Know yourself and know your enemy. Thinking ahead, planning traps.

The shearing force demo reminds me of the no inch punch. A shock type impulse hit using gravity vectors, no matter what is being touched. Chen Zhonghua’s English and probably Chinese explanations have improved dramatically over the 2 or 4 years I’ve seen of the seminar vids. My original instructors over at Target Focus Training, prioritized a lot of this vector force mechanics using gravity, with no great emphasis on specific techniques except as examples. Studying Newton’s Laws, vectors, impulse force, has helped me visualize a lot of this energy, that would otherwise be called magick, mystical forces, chi, or EM (electro magickal) fields.

Some Taiji Chuan materials

June 12, 2014

As mentioned before, I’ll use that sample as an introduction to talking about the same concepts, except using my own interpretation and experience. Most of it isn’t mutually exclusive, but merely complementary.

In that vein, here’s some interesting articles from the same site.

Just as in physics, it is easier to use visual examples than merely trying to describe the physical laws of the universe using words (or worse, equations). But like the individual authors in the last 3 links above, I also went around looking for the good stuff ™ early on. My original instructors were always focused on very simple concepts that transformed into many many techniques, thus the saying that one principle equals 1000 techniques, and 1 technique has several principles in it. Gunpowder can create many different kinds of weapons, firearms to explosives. But a single pistol can only use certain things related to gunpowder, and it must happen in the right sequence. So is it easier to study how gunpowder works, to make your own gun? Or is it easier to disassemble a gun and figure out how it works, without any prior knowledge? Both are feasible. The 3 principles I was given were 1. injury 2. rotation and 3. penetration. Or in other words, linear power combined with rotational power equals spiral power, and spiral power produces injuries on the human body.

The body mechanics trailer’s first concept is the linear axis that goes through the spine, in a straight vertical line from head to ground. By isolating this line in the body and preventing it from moving, it serves as a rod in which a hinge is set, on both sides, the left and right. Moving the left side can now move the right side, and vice a versa. Or to use the video’s example, move the gear on the left, and the gear on the right moves. This is “power conversion” in the sense that it uses the body’s joints, ligaments, and fascia as a mechanical lever device, to multiply force. Nobody has yet to chart all this out using equations and scanning devices, though technology is able to do it. Why do I think it works as advertised then? Well, door hinges work, and I don’t know exactly why that is so either, though I know the theory in general. I know how to reflect incoming force, even though I don’t exactly know what’s going on in each joint of my body, at every time splice in the line. Microwaves and handguns work, even if the user is entirely ignorant of gunpowder and mechanical leverage (springs and hammers).

Yin might as well be potential energy and yang kinetic force.

I treat new martial arts the way I treat alien or high level technology. Time to break it down, deconstruct it, reverse engineer it, then build something I can actually understand and use. If I can’t build that, I’ll just use the alien technology without understanding it. Unlike some electrical engineers or those gearbox tinkerers, I never liked dismantling electronic devices to see what makes them tick. My preference is to dismantle humans, psychologically and physically, to see how they tick. Neat, right?

In so doing, I’ll learn the principle and theories, able to make actual practical use of them, not merely understanding them in an intellectual and theoretical context. So I’m big on “practical” experience, with only 10% of my time devoted to “theoretical studies” (or in other words, college and academic lectures).

Addendum: A direct response to one of the articles.

Internal martial arts often function on different principles than external martial artists. While Okinawan karate was a sort of hybrid when it was first transmissioned from Fujian White Crane and other martial arts in the south of China so many centuries ago, it became more external once ported over to Japan, when there was one teacher and maybe 300 students. Not really able to get a really deep understanding that way. Kyokushin just ultra specialized in the hard and forceful nature of karate.

For Westerners, I often use the firearm analogy. A firearm merely needs the intent of the user to aim, breathe, and pull the trigger. That’s pretty much the same thing in internal martial arts. The power source is all internal (gravity is an internal power when you convert it from your environment). But instead of gravity and mass, or ligaments and fascia, the firearm uses the gunpowder inside the round or casing. Because humans need will and intent to make our body do things, or we can go back on instinct and do auto pilot, we often get the “order” of movements incorrect. The order is important. If the round in the gun explodes before you aim it, then there’s a problem. If the strength of the firing chamber is weak internally, then the weapon may damage the user, rather than the target.

Don’t jerk the trigger. The recoil should be a surprise, if for single shot long shots. Just as Chen’s videos, where he says that you shouldn’t feel what’s going on, that the opponent should be falling down and you would be surprised that this happened. That’s proof you are channeling internal power that is not associated to your muscles. Your muscles aren’t pushing the bullet. It’s just aiming and funneling the tube down in which the bullet travels.

In external martial arts, the mentality is often reversed, where the stronger you contract the muscles, the more damage and power you get out of a technique. Instead of shooting bullets, it’s like you’re using your muscles to hold the trigger and barrel down as you do full auto. Or using the gun as a club to beat people to death with. While technically the tools might be the same, the way they are used, aren’t.

Click on the CC to turn subtitles on for vid.

What Chen is talking about, I call zero g, where gravitational acceleration cancels each other out or add on top of each other. It’s sort of like how that airplane can produce a perception of zero gravity.

Normally human limbs can only generate enough force to jump us up a few feet, so normally we could never generate enough acceleration to cancel out 9.8 m/s/s of gravity’s acceleration or 32 feet per second. You’re not jumping 32-64 feet per second in the air here. But Taiji chuan is said to be able to reflect force an attacking person’s energy, send it back into them, and send them up a story in the air. So if you are locked together, your legs are frozen and the enemy gives you incoming force, in order to convert that, you need to convert that horizontal incoming force to vertical, send it to the ground, and then reflect it back to the foe and send them flying. But before they are flying, your internal body gyro would feel like you are flying or falling, because gravity’s acceleration has either been canceled out, overwhelmed, or reduced. Your leg push would now normally push you up into the air, but since you don’t move, and right before the enemy is launched away, it feels like zero g or falling to the semicircular canals in the ear.

That’s my interpretation using what I know now. A lot of people do use yang force, as detailed in the video, where they push with li or intent or strength. Yin is a very strange experience, and internal arts take a very different philosophy of power. Good thing my original instructors always prioritized mass and gravity’s pull, instead, as the main “power” drive.

It will take some time and practice for me to integrate these concepts into engineered applications and techniques, but I already feel like I have a good background to absorb these normally strange and alien ideas.

More sources:

A good Q/A interview on Taiji principles or physics.

European Shinkendo Seminar

June 10, 2014

It’s kind of funny watching Europeans talk about this as a hobby, given the various nationalist elections in Britain and France. The stronger the citizen, the stronger the nation after all. The weaker the citizen and more of them dependent on welfare, the nation inevitably collapses to one thing or another.

People start talking English at about the middle of the video.


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