Vector Energy in Taiji Chuan

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.

http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/vectors/U3L1b.cfm

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.

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7 Comments on “Vector Energy in Taiji Chuan”


  1. […] 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 […]

  2. G6loq Says:

    Robert Chuckrow is big on Tai Chi vector physics.
    I studied with William CC Chen for a few years and it was all about body mechanics. I can attest that Master CC Chen is a fearsome boxer.

    Then, after 20+ years of practice I ran into several amazing push hand players in the DC area. It is all moving ‘energy’ they said. No muscle whatsoever…. Mind blown.
    I now accept the approach but I am back to square one. Such is the path …
    I suggest Scott Meredith for that outlook: http://cattanga.typepad.com
    His book I study: Juice: Radical Taiji Energetics, http://tinyurl.com/o9uxbo3
    and: http://tinyurl.com/oz349fs

    Scott says acquiring the skill is like learning to surf. You can get some expert pointers but essentially you have to go out and figure it out for yourself ….

  3. ymarsakar Says:

    Since it’s a physical activity, like most such things, it requires personal skill, above and beyond what theoretical abstract knowledge is gained from lectures. Talented athletes for example, often have no need to understand the science of what they do, since they won’t be teaching it to others. Their goal is to achieve performance or compete.

  4. G6loq Says:

    – it looked like this comment didn’t go through! It did! There might be multiple postings, unfortunately.-

    Yes agree. And, in a way, all physical activities are calisthenics of sort.

    Tai Chi it was brought to my [thickheaded] attention is something entirely different from sports/body motions.
    The form is a placemat of sort to sense, feed, move and eventually use the ‘energy’. See Meredith’s work for further elaboration if interested.

    I probably was told along the way but wasn’t ready to hear or it was to obscure. Quality of the tuitions available is highly variable and practitioners are reluctant transmitters…

  5. G6loq Says:

    [Talented athletes for example, often have no need to understand the science of what they do, since they won’t be teaching it to others.]
    Exactly.
    How do you teach such a skill as this?:

  6. ymarsakar Says:

    If you put too many links in one comment, the spam filter will route it to me for approval.

    Until I discovered that water is a mystery in science, with an inadequate model to explain it, I had difficulties picturing what energy fields are involved in yin and yang, where they are rooted and how they can be manipulated. Bones, when compressed, may produce electricity much like piezoelectric crystals and certainly the neural system is electricity. That in itself was insufficient to explain the effects of chi gong.

    It wasn’t until the idea of the blood was united with water, that things began making more scientific sense.


  7. […] the background and subtext on vectors, this post I wrote covers it […]


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