Wang Shu Chin's Taijiquan - Tai Chi C

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    Please note that the International Wang Shu - Chin Memorial
       Association (IWSCMA), its’ members, instructors, and
M. E. Rottmann are NOT responsible in any manner whatsoever for
    any injury that might result due to practicing the principles,
   techniques, or instructions contained in this publication. The
   physical activities described may be too strenuous for some
  persons to engage in, safely. Therefore, a qualified physician
                should be consulted prior to training.

  The techniques, principles, and applications in this publication
   are for informational purposes, only. Any martial arts training
  should be conducted, ONLY, under the guidance of a qualified,
                       martial arts instructor.

         No part of this document may be reproduced or
    transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or
mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any storage
and retrieval system, without written permission from the author.

Grandmaster Wang Shu - Chin had many students. This publication
   is intended as an introductory overview of the Tai Chi Chuan
 taught by Wang Shu - Chin. It represents only one interpretation
                  of Wang Shu - Chin’s martial arts.

                         ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

                                Page 1
          WANG SHU - CHIN

        WANG SHU - CHIN

             Tokyo, 1972

                Page 2


                 © - 2001 - MANFRED E. ROTTMANN
       Page 3

                          Wang Shu - Chin (1904-1981)

              Chi Chuan                                              (1904
      The Tai was the first taught by Grandmaster Wang Shu – ChinJapan. –His
       1981)                 system of Tai Chi Chuan introduced into
style was taught to thousands of Japanese and other nationalities beginning in
1958. This fact is quoted by the world-renowned author, Robert W. Smith in his
latest book on the Hsing - I - Chuan. It is a synthetic methodology and utilizes
principles from the Chen, Yang, Wu and other styles. As Wang Shu – Chin was
very skilled in the Hsing - I - Chuan and Pa Kua Chang before his training
began in the T’ai Chi, some of these internal methods were also incorporated in
his brand of the grand ultimate fist. Wang’s Tai Chi has been noted as being
one of the most effective and follows the doctrine of “ every move has a
purpose “. Indeed a practitioner may not even understand the multiple
applications of a technique until it is used without conscious thought.

                                      Page 4
               skilled teacher of this system                                   any
        Thus a technique in several different may explainis the application of the
         given                                ways. One actually studying
principles of movement, feeling gravity and applying physics without conscious
analysis of what and how it should be used. The rationale of technique can
sometimes only be explained after one reacts, instinctually to an attack. The
training of this method of Tai Chi is similar to a plant absorbing nutrition from the
ground through its roots, and gaining energy via its leaves from the air and sun.
Knowledge is not taken; it is absorbed only when the student is ready.

                               THE SOURCE

                       major                 to
        There are twoThe first theoriesisasthat where GrandmasterhisWang’s system
         originated.           version          he was taught by     boxing brother,
the late Grandmaster Chen Pan – Ling. Chen Pan – Ling was a hydraulic
engineer by profession and a very skilled advocate of the three major schools
of internal arts. His knowledge of the history of Chinese martial arts was well
established prior to his death in 1967. Prior to his appointment as the
vice-principal of the Nanking martial arts academy, Grandmaster Chang
learned from many of the most skilled teachers on the Chinese mainland.
Furthermore his approach to the understanding and application of martial arts
was practical and did not include the usage of aesthetic, flowery movement. In
many ways, then both Wang Shu – chin and Chen pan – Ling were similar. To
solidify my believe in the aforementioned origin of this style of Tai Chi I quote
directly from Wang Shu – Chin’s outline of Nei Chia pugilism which was written in

                                       Page 5
                  fond    martial arts since                           take
      Quote “I amPa KuaofChang and Hsing - II-was small. I started tofamous
       lessons of                              Chuan from a very
pugilist master, the world known Old Man Chang Chan - Kuie, Chao - Tung.
Master Chang’s Pa Kua Chang is transmitted from old master Tung Hai -
Chuan, his Hsing - I- Ch’uan is learned from two old masters Liu Chi - Lan and
Kuo Yuen - Shen, and these two masters learned from Li Lo - Neng, Fei Yu, and
Tai Lung - Pang. The latter in turn learned from Chi Lung - Feng. Traced to the
source, it is transmitted as early as from Yue Wu - Mu in the Sung dynasty (960
- 1279 AD).

Grandmaster Chen Pan - Ling and Grandmaster Wang Shu - Chin pose in this group
 photograph of Tai Chi practitioners in Taiwan. Inset is a enlarged copy of the two
                 teachers of the internal (nei chia) martial arts.

                     and practiced         Chang with Mr. Hsiao
      In 1938, I metSan Tsai ChuangPa Kua forces staking: heaven,Hai - Po,
       also learned                 (three                        earth. and
man), Hun Yuan Chuang (Constitution stake) and different stages of staking
techniques from Mr. Wang Hsiang - Chai.

                                      Page 6
                                                                Then I get the
                                                                 instruction from
                                                         Mr. Chen Tsun - Feng,
                                                         Pan - Ling, the vice -
                                                         principal of Nanking
                                                         Central Martial arts
                                                         school. For over twenty
                                                         years, studying and
                                                         practicing with him, I
                                                         began to understand the
                                                         differences and
                                                         similarities of the three
                                                         and the profound mystery
                                                         of their correlation. With
                                                         my experience of over
                                                         fifty years, I still feel my
                                                         knowledge is not perfect,
                                                         I dare not say I am
                                                         skilled in all three.

                                          of Grandmaster Wang’s
      The second variation of the sourcethe major Tai Chi schools Tai Chi is
       that the five leading teachers of                           combined
the best of each system. This was taught to Wang before he relocated to
Taiwan. I leave it to the reader to derive their own conclusions. Wang Shu –
Chin lists his instructors in his outline. He does not mention any Tai Chi Chuan
sources prior to Chen Pan – Ling. Grandmaster Chen Pan – Ling however does
list his lineage in the T’ai Chi and this includes, leading teachers of the Chen,
Yang, and Wu clans (in his book on Chen Pan – Ling style Tai Chi). In
conclusion, a sound knowledge of history does not increase a trainees abilities.

                                      Page 7
         should              that                                   emphasize
      Itdifferent be noted and Wang Shu – Chin did change and Wang Shu -
                  principles      applications. Eight mm footage of
Chin taken in the early sixties shows a form that more closely resembles the
pattern taught by Chen Pan - Ling. The fact that Wang Shu – Chin often
engaged in combat during the 30 years prior to his death, also served to
influence what he thought was important in the Tai Chi form. Therefore though
the shape of the forms is similar, the principles and the inner, unseen
movements of the two systems differ greatly.

                                      Page 8
                                 Lu Tang and Wang          –      is also
      The parallel between Sunwere– high level experts ShutheChin other
       curious. Both individuals                        in    two
internal arts before turning to the third, Tai Chi Chuan which seemed to round
out their combative capabilities and understanding of the internal methods. This
order of learning the three arts, with Tai Chi as the last system learned, raises
the question of why many of the present instructors in this lineage insist that Tai
Chi must be learned first?


          The principles of Wang Shu – Chin’s Tai Chi are somewhat arcane
           but not magical.
They are based on sound
rationale of human anatomy,
Physics, and application. Chi,
Ching, and Sheng are trained
in equal parts. Every trainee
can find what they are looking
for. To stress any aspect greater
than the other two will lead to
incorrect interpretation and usage. This can lead to possible internal organ
damage and also harmful tendon, ligament misalignment / stretching. The
principles as detailed below are only some of the more important
considerations. This article could not possibly encompass all major issues.

                                       Page 9
1. Cross linking

                                               and is instinctive to
      This principle isofknown by all animals,very prevalent in how them. It forms
       their method        locomotion and is                         effective their
methods of combat are. If a trainee of this tenet strikes with the right hand and
left foot forward, the intent and conscious thought links these two opposite limbs
through and across his spine and brain. Then if an individual lands on the left
foot and strikes simultaneously with the right upper limb, a mental and physical
pathway are created. Muscle memory is enhanced via repetition of action and
use of the neural pathways. Then to apply the opposite side, the trainee simply
shifts both his intent to the opposite right foot / left arm combination.

                                      Page 10
       Once anthe correct
pathway, his use of gravity,
timing, acceleration, and
mental involvement all add
up to create a pulse of
force. The effect of this
crossing is amplified when
the two opposites are
oscillated quickly. This
however takes some
perception and repeated
action. The slow movement
of the Tai Chi form allows the
formation of feeling ones way
through this cross-linking of
the limbs.

                                           THE USE OF CROSS-LINKING AND
                                             COILING IS SHOWN ABOVE.

             he principle applies to the four possible combinations of left foot
       T     forward, left hand strikes or right foot forward, left hand strikes equally
well. If one however uses left-hand strikes, while left foot weights down; we have
what is known as double weighting. This is a situation that is precarious and
dangerous, as skilled opponents will make much use of the imbalance or
overstriking. You are totally dedicated in this posture and have no defense until
your equilibrium is once again centered.

                                         Page 11
2. “Power comes from training, it does not go into it”

                       Tai Chi          other                  based on finding
      The practicetoofnaturally and thepower. two internals isarts in their way are
       the means                derive         The external
beneficial and many exponents are very skilled at these arts. The internals
however require a trainee to find the precise point at which gravity, and the
principle of a changing circle can be applied to both evade damage via an
attack and then either harm or stop an opponent. To feel the correct time to
change from heavy to light, fast to slow, curved to straight requires both
sensitivity and intent. To attempt the generation of power while training the
internals in this style thwarts the use of tendon, cartilage and fast-twitch muscle
for obtaining short, high acceleration movement. The practitioner can generate
just as much power as the user of muscular force; he however does it with
much less effort. Furthermore as Wang Shu – Chin’s system does not use kime
(in Karate, the contraction of muscles to stop a full power strike). Circular motion
and non-forceful techniques are required to ensure no damage is done to your
body. You simply cannot be sensitive enough to feel where Ching can be
derived if you use powerful, forceful movements. The zero inch and one inch
penetration techniques are accomplished through the use of the leg, hip, back
and shoulder. The hand only transfers this force. It is only a conduit used to
guide the Ching. Therefore any area of the body including the head, shoulder,
hips can strike with equal force.

3. Round out, while expanding backwards

                      a Tai Chi practitioner         the performer
      Whenbeobservingbackwards and forwardstraining, same time. Forappears
       to    going                           at the
example, let us use the double palm strike. As the trainee is pushing forward
with his palms, he/she is also sitting on the rear leg, and rounding out the hips
(tilt upwards), and rounding the lower back, upper back, and stretching the
shoulders forward.

                                      Page 12
           he main mass
       Tof the body
sinks down, not back or
forward, it simply settles in
place on the rear leg.
The thrust of power is
accomplished via a very
small movement from the
thigh, through the hips,
back, shoulders, elbow,
and finally the hands
move forward. This shape
is passed through in every
movement of the form.
The final shape is like that
of the letter “C”. If one
practices this form
correctly, then by bringing
the hips up, and curving
the back, he is doing a
natural “sit-up” a few
hundred times through the
drill. Leaning into the strike
by more than one inch
negates the use of the
powerful thigh muscles
and the action/reaction of
the body weighting -
thrusting into the ground
via the rear leg. Every
action has an opposite
and equal reaction.

                                 Page 13
4. “Watch the details, the beginning and ending”

            f you see
          Isomeone training
Tai Chi Chuan, who makes
a noise when his front lands,
or has a straight front leg,
or is leaning back – they
have lost control of the
center of mass of their
body. They cannot attack or
defend, as their core is not
controlled by them. This
individual will require a short
length of time to “center”
their body before they can
move in any direction. It
does not really matter if
anyone else witnesses this
lack of control for perhaps
the last 1% of movement,
the performer knows. You
have control or you do not.        EXAMPLE OF PROPER CORE TRANSFER IS
                                  SHOWN IN THE TOP (GREEN) MODEL. MASS IS
It is this final settling of      TRANSFERRED INSTANTANEOUSLY AND WITH
weight that determines how                  COMPLETE CONTROL.

much penetrating power
you have. If you fall into place, even for one centimeter, you have lost the
capability for adding that change of weight into your strike. Similarly if you lurch
or lose control for a split second moving backward – the availability of that
weight change for striking or evading is lost. In the internal arts, striking or
evading is an accumulative effect; one weak link means a weak structure.

                                        Page 14
       One has to
        learn to
accept the pain in the
legs, To support your
weight and control the
change of balance
requires strong inner thigh
muscles. Study your
natural method of
walking. Is it controlled?
Or do you simply place
one foot in front of the
other. Do you move with
ease through a crowd of
people at rush hour, or
are you constantly off –
balance? When you rise
up from sitting in a chair,
is your body upright? Are
                         PAYING ATTENTION TO DETAIL - THE COILING,
your legs doing the       FLEXING AND FEATHERING OF THE FINGERS,
                         CHI KUNG, NEI KUNG TRAINING. THE HANDS AT
forward as you rise up     THE TOP OF THE FIGURE ARE CORRECTLY
and are you gripping the                  FORMED.
table to get up? These
are very small things, but they add up. Total body control or not? Knowing what
is lacking is the first step in correcting and controlling your own body. Awareness
is the key to sensitivity, which is the guide to self-control.

                                       the small
       The otherofaspect of “watching” opposites) details is the number and
        degree     changes (reversals,            between movements. In
Wang Shu Chin’s school – one movement does not simply mesh into the next
one. It does not simply alter direction via a circle, or a changing arc.

                                        Page 15
             is an aid                                     movement,
       There previously to gaining momentum forasthe next the “loop”. Afrom the
        one             performed. This is known   finding               small
circular arc,
sometimes not
visible proceeds
every change in
technique. This
principle once
learned seeps into
every change of
movement, and
height. It is the small
white dot in the
black portion of the
Yin/Yang. After thirty
years of training, an
advanced trainee
will coil the inner
core first, before a
change of                 AND WRAPPING IN THE WANG SHU - CHIN STYLE OF
                          NEXT ONE TO CREATE A “SPRING-LIKE” FORCE. THE
or changing within           COILED JOINTS FOR THE RELEASE OF CHING.

the change is not
visible to anyone watching. You start your training at the end of the movement,
the hands – you end your training at the beginning of the movement, the
central core, and after that only your mind moves. The “feeling” aspect or
Sheng greatly enhances this level of training. There is no misconception when
one enters this aspect. For example – an individual begins his/her training with
the intention of stopping to prepare for work in one hour.

                                     Page 16
                       an end,            train
      The hour reacheswhere theyand theyrather for 5/10/15 minutes more
       because that is           would          be. This is the feeling aspect
of Grandmaster Wang’s Tai Chi Chuan. Many individuals in the martial arts train
the patterns and basics because they have to. In this style - one trains because
you want to. As one thirty year instructor has stated “The training is like a drug -
it becomes addictive”.

5. Symmetry and shape

                                        deficiency in the
      There is no more obvious visiblethan when there is shape of a of
       practitioner of Tai Chi Chuan,                     no application
symmetry. The concept of moderation in of yin/yang, chi flow, weighting,
mental control, would imply that trainee can feel when their shape has no
balance. There are several factors to maintaining equal spiraling, intention, arc,
circularity, etc. But when you think about – who has ever measured their stride
while walking, noted which leg goes into their pants first, remembered which
hand reaches for the coffee cup. This is as important as you make it. When you
cross your legs, unless you maintain an equal angle and time for both – you
are flexing one hip, knee, and leg more than the other. Any imbalance in these
joints will lead to exactly that. A smooth transition of weight now has to work
against natural physical limitations. Any imbalance in the lower limbs will
eventually manifest itself in the hips, spine and perhaps neck. Think about it,
you have two legs, hips, but only one spine. Muscles on the spine contract
whenever a limb has to bear weight. Take a look the next time you are
aware. How many people move with a smooth gait? The main factors are
usually an imbalance of joint mobility, i.e. what would happen if one rear tire of
your car were round and the other square.

                                       Page 17
           here is an another aspect of Grandmaster Wang’s Tai Chi Chuan that
       Tis determined by the symmetry. There should be a curved, anatomical
flow through the four limbs.
If one sees the shape of
someone maintaining
proper coiling of the end
points (hands and feet),
there is a natural flow of
curvature from one joint,
through the spine, to the
lower limbs. Once this
principle is learned, the
trainee will instantly see
inconsistencies in other
practitioners. Once the
postures are assumed with
attention to symmetry, one
                                 THE CORRECT ALIGNMENT, ROUNDING OUT
should feel the increase of       AND SYMMETRY APPLIED IN THE STAKING,
chi flow. The awareness of       MEDITATIVE, PRACTICE WHICH IS THE FIRST
                                  LEVEL OF TRAINING IN WANG SHU - CHIN’S
this principle will eventually   ARTS. A TRAINEE PRACTICES STILLNESS TO
be extended into every           FULLY UNDERSTAND THE “MOVEMENT”. THE
                                 INTERNAL ARTS UTILIZE MANY ASPECTS OF
posture throughout the drill.    TRAINING AN NON - ACTION TO “FEEL” THE
Some individuals who have                  OPPOSITE REACTION.
looked at photos of
themselves, prior to understanding this principle have commented they look “
scrunched up”, or “restricted” or not’ “rounded out”. The overall result of this
methodology is a total body stretch. The feeling of symmetry will first impact on
the major joints, then extends, eventually to the toes and final finger joints. Every
joint is flexed, coiled, and stretched which enhances both chi flow, correct
alignment and movements of the skeletal / muscular structure. It also greatly
adds to the elasticity of the total body winding/unwinding, which is a large
additive factor in the application of force.

                                       Page 18
6. Force gathering “recoil” training

          ince Grandmaster Wang passed on, in 1981 – there are several
      Straining    practices in his system, that were simply dropped or changed
(in some schools). Many of these “forgotten” methods were preserved on 8mm
film and on video tape by various individuals (after they learned them). It is
doubtful that Grandmaster Wang ever allowed himself to be filmed or photo -
graphed with the intention of “giving” anything away. The training method for
enhancing ching, building internal power via; timing, dropping, cross-linking, and
weight change is one practice that is very valuable. Several schools (for various
reasons) have been told to discontinue its practice. Wang Shu – Chin once said
that “force-gathering”, training is a substitute for Tui Shou (push hands). There is
strong support that this isolated method of developing force of approximately
48 different nei kung techniques, originated with Chang Chao – Tung.

 “Force gathering” - simplified. There are approximately 48 techniques, practiced
 50 to 100 repetitions per side. Each art has its own versions and flavor. There
   are kicks, combinations, sweeps, and throws. Some students utilize various
   mechanical devices to further isolate and develop “high acceleration - short
                                  distance” force.

                                       Page 19
                                    Japanese         for             and
      Tanden (not Tan Tien) is thetechnique fortermfixedthe practicecounts.
       repetition of one isolated                a       number of
Therefore this practice is similar in context to the kihon of Karate. For example –
the double palm push is one of the techniques trained for example 50-100
times with left foot forward, then the opposite leg is placed forward for 50-100
repetitions. This training method was usually not taught in Japan in the seventies.
In Taiwan it was trained at the end of every session. Each art (T’ai Chi , Hsing - I,
Pa Kua) has it’s own series of Tanden (force gathering) training. The concepts
and principles that a student learns from this methodology are very important for
proper application of ching. The trainee finds a very narrow gap in timing,
weighting, rounding out and sinking weight onto the rear leg, that causes a
pulse-like throwing of force in any chosen direction. The striking element is not
important as an elbow, shoulder, head can be substituted as required. What is
important is sinking the weight onto the rear leg as the striking surface is moved
forward. As the rear leg pushes against the ground, force is exerted upwards.
This pushes the waist and torso forward. The force is directed through the curved
upper body, and into the trapezoid muscles, which wrap forward towards the
shoulders. The shoulders now flex forward which drives the elbows forward. The
elbows wrap inward as the wrist coils in an opposite direction. The wrist is
“popped” from a position where the fingers point to the imaginary opponent’s
chest. The palm butt is pushed forward as the wrist flexes. The fingertips are out
of harms way and point upward. There is very little force applied throughout this
practice. Some of the advanced trainees practice the concept of the “ching”
release on mechanical devices. This gives a real sense of positive feedback as
to the development of ching. Trainees should experiment, as their teachers did.
There are important considerations beyond the scope of this short article that
are important in the sense of both power development and balancing the
recoil of force into the practitioner. Some trainees that have more than enough
ching have actually had to train the “force gathering” while standing on
compressed foam padding.

                                      Page 20
       You canTheharm yourself of trainingand externally if extension of power is
        used.     importance               with a light intention and no mental
or physical “willing” of power is so that the proper feeling can be developed.
One disciple of Wang Shu - Chin stated that Tanden training should be viewed
in the context that one has when depositing money in the bank. Daily training
was the same as the original amount of money plus the daily addition of the
interest. Money or power would be there when you needed it. The concept of
moving as the wave of the ocean flows towards the shoreline is also important.
The linking of the major joints as ching flows \through the body is an
accumulative effect, ending with a “light” snap as the ching travels to the
fingertips.   The flexing of tendons and coiling of joints creates a spring
mechanism from head to foot. It is the release of this spring that is multiplied
by the use of gravity, and creates a very short penetrating strike with almost any
part of the body.

                              IN CONCLUSION

                        pondered          style is so effective. Wang
       Many people havehave had awhy thisfor finding the best instructorsShu
        – Chin seems to           quest                                   of
each internal art and to establish a close relationship with them. He also spent
a lot of time finding what his teachers could not give him. There is much of
Grandmaster Wang’s history that is a mystery even to his closest followers. The
obvious discrepancies in what he supposedly was to each individual is peculiar.
Being close to a Grandmaster and learning a multitude of forms / techniques is
not a guarantee that an individual can use or teach this knowledge.

                                        Page 21
                  Tai Chi of                                of several
      The Wu-Tang meditative Wang Shu – Chin is comprised Chao – Tung’s
       methods of            staking (post-standing), Chang
Fa Ching training, various methods of push hands, weapons, and the one 99
step form. It is very deep in requiring analysis and repeated training. There are
several levels of both principles and techniques. It is common that high level
teachers and practitioners “collapse the shape” of their positions. Therefore,
observers see little. Students, however, must not allow uncorrected mistakes or
a lack of determination of mind to enter the practice session. Simply repeating
what you have performed the day before is not enough. A good set of
carpenters tools is of little use unless they are used, skills developed and are
well maintained.


                                      Page 22
                     Write to:
The International Wang Shu-Chin Memorial Association
             P.O. Box 48118, Midlake P.O.
         Calgary, Alberta, CANADA T2X 3C0

        Or Email:

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