Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tai chi for effect

Now this is interesting. This goes back to Formosa Neijia discussion of the reality of the no-touch energy effects which I commented on here. It also goes back to my Tai chi question from a few months ago about the hopping backward thing. This guy is getting much better effect (from what I can tell) than the magical dude in Dave's videos. This type of motion from uke is more like what I would figure involuntary motion would look like. It even resembles to a great degree the aikido offbalances I'm used to seeing - stuff I know you can't reproduce with strength. In fact, you can't even reproduce this quality of motion with a compliant, jumpy partner.


  1. Now that's interesting!

    Sabum #1 also had a brown belt in hapkido and picked up something he called a "ki strike".

    When you saw him do the flowing circular movements you'd say that there's no way it'd generate power. However, I watched him flow into people and move them several feet back.

    He also did it to me.

    I was never able to master the technique. Nor was sabum number 2.

    Anyhow, that first video was very reminiscent of this.


  2. Interesting to me is that the instructor had his feet planted through out yet was able to generate enough energy to move the students. I couldn't see how he did it. Also, when the instructor is planted, how does he avoid absorbing the energy of the attack?

  3. A lot of what the instructor is doing isn't even about force generation. You can see it clearly in the second video in the scene where he forces the student to the ground by placing a hand on his head. The student's body is moving forward, and his hips are ahead of his head -- thus, a down-and-back force forces him to the ground. The student tries to get his hips under his spine again, and looks silly while doing it, but ends up on the ground.

    I'll bet that it took no more than half a pound of force to achieve that. A large part of what the instructor is doing maneuvering his student into positions of weakness, and then exploiting the weakness.

  4. "A large part of what the instructor is doing maneuvering his student into positions of weakness, and then exploiting the weakness."

    This is one of the secrets of taiji.

  5. If your partner chooses to be thrown (displaced) rather than absorb the incoming force in their torso, is this voluntary or involuntary motion?

  6. Oh, I agree, Chris. Blending, flowing with energy, displacing instead of absorbing force - that's what aiki (and I suppose taiji too) is all about.

    But there is a difference between choosing to blend and jumping around crazily.

    Look at the 2 videos I posted here as compared to the 2 videos Dave posted. There is obviously a different quality to the movements between my guy and Dave's guy. I called that qualitative difference voluntary vs. involuntary because it looks like Dave's guy's partner is jumping around on his own - not in response to something that the instructor is doing.

    On the other hand, check out the guy I posted. Things are happening to his partners that you cannot voluntarily do to yourself. For instance, check out the long shot where the partner flys backward, folded in half, butt-first thru the air. Now, find me an athlete in the world that can jump like that on purpose on his own.

    I guess the bottom line of my post is that, (in my opinion based on very limited understanding) the guy I posted was causing his partner to fly like that while dave's guy's partner was trying to make it _look like_ he was being forced to jump like that.

    In aiki it's pretty easy to tell an uke that is jumping to make the thrower look good as opposed to a partner that is jumping because that is the ultimate consequence of blending with the thrower's energy.


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