Monday, August 17, 2009

The 8 energies.

If you observe a wave moving forward you will note different properties of different areas of the wave.
The leading bulge of the wave is full of energy at the peak, this is as Peng, while adjacent to this is the void area where the pit of the wave is found, this is as Lu. These two basic energies are present, as void and full energies, in all motion possible. The other 6 energies all combine them, however they can all be complexed and are not exclusive to each other.

Press, which is like the simple machine press and not like pressing on something with just pressure, is much like being squished by the leading edge of a wave. If you put your elbow against a wall with your forearm horizontal so that you can place it against the wall, then place your other hand on the wall between your forearm and the wall. You can now use your forearm as a lever that will press upon the hand touching the wall. This is as press, however in application the leading lever aspect is often yin while it is driven by yang energies. In depiction press is as far as the trigrams, yang cloaked in yin. While the next move, often called push, is yin cloaked in yang.

Push is like the wave itself, not squishing with leverage, but surging forward with both yin and yang energy. Indeed while Peng energy wards off, and Lu energy rolls back, and Press energy squeezes, push energy pushes, but can be done at different energy levels and push merely describes the dynamic, not the application. Indeed for all of the energies the names are not applications but descriptions of energies manifestation.

Pluck is another wave property where instead of the previous effects the wave is used to achieve a pulling type energy, which is not a pull per say, at high rates of speed the result is a violent jarring.

Split or rend/tear is where the wave is used to push things apart with forces that divide. To understand this imagine a wooden box being filled with water so fast it breaks apart. A single surge can be used to move an object in two directions at once, resulting in a rending or splitting effect. While all of these moves can be illustrated with a single hand, in application the split energies are best demonstrated with two hands for the impressive results are easier to comprehend.

Elbow, is not the use of the elbow per say, it is more like transmitting with the bend of the wave where peng meets lu or Yin meets yang. In the body this happens to be the elbow, however if one employs this energy with a weapon then the elbow is not employed while the nature of the energy is conserved and is the same.

Shoulder is one of the bluntest forces, though it is very yin it has a yang foundation. It is like a transmission of the wave itself, in an example a stick placed on a rope, that gets launched off of the rope when a sharp wave pops it us, this is like shoulder.

The nature of the energies is profound, no move can be made lacking them. If one understands them then one can meet them with exactitude and neutralize/avoid them to the point of maintaining the upper hand and combat initative. One can learn the techniques by the same name, and practice them until the cows come home, but that does not equate to comprehension of the 8 energies, which has as much to do with reading these energies in your opponent as it does with employing them yourself.

all of the energies can be done in any direction of the sphere, taiji is whole body so this is not a matter of hand or foot work but is instead bodywork. All of the energies can also be done at different rates of speed. The fastest of which is explosive energy or speed, termed Fa-Jing, but even slow has it's place in taijiquan.

There is a reason that the bagua is employed to teach taijiquan. The symbolism facilitates greater comprehension of the transmissions due to its aptitude. Moreover taijiquan is Taoist in principal. It is the system of the mother of yin and yang, this mother is taiji. Taiji only comes from wuji, which is undifferntiated and so can respond to anything as it lacks intention of its own. As is said in the Tao-De-Jing
Harmony is only in following the Way.

The Way is without form or quality,
But expresses all forms and qualities;
The Way is hidden and implicate,
But expresses all of nature;
The Way is unchanging,
But expresses all motion.

Beneath sensation and memory
The Way is the source of all the world.
How can I understand the source of the world?
By accepting.

The Way has no true shape,
And therefore none can control it.
If a ruler could control the Way
All things would follow
In harmony with his desire,
And sweet rain would fall,
Effortlessly slaking every thirst.

The Way is shaped by use,
But then the shape is lost.
Do not hold fast to shapes
But let sensation flow into the world
As a river courses down to the sea.


Nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water,
Yet nothing can better overcome the hard and strong,
For they can neither control nor do away with it.

The soft overcomes the hard,
The yielding overcomes the strong;
Every person knows this,
But no one can practice it.

Who attends to the people would control the land and grain;
Who attends to the state would control the whole world;
Truth is easily hidden by rhetoric.

Indeed truth is hidden by rhetoric and a martial arts classic can be hidden in a work that seems to be merely a collection of rhetoric. However it is said by some that LaoTze, the author of this work, was a practioner of the ancestral art of Taijiquan. Hidden in his work are potent keys to understanding this martial art, and presented in a way that if the work falls into the hands of the uninitiated they will not comprehend it, but can still employ it as a work pertaining to ethics and action. However the double meaning of the work is profound and deliberate. The art it pertains to is not an art of violence, nor an art incapable of violence. It is concerned with self mastery and harmony, this way includes a martial path for to sustain health and allow self preservation, however if you practice a martial art in the open you attract challenges, to attract challenges involves risk, only a fool takes unneeded risks of violence. What is the point of learning to protect and defend the self if the result is increased risk? To practice the art in the open violates the very principals upon which it is founded. Thus it is hidden.

LaoTze went west, there he is said to have taught a young prince. The young prince founded teachings which included temple martial arts. His 28th successor in the line of transmission went east, this man was known to practice martial arts. He went to a temple in Shaolin, his name was Tao-mo aka Bodhidharma. The martial arts were still with the teachings then, however over time a man named Hui Neng came to the temple, the head patricarch of the temple found him worthy of the transmissions of the principals, for he alone understood at the time, however the transmission of the martial art did not take place. From that time the teachings spread widely without the martial art, but were found so relative to martial art that transmissions coming from Hui Neng were applied to martial arts thought even centuries later.

However a record of the martial art exists, in the form of statues and temple dance having martial meanings. The martial is hidden in the dances for the same reason that the martial teachings of the Tao-de-jing are concealed with rhetorical content and a form of code that is common to Chinese martial arts. The postures of the statues are 108 in number and form the basis of martial art and dance in the region where LaoTze is said to have ventured after leaving China. However the limitations of nationalism and borders has resulted in a veil obscuring the reality of the transmissions, every region claims them to be the original creation of the region and yet they are found all over. Even in the polynesian islands, where there martial dances with postures like those of the 108 statues and of taijiquan were said to have been taught to the people by a God of war whom visited from another culture.

When Arjuna recived the transmission of the martial arts from Indra, he was also taught dance at the same time. The dance is the gong of the art. Over time much has been lost, however much is still preserved for those meant to recieve the transmissions. It is not for convincing others that I share this information.