The following discussion is reproduced from the thread A Discussion on Yielding started in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum on 14th February 2006. The name of a main contributor to this thread is removed as requested by him, and is replaced by “Challenger” or any term appropriate to the occasion. As the discussion is long, it is presented here in parts.
Shaolin Wahnam USA
21st March 2006
Originally posted by Antonius
“Do you think that the technique shown in my video is an effective way to yield and counter a push?”
Yes ......................... and a few more thoughts. I don't practice Taijiquan (yet), but the picture and video provided that have demonstrated yielding appear to display (at least to me) basic Taijiquan principles. Why else would you practice Push Hands and Strike Hands? To train gracefulness? I think you practice it because it trains skills and techniques that are very effective in combat situations.
Sifu Anthony Korahais
Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam USA
21st March 2006
To clarify one thing -- I don't practice or teach Taijiquan. I have learned Taijiquan from a few masters, including Sifu, but I do not practice it per se. I prefer to focus my practice on my passion -- Shaolinquan. It's already more than I need for the rest of this life.
My video may look like Taijiquan to some people. And that's no surprise since there are many similarities between Taijiquan and Shaolinquan. But to me, it's still just Shaolinquan.
Mark, I think you hit the nail on the head. My video -- whether one sees it as Taijiquan or Shaolinquan -- clearly demonstrates principles that are discussed in the Taijiquan classics. Can anyone name the principles?
Shaolin Wahnam, Florida
a grandmaster of another school
21st March 2006
Dear Sifu Korahais:
Well, OK then. If you can't do it as claimed, I understand. But then you should simply agree with me that the technique as depicted in the photo sequence is too much to perform against a live opponent in one (1) second. I have no problem with that. That's what I said to begin with!
Unfortunately, as it turns out, by publicly challenging my opinion and offering to prove me wrong by duplicating the photo sequence in one (1) second or less on video, you have sort of 'painted yourself into a corner' so to speak. At this point, if you do not provide the video proof of your claim as promised, or conversely, do not publicly admit that my assessment of the time factor was correct, then "Ni3 diu1 mianzi4" (You lose face) for allowing your words to make promises that your body can't keep!
I'm merely guessing here that all of you are taught to perform the technique in question with the stance and footwork you demonstrated in your video, not as depicted in the still photos. If that's true, simply acknowledging that fact resolves the debate quite nicely as well, since you clearly demonstrated that the technique...with less footwork....can be performed in the one (1) second time frame or less.
It is my humble opinion, that to hedge on this now, and dismiss it as unimportant, is inappropriate for a Sifu of your standing. Just my opinion. I promise not to debate this with you any further, regardless of how you decide to end it.
21st March 2006
“My video -- whether one sees it as Taijiquan or Shaolinquan -- clearly demonstrates principles that are discussed in the Taijiquan classics. Can anyone name the principles?”
I know I'm missing a few things.
Shaolin Wahnam South Africa
22nd March 2006
Too much dualism? If this then that?
I just wanted to add something which I think has been left out with regards to the 'one second video clip'.
The pictures and Anthony's video show the same technique/skills (my opinion yes). They are just represented/demonstrated in different ways. The pictures are to me a breakdown of the technique into many parts (which is very good for understanding underlying principles and strategies), while the video is the streamlined application .
The picture sequence is what I would expect to learn first as a beginner if I was struggling to grasp the movements in their streamlined form. Then as my understanding grows I would make my Kung Fu come alive .
It happens in Kung Fu all the time. It happened in my Taijiquan school as well. It even happened in my old Karate dojo, so I really don't understand why there is any issue . We would be taught a technique in several parts. Then we would be taught how to apply it all in one streamlined movement.
Just because there was a little foot change difference in the pictures, does not discredit anything . Honestly, I know breakdancers who can pull off many more footwork movements and weight adjustments (of more complexity) in less than a second .
Also I want to add that even if the move could not be performed in less than one second, that still does not discredit the move in a fighting situation. Many combat situations allow for "slower" applications and not every assailant is Bruce Lee. I'm not saying that they are any less dangerous, but not all fighting takes place in bullet time
Also, I am sure we all know the saying, “Start Later, Arrive Earlier”.
Shaolin Wahnam France
22ndt March 2006
I am learning a lot. Thanks to everybody.
I think my seniors are tolerant . I think it is legitimate for us to ask Challenger some proof about his claims. It is in no way out of disrespect. How can I admit that I do not agree blindly with my seniors on faith alone (i.e simply because they are my seniors), and at the same time accept blindly what others are saying, without bringing proof to their claims? I think Challenger should feel honoured, because it proves Shaolin Wahnam values his contributions with intelligence and perspicacity. It is better to have a talk with high moral and 'caring for the art' persons than with careless and blind people, who put shame to martial arts.
I think my seniors are courageous . When we study the past 20 years martial history, we find many bogus teachers claiming things they cannot do (I am not talking about Challenger here). I am always shocked, even now, when I see those so-called 'experts' with whom you can never try a friendly sparring match, nor you see free sparring (not pre-arranged sparring), etc... Most of what is seen today is pre-arranged in all circumstances and allows the 'teacher' to appear under a 'right angle'. A beautiful Shaw Brothers movie (I like them...as entertainment).
In this regard, my seniors are especially courageous because, like Sifu, they do not hesitate to share freely unedited video material. They are not afraid of criticism, laughing or threats. For example, as many people don't understand why many Wahnam videos are showing sparring with standard speed (not combat speed) - because in my opinion those people are lacking combat methodology knowledge - our seniors continue to explain tirelessly the principles behind those videos for the benefits of those who will be able to grasp the essence. This is to be respected.
I have no doubt that Challenger is an excellent fighter and a knowledgeable master. It is of course legitimate for him to answer a post when he feels so. Nobody in Wahnam (I speak from the heart here, please my seniors forgive my directness and maybe 'overstepping' ), I think, will ever exercise force on anyone to get an answer. Nevertheless, realizing the openness and the efforts made by my seniors to preserve and spread the beauty of the Chinese Martial Arts (and I am sure that those Arts are close to Challenger's heart), it would be fair from him to provide some videos, or at least a couple of pictures, to definitively 'put his money where his mouth is', so to speak
This is only an humble and respectful wish, not an order of course
I think also that many misconceptions arise from mistaking words. For example, people sometimes mistake compassion for accepting everything. Some mistake courage with aggressiveness, others sincerity with rudeness. Of course, it is sometimes a matter of perspective and semantics when it comes to a discussion forum. But, anyway, with as little emotions as possible, we can all react accordingly with precision, compassion, hardness and softness all in one!
Best regards to everybody,
'I am now becoming a better man, son, and friend every day in every way."
Is Sifu Anthony's technique effective to yield and counter a push?