References, Rotation, and Relationship of Theory to Training
GM Sam F.S. Chin Viewpoint Talks Arizona/ USA May 2019
What I teach may be hard to understand for those not completely familiar with the Martial Arts of Awareness curriculum. No doubt yesterday I taught the ‘real thing’: it’s the real thing because that’s what you’re looking for—knowing from direct. Direct is what you can ‘see’ and ‘know’ when you are connected to see in that way, in the present moment. It’s not about falling back to past experiences or judging from the past.
When you’re in Neutral Offense, you can strike any time. When we train, you are on the Neutral Defense or on the Neutral Offense: if you’re already on the offensive side of the line, you can whack the opponent. When it comes to control, you cannot control from on DEFENSE; defense is 50/50. Offense is because I understand I’ve already crossed the half line. Offense means I can get you, but you can’t get me. If you don’t have neutral offense, the opponent can get you—when you cross, he can cross, too. Because if you hold on to the neutral to do the close close or open open, then he cannot get you.
As I’ve said before, holding the space—the same time and the same space—means only 1 can occupy. If I sit here, you can’t sit here. So if I get the space, you cannot, unless it’s a different space, then it’ll be under a different time. So, you can say that in the beginning of Flow, you try to stay on neutral, but you can also try, at first, to learn with Neutral Defense: then you know the limits.
Flow has the Idea of Doing Things within Limits
If you only have neutral, it’s sometimes hard to detect the limits. But with Neutral Defense—there’s 2 points there, so it’s able to give you a better sense of whether you’re still within the limits or not. Flow has the idea of you doing things within the limits also. If you go out of the limits that means you’re following. Flow will turn into following, you see? So when it comes to CONTROL, we must be in Neutral OFFENSE; you can’t control in Neutral DEFENSE: you can only PREVENT in Neutral Defense. For control, you must be one step ahead. That means, if the opponent wants to come into you, he needs to neutralize your defense first, so that’s one step. So, with Offense, that means you have to be able to cross the half line, but I don’t strike you—I still maintain Neutral Offense. At Level 7, then, on control, there will be a moment when Upper Hand can strike. Then,[ to assess your level of awareness and skill], that means I go in to strike, but on your part, you want to show you can maintain control over there. So, the training of the procedure must be very clear. You can’t control on defense. That’s why neutral Offense and neutral Defense must be very clear: that means the half line. There’s a 3-dimensional half line.
Primordial Energy, the Beginning of Energy, the Balance Energy
So, yesterday, we approached the topic first from One point: the One-point Approach means one point of movement and that one point is a rotation… you can say that is also spiral energy. You have to hold onto one point; and if you understand one point, and how that one point has 6 directions, 3 dimensions, then you can understand the beginning of energy, the balanced energy. That means it must come from the balance point and balance must come from the center. We train to understand that a center has conditions to be a center, as the neutral point.
Stretch out first – The Neutral is where can go back and forth, but you need to hold and return in a loop—like a conveyor belt—you need to hold so something is steady.
We have 2 groups: yin yang muscles like the conveyor belt—they work together. For example: All the yin draws to dan tien; there are some things you just need to use at the beginning of the reference like all yin draws to dan tien; all yang expands from min-meng. All action references to here: Absorb Project yin first, then yang. Coming up will go to dan tien in front; back, it’s yang, will go to ming-men.
We are doing stacking energy first—rotate the [vertical] line first (stacking to feel direct); have THIS direct first; then only feel the front and back.
From the touch: direct to the bone—then you can feel the other side: hitting the mass—you can feel like 2 balls bounce; if direct, you feel the knock. If not direct, it’ll slice off. Understand? Only If direct—only then do you have the reference.
So, now if I hold the direct, if I want to go a little bit off, then I keep you to one side or the other, or a little up or down; but you must have the reference first, or else how will you know? A lot of people have been training saying ‘oh, it’s based on my reflex, I just know—that’s my habitual reflex.’
We Know Because We Hold the Centers
Now, first, we train to be very clear of the center: we know because we hold the centers. Then, from holding the centers so precisely, I know how many degrees of angles I should move.
Stronger the centers the clearer you are because the centers divide. No doubt, people say ‘oh a center is just a center. No, the centers divide the 6 directions, or else it’s not a center!
So, in action, you must use your mind—you must act according to the quality. A circle must have the centers; we don’t do circles without centers. We call it centers with 6 directions—that is the requirement.
*That’s why as instructors, you must make sure students do it correctly! They must do centers with directional energy—if not, then it’s not the center.
Q: it’s not the center of it’s not the right center?
Sifu: it’s not a center at all!
To be considered a center it must have directional energy. Maybe you stay in the center but don’t know you have direction, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. This tripod stand—it’s 3-legged—in order for it to be stable, already it must have this energy to stand.
The Center Is the Separation and the Unification Point
I was trying to say that in every action you must look into the quality. I would like to do first the rotation: how everything comes from rotation—so hold onto the rotation. So your movement is ROTATION first!
The rotation to do the movement: from the feet—feet rotates to the hip, hip to the spine, the spine rotates to the C-7 and open and close through the shoulders (open-close rotation and shoulder rotation).
This is very important because this center is the separations and also the unification: The Center is the separation and the Unification point. You must have the center to connect. If your movement with attention is not from the center, then you pay attention only to yin or to yang. If you pay attention to the right you forget the left, or vice versa, switching back and forth, left-right, left-right, left-right. [zig zagging]
In order for unification of these two to happen, it must come from the center. If your Movement is from the center, then the 2 will turn into one. One is 2, two is 3, but you can say that these 2 with the center– these 2 will be as ONE.
That’s why I say 1, 2, 3 –the reverse thing will form as one: will form as one ONENESS.
One ONENESS comes from one center to have separation. If you don’t have a center, you won’t be able to unify. The MIND is not connected: the mind will not be doing one point to stretch: the mind will be jumping from here to here.
So understanding this, you are holding one point to connect and stretch like a spider web. From one neutral center, you can connect everything. This center axis; dan tien and ming men: this one point down (vertical line)—floor up and down) and front-back—dan tien and ming men, condense-expand. Dan tien and ming men is also separation.
So with axis and rotation, you can hold the 6 directions: you can see the 6 directions. It’s not that you ‘move’ forward-backward, left-right, up and down. Yes, you can move, but you don’t have to. You want to really pay attention to this. How CLEAR the center is. The stronger and clearer the centers, the clearer you will be
In Zen they say one point—the Zen center point—is so strong it’s unmovable. The stronger the center is, the clearer the direction point is: a strong point gives direction. This is the whole training. This morning’s talk.
It’s about the Clarity and Stillness
Q: can you clarify what ‘strong’ center refers to?
Sifu: so strong means it’s very steady and balanced. That means the relationship of the center with 6 directions is very connected and separated. Clear separation Is connection. It’s about clarity and stillness. Of course, then when it’s so strong then you can go down to very small. And so small it can still contain that kind of quality. Alright.
Q: it’s a lot to recognize and fine-tune
Sifu: that’s why we’re always training from Big to Medium to Small—we don’t train small first. Yeah, you can try to do it, but maybe you won’t be able to make it strong or have the quality. The Big size you can see if you can do it correctly. Then slowly you reduce it smaller and still keep it the same. Keep the big one doing circle…small one still is making circles—just so small you won’t be able to notice it—or see if you’re not really doing circles. So, you must do it BIG first. That’s when I look I can see you’re not doing circles—no loop, you’re just going and coming back. You can see the loop is there—then this is the circle ([demonstrates on point of palm to show how we can see the loop and thus the circles—not just ‘backing off.’)
Ashe: are you saying we do it big first to see the cross first?
You can say that we do it big to recognize the cross clear you can also say that you’re using the cross to do the loop/circles: they always go together. If you’re doing one, you’re doing the other. You’re training that, you’re also training this. The separation and the center.
Ashe: if you do the movement big, your mistakes are magnified—can see them better?
That’s why we keep on saying you must complete the circles. Complete the circles—how many: you may be doing a loop at the palm, but are you also doing it at the elbow? At the shoulder? At the hip? Are they THROUGH THE WHOLE BODY?! [Demonstrates: Can you see my knee, my foot I’m looping? NOT only at hand or Point of contact at hand: hip is also doing it—the whole body is connected]. Then you are doing down to feet: feel the FEET ARE DOING THE CIRCLES! It’s not at the hand only! So, here is where the refining is made.
Feel. [demonstrates on Ashe, who is wearing Irek’s shirt]. Feel how it is going down to feet, joint by joint. One touch at the circle is WHOLE—how many circles can you go down? Match with rotation.
The refinement has much, much farther to go. Touch here: it’s NOT just the frontal here: I have your shoulders down to your feet. Understand? Just this one loop to learn on touch: Pow! Is it down to the floor?
Start the training at wrist, elbow, shoulders and down. Let’s just train this move to see the difference: Absorb Project from here (on the heel of the hand, the hand with the elbow, with shoulder start—see the difference; with the hip roll starting the loop, then with the feet: observe the difference).
Q: as you go down from hand, elbow…
Loops within Loops, Circles within Circles, Spheres within Spheres—3 Dimensional
You’re doing the same loop ALL at the same time: the smaller ‘loops’ with the bigger loop! Like a conveyer belt with many rollers…. the top one rolls, and EVERY j[interlocking] point has a roller and it connects to the next—the body is one: we’re connected with rollers at each joint looping…loops within the loops means it’s 3-dimensions: a circle within a circle [fractal]
Ashe: all move together; it’s not like they are
Sifu: each one has a loop by itself AND the whole body is one, too. Like a mechanical machine—it’s running all together, matching and coordinating. All together even as all have separation, too. Separation but also you can unify. And this can move in different planes. SPHERES WITHIN SPHERES.
Train this: section by section: loop could be at poc/wrist—can also be hand and shoulder. Then, I can go down to feet and every part is moving/looping.
Q: How do you meet to the center without pressure being there?
You can just have flowing, light pressure. I’m talking about matching at the point of contact—like we do the flowing exercise; the flowing exercise that you need to fix on to the point to hold onto the point. Adjusting to the point you maintain pressure: that’s changing with the change to maintain not to change. That means you’re always changing. There’s no single moment you’re not changing! You’re changing to adjust, changing to maintain. You can say ‘that’s only the correct movement. Any other movement.
Q: Is that idea more just for beginners?
No—that is very advanced already. Maintaining—you have to increase and decrease (if you can’t match the pressure, that means you are gone). So, it’s the training: to maintain. Understand?
So, in the beginning we need a lot of pressure first to be engaged to feel the point, to connect the point and to rotate on the point. The rotation of the point could be frontal rotation, horizontal rotation or sagittal rotation. But that rotation is not that you simply rotate: you rotate to match the NEXT CENTER–the next center of the next joint. Then how many centers can you match–that matching. Then, can you RETURN?
First, in the beginning is to get the bone first (on bone you can go back and forth at first—that’s fine). Then later, go in and get the yin and yang muscles. Without the bone you have no reference. This is the very CORE of the training! Because If you can occupy the centers an opponent cannot move up from those centers, he’ll lose everything. Because then he, in action, he can’t move: in action has to be either yin or yang. But we train to have holding the center to do yin and to do yang. Holding the center as the reference to see what is appropriate. Right?
We don’t talk about ‘it’s too much’, or ‘it’s too little.’ If I can talk everything that seems to makes sense but it’s nonsense–oh ‘it’s too much, too little, too fast, too slow, not enough’—what’s that? No reference!
Those kind of words [without reference], do you ever hear me use them? (too fast, too slow, not enough)—no I never use those words. If I say ‘not enough’ I always have a reference to know what’s enough. Without the reference we don’t know what; it makes sense, but you don’t’ know what or why. Understand? As we’ve been talking, there’s also one thing you need to get across to the students:
What is the point of the theory—many people have a tendency to not be interested in the theory, in the philosophy.
As we discussed yesterday, without the mind seeing it, knowing it from theory, from how to approach what you are looking for—and how to act on it—then, without that leading, you try to do something and you can’t. You can’t just say ‘don’t talk, train’; let’s do it (body training) without the clear reference of the mind—and what you’re searching for, what you’re pinpointing, then you don’t know how to direct your attention. you’ll keep on being like a blind man touching an elephant: touching this and that—always touching but you don’t know what you’re touching.
With clear theory and concepts, then you know what you’re looking for. Then you have a direction for the mind.
So, it’s very important to give a precise kind of instruction: what are you looking for? Because what you’re looking for with direct mind—into seeing it—then we can have the mind to see directly. Because we aren’t using ‘I’m trying to feel it based on what I’ve felt before’. No, what you’ve felt before, don’t let it come into play; that’s the past. You want to do with the instruction of what you are holding onto to feel that moment.
The Moment of Training of Feeling Directly
Only in the beginning, a lot of things students do need some kind of experience to do the difference (Ex: what is direct, what’s not direct. The direct always has the two energy directly feedback: if one energy goes out and it doesn’t return, then that’s not direct.
Like a ball that bounces back—if the energy bounces back, that kind of experience you need to know. It doesn’t mean that past experience isn’t useful, but in the moment of training of feeling the direct, you try to recognize what is happening as it happens in that moment that turns into a moment of experiencing.
The DIRECT—that you can be trained is that: to understand directly. Every point of contact must be direct. And able to maintain over there. Here is where it comes down to be able to have that kind of concentration: it will depend on the level of concentration.
If my concentration is better than yours, I get more information, get more direct information, more clear information, then I can change better than you can change its base on here why do they keep on saying you have to change concentration, train direct? And why do we say it’s always based on Refection.
Direct Information Means You Have to Have 2 Points: One Point to the Other Point, Stretching to Connect while Balancing Pressure
To train reflection is direct—the direct getting information. Direct information means you have to have two points: one point to the other point: you have to extend to that point and return. But if you ‘reverse’, then the information breaks.
The RETURN information is continuing. That’s why we keep on talking about the action—the movement that goes out can’t reverse. RETURN is the COMPLETE cycle with information that keeps on coming without a break. When there’s reverse there will be a break and there will be a gap.
So in order to have the return, that means you must be able to hold onto one point to CONNECT to another point. How can you do that? By STRETCHING and through PRESSURE. With the pressure—with the movement of rotation to increase the pressure from one point to the another point to come back to hold onto another point and come back. if you can’t have the same pressure, you can’t do it. It will reach the other point and just disappear and it won’t be back. It’s just like a radio frequency if you go there and come back with a different frequency you can’t receive. You must have the same frequency in order to come back: that means the same pressure, the same wavelength. Understand?
In order to maintain the same, it means it’s a balance point also: that means you keep on changing to maintain not to change. The problem is our attention is so messed up; our concentration is really really messed up—you can’t even hold for a couple of seconds.
References, Rotation, and Relationship of Theory to Training
GM Sam F.S. Chin Viewpoint Talks
Tempe, Arizona USA
Sifu: I was just talking with Ashe so that this Thurs. and Fri. we’ll do more on the advanced a little bit: sticky and spinning hands and on Sat. we’ll go back to the foundations: the basic exercises and their functions, because they’re more beginning levels who will try to prepare for grading also. First, any questions:
Ashe: follow up from yesterday…when talking about vertical first because of the relationship of the Earth; then from there we have not necessarily the cross, but because from vertical, our perception, we have left and right: vertical divides side-to-side. But it’s not necessarily that there’s a cross there yet because cross is based on the reference point (relationship of center line and cross—based on movement).
Sifu: yes, the vertical divides left and right. Why do we use cross not the X? Because first of all everything is relationship to center of gravity first. The center of gravity is by 90 degrees direct. From 90 direct we come from the horizontal: horizontal is parallel with 90 degrees, too. That’s the nature of things: that’s the characteristic of the center of gravity, so horizontal is the balance point. Everything you see that’s in the nature (line up down, line left right), so the Reference point is connecting to the ground first. That’s why we start with the feet; the feet are the root of the body. So, Mass has a relationship with gravity: it forms this vertical line. With the vertical line in 1 point—we say this is PRIMARY plane of movement—why? Because in order to generate connection and power, you have to be holding to the point. To hold to a point, the movement is only up down and rotation (frontal and sagittal can’t hold the point—it skips).
It never leaves the ground: that ONE point; that’s why this is the beginning of that one balance point first! The feet to the floor. That’ why the first we talk about is absorb project (up down), then Condense Expand (in out). There’s 1 characteristic in movement you have to bear in mind that if you want to have a movement with a quality of a point—from a center point—you must start with rotation and up and down. From rotation and up and down you must be able to see and express the 6 directions and 3dimesntiosn. This is the core first. Whatever you do, you must always reference to her! With rotation can you do this move?
On Using Rotation to See Where the Change Happens
Why rotation? [rotates finger and gestures up and down]: because with rotation, you see and north, south, east, west first. OK? Rotation: use NSEW from the rotation you ‘see’ NSEW (north south east west) …not southeast southwest at first. You see the CROSS by itself: see the separation. Because there’s a separation—of left right and up and down. The separation of left right and up and down. I want you to see it’s because first of all, all movement is here and pointing toward a center. Circle with center: if you can hold onto circle with centers then everything must align (to the opponent). You can also say everything must align (in) to center. Why vertical and horizontal: it’s where the CHANGE of left and right, the change of up and down happens.
If you say the east and the south—that’s 1 quarter but within in here, but within there, there’s no change—no change of open and close. One quarter—within that, it’s the same (from here to here it’s the same—For example, if you’re on this side, you’re open, if you’re here, still open the whole time, for example). [At @ 11 min. mark; draws with toe on ground to demonstrate]
*It’s the reference point that shows the difference. Now, this cross this has left right or open close… but over here (within quarter/corner) there’s no reference of open/closed (you’re opening…but still open). It’s a different reference from crossing the reference point. It’s the positioning that makes the difference. Yes? Understand now. Why is it that we use this cross? Because it’s the reference for open close, the reference for left right, up and down. The reference must have a specificity: that this reference based on what? This reference is based on gravity.
Q: what if it’s based on point of contact– so, you draw the 90 to the point of contact and then the cross from there.
Yes, it keeps changing, yes, but that changing one still has to be based on this: the reference behind that. (‘the behind, one’–the vertical that’s going up down to gravity) …so multiple references but the MAIN one is this: the vertical (without this one, the others don’t mean much). Like you defend, but what are you defending? This point? No, the behind one. If you attack, what are you attacking? The in front one—it’s 1, 2, 3 [gestures from POC to center to center line and reverse: from his vertical to center point to point of contact—at 13 min. marker]. Within One is 1, 2,3, yes? But the bigger one is also 1, 2, 3: so it’s always back to the Mass. Because then it’s Object and Subject here. One itself has a cross: the cross itself has open and close itself: one. But how in action—what is meant by ‘doing correctly’? where’s the reference: The reference is in FRONT and BEHIND. you have to match these two references in order to make this correct: or else, if you do just one by itself, then it seems always correct—so then why is it wrong? Because it’s in REFERENCE TO SOMETHING ELSE. [in relationship/dialogue].
That’s how you look at things, how you meet, how you match, how you understand the half line. The hardware (the different of yin and yang) is fixed; offense and defense is NOT fixed—the line is not fixed: it’s a mix of different dimensions. Every dimension has a half line. And the rotation of movement—how you move is how you form the Fullness point that meets the opponent. Then, how’s the point that you cross the opponent’s half line: it’s based on YOU and behind, too. Yes? That’s why there’s 3 points: in the middle point, the opponent point, and your point: that’s why everything comes down to open and close—or 2 close, 2 open.
If I’m outside, if I can’t close (in and down), I can’t cross half line.
On the inside if I can’t cross up and over, I can’t cross the half line; I can’t cross the half line without losing my fullness point. I need to close close in order to maintain the fullness point to cross. That way I still maintain my defense point to have an offence point. I can cross but I lose my defense point, then the opponent will still have his off. Point on you. If I close close, I have both the defense point and the offense point. That’s why all movement is about close close cross the half line; open open cross the half line. If I cross the half line means I’ve penetrated the spheres.
Take Care of the Point So the Point Will Take Care of You
So, between you and opponent there’s always one line: you are behind this; that means you need to cross over [demonstrates how to hold defense point to cross [student chimes in: That’s ‘taking care of the point so the point will take care of you.’] Yes, you understand it and always manage the point. So the point, if you manage the point with the fullness point, then the fullness point has a characteristic and quality and conditions that is required what is needed for fullness. You lose the fullness that means people can already cross.
Listening to the Point
That’s why you need to take care of the one point, the fullness point, the fullness point takes care of itself. When we were at Bernie’s place—you guys were always trying to look at it and it wouldn’t work, because you were thinking to do something. You weren’t LISTENING to the point. And holding the point with fullness to adjust the movement to maintain. You are not adjusting to maintain to adjust the fullness; so you try to get away from there and you lose the fullness. Understand. This is a very important concept: that how you approach to do the thing is essential.
That’s why we say that you need attention in order to hold on there—attention that so strong that whatever changes, you don’t affect the fullness. Or you can say, whatever you change must align to the fullness. Then you can say that now the fullness tells you what to do. And you can say that because of that fullness it’s now a balance point. If you keep on changing with the change to maintain not to change that. so there’s a lot of different ways to talk about it. Alright?
Keep on Meeting to Adjust; Adjusting to Know
Of course, here the attention to hold onto the point and keep on adjusting to know. You keep on adjusting to know you keep on meeting to adjust, (repeats) Otherwise you are just adjusting—what are you adjusting. You meet to adjust—you meet center-to- enter to adjust; then you meet center-to-center and also the pressure to adjust. First, learn to meet the center first. Then, to meet the pressure.
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