White Crane and T'ai Chi Ch'uan

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White Crane and T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Postby Alan » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:16 pm

Hello all,

First a little of my background: I've been studying Yang Style T'ai Chi for the past six years along with weapons, chi kung, and push-hands and fighting sets.

Recently I've been interested in learning White Crane due to its use of both hard and soft techniques. There are no instructors near to where I live who teach White Crane Kung Fu.

My questions are: What would be the best method of learning (what I can) on my own? and How would this training impact my T'ai Chi?

Thank you.
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Postby John the Monkey mind » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:02 am

Hi

I am also studying Taiji and White Crane. I had one year White Crane with a teacher and then on my own with Dr Yang's DVD's. The best you could do is start with White Crane Chi Gong from the book and DVD. The two styles go together well. The only impact on the Taiji would be the hard Chi Gong. However if you follow it with soft you will have little truble. The Chi Gong has most of the style in it. Sadly I cant find a White Crane teacher at the moment . The soft White Crane Chi Gong is very good with Tai Chi and the hard nessesery to use harder jings.
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Postby Alan » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:40 pm

Thank you. I already have the book and found it to be quite informative. The book did say it was best to start with the White Crane Qigong. I'm hoping that Dr. Yang will have a White Crane seminar at some point. I live close enough to Boston for a visit, so that could work.

How are the other White Crane DVDs? Do they break the forms down fairly well?
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Postby John the Monkey mind » Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:46 am

Yes White Crane 1&2 teaches basic steps and drills hen teaches the 7 star form. It is really easy to pick up as Dr Yang goes through the Chi Gong of the form, then the Jings. The sequence is basically just the jings strung together so its easy to get once you have practices the jings a bit. 3&4 much the same but with kicking ect, then the fan crane form I haven't got around to learning yet but the format is the same so should be easy to pick up. The fan crane form is also a soft form so well worth doing. Also the 25 year anniversary DVD has the documentary from the ymaa's SA summer camps and it has quite a good section on jings. Most of Dr Yang's Shaolin Chin na is white crane so I think if you put it all together along with throws you would end up high intermediate at crane. I would also try and pick up the 3 wars set (San Chin) from some where else as it really helps crane. Even from this site http://www.plumpub.com/sales/cdvd/cdvdc ... e.htm#list although its not to easy to get from this DVD.
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White Crane Kung Fu and T'ai Chi for 55 Year Old Adult

Postby Isadore » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:33 pm

I am a 55 year old man and have been taking T'ai Chi Ch'uan with instructors for three years. When I first started taking T'ai Chi Ch'uan three years ago, I was out of shape but now my health is better and my coordination is better. Besides practicing T'ai Chi Ch'uan, I exercise and stretch very often. In addition, I have been using Dr. Yang, Jwing Ming's DVDs together with my T'ai Chi Ch'uan classes.

I am interested in learning some White Crane Kung Fu to add some new flavor to my T'ai Chi Ch'uan training. I have purchased the White Crane Qigong book and DVD in addition to the White Crane Kung Fu DVDs. I looked at much of the information and liked what I saw but the students in the DVDs are very young.

My questions are: Do you think that 55 years old is too old to learn White Crane Kung Fu? and What are some obvious dangers for a 55 year old man besides the ones mentioned in the book and DVDs?
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Re: White Crane and T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Postby yeniseri » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:12 pm

In USA, youth is held up as some standard of permanency but it is just a stage and nothing more!
As long as you are a motivated adult, knowing his limitations and had good previouos instruction then you should be fine! Be young at heart since that propels you into health 70's and 80's and beyond!
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Re: White Crane and T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Postby Dvivid » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:12 am

People interested in learning White Crane Kung Fu are recomended to spend at least six months training the Soft White Crane Qigong 1st. Only after you can develop very soft, relaxed movement should you step into the Hard Qigong for another six months before you learn any other kung fu techniques.

In White crane, the qigong movements ARE the jin patterns, and the jin patterns become the sequence.

http://ymaa.com/publishing/dvd/qigong_D ... qigong_DVD
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Re: White Crane and T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Postby yeniseri » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:02 am

Dvivid wrote:In White crane, the qigong movements ARE the jin patterns, and the jin patterns become the sequence.

http://ymaa.com/publishing/dvd/qigong_D ... qigong_DVD


Just a different view!

My vision is limited in some regards but the concept of qigong movement in jin patterns is difficult to grasp based on my previous training and understanding but in essence there is no such thing as 'qigong movement'. Someone working with an exercise ball turning left and right is still massaging/invigorating mingmen/shenshu complex so the actual movement and invigorating is dependant of the degree of flexion, extension, bending within the greater movement radius ability. 2nd baduanjin pulling bow from both sides is not qigong movement per se but the opening of the chest/pectoral area with pulling bow with index finger extension helps with lung/large intestine massage and with meridian union.
The effects are far more subtle than just mechanical movement but it works whether one believes or not!
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Re: White Crane and T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Postby taiwancrane » Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:53 pm

I don't suggest anyone learns White Crane Kung Fu from a DVD as it should be an oral tradition not a visual one. If you have a background in it tha'ts OK.

Age should not be a barrier to learning Chinese Martial Arts as they all emphasis using a relaxed force. It's not karate. All these comments about white crane being a soft/hard system is not correct as White Crane is an internal system using a relaxed force. If you are hard that means you are not using Chin (relaxation), but Li (hardness).
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Re: White Crane and T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Postby John the Monkey mind » Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:28 pm

taiwancrane wrote:I don't suggest anyone learns White Crane Kung Fu from a DVD as it should be an oral tradition not a visual one. If you have a background in it tha'ts OK.

Age should not be a barrier to learning Chinese Martial Arts as they all emphasis using a relaxed force. It's not karate. All these comments about white crane being a soft/hard system is not correct as White Crane is an internal system using a relaxed force. If you are hard that means you are not using Chin (relaxation), but Li (hardness).


I think you may be miss interpreting what we mean by hard in this context. Its very relaxed but with just sufficient control on the end of the jin to avoid damage. Also Li can mean muscular force and muscles do need to be engaged. The Yi leads the Qi that supports the Li. The hardness comes on the very end of the relaxed wave or pulse of energy as an expression of concussive or penetrating force and your control of it. It is not rigid but a jerk or pulse fluid and soft but hitting hard.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUfhHmCjDtw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9lunUembW8

Taiji has a distinct energy from Crane on some of its jins but even it has some "tension" when storing jin in postures although tension seems an insufficiency word as I am not talking about hard tension but holding the posture (not being floppy) and storing force potential in that posture. With out any tension (being floppy) could this be achieved?

My Xing Yi instructor also got a bit hot under the collar about Xing Yi being soft hard but again I do not think Dr Yang is talking about a huge tension just a relaxed/small tension to stabilise and maintain structure/store force and protect joints from harm. In practice this is still very soft. I believe the reason Dr Yang classify Taiji as being softer is due to the more whip like nature of the jins starting from the ground in a smooth flow continuing into the opponent wile in Crane the jin can be more of a jerking force from the dan tien shocking a penetrating energy into the opponent.

If I am wrong you will have to forgive my ignorance and maybe David can clarify what hard soft is more fully.

Lucky I now have some although irregular access to a Crane instructor to correct mistakes and had done a bit of crane more formally in the past. I accept Crane is difficult to pick up from a DVD even with a starting point. Seminars help resolve this but clearly regular contact with an expert is far better.
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Re: White Crane and T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Postby yat_chum » Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:16 am

Greetings taiwancrane, welcome to the forum.

I have heard White Crane (WC) described as a soft/hard style by several sources. Please can you explain further why you think that WC is a soft style. Please can you also tell me which system you have trained in. Thank you

I am not criticising just curious.
yijing zhidong

use stillness to overcome movement
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Re: White Crane and T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Postby wpgtaiji » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:59 pm

In the Taiji forum, we had a discussion about "one movement", although it was only participated in by a few of us. What does this mean to this idea?

In a traditional "hard" style, as i see things, what you are literally doing is putting the body into positions which are forced. Typically, we call these "techniques". This way of training, in my view, is very important to a beginner in an art, whether that art is taiji, kungfu, white crane, or wing chun. We have to physically put our body into certain positions in order to have a chance at having any application later on (now, the techniques are not the application, but let that go for now).

A "soft" style, I see as a different matter. I will use taiji for this, as it is most on topic, but this can easily be put on bagua or xingyi. In the beginning, the process is very much the same, except we are told to not use any "extra" force to position the body. Whether this is taken literally or not is again, not important. What is important, is that the body is in a relaxed way, put into position.

Why is this important? Because the body is basically big long sheets of muscle and tendon and ligament systems. When we twist these systems, what results is what feels like an effortless application of force. When we use tension greater than what is required, we loose this elastic tendency of the body, and we are left with a technique based system.

In taiji, if we apply this idea to the form, for example, what we try to do (and it is rather easy to do) is use this relaxed natural elasticity of the body and our power generation methods to make the postures, not force the postures. If you were to watch the 400+ clips on YouTube that Erle put up, you will eventually come across, what he called "sloppy taiji". That is the idea. When you watch someone do a form at slow motion and then hold a posture for a period of time, realize that that is extra tension in a real sense. The postures dont actually ever stop, they just for ever continue to roll into each other.

In my mind, that is the idea of a true "soft" style. It is using the natural elasticity of the body to do the work. This also explains the classic "from extreme softness comes extreme hardness".

Just my 2 cents.
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Re: White Crane and T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Postby taiwancrane » Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:21 am

Monkey Mind I'm not misinterpreting YJM's ideas about soft/hard I understand it very clearly. The problem is that most of the White Crane that is on YouTube and what I've seen have no idea about using a relaxed internal force. It's just all hard. All you see is lots of pushing with a hard force. You are better off not looking at others, but just learn from you teacher and listen to his advice.

If you clench your muscles even 1% it is not internal it is just hard. All the masters of all traditions say the same things, but who listens (100% relaxed muscles). My White Crane Master in Taiwan has been practicing white crane for about 65 years and when his Chin hits you it's soft, but goes inside and his muscles are 100% soft. It's your internal force that moves the body (Yi, Chi, Chin) not the rough, hard unrefined muscles

Those two videos you got me to look at are not that refined. Eric Lin's one has some shaking Chin, but the other one is pretty rough looking (similar to karate) all body, just pushing. Where is his Chin?

If you're using tension to maintain your structure that is wrong. Your body should be completely relaxed and comfortable, everything going into the ground under both feet, with a tingling feeling in and around the body. You don't need any force to maintain this. I agree you shouldn't be floppy, but this is a stage you pass through to find true "song" (relaxation). Most students struggle to understand SONG. Most tai chi practitioners have a lot of trouble with it. They're either too hard or too soft in their search for true relaxation.

If you are hard you are going to get a beating. As the classics say "song, but not song" Or "In motion all parts of the body must be light, nimble and strung together" (Chang San Feng).

We can argue about these things, but at the end of the day you need a role model someone who can teach you orally and this person must be able to teach you how to be 100% song, that is the beginning. If someone says that you need a bit of tension at the end of a strike, then they don't know how to relax and their teacher either is keeping secrets or doesn't know. You're putting the relaxed force inside someone. You're trying to damage their insides. That's why styles like wing chun are so good. However Southern Mantis teaches their students how to take the punches as does Shingyichuan. Old tai chi chuan also taught this idea, but first you must know how to relax your body completely, without this everything else is nonsense.
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Re: White Crane and T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Postby John the Monkey mind » Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:38 am

taiwancrane that was some very interesting information. Thank you.
I would say I have not seem White Crane as you describe it outside of a video and even then in hardly any. Seeing Crane performed live I have always seem some hardness at a point in the movement. Do you have any videos to post that illustrate your point?
I would be very interested in seeing entirely soft crane that is not floppy.
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Re: White Crane and T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Postby taiwancrane » Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:58 pm

Monkey Mind there are a number of ways I can illustrate my point, but firstly let me explain my martial arts background.

I have been learning tai chi chuan since 1980 with the Huang Tai chi system. If you don't know, Master Huang was one of Cheng Man Cheng's best students and prior to learning tai chi he was a fujian white crane master in South China. I learnt tai chi from Master Huang's student Patrick Kelly from 1980 until 1995. After that I also learnt off another of Master Huang's students Wee Kee Jin until 1999. I learnt both of Master Huang's disciplines; White Crane and Tai Chi Chuan.

From 1999 until 2008 I lived and worked in Taiwan. During that time I studied Fujian White Crane with a white crane Master, (while continuing my practice of tai chi) and I go back every year to refine my training with him.

I'm am now coming to your question about backing up my claims about white crane. I have some white crane DVDs from my master, but these are private and not for the public. However if you want to see 100% relaxation while doing white crane you can look at Master Huang Xing Xian on Youtube in the following tubes:

1. Five Loosening Exercises.
2. Grand Master Huang Sheng Shyan White Crane.
3. Huang Sheng Shyan-WhiteCran.
4. Taiji 4 doors energy.
5. Huang Xing Xian quick fist.

I need to think about whether I want to make available my teacher's private white crane DVDS to the public or not. There is already too much information available on Youtube and anything more will just confuse an already too confused public. It is my claim that most people don't want to learn real white crane, tai chi or any true martial art, but only want to know how to kill people more easily and efficiently and/or collect lost of forms and DVDs.

Hardly anyone is interested in the spiritual aspects of martial arts as taught by taoism and Chinese Buddhism (Chan). I'm confident that I can handle 60% of people and for me that's enough what's the point in becoming the next Bruce Lee if I die young. There comes the time when everyone need to ask themselves Why am I learning tai chi, white crane or whatever you're learning? Because in the end the old master taught the same things. It's whether we want to listen to them, What's the point in being a killer when you 70+. Just read the classics of tai chi, white crane, xingyiquan, etc, everything is there. We have far too much information than we will ever need. As Master Ni Hua Ching said "most of us know far more than all the sages of China throughout it's 8000 years, but we don't know the most basic things" Master Huang "Learn less practice more".
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Re: White Crane and T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Postby baihe shifu » Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:02 am

I agree with everything "Taiwancrane" has written here.

I need to think about whether I want to make available my teacher's private white crane DVDS to the public or not. There is already too much information available on Youtube and anything more will just confuse an already too confused public. It is my claim that most people don't want to learn real white crane, tai chi or any true martial art, but only want to know how to kill people more easily and efficiently and/or collect lost of forms and DVDs.


Don't release that wonderful footage. All that will happen will be hundreds of "White Crane Masters" popping up on the Web as a result of copying a few moves here and there!

If people truly want to get to the heart of White Crane and or it's relation to Taiji then they will do so via the correct channels ... that is if they are truly wanting to learn.

Hardly anyone is interested in the spiritual aspects of martial arts as taught by taoism and Chinese Buddhism (Chan). I'm confident that I can handle 60% of people and for me that's enough what's the point in becoming the next Bruce Lee if I die young. There comes the time when everyone need to ask themselves Why am I learning tai chi, white crane or whatever you're learning? Because in the end the old master taught the same things. It's whether we want to listen to them, What's the point in being a killer when you 70+. Just read the classics of tai chi, white crane, xingyiquan, etc, everything is there. We have far too much information than we will ever need. As Master Ni Hua Ching said "most of us know far more than all the sages of China throughout it's 8000 years, but we don't know the most basic things" Master Huang "Learn less practice more"


Baihe bu shi wushu = "White Crane is not fighting"

Want to fight? Go to tournaments or the street. But leave the real arts alone.

The truth is we learn Martial Arts so that we don't have to do Martial Arts!
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Re: White Crane and T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Postby baihe shifu » Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:02 am

I agree with everything "Taiwancrane" has written here.

I need to think about whether I want to make available my teacher's private white crane DVDS to the public or not. There is already too much information available on Youtube and anything more will just confuse an already too confused public. It is my claim that most people don't want to learn real white crane, tai chi or any true martial art, but only want to know how to kill people more easily and efficiently and/or collect lost of forms and DVDs.


Don't release that wonderful footage. All that will happen will be hundreds of "White Crane Masters" popping up on the Web as a result of copying a few moves here and there!

If people truly want to get to the heart of White Crane and or it's relation to Taiji then they will do so via the correct channels ... that is if they are truly wanting to learn.

Hardly anyone is interested in the spiritual aspects of martial arts as taught by taoism and Chinese Buddhism (Chan). I'm confident that I can handle 60% of people and for me that's enough what's the point in becoming the next Bruce Lee if I die young. There comes the time when everyone need to ask themselves Why am I learning tai chi, white crane or whatever you're learning? Because in the end the old master taught the same things. It's whether we want to listen to them, What's the point in being a killer when you 70+. Just read the classics of tai chi, white crane, xingyiquan, etc, everything is there. We have far too much information than we will ever need. As Master Ni Hua Ching said "most of us know far more than all the sages of China throughout it's 8000 years, but we don't know the most basic things" Master Huang "Learn less practice more"


Baihe bu shi wushu = "White Crane is not fighting"

Want to fight? Go to tournaments or the street. But leave the real arts alone.

The truth is we learn Martial Arts so that we don't have to do Martial Arts!
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