Martial Talk: Jason Tsou and Arthur Schonfeld

We’re just leaving LA right now (Debbie had a reunion with all the fine people who shared her lawn back in high school) and had time to hook up with Jason Tsou and Arthur Schonfeld. After being treated to a great lunch we went to Arthur’s house and talked martial arts for hours. Jason Tsou and Art Schonfeld #1 from plumpub.comJason is degreed in Mechanical Engineering and Chemistry, Arthur was a lawyer for many years. The both of them bring formidable insights into martial arts. We specifically talked about Bagua and Taiji. In the area of Push hands Jason demonstrated his ideas concerning Push Hands, the mechanics and the physiology, from a Chinese and Western perspective.

Jason Tsou and Art Schonfeld #2 from plumpub.comBoth of these teachers are approaching Taiji as staunch supporters of the martial meaning of the style. They see most of the real benefits and secrets of the practice contained in its martial applications. For instance, if you are looking for a comprehensive book with tons of information, theory and application blending physics and Chinese philosophy you might give a look to their text (used at both UCLA and Long Beach): Yang Tai Chi the Untold Story. Here’s a great example …

One way to understand the difference between Static Taiji and Dynamic Taiji is to think of a car when it is idling in neutral. The engine is on, the motor can rev at different speeds, but it is going nowhere. When a car is put into gear, then its energy pattern becomes discernible. It can be seen to go forward, backward, or lower its front end on a quick stop. It can also be seen to turn, circle, and lower its back end on acceleration.

Jason Tsou and Art Schonfeld #3 from plumpub.comThe difference between Static Taiji and Dynamic Taiji is the relationship between Yin and Yang. One dimension of this relationship becomes clear when we remember that each of these states functions as a building block for the development of Taiji Quan as a Kung Fu system. … What is Yin in Static Taiji is Yang in Dynamic Taiji. Static Taiji deals with gravity as it fixes us to a specific point while Dynamic Taiji involves movement (transition) from point to point. Since gravity is always present in our movements, Static TaIji is always present as well. For that matter, gravity is an energy force — Wuji— so Wuji is always present in our movements.

Talking to Jason and Arthur reminded us of the really untapped potential of Taiji when it is considered as what it really is, a profound and fascinating martial art.

Yang Taiji: The Untold StoryYang Taiji: The Untold Story
The Random Circle

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