View Full Version : Instructor or book ?

02-25-2005, 12:41 AM
My Yang style (108) instructor does the 'Dan Bian' with the hooked arm at an angle of roughly 90 deg with the other arm. The pictures of Yang Cheng Fu doing this posture show him doing it at angles of around 135 deg or more.

Is it important whether the angle is 90 deg or 135 deg?


02-25-2005, 12:17 PM
As a student, I was taught to do each move within my comfort zone, then gradually extend them.

Follow your teachers lead, and ask him about the position in the book.

If you are a beginner it is probably more important to get the move and angle right before extending it.

02-25-2005, 01:46 PM
remember that yang cheng fu changed his style frequently during the course of his life and his form was still being modified after those pictures were taken;cheng man-ching's hook hand was held at a less protracted angle (close to 90 degrees) so there would be no undue strain to any area the body,so committed was he to the "path of least resistance",totally eliminating any stress whatsoever caused by the postures.
your choice depends on what you feel best with.
my personal opinion is that there is more power to be gained by practicing this posture with the hook hand
fully extended.let's make sure the novices on this site know that "dan bian" means "single whip"

02-25-2005, 03:38 PM
Hi Kawan:

During my study of the Yang 108 form my instructor taught me two ways to do Single Whip. The first way I learned it was at 90 degree hook hand. The second way would have been at about 135 degrees. The reason, according to my instructor, was the greater degreed hook hand was to be used for "combat tai chi".
He actually told me my hand should be stressed in order to get a "whipping action" when it was released for a strike. He went on to explain that my hand should be as "tight as a coiled spring".
Perhaps that could be the reason for the different degrees of bend in the hooked hand. I know that tension goes against the principles of TC, but when it comes to "combative tai chi" it might be a different story. Sometimes TC isn't as "soft" as it appears.
Good luck with your search for an answer. Take care and best wishes. -- Bob

02-25-2005, 07:40 PM

I tend to agree with the others that your own degree of comfort is more important and try to discuss it with your teacher. When you feel more at ease with the extended hook probably for you it has more qi gong effect too.

Let's look as to WHY you use the hook hand in terms of application. ONe of the most frequent uses of Dan Bian is when the opponent attacks from behind. MOstly the hook hand is to touch and redirect, it can be used to attack but in my opinion the hook doesn't have the attacking power of a bare hand. More important is to hook, stick, feel, absorb, redirect with one hand(mostly right)and strike with the other hand SIMULTANEOUSLY. absorb and redirect your oppononent with the hook hand, upset his center, at the same time strike with the other hand.

I think Shark is right about YCF changing his form continuously and it also depends on where the attack is, where the opponent stands, how tall you are, how tall the opponent is, body structure and many, many other reasons. Personally I feel that both ways are right. Ask your teacher:maybe with the word tension he ment a "yang" state of readiness and fullness.

02-28-2005, 01:13 AM
Hi Everybody,
Thanks. I'll also check with my instructor at our next class.