Master Chen's Online Lesson on Sep 8, 2020 - Kelvin Ho
Six Sealing Four Closing 六封四闭
Grandmaster Hong Junsheng studied the names of each move. He looked into the origin of these names, and how the pronounciation might have changed when the information was passed down based on the dialect of the region. The dialects in China can be so different that people from one region might not understand people from another region at all.
In Yang Style Taiji, there is Ru Feng Si Bi 如封似闭 which means like sealing like closing. 'L' and 'R' sounds might have been difficult for people to decipher.
Back to Six Sealing Four Closing, it refers to the difference in proportation on the two sides of the midpoint in the action. While the two hands are considered staying on the same line roughly placed horizontally at 45 degrees. A similar line in different orientation is present in Fetch Water and Twisting the Towel.
While that first line is maintained between the front middle finger and the front shoulder, there is another line created by opening the front kua that runs perpendicular to the first line. The end result is a spiral going foreward with the middle finger tip being the drill bit.
The midpoint can be in the forearm at the beginning, then it is switched to the front shoulder-kua axis, the central axis, and later to the rear shoulder-kua axis.
When the midpoint is at the front shoulder-kua axis, the front portion is 40% and the rear portion is 60%.
When the midpoint is at the rear shoulder-kua axis, the front portion is 60% and the rear portion is 40%.
Note that these numbers are just examples, and not exact.
This is a set-up of a gear ratio.
When it is well made, the change in the gear ratio is smooth and undetectable. Like sitting a good car, and the automatic transmission is done so smoothly that we don't realize that it is even done. When there is a problem, it won't be smooth anymore.
Another topic discussed is about perspective change. We use rotation to change the opponent perspective on the structure while the structure itself didn't really change, e.g. rotating a coat hanger in front of the camera, we may see the coat hanger through the lens of the camera as a vertical line or a full isosceles triangle or anything triangle in between. The coat hanger remains the same, but we see it differently.
We are like performing a magic trick. We make the opponent think that something is changed, but it did not, or he/she thinks that it is not changed, but it did.
Training foundation is to use one move to understand the unlimited variations.
Training the form is to use many different moves to understand the ONE principle.
When Master Chen talked about one thing, we just focus on that one thing, and do not bring in other things for the moment. We must be able to solidify that one thing. Master Chen teaches very basic things, but people think more of them than what they really are. The magic only comes from doing a lot of the basic things really well together.