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What do you know about the Yin Yang Symbol?

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  • What do you know about the Yin Yang Symbol?

    Hiya! I had a run in with the admin of this site. I was sent to hell, then I was allowed back. That had never happened before. Most men that ban me never allow me to return.

    Because he was willing to take a chance on me, I feel like I owe him something. To prove to him that I am not the troublemaker that people say, and that I do know a small something about Kung Fu that other people in the world might find helpful.

    Just so you know, this is a used gift.

    I tried to give this to the guys over at kung fu magazine. But the usual happened. When I strongly challenged the people their about their knowledge and their statements, they ran to the administrator, Gene Ching, and cried. Because Gene Ching wants to run his website and not deal with crybabies, he came by to have a talk with me.

    He told me I needed to stop making the babies cry. He made a mistake though. He called me a troll because that is what all the crybabies told him. Or maybe he was careless with his wording. Regardless, he had just declared my information was of no value, and that I was a person who should not be respected, without ever talking to me. He should not have done that. It was rude and thoughtless on his part. It showed he was an unthinking man whose priorities were providing a quiet and calm child's nursery at his website, and not distributing knowledge about kung fu.

    I told him I would give him a chance. I thought he was stupid for giving in to the crying babies. But if he did not ban me for calling him stupid, the next day I would reveal something that to me, is like gold. I have never seen anybody anywhere else in the world talk about it, so I think it must be very rare.

    He failed. He saw me challenge his authority publicly by saying he was stupid and saying he was weak because he allowed a bunch of loudmouth know nothings bully him into coming to give me trouble. He could not deal with that. The kind of man Gene Ching is, he needs to be seen as "in control" of the website. If he allowed my words to go unanswered, in his mind, he would lose status and respect from the forum members. So he banned me.

    Me? I would get rid of 50 loudmouths in a minute if someone offered me gold for them.

    So after the big gossipy buildup, lets get the ball rolling. The question I started out with at the Kung Fu Magazine forums was:

    "What do you think you know, or what do you know about the Yin Yang sign?

    The men at the Kung Fu Magazine forums started regurgitating things. All the things you read in books and magazines. But they did not have any real personal knowledge of what the Yin Yang sign is about, or what it means, or what it is trying to tell people.

    They could recite from books that Yang is hard and Yin is soft. The Yin Yang sign represents the duality of nature. The Yin Yang sign is the chinese way of viewing the universe. Blah Blah, Blah Blah, Blah.

    Those things may be true, but they are things those men read in a book. What I want to know is what do you, the man who has been practicing kung fu for 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years........what do you know about the Yin Yang sign that would actually help ya person in their daily kung fu practice, or what do you know about the Yin Yang sign that would show deep insight into the theories behind why kung fu is performed the way it is?

    Just so we are clear about the subject under discussion, here is a picture of the Yin Yang sign.


    I don't come here every day. And I forget where I posted things. So if I don't come back immediately, be patient, I will be back.

    I think it is important for people to stew over new ideas. The rapidfire seconds response of internet forums encourages people to speak without thinking. I might go away for a few days for that reason too.

  • #2
    ummm, well, it may be somewhat ironic that doc is actually Gene Ching's gongfu brother (that is, at least according to my memory). lol! Looks like you're not a troublemaker after all, happeh. or, did you "owe" doc another insult?

    i think we need a prayer group.... hahahhahah


    • #3
      I never really thought that it (the yin yang sign) was just a sign, actually.... Sure, we all know what everyone tells us, but, it's something more, too, isn't it? Really. Perhaps it's not just a sign that represents opposites or patterns in nature like they say?!

      I don't know. In some ways -- that is, if you take it and kind of blow it up -- it appears to possess a certain potential that can help us to understand ourselves at a deeper, more profound level.

      Seems I can only imagine to myself the way it works though.


      • #4
        When I posted this over at the other place, I made a big deal about emphasizing how I am a person who is focused on real world usefullness. The Yin Yang sign has both philosophical and real world meanings. I was hoping to hear that someone had some opinion or the other about a real world useful meaning of the Yin Yang sign.

        Something you could think about and, once you understood it, you could apply to your physical kung fu practice to improve it.


        • #5
          Yin and yang represent empty and full.

          when practicing Taiji you're constantly shifting your weight from one leg to another and this way your shifting between empty and full. Weight on your left leg means left leg is full and the right one is empty, then you shift your weight to the right leg and pass through 90/10, 80/20,....50/50, 30/70 til your right leg is full and the left is empty. This way you just passed through all the fases of yin and yang. Gradually your left full has turned into empty at the same rate as your right empty has turned into full. You can't have empty/empty because you would fall and you can't have 80/90 because the sum has to add up to 100. If right moves, left has to move accordingly.

          Weight distribution is a helpful thing in redirecting incoming forces of an opponent with a minimum of effort. When someone pushes you, you start shifting your weight to your back foot to fill it and empty the leg where he pushes. let him fill the void to make him bring his center of gravity in an instable position. If the incoming force is still to be big to be neutralized you take a step backwards doing the whole weightshifting thing to take the step.
          Now if you apply the circular nature of the yin and yang symbol you can easyly bring your opponent off balance. Because if you just shift your weight back and let yourself be pushed in a straight line, in the end you will be pushed away. Directing the incoming force in a circular manner to the outside where the opponent has little balance makes it easy to throw him off his feet.
          If he pulls you, you follow and fill the void he left you...

          the concept of full and empty is very very easy and yet effective. Just try this while sparring (you probably already do this if you really spar) look for the void. I mean don't think too much about techniques but just look where your opponent has voids in his guard. Ribs are open? Punch there and fill the void. knee unprotected? Kick it and so on. What win chung is all about. Also look how he distributes his weight, this will tell you what attack you can expect and also tell you when is the moment to attack yourself or try to do a takedown.

          Some examples:
          (keep in mind I use only the terms full and empty for weight in the legs.)
          someone throws a roundhouse kick at you. Therefore he must first fill his kicking leg and empty his supporting leg to prepare the kick. This you can see in a minor shoulder movement and prepare yourself. Then when the kick comes the supporting leg has to fill and the kicking leg has to empty. This is your opportunity to step in and fill the void left by the kicking leg. Closing the distance and simply push into the empty leg can already throw him down. Your instepping leg would be full meaning bearing your weight and the other can be empty to be able to kick the supporting full leg of your opponent. This way you joined your own combination of full/empty with his
          to perform a takedown as a defense against a kick.

          Someone punches at you so he is busy or full at his upper body. You protect your head and meanwhile kick his shins where he is empty.

          there are more ways to apply yin yang to kungfu but everyone has to search for himself his own way of doing this. What you had to think about yourself, once you understood sticks while those that were handed to you on a silver plate not...


          • #6
            Originally posted by Carona
            Yin and yang represent empty and full.
            I am gonna have to short circuit your answer. Although it was well written, it does not actually address the question that began the thread. That question was

            "What do you think you know, or what do you know about the Yin Yang sign?

            The Yin Yang sign is a self contained symbol with a specific look. That is quite different from the philosophical or intellectual concepts labeled Yin and Yang.


            • #7
              My previous post was an answer to this

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              What I want to know is what do you, the man who has been practicing kung fu for 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years........what do you know about the Yin Yang sign that would actually help ya person in their daily kung fu practice
              and this:

              HTML Code:
               Something you could think about and, once you understood it, you could apply to your physical kung fu practice to improve it.
              Please formulate your questions a bit more to the point and then people will look for the answers you want to get.

              Don't think I'm offended or acting as a cry baby, just thought your question is not 100% clear.


              • #8
                his questions are only primitive attempts at trying to "trick" information out of you so that he can "taint" it with his, whatever it is...
                "Life is a run. In attack we run, in defense we run. When you can no longer run, time to die" - Shichiroji "Seven samurai"


                • #9
                  Wonder how long I should wait? Been a week. One person tried to answer. Is it that there is no one around?

                  From my experience, I would guess no one thinks about kung fu or has anything to say. I know if I post a friendly kind of post or a post talking about myself or my experiences, people come out of the woodwork to hammer me.

                  Why are the threads that are about kung fu empty?


                  • #10
                    Maybe no one wants to talk to you?
                    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

                    "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

                    (more comments in my User Profile)


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by doc
                      Maybe no one wants to talk to you?
                      I think there is no one here.

                      I think there is no one who is interested in kung fu as evidenced by the number of posts in this thread.

                      I think that weak men would rather indulge their emotional reactions to me, instead of putting those emotional reactions aside in order to get what they want. Kung fu knowledge.

                      For those quiet thinkers out there that want to talk, but do not want to become a target of the haters or jokers, I got your next post for you.

                      When looking for an answer for anything, look everywhere. Observe everything possible for some answer. You never know what it is that will stimulate your mind. Stimulation can come from the most unlikely places.

                      This thread is about "what do you know about the Yin Yang Symbol, the actual symbol". Or the question could be "What is the Yin Yang Symbol for or what does it represent".

                      If someone poses me a challenge, instead of whining, crying, or attacking, I think about the challenge. I want to progress so I can get out of this world. I want to move on to the world with the smart and kindly people.

                      So I look at the Yin Yang sign and what do I see? I see a circle with a curved line through it. I also see two colors, black and white. The black and white colors are on either side of the wavy line. One of the smaller circles is white while the other is black.

                      There is really not much to work with their. This person is asking me what the Yin Yang symbol means, and there is one shape, a circle, two colors, black and white, and a single curved line. How am I supposed to figure out anything from that?

                      I start thinking and I start observing. I look at the world around me and I wonder what in that world could be connected to the Yin Yang sign. I am looking through the internet and I come across the photo shown below. The photo shown below depicts a black and white object.

                      Both the object in the picture above, and the Yin Yang sign, are black and white.

                      Could that object in the picture have anything to do with the Yin Yang sign? Could the Yin Yang sign tell me anything about the object in that photo?

                      Maybe. Maybe not. That is where thinking comes in. This is where the thinking people are separated from the malicious, lazy, unthinking gossiping magpies.

                      If you are a thinking person, I can promise you there is a connection here. It might take you 5 years to see it, but there is a connection. Don't give up. If you leave this forum and never read this thread again, do not forget there is a connection between the photos.

                      One of these years when you wake up, you will be told the answer by your guardian angel or some kind telepathic soul. Then you will feel chagrin at the way you treated Happeh, and you will be angry at yourself at how much time you wasted because you did not trust or believe him.
                      Last edited by Happeh; 06-18-2007, 04:39 PM.


                      • #12
                        Quite honestly Happeh, your question about the yin yang symbol is a good one. Though I have read many things about the origins of yin and yang, I know absolutely nothing about the symbol. I think most of the rest of us probably feel the same way. It's kind of like a traffic light; it's something that you've seen for your whole life, but you have no god damn idea as to why some guy designed it that way a hundred years ago.
                        Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

                        "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

                        (more comments in my User Profile)


                        • #13
                          The symbol of yin and yang is also known as taiji or taijitu and is a representation of Taoism itself. It is a proces not a state.

                          Yin and Yang are opposites but not in a seperated way. You can fill in whatever you want like night/day, cold/warm, black/white, male/female,...etc.
                          The character for yin contains the character for moon and the one for yang contains the one for sun.
                          Yin was used to name the northern and colder mountainside and yang the southside which faces the sun. Over time yang got linked to sunlight and yin with shadow and from there on to all interlinked opposites.

                          HTML Code:
                          there is one shape
                          One is the Dao.
                          According to taoist beliefs yin can't exist without yang and the other way around. They need eachother and can't be separated, so they are represented within the same symbol.

                          HTML Code:
                          a circle
                          Taoism sees time in a cyclical way and not linear. Time is a succesion of rises and decays. Cyclical so that's why it's a circle.

                          HTML Code:
                          , two colors, black and white
                          Every yin still has some yang in it and vice versa so that's why within the black area there still is a white dot and vice versa. Black obviously being the opposite of white and representing the light and the shadow as mentioned before.
                          The Corean flag uses yin yang symbol but uses Blue and Red.

                          HTML Code:
                          , and a single curved line
                          Then there is the idea that at the climax of yin it will change into yang and the other way around. Like the rise/decay/rise/decay... etc. To represent this constant changing the flowing line in the middle is used because this invokes an idea of movement. As if one wants to enter into the other

                          Now to apply this to fighting: If there is no attack, there is no need for defense, they need each other. Attack and defense form one unity and can't be separated. It is a proces with a lot of changes where both try to enter into the defense of the other and change the existing balance between their forces.

                          HTML Code:
                          I look at the world around me and I wonder what in that world could be connected to the Yin Yang sign
                          The classic mistake people make when doing phisycs. They think the empiric rules order what happens in nature, which obeys the laws of phisycs.
                          But nature was here before our philosophers and scientistst. People started observing and learning and finally they had theories and found some laws to be coherent with what they saw.
                          Yin yang symbol is a representation of what happens in nature.
                          So you could better think "I look at the world around me and I wonder what in that world could be represented by the Yin Yang sign"

                          And the answer is everything and nothing.


                          • #14
                            found this

                            Dear Members,
                            One of my students asked me about the origins of the yin-yang symbol, specifically about the selection of the visual elements in the symbol. While I was able to explain the message conveyed by the various elements I don't know why those particular ones were chosen. Any help will be appreciated.
                            Sherri West
                            Professor Sherri West
                            (732) 224-2410 (work)
                            History Department
                            (732) 528-0064 (home)
                            Brookdale Community College
                            Lincroft, NJ 07738
                            Date: Sun, 4 Oct 1998 08:10:33 -0400

                            The Yin Yang Chart is generalluy called Taiji Tu, which Prof. Richard Smith translated as "the picture of supreme ultimate." I believe this was culturally more Daoist artifact than a Confucian property. It was believed to have first appeared in Song4 Dynasty scholar Zhou1-lian2-xi1's _Tong1-shu1_.
                            In fact, many similar graphic conceptions were circulating and were major topics of intellectual dispute among Song4 scholars. The most notable dispute was negotiated between Zhu1-xi1 and Liu4-jiu3-yuan1's brother. The Lu's complaint was that Zhu1-xi1 unnecessarily added Laotze's concept of limitless (Wu2ji2) before Confucius' usage of Taiji. They argued over Zhou1's 249 word essay titled "On the Taiji Tu." This argument was conducted by means of 23 correspondences. Apparently, the graphic concept was a major controversy in Song4 scholarship. Whether Confucius was crazy about Laotze's concept of nothingness (Wu2) was one thing. It is obvious that some sort of the Taiji graphic notions were alive among every one familiar with _the Book of Changes_ after Confucius introduced the word Taiji in _the Changes_.
                            This chart was obviously not a Song4 invention because a similar Yin Yang picture had already appeared in one of the Tang dynasty Daoist canons called _Zhen1-yuan2-miao4-pin3-jing1_. This Yin Yang grpahic consisted of five black and white alternating circles representing the five elements (metal,wood, water,fire and earth). It is evident that the well known Taiji Tu which later became part of the South Korea national flag was an integral part of the ancient Chinese culture. The current graphic we see, with two conjugating fish shapes, could not be a Song4 invention at all. It should have existed long before, probably before Tang Dynasty. At least in terms of designing concept, a similar product called the mail case, which was made of two pieces of wood shaped like fish containing letters for the purpose of correspondence, was designed according to the concept of the Yijing, since Fish and Bird, two symbols of "correspondence," were the most frequently used metaphors in the Yijing.
                            Among the popular legends, the most commonly believed one was for Zhu1-xi1 to send Cai4-ji4-tong1 to Si4chuan (and Shan3xi1) to search what Zhu1 believed to be a vital Laotze legacy, three Taiji graphic designs. Apparently, Zhu1 did not live long to see any of the three, since his major Yijing publication Zhou1-yi4-ben3-yi4 did not include this mystic design. In his old age, Zhu1 became increasingly fond of Daoist thoughts. He could have become a true believer of the Taiji Tu and a convert with greater penchant towared Daoism.
                            Although I wrote a book called _the Principles of the Yijing_" (yi4-jing1-yuan2-li3), I am neither a scholar nor a historian. I am interested in researching topics related to the Yijing crafts, such as geomancy, fortune-telling, divination, and folk religion, as a layman.
                            Please pardon me for any errors I made. I became a member of the HA list when I was working for the Fulbright Program in Taipei several years ago.
                            Tony Wang
                            Independent researcher
                            Date: Sun, 4 Oct 1998 17:32:02 -0400
                            From: "Richard J. Smith" <>

                            Since my name has been invoked by my good friend Tony Wang (Wang2 Ming2-hsiung2), I should probably add a word or two to this discussion. First, despite his protestations to the contrary, Mr. Wang is a fine scholar, whose book on the basic principles of the I-ching (I-ching yuan-li) provides an illuminating "close reading" of the classic as a divinatory text. Second, the translation of T'ai-chi tu in my book, Fortune-tellers and Philosophers, is actually "Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate"--although the word "picture" certainly conveys the same basic notion. Third, Mr. Wang is certainly correct in asserting that versions of the T'ai-chi t'u circulated before the Sung period, although they did not gain any real currency until that time. What is not generally known is that the famous Ho-t'u (River Chart), usually rendered in straight lines, also occasionally appears in shapes that suggest the T'ai-chi tu (see for example, the section on the I-ching in the Ch'ing encyclopedia Ku-chin t'u-shu chi-ch'eng [Vol. 55, p. 574-576 of the Taiwan Ting-wen reprint of 1977]).
                            Richard J. Smith
                            Professor of History (MS-42) and Director of Asian Studies (MS-47)
                            Rice University
                            6100 Main Street
                            Houston, Texas 77005 USA
                            Phone: 713-737-5843 (Asian Studies) or 713-527-4947 (History)
                            Fax: 713-737-6129 (Asian Studies) or 713-285-5207 (History)
                            Asian Studies homepage:
                            Date: Thu, 1 Oct 1998 22:03:55 -0400
                            From: Evgueni Tortchinov <>

                            It seams to me (but I am not completely sure) that the symbol of taiji (Monade, yin-yang) has been appeared in the second half of the Tang Dynasty period (about 8 or 9 centuries A.D.). I think that it was influenced by the graphic symbolism of the Tantric Buddhism (mi jiao) thoug the idea imbodied in the Monade was very old. We can find the symbolism of white(enlightment) and black (delusion) circles in the writings of the Buddhist authors of Tang period (in Zong-mi's "Ch'an Preface" and in the "Five Positions," wu wei, of the "Caodong school of Chan Buddhism."
                            With good regards,
                            Evgueni Tortchinov
                            Date: Thu, 1 Oct 1998 22:04:46 -0400
                            From: Steven Davidson <>

                            In Schuyler Cammann's article in History of Religions 1-2, 1961-63) on "The Magic Square of Three in Old Chinese Philosophy and Religion" he points out (p.77) that "Sometime in the Sung, a new Yin-Yang symbol appeared, to take over the sole remaining function of the Lo Shu [river diagram]. . . The new symbol was also intended to represent the workings of the Tao through the actions of the Yin and Yang, as the Lo Shu had once done . . ."
                            This doesn't answer your question about the reason for the selection of the artistic elements, but it does state that it happened in the Song.
                            Steve Davidson
                            Southwestern University
                            Date: Sat, 3 Oct 1998 08:48:01 -0400
                            From: "[ISO-8859-1] Holger Kühnle" <>

                            To Evgueni Tortchinos answer:
                            I don't think you're right. Have a look in He Yan's (190-249) "Wuming lun" (Treaties on the Nameless) as quoted in Zhang Zhan's (4th cent.) Commentary on ch. 4 of the _Liezi_ (_Zhuzi jicheng_-edition, p. 41)! You will find there no picture but a quite detailled and exact description of the taiji. Too exact if he hadn't a picture in mind that suits well with those of the well-known taiji-symbol.
                            Holger Kühnle
                            University of Heidelberg
                            Date: Sat, 3 Oct 1998 08:48:44 -0400
                            From: Michael Lestz <>

                            I seem to remember that the yun-yang symbol appears on bronzes of the Shang dynasty—perhaps earlier as an artistic motif on pottery. At any rate, it considerably antedates the Tang or Song eras.
                            Happeh, could you enlighten the rest of us now?


                            • #15
                              Regardless of the origin, I like the way LFJ put it in response to baiwanxi's question about Shaolin. His answer seems to be significant to this thread as well.


                              -because for one, its always changing. its never the same at any one point. and two, shaolin isnt for understanding. shaolin is for understanding yourself. the trick to that though is that we are always changing, ourselves. we're never the same at any one point. try and figure that out now, why dont you?

                              The taijitu is a symbol, but, more importantly, it can be used as a tool for understanding ourselves, nature, and the coalescing of all things into one. It is representative of what we can witness through observation and inquiry, both within ourselves and in the natural, phenomenal world. Actually, the taijitu is everywhere. It can be seen in the current of a river, the tide's ebb and flow, or by the mountainside. Look up or down and you will see it. It's like a mirror, visible even when looking at oneself. The taijitu is, therefore, "understanding."

                              Some of you may have heard of the environmental sculptur, Andy of my favorite artists. He uses his natural environment to create sculptures that project a certain type of imagery capable of illustrating the interplay and transient nature of energy that we often confuse -- the great paradox of life. In doing so, his pieces tend to contradict the notion of permanence, since all of his work, eventually (usually within a day or so), disintegrates into the land or air, being reborn into something new. This kind of artistic imagery, in my opinion, can be very helpful to understanding the meaning of the taijitu.

                              "At its most successful, my 'touch' looks into the heart of nature; most days I don't even get close. These things are all part of a transient process that I cannot understand unless my touch is also transient-only in this way can the cycle remain unbroken and the process be complete." -Andy Goldsworthy

                              In terms of how an understanding of the taijitu can affect a person's "daily kung fu practice," it's multidimensional. For one, taiji, as an example, was born out of these "principles." Hence, an understanding of the taijitu has a direct correlation to one's insight into how taiji works as a whole...and how the universe works as a whole. This understanding can have profound affects on the practitioner's ability. A person with a better understanding will have the potential to manipulate and control their opponent more, giving them great power: the power to be "in flux," to be changable, and to also generate power.


                              sorry, got to run. will have to finish later.... here are some pics of Andy's work first.

                              oops... hey, doc, can you insert an image tag so I can post some pics in this thread? thanks.

                              well, here are the links for now.. enjoy!



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