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Thread: Tai Chi realistic self-defense or just good relaxation?

  1. #16
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    Re: It is a touchy subject

    Originally posted by Wind&Mountain
    if i were to see a tai chi practitoner and a muy thai practitioner each with say 3 years training i would put my money on the muy thai fighter(hands down).
    advance the training to over ten years and i would put my money on the muy thai fighter hands down.
    advance the training to over 20 years and my money goes for the tai chi practitioner hands down.
    First, maybe. Take an "average" MT person and an "average" TJQ person who's trained the martial applications, put them each in a self-defense situation, and I'd give pretty much the same odds to both.

    Second, I disagree. As you noted, MT is brutal, and someone who's been practicing for 10 years may well be past his/her peak and pretty beaten up physically.

    Third, I agree, but mainly for the reason I stated for the second example. 20 years of dedicated MT will be pretty hard on the body.

    Note: I picked a self-defense situation rather than a MT vs. TJQ ring match to level the field, since MT participants train to compete in the ring.
    Cut the tiny testicles off of both of these rich, out-of-touch sumbiches, crush kill and destroy the Electoral College, wipe clean from the Earth the stain of our corrupt politicians, and elect me as the new president. --Vash

  2. #17
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    Greetings..

    It has been my experience that Taiji training (ie: forms) is a tool for internalizing the "principles".. it has been the principles that emerged in sparring/street encounters that i have been involved in.. there are variations upon variations of forms and applications, and they are all dependent on the correct foundation of principles.. actually, my external arts have benefitted from good principles of Taiji, as well.. Sometimes we get lost in the comparison of forms and details of choreography and neglect the foundation of good sound principle.. Standing meditation (ie: Wuji, Zha Zhuang, etc...), silk reeling, Taiji diagram tracing, QiGong, posture refinement, good diet, good health habits, etc... this will set the stage for good Taiji, regardless of style..

    The school where i teach, Extreme Harmony Martial Arts Academy, has quite a variety of Arts, Muay Thai, JKD, Kali Escrima, Punjat Silat, Grappling/NHB, Wing Chun (my partners' classes).. i teach Taiji, ChinNa, QiGong, and San Shou.. Sparring classes and applications classes sometimes mix styles, and Taiji holds its own pretty well.. though it is a challenge to find enough softness to neutralize the brutal hardness of the senior Muay Thai guys.. So, in response to the Topic, i find that Taiji is both a realistic self-defense AND a meditative relaxation.. it is a well-rounded system that offers much to many..

    Be well..
    TaiChiBob.. "the teacher that is not also a student is neither"

  3. #18
    TaiChiBob,

    Sounds like you've got a gem of a training environment. I teach/train in a similar environment. I teach Baguazhang at Pat Burris's USA Stars Foundation Judo Training Center. In addition to training Olympic Judo contestants, the school also has Boxing, Muay Thai, BJJ, Wrestling, Karate and Wing Chun. The other guys can't quite figure me out yet. They'll see us one time and we're working on the extreme nuances of standing in different positions. They'll come back later in the same class and we're working neck breaks or knife combat. Most of 'em just scratch their widdle heads. And oh yeah, I've held my own successfully against all of 'em.

  4. #19
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    Greetings all, this is my first post here at the forum.

    *LOL* Nice one Chris, I can really relate to what you have said there. I will not address the statements made by ignorant fellows regarding Taijiquan as a fighting art because there's no point trying to educate a brick.

    It is simply a case of those who know what Taiji is as a fighting art knowing and sitting back and smiling. I'll take any strike from any angle with peng/hinge and nail any number of points with block/attacks. Taiji is very difficult to spar because the kind of technique is in so close and it's over so quickly because the strikes are all kill shots or arm breaks performed literally in fractions of a second.

    I know people who say "oh spare me the my arts too deadly to perform crap" but they obviously haven't trained in martial Taijiquan and don't realize what this would be asking! I wouldn't mind just once to have a trained martial Taiji practioner actually take on one of these guys but sadly the dude wouldn't be around to realize his mistake after the fact. I would say god help anyone who is on the recieving end of anybody who knows their combat Taiji... goodnight sweet prince is all that comes to mind.

    Bottom line, I train in the Erle Montaigue Fajinquan system in Australia and we are 110% dedicated to combat effective Taijiquan, training in fajin, explosive internal force, dim mak, point striking and various Wudan Qi Disruption techniques and basic to advanced Qigongs including Iron Shirt. Anyone walking into a class in this system thinking it's about old people and relaxation quickly finds otherwise.

    Taiji is a complete system and as such has many branches and areas that range from the health and medical side
    right across to the combat and spiritual side. It's allot for some martial artists to take in I guess.

    Best to all, Syd
    I am Jacks Dan Tien

    "The last sound he made was like a sparrow whistling"

  5. #20
    Can Bruce and Chris please explain what they mean by recovery skills? Do you mean recovery from:

    a) a bad position
    b) getting hit
    c) injury, as in after the fight has occurred


    Something tells me the answer is all three, but I wanted to know what you meant by "recovery" in the original context.

    Thanks!!!

    David

  6. #21
    Taiji can be extremely fast and poweful. I've seen my Taiji Sifu do a punch at full force and speed and quite frankly it was scary. I've never seen anything like that before.

    The key in Taiji Chuan is that you have to go slow before you can go fast. If you try to go fast before you understand all the subtleties of the body mechanics involved you are robbing yourself of potential.

    When you go fast in other "external" styles it is hard work. It makes you sweat and tires you out. It puts pressure on your joints and muscles. You can really "feel" something happening.

    When you go fast in Taiji (that is when you understand the movement) it is not that different from going slow. That is, it takes no more effort than going slow.

    So it is confusing to beginners because they don't feel like they are "doing" anything when they are doing the movement correctly.

    They over emphasize things or make the movements more difficult than they need to be so that they can feel something. When you do Taiji well it should take no more effort than sitting in a warm bath.

    It should feel effortless.

    I think this is why Taiji is so hard to learn and why it is so poorly understood by other arts.

  7. #22
    I have that excact problem sometimes.Sometimes I'll try to push my opponent or do some stiff technique concentrating on specific nuances of alignment when I should relax,get my structure shape,and just turn my waist.Does maybe the slow practice in taiji have to do with finishing every move seamlessly and completing it through to the end before changing moves?Like you don't want to pull back a punch until it's completed it's large motion.Then you immediatly pull it back with a short fajin motion

  8. #23
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    Originally posted by backbreaker
    I have that excact problem sometimes.Sometimes I'll try to push my opponent or do some stiff technique concentrating on specific nuances of alignment when I should relax,get my structure shape,and just turn my waist.Does maybe the slow practice in taiji have to do with finishing every move seamlessly and completing it through to the end before changing moves?Like you don't want to pull back a punch until it's completed it's large motion.Then you immediatly pull it back with a short fajin motion
    Not sure if I can help here, as in my style we don't pull things back.
    End position of one move is the start position of the next move for us.

    But moves should be completed with as little interruptions as possible, stoping between the movements to make minor adjustements during the form is often recommended.

    The way I see it doing the moves slower allows the mind to sense and feel the body better and thus flaws can be more easily detected and corrected.

  9. #24
    I was thinking maybye you do pull back in Yang and Chen style after a punch.After you do a right hand punch you pull it back in case they redirect and grab your wrist or if maybe someone grabs you from behind.Actually,don't push hands and alot of taiji use pulling types of energy for many things?What exactly is pull anyway?Does it involve staying ahead of your opponent and using your structure on your opponent with twisting or spiraling energy?
    Last edited by backbreaker; 11-10-2003 at 05:00 PM.

  10. #25
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    Originally posted by backbreaker
    I was thinking maybye you do pull back in Yang and Chen style after a punch.After you do a right hand punch you pull it back in case they redirect and grab your wrist or if maybe someone grabs you from behind
    You are correct that Yang and some Chen styles do a pull-back after a punch.
    The Chen style that I study does not do it.

    As for pull are you talking about "Cai"(Pull down/Pluck) or "Lu"(Pull back)?
    Roll Back - Lu

    Lu Ching is receiving and collecting energy, or inward receiving energy.

    Form movements: Grasping the Sparrow's Tail


    Pull Down - Tsai or Cai

    Tsai Ching is grabbing energy.
    Form movements: Needle at Sea Bottom.
    13 Gates of Tai Chi.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by T'ai Ji Monkey; 11-10-2003 at 05:47 PM.

  11. #26
    Originally posted by delibandit
    The problem with sparring in Taiji is that to apply the skills in "real time" would mean serious injury to a sparring partner. Just the other night I was cautioned by my Shifu while practicing. The movement I was applying could easily break my opponents arm he said. He asked me to slow it down a bit to prevent an accidental injury to my partner.
    Originally posted by Syd
    Taiji is very difficult to spar because the kind of technique is in so close and it's over so quickly because the strikes are all kill shots or arm breaks performed literally in fractions of a second.

    I know people who say "oh spare me the my arts too deadly to perform crap" but they obviously haven't trained in martial Taijiquan and don't realize what this would be asking! I wouldn't mind just once to have a trained martial Taiji practioner actually take on one of these guys but sadly the dude wouldn't be around to realize his mistake after the fact. I would say god help anyone who is on the recieving end of anybody who knows their combat Taiji... goodnight sweet prince is all that comes to mind.
    It is any wonder the guy doesn't think Tai Chi practitioners can fight?

  12. #27
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    nznickle.

    May I ask who your teacher is and what Chen style he teaches?

  13. #28
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    Originally posted by nznickle
    Dr Chu, Old Frame.
    Thanks, for the info.

  14. #29
    looking up,

    Yes, it does mean all three. It also means dealing with your own move not "doing" what it was supposed to do. Basically, I've found that any time anyone gets in a fight for real, Murphy shows up. You won't get me to believe that any master, grandmaster, Grand Poobah, or whatever, is going to look anything but unchoreographed in a real combat situation. How you deal with WHEN your techniques fail, not IF they do, is what keeps you alive in a real fight.

    I teach my students that they never make mistakes in Baguazhang. Now, obviously, that statement is absurd on its face. However, acting as though it were true is the key to recovery skill. In other words, anything you do, whether successful or not, you act as though that's exactly what you wanted to have happen and flow from there. A very simple example: if you overshoot your punch to his face and miss, you fold into an elbow strike there instead. It's about flowing with what "is" rather than what we wished would have been.

  15. #30
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    Looking up, recovery is micro and macro. Look at how IMAs are internalized. Neutrality
    Last edited by Shooter; 02-05-2011 at 02:13 PM. Reason: for clarity
    Tai Chi is

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