Stigweard

Tai Chi Chuan Succeeds In Full Contact Fight

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As part of the WKA Tournament Toowoomba October 25th 2014.

Featuring Dylan Green -- Ziranchuan Kung Fu & Golden Rose Tai Chi Chuan.

 

Analyzing the Tai Chi Chuan fighting principles used by Dylan Green in his successful bout in the WKA Full Contact Tournament in Toowoomba, 25th October, 2014.

This is in response to some folks crying that "This isn't Tai Chi Chuan" ... however, if examined properly, it is possibly better Tai Chi Chuan fighting then 99.9% of the rest of the "Tai Chi Fighting" videos you will find on the internet.

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Sorry, but I see little if any tai chi chuan skill demonstrated in these videos.

That is just ordinary sparring and technique used in many martial arts.

 

As has been outlined in the 'tai chi classics', and which has been reiterated by various well respected and skilled tai chi chuan pracitioners over the years such as Yang Cheng Fu, and by various respected students of his, without the main emphasis being on internal skill (nei gong) development there can be no application of tai chi chuan. I do admit that it is getting very hard to find a tai chi chuan teacher these days who has any real achievement in internal skill. If the teacher hasn't achieved internal skill, the student most likely won't ever achieve it either.

 

The regular practice of tai chi chuan does improve health and fitness and can make the body more agile and resilient, and improve reflexes, like many other martial arts practices. To use tai chi chuan in self defense or in a 'fight' however, you must have developed very strong internal skill (nei gong), which will correspond to the development of a high degree of sensitivity and ability to release internal force at will. Tai chi chuan is not so much at all about using this particular technique and that technique, etc., as all the techniques are just techniques no different than any techniques in boxing or karate etc. without strong development of internal skill. Again, this is what has been outlined by various respected tai chi masters over the years. I realize however that what is shown in those videos is what passes for 'tai chi chuan' and 'internal martial arts' in general in a lot of cases these days, including in China and Hong Kong.

 

Best wishes to all...

:)

Edited by NotVoid
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Sorry, but I see little if any tai chi chuan skill demonstrated in these videos.

That is just ordinary sparring and technique used in many martial arts.

 

As has been outlined in the 'tai chi classics', and which has been reiterated by various well respected and skilled tai chi chuan pracitioners over the years such as Yang Cheng Fu, and by various respected students of his, without the main emphasis being on internal skill (nei gong) development there can be no application of tai chi chuan. I do admit that it is getting very hard to find a tai chi chuan teacher these days who has any real achievement in internal skill. If the teacher hasn't achieved internal skill, the student most likely won't ever achieve it either.

 

The regular practice of tai chi chuan does improve health and fitness and can make the body more agile and resilient, and improve reflexes, like many other martial arts practices. To use tai chi chuan in self defense or in a 'fight' however, you must have developed very strong internal skill (nei gong), which will correspond to the development of a high degree of sensitivity and ability to release internal force at will. Tai chi chuan is not so much at all about using this particular technique and that technique, etc., as all the techniques are just techniques no different than any techniques in boxing or karate etc. without strong development of internal skill. Again, this is what has been outlined by various respected tai chi masters over the years. I realize however that what is shown in those videos is what passes for 'tai chi chuan' and 'internal martial arts' in general in a lot of cases these days, including in China and Hong Kong.

 

Best wishes to all...

:)

 

 

I am sure your view is shared by many.

 

"... to release internal force at will."

 

Now there is an interesting comment. I am assuming that you are trying to say that a true Tai Chi master has some sort of "special power" in terms of fajin ... the problem there though is that there is not a single scrap of credible evidence in the world that can prove that these powers can be used in real life.

 

Amongst the hundreds of videos online of these "fajin powers" none of the people in those videos have been able to reproduce this "skill" where it counts ... i.e. in full contact combat or in a scientifically controlled study.

 

Therefore we can place no confidence in the practicality of these powers and likewise can place no confidence in the instructions to attain said powers. In the world of combat there is no room for faith belief.

 

So unless you can provide some sort of evidence to support your claims then I really can't pay them much credence.

 

To the contrary I have shown above that you can train and utilize Taijiquan on a practical level that well and truly succeeds where it counts.

 

:)

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NV - have you experienced the things you write about or are you writing hypothetically?

When I was much younger I used to sometimes visit various tai chi teachers

and take note of their different teaching approaches and different

ways of doing tai chi etc. I was much more interested back then in tai chi chuan

as a 'fighting art' than I am now. I have personally met two tai chi teachers

who in my personal opinion had achieved at least a fairly high degree of internal skill,

one of which I studied with for some time. (I don't wish to name their names here

as I don't think it will be productive). What they could do with just a slight

bump of their knee, hip, elbow, or shoulder, was really something to experience,

and you would be rocket propelled with just a 'gentle' flick from their palms. :)

 

I think to achieve that level of skill requires a real commitment of at least about

2 to 4 hours of practice everyday for many years, with the right emphasis on complete

relaxation and proper alignments in the forms and push hands practice to be able to develop

significant internal skill. I think that it is also very important to have the guidance of a

skilled teacher to keep on the right track. Some likely also supplement daily practice with other

neigong practice such as lots of standing and sitting meditation or other neigong practices.

For the average person who must work full time and has various other responsibilities this can

be very hard to commit to and maintain of course. :) I think this is likely why there are not a

lot of high level internal martial arts masters around. ;) Just my own point of view.

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When I was much younger I used to sometimes visit various tai chi teachers

and take note of their different teaching approaches and different

ways of doing tai chi etc. I was much more interested back then in tai chi chuan

as a 'fighting art' than I am now. I have personally met two tai chi teachers

who in my personal opinion had achieved at least a fairly high degree of internal skill,

one of which I studied with for some time. (I don't wish to name their names here

as I don't think it will be productive). What they could do with just a slight

bump of their knee, hip, elbow, or shoulder, was really something to experience,

and you would be rocket propelled with just a 'gentle' flick from their palms. :)

 

I think to achieve that level of skill requires a real commitment of at least about

2 to 4 hours of practice everyday for many years, with the right emphasis on complete

relaxation and proper alignments in the forms and push hands practice to be able to develop

significant internal skill. I think that it is also very important to have the guidance of a

skilled teacher to keep on the right track. Some likely also supplement daily practice with other

neigong practice such as lots of standing and sitting meditation or other neigong practices.

For the average person who must work full time and has various other responsibilities this can

be very hard to commit to and maintain of course. :) I think this is likely why there are not a

lot of high level internal martial arts masters around. ;) Just my own point of view.

 

While I by no means deny that there is something called internal power and that it's applicable in a fight, it does have its foundation in the proper use of physical principles as explained in the Taiji Classics. This is not to say that it doesn't transcend what we currently call physics. What Dillon showed was genuine Taiji principles well translated to a kick-boxing format - not an "anything goes" kind of setting, to be sure, but also not a lovely exercise with a compliant "opponent". I wonder what an accomplished master of the type you mention, NV, could have done so much better in that environment? Send the opponent flying out of the ring? (He'd come back quite as fast.) Drop him in an instant? Make his head burst? :blink:

 

Seriously, I'd like to hear your opinion...

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This is an interesting topic - what is taijiquan in combat?

I don't have a definitive answer but can share a few thoughts.

 

I think we would all agree we were watching combat taijiquan if we saw effective use of the principles of zhan nian lian sui bu diu and bu ding. I'm not seeing that in this fight to a meaningful degree. I think we would agree if we saw techniques like lü, ji, an, cai, zhou, and kao - not seeing that so much either. We would agree if we were seeing effective yielding and neutralization and also if we were able to see evidence of the subtle "ba da jin" like coiling, wave, revolving, and folding strengths, to mention a few. To me, those methods would be the definitive example of combat taijiquan application. I can't say that I'm clearly seeing any of that here.

 

On the other hand, taijiquan training gives us a lot of physical, mental, and energetic advantage - fajin skill, balance, agility, speed, sensitivity. These are also developed by the other internal arts, and the external arts for that matter. My shifu taught both internal and external arts and the more advanced and accomplished practitioners converged in terms of their skill and effectiveness, rather than diverged. One of my training partners had studied the external arts for several years then moved to taijiquan. He then continued to train with his external buddies and within 6 months of taijiquan training they were shocked by how much more effective his rooting, balance, power, agility, and flexibility and become. My teacher used to always say that taijiquan training is the best for developing true power.

 

So my opinion, FWIW, is that the fighter may have benefited enormously from taijiquan training and the benefits of that training are undoubtedly contributing to his success in this sparring match. On the other hand, if one were in combat, rather than sparring, and had a lot of skilled training in combat taijiquan, I believe it would look much different. Combat taijiquan is close quarters fighting characterized by zhan nian lian sui bu diu and bu ding as well as joint manipulation, take downs, grappling, elbows, and body strikes. At least that is what the classics would have us believe and that is how I was taught. Never used it in a real fight yet, however, and in a controlled sparring environment, like the videos above, there's not much opportunity to engage those sorts of techniques, IME.

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I think it would help to keep things in perspective to keep in mind that people like Yang Cheng Fu, and some of his well known students such as Fu Zhongwen and others were known to have accepted challenges from various martial artists who doubted the effectiveness of tai chi. Yang Cheng Fu and some of his students became famous for outstanding skill in martial arts, and it wasn't because they lost challenges. ;) This was not so long ago. Fu Zhongwen was still alive until 1994, I believe. Their legacy is there for anyone to look into. It is not some hypothetical stuff from an ancient text that can't be verified. There is little doubt of the martial arts skills these people possessed. So when say Fu Zhongwen told of his experiences with studying under Yang Cheng Fu and what he was capable of in regards to his internal skill, it is not something that can be so easily brushed aside. A master of that level of accomplishment or even their higher level students would not likely want to partake in common sparing matches because to really use their internal skill would be too dangerous for the opponent. There would be a very high likelihood of broken bones or serious internal injuries dealt out to the sparring opponents. Many may find such things hard to believe, and I fully understand that, as it is human nature to hold to one's circle of belief and corresponding circle of experience. No amount of words can really penetrate that. Some things can only be experienced to have any real impact (no pun intended :) ). Again, that is just my own view on the matter. :)

 

An old photo of Fu Zhongwen and Yang Chengfu.

The caption for the photo stated:

"In the front row from the left, Fu Zhong-wen, Yang Cheng-fu and Chen Fu-sung (master of baguazhang), Nanjing 1929"

 

fu-zhong-wen-014.jpg

 

 

Demonstration of the application of tai chi chuan by a true master.

Notice how Yang Chengfu was like a mountain. ;) His form always appears flawless in any photos he appears in. A lot of hours of practice put in by this man, no doubt.

Yang Chengfu (right) demonstrating Da Lu with his student Chen Weiming (left)

dalue.yangchengfu.gif

Edited by NotVoid
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This is an interesting topic - what is taijiquan in combat?

I don't have a definitive answer but can share a few thoughts.

 

I think we would all agree we were watching combat taijiquan if we saw effective use of the principles of zhan nian lian sui bu diu and bu ding. I'm not seeing that in this fight to a meaningful degree. I think we would agree if we saw techniques like lü, ji, an, cai, zhou, and kao - not seeing that so much either. We would agree if we were seeing effective yielding and neutralization and also if we were able to see evidence of the subtle "ba da jin" like coiling, wave, revolving, and folding strengths, to mention a few. To me, those methods would be the definitive example of combat taijiquan application. I can't say that I'm clearly seeing any of that here.

 

On the other hand, taijiquan training gives us a lot of physical, mental, and energetic advantage - fajin skill, balance, agility, speed, sensitivity. These are also developed by the other internal arts, and the external arts for that matter. My shifu taught both internal and external arts and the more advanced and accomplished practitioners converged in terms of their skill and effectiveness, rather than diverged. One of my training partners had studied the external arts for several years then moved to taijiquan. He then continued to train with his external buddies and within 6 months of taijiquan training they were shocked by how much more effective his rooting, balance, power, agility, and flexibility and become. My teacher used to always say that taijiquan training is the best for developing true power.

 

So my opinion, FWIW, is that the fighter may have benefited enormously from taijiquan training and the benefits of that training are undoubtedly contributing to his success in this sparring match. On the other hand, if one were in combat, rather than sparring, and had a lot of skilled training in combat taijiquan, I believe it would look much different. Combat taijiquan is close quarters fighting characterized by zhan nian lian sui bu diu and bu ding as well as joint manipulation, take downs, grappling, elbows, and body strikes. At least that is what the classics would have us believe and that is how I was taught. Never used it in a real fight yet, however, and in a controlled sparring environment, like the videos above, there's not much opportunity to engage those sorts of techniques, IME.

 

Heya Steve,

 

As always conversations with you are the amongst the most rewarding on this forum :)

 

Touch (zhan), connect (lian), stick on (nian), follow (sui), and do not separate (bu dui ding).

 

Did you have a good look at the Analysis video? Check from 14:45 ... there is a perfect example of young Dylan following the principles of zhan nian lian sui bu diu and bu ding.

 

The rest of what you are suggesting is there in abundance ... though it would seem your eyes are looking for something else. Could you please post a video of someone from your school or lineage fighting full contact where they are adhering to your preferences. It would help with the sharing of knowledge.

 

Cheers Steve :)

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Hi Stig,

I greatly appreciate your compliment and will try to keep it from going directly to my head!

:)

I've never tried to put together any videos on the subject but I'll look around.

I must admit that I didn't watch your analysis video completely, just a snip, but I'll take a look when a have a bit of free time.

Cheers!

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Here is an alternate perspective on taiji that I have kept in mind. This is from Feng Zhiqiang.

"Again, Taiji is a long form of martial art, as in lengthening. Xingyi, on contrary, is a shorter form. Even though Xingyi is a short form of martial art, they use their body to complement the strength. They use the springy, jumpy power to complement the lack of reach. Taiji is a long form of martial art. It’s like the body of a dragon. Tongbei, another Chinese martial art, is another long form of martial art, because you are always extending your arms. Taiji absorbs the strength of all these different martial arts and forms its own unique style. This movement in our form [demonstrates], it’s from Xingyi. This [demonstrates] is from Tongbei. This is from Shaolin. This is from Preying Mantis. This is also from Preying Mantis. The elbow strikes in Taiji come from Baji. Taiji is a compound of eighteen other martial art styles. Using the theory of Taoism, I-Ching, and Chinese Traditional Medicine to form its theoretical foundation, especially yin-yang theory and the meridians in traditional medicine."

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I think there is a misunderstood : all fighting arts, hard or soft, external or internal, use the same basic fighting principles. Some stress more this or that but we all live the same world : a fight is a fight.

 

EG : rooting, control by the waist, being explosive but flexible, wards-off, being relaxed etc....

 

 

EDITED : to keep what matters.

 

 

ADDED : I think tai chi with gloves look like nonsense or maybe more like wrong way.

Edited by CloudHands

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While I by no means deny that there is something called internal power and that it's applicable in a fight, it does have its foundation in the proper use of physical principles as explained in the Taiji Classics. This is not to say that it doesn't transcend what we currently call physics. What Dillon showed was genuine Taiji principles well translated to a kick-boxing format - not an "anything goes" kind of setting, to be sure, but also not a lovely exercise with a compliant "opponent". I wonder what an accomplished master of the type you mention, NV, could have done so much better in that environment? Send the opponent flying out of the ring? (He'd come back quite as fast.) Drop him in an instant? Make his head burst? :blink:

 

Seriously, I'd like to hear your opinion...

People with real Fajin capabilities will knock the opponent out cold. A split with short power to the head will do that. It is a fight stopper. Unfortunately, sports like MMA cannot sell if one knocks out the opponent with one slap to the head.

 

Other capabilities are real, but repercussions of using short power or cold power is pretty severe. I mean, do you want to go to prison for manslaughter or homicide? I don't think so.

 

I know, many will roll their eyes and be condescending about this. But it is real. At a beginning level, it is about coordinating the whole body movement at once and using simple concepts like leverage, structure etc. At higher levels, it is energetic.

 

If you want to find out what it is about, go find a good teacher. I can recommend a few myself...but you should expect to "eat bitter" if you want to learn from them. They don't really give a crap about proving their abilities to anyone. Many such people tried in the 70s and 80s in the chicago area with people like Master Liao, Ron Hoffman and Master Jose and went back in stretchers...

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words words words ... no.gif

 

 

Ah ... that is what I like about martial arts ....

 

Show me in the ring ! yes.gif

 

The debate about 'internal power' is endless. I used to think such things existed. Once, a guy asked me how it worked and I said : " You ... x ... y ,.,, z and then extend Ki through the target." HIs response was ... "Yes, I go along with that, you do x y z but then I would say, put your weight behind it and extend that through the target."

 

However, I found if I physically and mentally follow those 'ki principles' ... (visualisations etc ) my physical power and form did improve. Nowadays, I dont see it as 'magical ' or 'internal' energy , but a way to refine and focus physical energy via visualisation and on the physical level, to keep things lined up.

 

But still ... there are two incidents I experienced in training that I cant explain physically confused.gif

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Heya Steve,

 

As always conversations with you are the amongst the most rewarding on this forum :)

 

Touch (zhan), connect (lian), stick on (nian), follow (sui), and do not separate (bu dui ding).

 

Did you have a good look at the Analysis video? Check from 14:45 ... there is a perfect example of young Dylan following the principles of zhan nian lian sui bu diu and bu ding.

I see where you mean, there's a bit of the sticking and connecting but not more than a second or two.

I definitely agree with your points comparing good Taiji skill to good boxing.

One difference being the nature of the short force vs the long force.

In boxing and kickboxing you're mostly forced to use the long force and mostly prohibited from effective use of zhan nian lian sui bu diu ding. I think this is one of the reasons it's tough to demonstrate Taiji skill in these circumstances.

 

 

The rest of what you are suggesting is there in abundance ... though it would seem your eyes are looking for something else. Could you please post a video of someone from your school or lineage fighting full contact where they are adhering to your preferences. It would help with the sharing of knowledge.

 

Cheers Steve :)

I'm not seeing what you seem to be seeing in abundance.

That said, I'm not sure it's something that's easy to see, at least not for me.

Much easier to feel.

Congrats on your fighter!

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The thing about fighting in the ring is you always have a set of rules, a restricted space, an artificial goal, an adjudicator, an audience, protective gear (not always), grading opponents by weight and so on, sometimes commercial interests ... and so on. Not saying that there's anything wrong with any one or all of those but they do change everything. It's the same when martial arts become competitive sports, sometimes Olympic sports ... they change.

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Cripes ... I share a vid of my boys doing some honest fighting and it gets trolled by woo-woo fajin nonsense ...

 

:blink:

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Well maybe you deserved it for bringing an innocent children into a (honest but) dangerous fight lol

Fight for yourself next time :)

 

Some interesting assumptions in one sentence CloudHands...

 

Innocent children ... Dylan is 22 and though he is one of the kindhearted men I have ever met he is far from "innocent". Also Dylan was determined to enter this fight, I just took him under my wing to make sure he would have the best chance of putting on a good show.

 

Dangerous fight ... It was a pad fighting full contact tournament with rules preventing elbows & knees. Sure in such contest the chance for "shit happening" is always there. But Dylan's conditioning was good and I had given him a solid defense so the danger was minimal.

 

Fight for yourself next time ... again it was Dylan's push to fight here, I just coached him to help him perform well. And in terms of fighting for myself I will be competing next year in the Daqingshan tournament.

 

:)

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Cripes ... I share a vid of my boys doing some honest fighting and it gets trolled by woo-woo fajin nonsense ...

 

:blink:

 

Maybe it was a mispost -wrong thread - should be moved to the martial arts tap dancing thread :

 

... with this :

 

 

@ 2:45

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Thanks for sharing the video, Stig, and good luck in the competition.

 

I'm really in no position to comment, except to say that the two lessons I learned in judo still seem applicable: 1) closing with the opponent is the art; 2) compassion for the opponent allows for action in the absence of volition.

 

I had a good teacher. He stood 5'4" (maybe), weighed about 140 lbs (I think), and won Sumo matches because he could leap and knock his opponent's feet out from under them, and they hit the mat before he did. In the S.F. Bay Area, the judo association sent people to him to learn how to be gentle; he was a great man.

Edited by Mark Foote

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