Recommended Posts

Tai Chi Chuan is a fighting art but it is also much more besides. It is one part of a whole.

 

So the people who cause so much annoyance by pointing out to you that it is a pure fighting art ( the suggestion being that it is good only for combat) have sadly missed the point.

 

People constantly say things which can be cause for annoyance, some true and some not so. That the things said are annoying this we cannot help. That we may be annoyed by them - this we can overcome. This is Tai Chi.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The point is more about how those martial arts have been changed and watered down beyond belief through each generation. Sort of like yoga has, but different. Also the qi has always been there, just wasn't used as a sales pitch before, and was more seriously trained.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I gave the OP a "like" because I like it when people question things that have the power of affecting them emotionally (in this case, by annoying them :D ), not because I agree with the premise. And disagree I must, for some of the following reasons:

 

ASoK, surprisingly enough, Systema is pretty mystical, it's just a "different" kind of mysticism. (There isn't only one, you know...) Not unlike that of Miyamoto Mysashi, who maintained a truly mystical relationship with life and death, did not subscribe to any doctrine yet incorporated much zen and taoism into his inner world, and was, basically, a poet of unperturbed, courageous and cruel indifference to life and death, someone else's and one's own alike. This is the kind of mysticism that is pretty hard to test empirically if you don't live the life of a medieval samurai or contemporary Spetsnaz. It is idiosyncratic... you have to have been there been that, can't grasp it from the outside -- like any mysticism.

 

It's every bit the same with taiji. That its fighting value draws its appeal from a unique mystical quality thereof may annoy someone on the outside, but from inside the art, it's quite legit. Soft overcoming hard -- how counterintuitive it is in our world, how mysterious. One ounce moves one thousand pounds -- how mysterious it is to feel, not just talk about! Don't use your strength, use the opponent's strength -- how many people know how to do something like that non-mystically? Use qi, not li -- the shorter the jin, the deadlier -- to fight with Chen is to control peng -- I could go on and on.

 

Taiji is mystical in its fighting aspects, is what I'm trying to say. Yin is mysterious, yes, but yang is mysterious too! -- a very different kind of mysterious, but still... Taiji is a constant interaction between the two, there's no such thing as "yin taiji" vs. "yang taiji," any taiji worth its name is yin-yang, always.

 

I've reasons to believe it's the same with bagua, though I don't have first hand... er, first foot... experience with it. :)

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Srsly I don't get people who have to constantly point out that taiji or bagua IS A PURE FIGHTING ART

I mean if you have to bring it up all the time maybe that's an indicator of there actually being a mystical component to it?

 

Like, if you're after fighting why stick to taiji if the mystical, yin stuff is ridiculous to you.

If you wanna fight why spend all that time learning to walk in a circle? That's ceremonial footwork from some weird chinese sect man. They just merged it with a boxing system because chinese people merge everything... they love that shit.

Doesn't mean it's an efficient use of time if you want the martial side only.

If you want to focus on the fighting, why not train Bajiquan for instance? Baji is devastating.

Or if that is too mystical, what about Systema?

You become fightable alot faster than with a chinese art, and there's no mystical aspect to it.

It has alot of the + sides of taiji. Like it is nice to your joints. You can fight while being "soft".

More than that the moves are designed to be usable with guns. It teaches efficient movement - outside of horse stance. Woow.

 

But maybe, it won't be as romantic when you stand hour after hour in your backyard doing systema drills. I mean your neighboors certainly think you look like an idiot anyway so I hope you have somewhere else to draw that motivation from....

Maybe arts that don't hold some faint promise of ancient secrets from the orient, waiting to be discovered through dedication not even considered by the average person - dedication that initiates into rare knowledge, that sly way of looking at the world that few people have that shows a special waryness... - aren't as attractive to you.

Maybe you're actually drawn to mystical things but some part of your mind finds that unacceptable.

muahaahaha

*sarcasm alert*

But..but...it's all Woo Woo :D

Taiji, Bagua, Xingyi are after all internal arts. What internal means is external alignments of course. It's all mass and momentum...don't you know?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The point is more about how those martial arts have been changed and watered down beyond belief through each generation. Sort of like yoga has, but different. Also the qi has always been there, just wasn't used as a sales pitch before, and was more seriously trained.

The problem is people don't have the patience to train the Qi and Jin aspects of Tai Chi. I've been studying with my teacher for 12+ years now. I've been doing tai chi for close to 14 years. I also have a background in Karate and Aikido (sorry about the TMI background stuff)...

And what I know feels like a fraction of a tip of the proverbial iceberg...

 

I had to literally empty the cup over and over (and still do) to learn more deeper aspects of Tai Chi. When I push hands with my teacher, I feel like a helpless infant at times...because no matter what physical level stuff I do, he always gets me energetically. I think I'm getting better at it, but there is a difference between someone who has studied authentic style tai chi for 40 years and someone like myself (a neophyte)

 

Qi is real, Jin is real (and no, fa jin is not merely a technique), they can be cultivated (and the folks in my system do it) - but it is a slow and excruciatingly simple process of decluttering and unlearning...

Edited by dwai
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've met quite a few former hard MA stylists, very serious fighters some of them, who switched to taiji after their first encounter with a true master. ( I've never met anyone who did the opposite.) The stories they tell are always fun to hear -- and the wonder and awe in their eyes tell an even better one.

 

One of my taiji practice partners comes from many years of TKD, and she now has her first taiji students, among them her former TKD master, who is well over 70. She says he's very enthusiastic, and very grateful that he didn't miss out on discovering taiji, even this late in the day.

 

Actually the post is about something else than annoyance.

But thanks for your perspectives.

And thank you for yours. I collect taiji stories from all sides of the fence...

...but the grass is never greener on the other side, so far. :)

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tai Chi Chuan is a fighting art but it is also much more besides. It is one part of a whole.

I practice two-sword Tai Chi and the only thing I have ever cut was one lamp shade when I was practicing in the house.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I practice two-sword Tai Chi and the only thing I have ever cut was one lamp shade when I was practicing in the house.

hehe I've not fought anyone with the taiji sword (actually since i couldn't fly the sword out there, it was a long piece of bamboo), but chased territorial crows and kites from my home's terrace in India... (they apparently didn't like me intruding in their space and did a few fly-by's till I started the sword long form :D

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hehe I've not fought anyone with the taiji sword (actually since i couldn't fly the sword out there, it was a long piece of bamboo), but chased territorial crows and kites from my home's terrace in India... (they apparently didn't like me intruding in their space and did a few fly-by's till I started the sword long form :D

Hehehe. Laughter. I'll bet you were a real sight doing that.

 

I recall that most Indians are more tolerant of other animals and therefore these other animals are emboldened. In particular I recall how nasty those monkeys and rats can be.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My teacher's cat just begs to be stabbed. I'm new to the sword, but the cat knows me well and has come to expect me to control my taiji enough to accommodate his twirling around my legs while I'm doing it, he especially likes to engage in this while I Repulse The Monkey and am stepping backward, also kicks are his favorite moments. I've learned to allow for the possibility of a cat in my path, no problem. But with the sword he's taking crazy chances -- e.g. he thinks a downward thrust is an invitation for him to rush in and explore the tip of the sword. And mine's not wooden, and not all that dull. But since he's the master's cat, maybe he knows what he's doing... I hope he does...

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eye,

thank you!

What a pretty kitty! :)

 

Hmmm... Actually Taomeow, I disagree with your disagreement :P

 

I meant yin as in yin art compared to most other ma's, not as taiji is yin only.

 

And interesting about the comparision to Musashi. Maybe i pulled out systema as an example because it... is actually a tip of the iceberg art as well. I could see a path of using systema "mystically" actually, focus being on dan tien, intuition, streaming split second decision.

BUT for the average bloke/ blokette who doesn't have any meditative training to begin with, and who isn't spetsnaz -

I don't see how systema could create a mystic.

While taiji (i believe) can do that, even though you don't live in china close to a thousand years ago, or whenever it was formed.

 

Anyway

 

I see. Well, yes, I have to agree with your disagreement, :) in that taiji is more yin compared to hard MA, but that's because taiji is yin-yang balanced, while hard MA are skewed toward overwhelming yang. This, incidentally, is one reason taiji strengthens one's body over time, while hard MA strengthen the outside while gradually weakening the inside (yin) of the body. Hard practitioners become pretty decrepit as they advance in years, while taiji folks become better at their art and often healthier in their old age than they were in their youth. I remember a passage from a Chinese MA novel (by the great entertainer Louis Cha, who is among other things a very serious researcher into the history of Chinese MA, and surprisingly enough, a lot of his most far-out stuff comes from historic sources, though one would think he makes it all up) -- as I was saying, there's a scene I remember where two young rouges are considering an attack on a certain target and discover the place is guarded by an ancient-looking couple, a very old man and his wife, whose posture tells the young guys they're taiji. One of them tells the other, oh drats, we have to get there no matter what, let's attack anyway. The other one says, are you out of your mind? Can't you see how old these people are? Could well be in their nineties! We have no chance against their taiji, they'll kill us. :D

 

As for whether Systema can make one a mystic -- no, perhaps not if the ferment of mysticism isn't there somehow, but neither can taiji by itself -- a mechanistic view is not uncommon, and one will have no mysticism and no real taiji as a result -- but if this "something" kicks in, it's a different story. Taiji will support and develop it, no question. I think if "something" is "there," it may even be enough as a mystical practice, Zhang Sanfeng became an immortal doing only that. But how. :D

Edited by Taomeow
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My teacher's cat just begs to be stabbed. I'm new to the sword, but the cat knows me well and has come to expect me to control my taiji enough to accommodate his twirling around my legs while I'm doing it, he especially likes to engage in this while I Repulse The Monkey and am stepping backward, also kicks are his favorite moments. I've learned to allow for the possibility of a cat in my path, no problem. But with the sword he's taking crazy chances -- e.g. he thinks a downward thrust is an invitation for him to rush in and explore the tip of the sword. And mine's not wooden, and not all that dull. But since he's the master's cat, maybe he knows what he's doing... I hope he does...

:lol: my cats think that too....in fact they find nothing more enticing than if I simply drag the tip of the sword along the carpet - mesmerizing!

 

 

It was funny hearing some stories from one of lin's BBQs, a certain taiji teacher had mentioned a certain student of his did/was doing very well on the mma circuit, and when asked about stuff, its allllllmost as if he purposefully DIDNT mention taiji ;):lol: (the student, that is)

Edited by joeblast
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the kind of mysticism that is pretty hard to test empirically if you don't live the life of a medieval samurai or contemporary Spetsnaz. It is idiosyncratic... you have to have been there been that, can't grasp it from the outside -- like any mysticism.

Reminds me of my 'mystical' dilemma. When I seek help from people, I try to explain my situation to them, but it is incomprehensible to them, thus they judge me based on their limited perception. The people I seek out for help often could use MY help, but don't realize that either, thus I cannot find fulfillment that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites