Oneironaut

Are "hard" martial arts an obstruction for those on the path of Neidan?

67 posts in this topic

8 minutes ago, Rara said:

@Taomeow Good way of putting it. Of course, I've never seen any legit taiji sparring, so I only go by what you (and others who are sold by taiji) say. Let's not forget that taiji "master" who got mashed up by that mma guy.

 

I guess you still have to be good!

 

That said, I would imagine the aim is to not fight anyway, which buys a good number of years to train without destroying your own body.

 

I just find it difficult to understand how you can still read opponents easier with little contact training, and little experience with different sorts of opponents with different styles.

 

That "taiji master" was not a master and had no taiji.  Good taiji is rare.  Caveat emptor.  Some people get very fortunate and find the real thing, but it's a treasure hunt, not a commodity purchase.  Don't expect the real thing everywhere they hang the sign.  Research, seek out, the real thing.  There's no substitutes.  Taiji differs from mock-taiji as diamond differs from cubic zirconia.  The difference may look like nothing and is everything.

 

Your last paragraph, I don't understand.  Could you explain what you mean?

 

 

 

 

 

   

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All CMA are internal by nature and culture.. 

The distinction of external vs internal was something that was later applied and has caused much confusion for some.  .

 

some history

 

"

Others countered that it is, after all, called Chen Style Taijiquan, so it should be included as part of the Internal Division. Master Wu Tunan did not concur. He felt that Chen Style should be treated as an external style, similar to Shaolin. Someone turned to Chen Fake, Master Chen, you are the standard bearer of the Chen Family, is it external or internal?

 

Chen Fake answered, If the revered master Wu thinks it is external, then it is external! We did not have this distinction at home. (Later on, in a remarkable reversal of logic, this statement was actually quoted by some as proof that Chen Style Taijiquan is not the original source of Taijiquan, since family member Chen Fake did not even acknowledge it as an internal style.)"

http://practicalmethod.com/2012/02/from-the-archives-of-www-chenzhonghua-org-the-article-what-is-in-a-name/

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2 hours ago, Rara said:

I just find it difficult to understand how you can still read opponents easier with little contact training, and little experience with different sorts of opponents with different styles.

 

When you mean “little contact training” I’m assuming you mean push hands. That is only one aspect of the training. Also push hands is supposed to be done with progressively higher pressure and speed with the objective of maintaining same level of sung and ting as all speeds and pressure. 

 

It is then combined with striking and turned into free form San shou as well. Reason we don’t see much of this is most people don’t reach the levels  of maturity in practice. I used to see my first teacher getting frustrated with the number of  people that drop out after 1 week (let aside one month) of training. 

My own training changed after I decided to take private and semi-private lessons with him. Luckily for me there were three of us who were serious about taiji and practiced  together in various permutations and combinations for the 

first 13 years of my taiji training. 

 

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15 hours ago, Taomeow said:

 

Your last paragraph, I don't understand.  Could you explain what you mean?

 

 

   

 

Heya. What I mean is that when training thai boxing or BJJ, you always have a partner or an opponent to work with. Lots of reflex training is done in and outside of the gym, cardio and form are all worked on as well. Generally, there is more high intensity sparring.

 

My experience of tai chi is a lot of emphasis on form and sensitivity drills (push hands) but less of the actual "fight simulation" that hard martial arts offer. My point is that it surely takes a lot of faith to roll with the idea that you can become better than a decent mma fighter if you spend a long time mastering a legit tai chi system.

 

If there are very few that do master their system, doesn't it make sense to do a martial art that guarantees you'll get at least something out of it fairly quickly? Even if that is just being able to defend your head and throw a few punches...

Edited by Rara

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4 hours ago, Rara said:

 

Heya. What I mean is that when training thai boxing or BJJ, you always have a partner or an opponent to work with. Lots of reflex training is done in and outside of the gym, cardio and form are all worked on as well. Generally, there is more high intensity sparring.

 

My experience of tai chi is a lot of emphasis on form and sensitivity drills (push hands) but less of the actual "fight simulation" that hard martial arts offer. My point is that it surely takes a lot of faith to roll with the idea that you can become better than a decent mma fighter if you spend a long time mastering a legit tai chi system.

 

If there are very few that do master their system, doesn't it make sense to do a martial art that guarantees you'll get at least something out of it fairly quickly? Even if that is just being able to defend your head and throw a few punches...

 

Ah, got it, thanks.  

 

No, you don't go on faith with taiji, once you get the preliminary/beginner work done -- this takes a few years -- you can move on to practice with partners, the more the merrier, and your focus may (and I believe should) shift from basics to applications (though you never stop working on the basics, because there's no bottom to taiji skill.)   And you want a teacher who can show you what martial taiji can be down the road, not tell.  I was fortunate in that on a number of occasions early on, a hard MA practitioner would come "check out" or even "challenge" my teacher, and I saw what great taiji can do with my own eyes, no faith necessary.   At the time it looked like magic to me.  Well, some of that "magic" I can now do myself, but I hardly touched two-person drills for ten years before I deemed myself ready.  You may be ready sooner, I started late in life, someone younger might progress faster.  But please don't rush it if you want the real deal -- not rushing it is part of the deal.

 

With a good teacher, you will get your taiji-as-a-martial-art eventually, but if you want it right away, it is not going to be taiji and it is going to be inferior to almost any other MA, any art where people gain experience working with a partner/opponent.  If you want "at least something quickly," don't count on taiji for this.  I've met many people who start practicing with a partner too soon, and they don't progress all that much, they get stuck at a very primitive level.  And every time I encounter someone who impresses me in push-hands, I ask about their training history, and invariably they will say something like, "don't compete, don't try to win the encounter, let them push you, learn to absorb the force, work on your sensitivity, relax, relax, relax!! -- let them do whatever they want -- relax, relax, relax!! -- let them press and push and pull and grab and jerk and lock and do whatever they want, you want to learn to not tense up anything anywhere in response, this takes two years."  Magic number. :)  You start making amazing discoveries if you work with many noncooperating partners like that.  I was pretty much famous for being "so soft, so sung" when I only worked with forms, then come two-person drills -- and only by doing them this way did I start discovering where I do tense up when the opponent uses force, where I lose structure and how, and where and how to correct, reset, reset again and again till the body-mind-spirit get it.  And once they get it, it's so much fun.  No one can do anything, they are exerting supreme effort for nothing.  It's mind-blowing how much fun it is.

 

That's another aspect...  Working with energies of the world (which is how you come to see your partners) is great fun.  Working against the opponent to win, to overcome, to get the satisfaction of being better can't compete with this far as emotional gratification goes.  Competition can't compete with this kind of fun.  But you would have to experience it to believe it, and that's the only part that requires faith -- that if your mind and spirit are reset to a different frame of reference, your body will discover the kind of fun it didn't know existed -- the thrill of being at home among the energies of the universe, and competent there.  :)

 

But of course this takes a lot longer, and a good teacher (can't emphasize that enough), and the right mindset.  Is it worth it?  What else is there that's worth being patient for?..   

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@Taomeow Sure, I get all this. I couldn't agree more, and I'm not about rushing anything.

 

But unless there is evidence of taiji being effective, one does go on faith. Do you have any links to any sparring vids of any of this application?

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9 hours ago, Rara said:

@Taomeow Sure, I get all this. I couldn't agree more, and I'm not about rushing anything.

 

But unless there is evidence of taiji being effective, one does go on faith. Do you have any links to any sparring vids of any of this application?

 

I don't usually go to youtube for that, so I don't maintain a "collection."  My teacher posted a couple of applications videos when youtube was young :) 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WPQJoqmGPo&t=11s

 

As I recall, Chen Xiaowang, Chen Yu, Chen Bing, old Ma Hong, don't remember who else, have some fighting applications videos posted, you can look for them.  (Ma Hong's videos were made when he was 85, so worth checking out just to illustrate my earlier point...   I don't know if any are subbed, but it's not important -- without practice they won't explain anything anyway to a beginner. :)   Chen Xiaowang has some with subs. )   

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9 hours ago, Rara said:

@Taomeow Sure, I get all this. I couldn't agree more, and I'm not about rushing anything.

 

But unless there is evidence of taiji being effective, one does go on faith. Do you have any links to any sparring vids of any of this application?

Spoiler

 

 

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Most, if not all masters from the past started their training with 'hard' martial arts, so no, it most definitly is not.

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On 12-2-2018 at 11:39 PM, windwalker said:

All CMA are internal by nature and culture.. 

The distinction of external vs internal was something that was later applied and has caused much confusion for some. 

 

I fully agree.

 

Read alot of your posts on the RSF :) Nice to meet you.

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Today someone messaged me on FB.  A snippet of some conversation that made no sense to me.  The guy sent a friend request at some point, FB inundates me with those from time to time, I had no idea who he was.  So, I go to his profile to find out.  A very accomplished karate, taekwondo, krav maga, MMA master, internationally certified in this and that, winner of this and that, pictures of certificates and awards, posts from his students full of respect and admiration, the whole shebang.  I go back to the conversation to tell him, sorry, I don't think we ever spoke before, so I have no idea what you're talking about.  His response:

 

"Please forgive me, I've been on very heavy medications for my epilepsy and seizures, can't remember a thing, my memory is gone.  Please forgive me.  I saw on top of my message board got scared because I've done things like posted something like this and later I don't remember."  

  

Of course I don't know the details, but it is not unheard of to develop epilepsy and seizures from traumatic injuries. 

 

From someone attacking them in the streets or from the way they practice toward being prepared in case someone attacks them in the streets?  I don't know but if I were to take a wild guess...  :(

 

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1 hour ago, Taomeow said:

From someone attacking them in the streets or from the way they practice toward being prepared in case someone attacks them in the streets?  I don't know but if I were to take a wild guess...  :(

 

 past practices, and practices that are designed for intended use tend to be very severe

.

I once asked my teachers 1st grand son how to get better...he said "the more pain you can endure the deeper your skill level will be" 

His grandfather my teacher https://journeytoemptiness.com/2017/01/13/master-zhang-yongliang/  was quite hard on him in his training..The stories of pactice under tables and such were true and something the grandson had to endure....

 

 For most authentic practices its quite severe..Its a fiction of modern times that practices like taiji are easy or do not require one to put extreme stress on the body to achieve or build a skill set.  The intent of much of CMA was and has been changed over the yrs....to maximize attracting students     not necessarily for  intended usage..  

 

My first intro into the taiji world 

 

sam

 

Sam, as he liked to be called was in many ways ahead of his time. Having come from a hard style back ground his hands were gnarled not with age but with the training he did as a much younger man toughing them on coconut trees growing on the island.  

 

I can still hear him in his Hawaiian accented pidgin English, “and now we use the good old American right hook ”  when going over how his taiji worked.   https://journeytoemptiness.com/2017/06/30/outlaw-taiji/

Edited by windwalker
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On 12.2.2018 at 11:39 PM, windwalker said:

All CMA are internal by nature and culture.. 

The distinction of external vs internal was something that was later applied and has caused much confusion for some.  .

 

some history

 

"

Others countered that it is, after all, called Chen Style Taijiquan, so it should be included as part of the Internal Division. Master Wu Tunan did not concur. He felt that Chen Style should be treated as an external style, similar to Shaolin. Someone turned to Chen Fake, Master Chen, you are the standard bearer of the Chen Family, is it external or internal?

 

Chen Fake answered, If the revered master Wu thinks it is external, then it is external! We did not have this distinction at home. (Later on, in a remarkable reversal of logic, this statement was actually quoted by some as proof that Chen Style Taijiquan is not the original source of Taijiquan, since family member Chen Fake did not even acknowledge it as an internal style.)"

http://practicalmethod.com/2012/02/from-the-archives-of-www-chenzhonghua-org-the-article-what-is-in-a-name/

 

I concur that the differentiation into hard and soft martial arts becomes irrelevant at a certain stage of sophistication.

 

For instance, Japanese Shotokan Karate is generally regarded as one of the hardest styles there are, however, what Rick Hotton teaches in the following video has much in common with skillful application of "soft" styles like Taiji and Aikido.

 

 

 

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