Michuan and Chen Style

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Taiji fighters should participate in the televised UFC matches as the most expedient way to promote taiji as a matial art.

Poll ended at Tue Apr 25, 2006 8:26 am

Absolutely! Such demonstrations are needed in the West, and would vitalize taiji training!
3
75%
No way! Taiji fighters should not look to prove their skill, or care about the misconceptions of the masses.
0
No votes
You'd have trouble finding taiji fighters that could neutralize those vicious attacks at present in the States.
1
25%
 
Total votes: 4

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Michuan and Chen Style

Post by Colin » Tue Apr 11, 2006 8:26 am

Is Michuan the Yang family counterpart of the Chen's Cannon Fist?



If this question is absurd, it's because I've never seen the Michuan fist performed.

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Post by KidPeng » Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:33 am

poll--well, the third option is definitely correct; you'd be hard pressed to find any taiji practitioners that could hold their own in a MMA format. it would be great to see, though, and is definitely possible. like laoshi says, taiji is a tool, like a hammer--it would be possible to train with a NHB or MMA format in mind, but most choose to use it for other things. i think i heard about some bajiquan people entering a MMA tournament and doing pretty well, but never taiji. in general, taiji doesn't seem to attract the people who are really keen on fighting, especially in a competitive format.



michuan--i don't think there is any real similarity in the functions within the respective systems, but maybe someone who knows more about chen style can comment. the michuan form can be practiced with obvious/powerful fajing, but that's not an inherent part of the form.

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Answering to poll

Post by Roland Tepp » Wed Apr 12, 2006 4:12 am

Although I do not agree with the wording of the first answer (I dont generally agree with absolute statements), I still believe, that if there would be someone trained in taiji participating in those fights it would do a great deal to improve the perception people have about taiji as a martial art.



That in turn would attract more people willing to learn taiji as a martial discipline instead of "health spa taiji", which would possibly slow down the process of contemporary taiji turining into a form of yoga.



So in general - I would agree statements "Such demonstrations [...] would vitalize taiji training" and "promote taiji as a matial art". I'm little bit doubtful though that participation in UFC is absolutely needed in the West for taiji or that this would be the most expedient way, but generally I believe it would do some good at least...



A good example of how showing even a little bit of sanshou demonstration helps to attract more people willing to learn martial aspect of taiji is when we had a demonstration last fall in Tallinn before the start of the season. We showed people some simple things like using peng and lu against punches and how to roll back or do a brush-knee against a kick. Nothing too fancy, but two days later our practice room was packed with newcomers.



And even today this group is still fairly large.
Roland

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Post by tjqinterest » Tue May 16, 2006 9:48 am

If somebody wants to promote taijiquan as martial art, he should show it working as martial art. Giving demos is not enough. Much better is to face with someone who is outside from taiji world (bjj, wrestler, boxer).

It is not big secret that many people come to learn taiji, but very few will stay for long time. One reason is that they never see taiji working against other type martial artists. And they see that often their teaher or "older student" does not have martial skill that works against stong and fast opponent. This fact can be seen by beginner as well.

So, students see that things they learn dont work, they have never seen working taijiquan, so why should they belive storys?

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Post by Roland Tepp » Tue May 16, 2006 11:07 am

tjqinterest wrote:If somebody wants to promote taijiquan as martial art, he should show it working as martial art. Giving demos is not enough. Much better is to face with someone who is outside from taiji world (bjj, wrestler, boxer).


To a certain degree, I agree with you.



If one practices any martial art, seeking for martial excellence, one should definaltey try his (or her) skill against an opponent of a different school. The more the merrier :) This goes for taiji as well as any other MA style.


tjqinterest wrote:It is not big secret that many people come to learn taiji, but very few will stay for long time. One reason is that they never see taiji working against other type martial artists. And they see that often their teaher or "older student" does not have martial skill that works against stong and fast opponent. This fact can be seen by beginner as well.
Taiji is much more than Yet Another Art of Pounding Other Guy Senseless and in this respect all martial training should follow only after basic principles have been understood, and that might take some time. If people come to taiji expecting to learn good way of delivering punches, they will get disapointed just as easily.



There is a fine line here. Shure it's nice if people will recognize that Taiji is fit for real world fighting. On the other hand, it is just as easy to fall into the other extreme and start training lean and mean fighting machines. Only good teacher can show you how to walk that line. And I believe that once you find that teacher, You'll recognize it. Same as you recognize the phony ones...



PS: somebody recently pointed out to me in a discussion of the same sort, that trouble with "showing off" taiji this way is that if you loose, everybody will say "See - this taiji stuff is no good for any serious fighting" and if you win those same people will say "This is not taiji - taiji does not look like that". Go figure! :)
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Post by Roland Tepp » Wed May 17, 2006 12:35 am

What I wanted to say, that might have escaped the previous post is that fighting in a tournament should not be undertaken as a publicity stunt to promote your school or your style.



It should come form the need to pove to yourself that you can do that. Competition as such is just another way of learning. There is no sense going to a competitions just for the sake of glory or publicity.



At least this is what I believe in...
Roland

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validation of skill

Post by Benny Bangarms » Tue May 23, 2006 10:43 am

I take issue with the underlying assumptions. I believe we live in an overly aggressive world. The spirit of our art is to create balance in the world. As martial artists, sometime we may have to create that balance with our palms, feet, or swords. But this can only be done with a peacful heart, mind and sprirt. If we place too much emphasis on proving ourselves in public, such as in the UFC, we run the risk of attracting the wrong kind of students, and inviting unnecessary aggression into our art. It is much better, I believe, to work to increase the standard of skill within our art. We have enough taiji practitioners, we just don't have enough taiji practicioners training in the correct spirit of the art (as described in the classic writings).



How do we increase the skill within our art? I see three main areas.

1. train consistently with discipline and perserverence.

2. test yourself against practitioners of other arts. at GRTC we often invite students of other MAs to our sanshou practice on saturdays. I have found this an invaluable practice for testing my abilities and improving my skill.

3. test other taiji practitioners to expose weaknesses in ourselves and in those who might be watering down our art. don't make this an "our school vs. your school" thing. but it is important that people see the weaknesses in their training, whether they train tuishou or sanshou.



my 2 cents.



-b

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Post by tjqinterest » Thu Aug 17, 2006 9:19 am

Some more thougts about this topic



This is not a question of publycity or money or glory. It is just a question :"Can it be done or not? Can taijiquan really be used against fully resisting strong opponent?"

If we see that taiji works in these conditions, we knowit is worth to study as martial art. If we dont see it, how do we know it works at all?

And the only way to find it out and show it publicly is to take part of MMA type of competition. And also to record the match to videotape and analyze whether or not any taiji technique was effectively used.



If we talk about martial skill, there can be no other criteria than practice. So , somebody tell me , why dont we see those old Chinese masters fighting, if their skill is so good? At least their students tell almost legends abot it:) "80 years old guy can beat 30 years old". How? By full contact fight, where grabbing and takedown is also used?



It is time to ask these questions and also ask about your own teacher`s skill and see it working against somebody not from your school. Because it is very easy to be master in your own school. You simply create your own the reality!



Many peaople love taiji and that`s OK. This is feeling, the matter of heart. But heart can decide what is good or bad for you, it can`t make a decision about functionalyty and effectivness.

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Post by Roland Tepp » Thu Aug 17, 2006 10:19 am

Oh... I know Im just feeding the troll here, but what the heck!


tjqinterest wrote:This is not a question of publycity or money or glory. It is just a question :"Can it be done or not? Can taijiquan really be used against fully resisting strong opponent?"
Of course it can. Its all about your intent and goals as you study an art. You can learn BJJ and still get badly beaten up by a Joe Thug, if all you ever learned was few nifty tricks to take someone down. And you can learn taiji and easily beat multiple opponents, if you learned with a focus on martial applicability. Its all in your mind and the way you approach your training.


tjqinterest wrote:If we see that taiji works in these conditions, we knowit is worth to study as martial art. If we dont see it, how do we know it works at all?
You most likely don't. Or you can just look at it, try it out and find out for yourself. Find yourself a partner to try those things out and learn.


tjqinterest wrote:And the only way to find it out and show it publicly is to take part of MMA type of competition. And also to record the match to videotape and analyze whether or not any taiji technique was effectively used.
There you are - the key words are show it publicly. Is public demonstration the only one you accept? Another thing that makes me worry is your ability to "analyze if any taiji technique was effectively used". How would you analyze it? Would you recognize a taiji technique if it punched you in the nose?

Trust me - I've seen some of the live taijii sanshou and it looks nothing like push-hands or slow form. In fact - most people would argue that "its not taiji any more". Go figure....



(as a matter of fact - even push-hands does not look anything remotely like taiji as soon as there is a big fat golden prize to be handed out to the "winner" :) )


tjqinterest wrote:If we talk about martial skill, there can be no other criteria than practice. So , somebody tell me , why dont we see those old Chinese masters fighting, if their skill is so good? At least their students tell almost legends abot it:) "80 years old guy can beat 30 years old". How? By full contact fight, where grabbing and takedown is also used?
Maybe - I have not seen those fights and I can not comment on this.


tjqinterest wrote:It is time to ask these questions and also ask about your own teacher`s skill and see it working against somebody not from your school. Because it is very easy to be master in your own school. You simply create your own the reality!
You are meaning to test our reality or just our patience?
Roland

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Some Historical Notes...

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Thu Aug 17, 2006 12:30 pm

I thought this might be a good time to remind all of a couple of historical facts in relation to the martial effectiveness of taijiquan...



Image



Yang Luchan was employed as a militia trainer during the very violent Taiping Rebellion, the men he trained did not choose to be martial artists. They learned to fight in order to stay alive, indeed the city where Yang Luchan worked was repeatedly attacked. So there is no question that his art was quite literaly "battlefield tested."



After the Rebellion was finally supressed, Yang Luchan & his son were employed to teach the elite military unit of the Bordered Yellow Banner that guarded the Manchu Aristocracy of Beijing. Does anyone think this was like teaching a "relaxation" taiji" class today? Would it be any different than teaching a special forces group today? Certainly a group of soldiers, who likely saw combat & spent their entire lives training, could tell if it was worth thier time to train with Yang.

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Some Historical Notes... part 2

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Thu Aug 17, 2006 1:00 pm

Image



In a more "modern" context, Wang Yen-nien's teacher, Zhang Qinling, certainly proved taijiquan's martial efectiveness. In 1929, Zhang won the Shanxi Province Martial Arts tournament & was picked to represent this province at the Natinal Competition in Nanjing, which was the Capitol at that time. Zhang won this national tournament. Fighters from all systems had entered...



The problem developing taijiquan practitioners who are skilled in sanshou is a matter of the training environment & expectations of the students involved. Students interested in playing in the UFC, who have a demanding training environment, will be excellent martial artists. Those who think of taijiquan as morning exercise for grandmothers, won't be.

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boxing

Post by yowie_steve » Fri Aug 18, 2006 3:41 am

Well for the very limited experience and skill I currently have with taijiquan, I've found some of the concepts pretty useful in the boxing ring. I've got a "fight" coming up the end of October (amatuer boxing), so have been in the ring quite a bit leading up to it rather than just bag and mirror work.



Yielding comes in really handy.



There's also a karate tournament coming up for NSW state that the karate mob here in Coona will be competing in. No gloves, full chest and head armour. Hopefully I could get some real nice shoulder strikes in!



As for combined styles tournaments, there was one approaching near Sydney at the beginning of September. In which I'm unable to attend now anyway. But I did have to think about how I could've represented taijiquan to give it some respect. Unfortunately I don't think I can, because I don't feel confident enough. And also come "kata" competition time, the judges (who typically will be from japanese styles) will get bored crazy watching taiji quan. Not enough stomping and screaming and fast stuff. So for such tourneys I'd just have to settle for generic "wushu". Which in itself has some connotations and misconceptions to break down in the martial arts world.



With any luck, I could post a video in the future of any karate bouts using taijiquan if it's a good enough example.

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Post by tjqinterest » Fri Aug 18, 2006 9:03 am

Dont worry about trolls like me, I cant (and dont want) to hurt you:)



Publicity means that people who are interested, can see these things that are told about. The more witnesses we have, the less there is possibility to show just one version of story.

People dont need "demonstration", but seeing taiji in fight. Because demos can be seen everywhere.



How to analyze if taiji was used? I wouldn`t think about punch to my face as something unique to taijiquan.

To punch and kick, there is no need to develop internal power and body structure, external power and muscles work just fine

The stuff which is in the form is often deflecting, catching duifang`s center, shaking etc.

So it would be good to see lu, lie, cai zhou and kao. Peng is easy to confuse with blocking (visuslly). And of course press:)

If match is recorded to videotape, it can be watched and analyzed several times.

If taiji-guy can stay to his feet and doesnt get beaten up (and not constantly stepping back:), and using these techniques, I would say taiji works very well.

As Roland told, sanshou and push hands often dont look like taiji. All we see is bad kickboxing and wrestling. So if someone can show better things (against people who dont co-operate), it would be very inspiring.



And reality.... Questin is "From whwre do we get the information, which is basis to all our decisions?"

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Post by Dan Fleet » Fri Aug 18, 2006 10:28 am

tjqinterest wrote:As Roland told, sanshou and push hands often dont look like taiji. All we see is bad kickboxing and wrestling. So if someone can show better things (against people who dont co-operate), it would be very inspiring.


This is an interesting point. In his book "The Secret History of the Sword", J. Christoph Amberger gets into this a bit, discussing (in the context of swordfighting) how in various degrees (and types: agonistic vs antagonistic) of combat, form tends to go by the wayside as the level of risk in the combat increases. More generally, the less comfortable you are with a situation, the more you tend to rely on instinct rather than training.



This would differentiate the streetfighting veteran from the highly-skilled-in-a-controlled-environment player -- or even from a new player who isn't "used" to a friendly sparring session.



Indeed as was also pointed out earlier, people start to forget their training and get "excited" when they are competing for prizes and the like.



One of the challenges I have with my own taijiquan, for example, is that I find myself getting nervious and 'bunching up' when entering a free hands session with a player I am not used to. This means that my form becomes broken and it is difficult to do "real" taijiquan applications. This is in a classroom setting, which does not speak well to how I would react were my life or limb were in literal danger -- but of course I would be foolish to blind myself to my own current limitations.



What this all means is that if indeed people want to become some sort of well known taijiquan (or any martial art, really) fighter/player in the sensationalized fighting world, then they would need to train and play with that goal in mind, including all the attendant levels of risk. Then they might be able to retain form while applying function, and thus make the art more "visible" to the average citizen.

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Post by J HepworthYoung » Fri Aug 18, 2006 10:41 am

I find MMA to violate martial philosophy and theory, at least that which I am familar with.

That martial way is not to promote, encourage or glorify violence. Anything which does so is violence or fighting, not a martial art, at least to my perception. I know this goes against some western consensus, but keep in mind it is my opinion.



If taijiquan techniques were to be used in MMA, they would represent or display the effectiveness of such techniques and the skill of those who use use them, but not be exemplary of taijiquan as a martial art. This does not mean that skills should not be tested in matched application, but the macho macho man glorified violence aspects found in MMA seem to fail to test many aspects of styles that are martially effective in real life situations, including the reservation of a skilled fighter towards violence itself. I am not impressed with anyone quick to partake in violence, having known far too many such people in private life already, and I do not consider talented and effective fighters to be martial artists unless they show the martial spirit as well.



External arts are effective, however internal arts should not be underestimated either, they teach a lot that the external cannot or often does not. Several martial arts move from external to internal or the reverse as the training progresses. There are good reasons for this.



I saw one video of a taijiquan guy in a wrestling tournament in China, he could not be taken down due to his use of redirectrion. It was impressive and he did not seem a master of the art by any means.



I did hear that a taijiquan practioner did well in a National tournament in China in the first quarter of the 20th century. I have also read that such tournaments were often fatal to those who lost. While many of the forms of taiji that are practiced in the west are not particularly martial in pragmatic ability, due to limited understandings and practice of applications, the incorporation of the principals and techniques of Taiji into more external fighting routines should prove of great utility.



The thing I don't understand is how some people seem to need every traditional martial art to prove itself through violence. I feel they are better proven through their response to violence and in avoiding it on many levels, including in encounters. I do not require others to prove themselves and what they do before I respect them, to do so seems foolish.



I lose respect for those who make base statements about things that they have not seen proven, humility is something often lacking in the machoman fighters and it does have martial application. One should be humble in respect to the skills of others as well as their practices and beliefs, a lack of a claim being proven to one individual or another is not a basis for an intelligent dismissal of such a claim. Falsification can be, however it is foolish to think that a fighter respresents and can prove a style, even those who practice but a single form, if they were to fight, would not test the form so much as themselves. Poor and great fighters of many styles do exist, combat between them does little to test more than the people themselves and for many such violence does not amount to promotion.



Some of what I have read claims or suggests that early in China's martial history external forms were the emphasis, but that internal aspects, once introduced, were adopted due to their effect upon external practices.



I doubt any tradional and time tested martial art lacks practical and pragmatic application as such. However a great fighter does not a martial artist make, despite macho consensus. There is often more to it that those who glorify violence seem to remain ignorant about, including the wisdom of avoiding violence and remaining humble.



Why should a martial artist have to prove themselves to anyone? Because others will insult them and their practice if they do not?

Is there any good reason?

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