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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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J HepworthYoung
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Post by J HepworthYoung » Wed Aug 23, 2006 12:40 pm

You have some really good points Roland.

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Post by KidPeng » Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:00 pm

I don't really disagree with anything you're saying. I also didn't mean to sound like I thought eye-gouges and throat strikes were invalid in a "real" fight. I agree with you. I guess what I'm getting at is this: I'll use Zhang Qinlin as an example again, since he's in our lineage. To me, Zhang Qinlin's success as a fighter is essentially belittled as nothing more than contrived sport fighting using the framework of your last few posts, and I'm not sure I agree with that. I have a hard time believing that, in essence, those Nanjing tournaments were too much different than modern mma/nhb tournaments (and yes, there are nhb tournaments out there with many less rules than the UFC), and while big competitive fighting tournaments HAVE meatheads pounding each other for 20 minutes, that's not what they ARE. It seems to me that if you don't count someone like Zhang Qinlin's success as an example of true martial arts skill, then what do you count? Are all the martial arts masters who never killed anybody "mere" fighters, not complete martial artists?



Also, I think that while some nhb fighters do verge on dog fighting status, many do not. Crocop is a skilled martial artist. Sakuraba is a skilled martial artist. Fedor is a skilled martial artist. Randy Couture is a skilled martial artist. Wanderlei Silva is a skilled martial artist. A malnourished and abused mutt thrown in a dirty ring to fight for its life is not a martial artist. I agree that SOME of the people in these tournaments fit your description, but to sweepingly compare them to dog fighting is, not to be too rude, ignorant.

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Yang Luchan

Post by yowie_steve » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:10 pm

Correct me if my taijiquan history is wrong here, but wasn't the founder of this style called "Yang the UNBEATABLE"?



There were no gloves and rules in those times. Yang wasn't a folk hero like Wong Fei Hong, fighting evil. He was a "low life" (according to the Confucian social strata) who was dogfighting a lot to maintain his reputation as an unbeatable fighter.



The ideals of Chinese fighting is different compared to western fighting. We are so accustomed to sport where a gloved fist to the head doesn't do much to you. I've been hit so many times in the head with those padded things and I can certainly tell you if it weren't for them I'd be KO'd in the first 60 seconds by a quick and well placed jab punch to the chin.



Sport fighting is fun, it is a test of skill, it fosters martial spirit.



Martial arts is brutal and gory and for taijiquan to have become what it was Yang Luchan had to kick a lot of ass and destroy alot of people. Dog fighting and taking notes. Look at the form. Palm strikes (or press) to stop the heart. Heads being pulled from their necks. That's from only my limited knowledge by doing the first section.

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Post by J HepworthYoung » Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:55 pm

Are all the martial arts masters who never killed anybody "mere" fighters, not complete martial artists?
I am actually curious what defines a master. Is it consensus or something more?



I don't see martial arts as violent and gory in and of themselves, but their use can be. I don't just see them as fighting arts, rather I see them as pertaining to self mastery as well. I do identify with a type of ethic that just seems to be uncommon though, that may be why I have the opinion I do.



Perhaps I am ignorant, why take offense if that is your opinion?

Still it doesn't change my opinion, I consider those people fighters, they are fighting using martial technique true, some of them are quite skilled true, but I don't believe they have martial spirit which I still relate to self mastery as much as skill.



I don't share the view that bloodsports foster martial spirit at all, quite the opposite, in my opinion I believe they promote violence, not seek to quell it.



I am curious about the padded gloves, they are to protect the tendons of the fist from splaying and allow a trained boxer to hit with greater force than without them. If they are making blows less powerful then they are defeating their purpose.



I don't object to taijiquan being used in UFC, but my opinion on UFC/MMA as being closer to pro-wrestling (though not staged) than it is to martial arts or martial combat has not changed.



If a fighter uses martial arts technique does that make him a martial artist?

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Re: Yang Luchan

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:51 am

yowie_steve wrote:Correct me if my taijiquan history is wrong here, but wasn't the founder of this style called "Yang the UNBEATABLE"?...


Yang Luchan's nickname was Yang Wudi, this is often translated as "Unbeatable" but literally means, "No Rivals" or "No Enemies."



Not all fights in Yang's time were to the bitter end with one left standing over the beaten body of his duifang. In Chinese there is a term, which mean to have a match for mutual benefit. When one asks for this match, it is understood that both will do their best but control their power.



We should also remember that challenge fights were usual held in private with very few to none, being allowed to watch. I've found these sort of out of site matches are the best way to show & test one's skill. The testing part is obvious. One also has the opportunity to prove one's art's worth without the possiblity of causing the other guy to lose face. Instead of creating a rivalry, where the "loser's" side's students feel they have to settle the score, I've found it creates a friendship between teachers & schools.

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Post by josh stout » Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:26 am

?In Chinese there is a term, which mean to have a match for mutual benefit. When one asks for this match, it is understood that both will do their best but control their power.?



?Instead of creating a rivalry, where the "loser's" side's students feel they have to settle the score, I've found it creates a friendship between teachers & schools.?



This is a very good point. Within the martial world, we are supposed to be brothers. It is important to judge each others skill, but it is not supposed to be a death match every time, otherwise you end up with something more like feuding warlords than schools exchanging knowledge.



Recently a trainer of another style asked politely to visit, and demonstrated impeccable manners when he watched my class. Then my teacher asked him to demonstrate his skill, and it quickly became apparent that any kind of competition between the visitor and myself was out of the question. He was far enough above me that my teacher did not want me to spar with him. In private, I would still like the opportunity to ?have a lesson? with him, but in public in front of my class, it would not be a good idea. It was not a matter of protecting my ego or not letting the class see he was better. They could see that. It is just that there is a danger of someone (probably me) getting hurt in such a situation. Neither of us had anything to prove, and we ended up having a very nice time with each other talking about our arts, and building connections between our two schools. I see that as the way martial brotherhood should work.

Josh
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Post by yowie_steve » Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:24 pm

"No rivals" and "no enemies" makes it alot more clearer to me now.



"Unbeatable" seems to have an association with merely an outcome. Having no enemies would indicate one who spars (or fights) with consideration and control so as to not make anyone lose face or to be permanently disfigured or dead in which an enemy may arise from that family or school. I suppose that explains also the use of push, which seems to not incur any damage to the duifang, it is a polite way of keeping the duifang away and letting him know you're on top of the situation. He appreciates it, and doesn't become your enemy.



Perhaps some sport fights in the west have become quite nasty due to the safety gear and rules involved. Because of those limitations any old brute can win a match by swinging wildly - hoping one hit out of the many would eventually connect - knowing that those uncontrolled attacks won't damage or kill the opponent. Which defaults into arm-bar fighting because gloved hands are so limited or the hitting game is sloppy so blows are ineffective.



Submission fighting could be the equivalent of being "polite", since you're not KO'ing or damaging the duifang, just applying a little bit of pain until the duifang has had enough.

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Post by J HepworthYoung » Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:37 pm

I like the idea of private matches to test power and skill, not to provide entertainment for an audience that wants to see brutality.



If I have anything to prove, it is to myself, likewise if I have anyone to compete with, it is myself. I learn a great deal from others and my encounters with them, including in this thread.



I'll admit it, I don't like violence but love martial arts. I find the idea of hurting another person sad, even if I do so in defense. I consider violence a last resort, but don't consider challege matches, as Laoshi describes them; to be violence so much as a form of educational play, despite the injuries that can be sustained in them.



A nice college professor I know has practiced kempo for decades often sports giant bruises from fighting with his teacher, he speaks little of those matches but has said he considers them play, there is little doubt that they are testing their skills and are close friends, despite the ferocity of their game.



On a side note he says his son has practiced taijiquan for a long time

and told me to look into the it, back when I was talking about swords and theory with him. He has a very high esteem of the martial value of taijiquan, despite being a karate guy who trained with Ed Parker for years and it was his mention of this that sparked my interest in taiji as an effective and efficient martial art. I regret that he was unfamiliar with taijijian, otherwise I may have taken serious interest in it two years ago instead of two months ago.



I should apologize for my ignorance however, I am ignorant of many aspects of MMA and UFC type fighting and fighters, not following or watching it myself. Please forgive me for this.

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Post by Dan Fleet » Fri Aug 25, 2006 8:37 am

J HepworthYoung wrote:I like the idea of private matches to test power and skill, not to provide entertainment for an audience that wants to see brutality.


I can see this working to free up the minds of the people involved, if you do not have an audience. No audience means it's just between the opposites.



In addition to mitigating the risk of losing face, you don't have the desire, be it conscious or unconsious, to prove yourself to the crowd. I would suspect that the latter can cause someone to lose hold of their skill in the heat of the moment, and thus make the encounter riskier.



A private encounter would seem to be more relaxed and to the point, so to speak. That would explain why they would be more valiable towards evaluating your own skill than a more open match.

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Post by tjqinterest » Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:11 am

Roland wrote:” I think that everyone who is really serious about the martial arts (either for self defence or for health), has already made an evaluation of their teacher based on their own experience and according their own expectancies”

That`s that I am really asking: „How has this evaluation been made? Have you done some sanshou against other type of martial artists? Have you faced somebody in streetfight and did you use your taiji sklills? Did you take part any competitions and what happened there? (don`t mention push-hands tournaments, because there are quite limited rules). Or have you seen your teacher doing some of these things ?


Others ask, why should somebody fight to prove something. I think it depends, who you are. If you practise taiji (or whatever) just for yourself, you are only responsible for yourself and don`t have to prove anything to others. But if you teach others and your students spend time and money, they need to have some proof. Ok, MMA is very high level, but there are smaller competitions in local levels as well (city, state etc.)

Come on, you can not be lawyer, computer programmer, or even taxi driver without constantly showing your skills in real life. But it is ok to be martial arts teacher without nobody seeing you fighting?

Or, to ask it in other words, how should beginners make evaluations of their teacher? Of course you may say „Find out yourself!”. But it takes years and maybe at last you find out that there is almost nothing there. So, two main options are: You didn`t learn much or you teacher doesn`t know much. So how to verify, which one is correct?


And so-called "to lose face". It seems that most sportsmen who fight, don`t have this "face". They get knocked down and taken down publicly and this is not shame, this is part of the game. .

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Post by Roland Tepp » Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:50 am

tjqinterest wrote:How has this evaluation been made? Have you done some sanshou against other type of martial artists? Have you faced somebody in streetfight and did you use your taiji sklills? Did you take part any competitions and what happened there? (don`t mention push-hands tournaments, because there are quite limited rules). Or have you seen your teacher doing some of these things ?
I do not really understand what you are trying to achieve here. Are you asking that we all require our teachers to regularly show off on local MMA matches to prove that we have something to learn from them?

I admit, I have not witnessed my teacher seriously fight another accomplished martial artist. That still does not make me doubt at the least that his skill level is far beyond and above mine. I have made my assessment based on multitude of reasons and not the least of them is that I still have plenty to learn from him.

His fighting skills are not the reason I chose to learn from him. Taiji, although a martial art, is much more subtle than that.

Everybody can learn punching and kicking fairly quickly. There is no real skill in that. Putting too much emphasis on fighting alone can be just as wrong as not paying attention to it at all...

In GRTC we do practice sanshou. In Estonia n branch we just recently started to practice it, but Washington school has been doing that for years now, and I'm fairly sure the students there have had plenty of opportunity to test and try their skill against each other, our teacher an students of other martial arts schools...
Roland

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Post by Scott M. Rodell » Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:39 am

Roland Tepp wrote:... GRTC we do practice sanshou... Washington school has been doing that for years now... the students there have ... try their skill against each other, our teacher and students of other martial arts schools...
This is so, at the DC branch students regularly practice full contact, few holds barred (no striking the throat or eyes for example), sanshou. A number of senior students have hade private matches with Karate, Taekwondo, Krav Maga & Brazilian Jujitsu & other players. As a matter of form, to prevent rivalries that might turn friendly matches into a hostile school vs. school envirnoment, the out come of these matches, & even mention of them publically, is not allowed. These matches were, after all, for the benefit of those involved, not public amusement.

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Post by Tony Mosen » Wed Feb 21, 2007 5:17 am

I don't beleave there is anything wrong with using Tai chi for what it is designed for, lets not forget that it is just as brutal martial art as any other.

There are Tai chi players out there who have taken their style into the ring. We have regular sparing sessions in our little group, there is no better way to learn Tai chi principles than to train it for what it is designed for in my opinion.

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Post by josh stout » Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:43 pm

Actually I think brutality is inimical to the proper study of traditional styles. Taiji may be at least as effective as other arts, but it should not strive to be as brutal. Brutality has a very animalistic connotation that even those arts that practice animal styles should strive to avoid. Brutality can be a natural outcome of competition or street fighting, but traditional martial arts strive to transcend that brutality. This should not be understood as meaning that traditional martial arts are less effective than street fighting, but rather the opposite. They are the triumph of training over instinct. If there is anything to be said for a public competition it would be to see if one can avoid brutality and still use a traditional style that utilizes mental and physical relaxation under such conditions.

It would be beyond me.
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Post by Tony Mosen » Mon Feb 26, 2007 7:57 pm

Yes well said Josh'
I agree absolutly' i guess what i was trying to get at is that these days people tend to train 'Tai chi in particular' as a spiritual dissapline or the like' whilst neglecting the martial content of the art.

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