I agree with you about to much 'Li" strength as something that impairs the ability to apply Taijiquan principles. However I did suggest boxing to a Taijiquan practitioner for basic self defense skills. Taijiquan is a martial art that uses "yi" "chi" and 'Li" and derives its power from "jin". Robert Smith was not referring to Taiji boxing. He was clear about Western boxing. there is something much more deadly than boxing or taijiquan. It is a person who can clearly understand the functions and purpose of both making a fighting force based on taijiquan principles combined with the powerful striking ability of a western boxer. William CC Chen comes to mind here.... Scott Rodell knows this too as he teaches some of this info in his San Shou classes.Tashi James wrote:Yes, if you add muscle mass to a body that is already out of alignment it may compound ones ability to apply Taijiquan principles. Perhaps Adam Smith was referring to Taiji boxing not western style boxing? In which case a different methodology in regard to power and strategy is employed.
The classics warn that to rely on 'li' muscular force is unsustainable. Case in point there are very few western boxers who keep their skill into old age, however, many examples of elder Taijiquan practitioners who continue to carry outstanding abilities.
power = speed X mass... increase speed by turning thumb over-snap the punches, increase mass by using correct stances and turning your core, using the strength of your legs. If your stance is not correct , it is the source of problems with power and mobility.
Boxing in my experience has not had any negative effects with body mass. I've lost weight and got leaner. Most taiji folks are out of shape and when I went to a Taiji tournament- all the judges and "masters and experts" were fat and disgusting. Several of them gained some major weight each year I see them and this is quite disappointing for "masters" who promote health. I can only image how 'out of breath' they will be in the first minute in a fight.