years ago l did learn wu from shanghai . its different than what you see in north america. l learned it slow for a year or so then it becomes smaller circles and fast some with ging . the only one l know of that was teaching only for fighting was a chen in h.k. who entered fighters in the taiwan bare knuckle event they started up again after the war. most tai chi was marketed for old people in h.k. because thats where the market and money was. there was lots of styles for younger ones non for elderly . .. l couldnt see me wrestling someone in a street situation. l have met some teachers from taiwan that were very good but they were quite big and muscular . if you see for example wu kam cheun who put wu style together he weighed about 300 lbs. . l dont think to many in north america are taught how to train to fight and a lot seem to think that push hands is going to do it. lots of styles including mine has some type of push hands excercise but we do live free combat in training. l have never seen any tai chi in north america that was really combat oriented . l do have pictures of some chen fighters from h.k. who won in taiwan in the bare knuckle event . l would post it but l am not good on a computer . it would (only my opinion ) seem to be are to find a fighter who could go to throwdowns or bare knuckle event and do well . if some one had some quaulity free fighting videos of tai chi l would like to see them for interest sake.
Erle Montague might not be the best place to start. If you find a TCC school, odds are that they don't fight. Sometimes people believe if they do the form enough their body will learn how to defend itself or something silly like that.
The past tendencies to delay martial training in TCC, plus attempts of CMA to be less open have created a legacy of crappy, deluded teachers, IMHO. Today, I think the trend is to introduce students to the martial aspects sooner. But now we have to fight for credibility--and the marketplace has never had so many options for a new MA student.
This has created another challenge for martial TCC: lack of good students. The majority of new students start TCC for new-agey moving meditation and most of those quit once they find out that you have do some work. The percentage of students who start TCC for martial training is rather small.
l would like a question answered if l might . where is your wu style from? hong kong or shanghia . as theres a difference .
I am studying the Wu Style from Hong Kong (via Toronto). Most of the Wu family moved to HK/Macau after Shanghai. Remaining in Shanghai were Wu Ying-Hua (who married Ma Yueh Liang) and Wu Kung Cho (imprisoned during cultural revolution).
yes l know what your learning . it is different than what l was taught. thank you
OK. My 2c worth.
Tai Chi, as taught in the West, is chiefly a medicinal art (the health effects of which are similar to light exercise).
This is because it's practiced slowly, and without full-resistance sparring. The techniques are largely untested, and are assumed to work by deference to tradition (e.g. 'My sifu says that his grandmaster said...').
However, some schools in the West (e.g. that of Cullion) and China maintain Tai Chi as a fighting art, i.e. a martial art in the genuine sense. From what I can tell, the difference is in the drilling, application and testing of their techniques (like any fighting craft).
l learned what l do pak mei after seeing a real fight between my sifu and a teacher of clf . at the time l was only about 154 lbs. the clf guy was over 6 ft my sifu about 5 foot ten . when l was young l loved to fight so l was sold . it was later l did bi ci . tai chi l didnt mean it couldnt work and if l can get my son to post a picture of chen from h.k. with winners from a bare knuckle event l will. when l was young we didnt have t.v. or computers so l cant do it . l would like to see tai chi free fighting .
Erle is th3 r34l d34dl3y joke.
I've met Max, he's a nice guy and he might go far. W.C.C.C. was by all accounts a can of whuppass in his day. However, if its still up on his website, in the bio's he admits to starting Max off with another teacher on orthodox kung fu-- TCC is just too slow to interest the average kid. I've tried with my stepson, and its true.
Unfortunately DAYoung's assessment is correct; although it shouldn't have to be that way, usually it is.
You have to be very careful, IMO, with any TCC schools, and especially with people calling themselves "real" and "full contact" TCC players. Most of the ones I've met are old TMA/hard stylists (KE?PO!), who expand into TCC for $, learn a few forms, then bring their old skillset from other MAs in to show that they know the r34l d34dl3y "applications".
The Chen village standard bearers have been doing seminars in some U.S. cities for a few years, and they appear to have some skills, although I've never seen them do full contact sparring. They do appear to know how to punch, and also have a lot of chin na/joint locking skill. I've seen and felt M. Zhu Tian Cai, and also C. P. Ong who works with Chen Xiaowang and Chen Zhenglei, and is a disciple of CZL.
Yan Yuanhua, teaching in the L.A. area, is from the Shanghai Wu tradition (< Qian Chaoqun < Ma Yuehliang) and I believe he has some skills to teach; but he is also "old school" enough that no one is going to walk in off the street and find out.
The point to be made, however, is that TCC gets a lot of disrespect, but most people, even those who think they are doing it, have never really seen or experienced the real deal.
I could only stand watching one of the guy's videos for a minute.
I started learning TC as a supplement to my other stuff and have found it helpful. Understanding the principles and improving my structure has helped me with my throws and takedowns. Doing the repetitive motions (exercises) has also helped my stance to where I don't get thrown as easy.
I think the effectiveness of the style depends on how it is taught. The class I take emphasizes getting the movements down and applying them over learning the form. Putting the person off-balance before you hit them is one of the main applications. In my opinion it has been a great supplement to my training.