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  1. Lao Tse is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/17/2013 10:42pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Taijiquan

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Learning Combat Taijiquan

    Hi everyone,

    A few quick points before I begin.

    1) This is my first post on Bullshido, and I'm still finding my way around. I apologize in advance if this is the wrong format or location for this question.

    2) I'm hoping to avoid debate about whether taijiquan is an effective martial art. I recognize there is some ongoing debate in the community concerning this question, but it is tangential to the intended purpose of this thread.

    With no further ado:

    I have a little bit of background in taiji basics from a long time ago. I am now intent on returning to it, but this time I want to learn it in a martial context. There seem to be a lot of poor instructors/styles out there, so I'm turning to you guys for help.

    My biggest problem is not knowing where to begin. I imagine that I am not alone in this experience, and thus I'm creating this thread both for my personal edification and in hopes that others may find it useful. Here are the specific questions I have:

    1) It is commonly touted that all styles of taijiquan can be used effectively in a martial context. Nonetheless, their are some obvious differences in both aesthetics and training.
    a) What are the stylistic differences in how the major styles (Yang, Chen, and Wu) fight?
    b) Are some styles more immediately transferable to a street fighting context?

    2) What does a combat taijiquan curriculum look like? Does it include hand form practice? If so are short or long forms more popular among the martial crowd?

    Answers to any/all of the above would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks!!
  2. Bezmond is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/18/2013 12:08am


     Style: Taijiquan, Karate

    4
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Lao Tse View Post

    1) It is commonly touted that all styles of taijiquan can be used effectively in a martial context. Nonetheless, their are some obvious differences in both aesthetics and training.
    a) What are the stylistic differences in how the major styles (Yang, Chen, and Wu) fight?
    b) Are some styles more immediately transferable to a street fighting context?

    2) What does a combat taijiquan curriculum look like? Does it include hand form practice? If so are short or long forms more popular among the martial crowd?

    Answers to any/all of the above would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks!!
    Hello Lao Tse,

    In my experience, one of the biggest problems with taiji practitioners is that they love standing around talking about how their taiji can be applied to martial situations.

    Though forms are important as they are teaching you about the things you are trying to apply in a fight ie correct skeletal alignment, relaxation, as well as strengthening your legs and building your stamina, too many people leave it at forms.

    You need to find a teacher / school who advocates free form push hands and does it vigorously. Like a fight.
  3. Bezmond is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/18/2013 5:00am


     Style: Taijiquan, Karate

    2
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Plus I would look for a Chen style school - as the forms are more physically demanding, it is less attractive to hippies and old ladies.
  4. Diesel_tke is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/18/2013 8:20am

    supporting member
     Style: stick,Taiji, mountainbike

    4
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I would first look at the sparring practice before worrying about which form they do. If they do push hands, that's a start. Free-moving push hands better. Lei Tai best. Then learn whatever form they do. Chen style seems to be the style that does it the most, but others are not unheard of.

    Personally I have had better success in applying Taiji concepts to other styles of martial art than I did in just applying Taiji to combat. I haven't found that the forms lend themselves directly to combat applications very well. But when training in an art that does, the Taiji principles have added to that. Number one thing being the ability to relax while sparring.

    Good luck on your search.
    Combatives training log.

    Gezere: paraphrase from Bas Rutten, Never escalate the level of violence in fight you are losing. :D

    Drum thread

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  5. Ming Loyalist is offline
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    solves problems with violence

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    Posted On:
    5/18/2013 2:55pm

    supporting member
     Style: Judo, Hung Family Boxing

    2
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    check out this thread http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=87441

    it will give you some idea of what good taiji training and competition looks like.
    "Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
    "When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
    "Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
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  6. It is Fake is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/18/2013 3:58pm

    staff
     Style: xingyi

    4
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    If they aren't doing this:


    Then applying it like this:


    this:


    or this:

    you are basically doing this:


    Which is fine, but not for combat.
  7. Eddie Hardon is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/18/2013 4:30pm


     Style: Trad Ju Jitsu

    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I don't know where you are in the World, although you spell 'apologise' in the American manner whereas us Brits use 's' not 'z'. ;-)

    In my minor view, find out the provenance of your Instructor's lineage before you worry about Push Hands and Sparring malarkey.

    If your Instructor is versed in 'contact' or comes from a Hard Style background, then you can probably have some confidence in their guidance.

    I recall when first dabbling in Trad JJ and Ba Gua, I attended a Tai Chi Seminar hosted by Edward Hines, here in London. Ed was my Ba Gau instructor (and had trained in his youth in amateur boxing under St Pancras ABC) - anyway, there was one bloke who I crossed Hands with who threw me all around the room. He knew what he was doing whereas I didn't.

    Chen is the original style and I am trying (yet again) to learn it under a superb instructor, who also specialises in Xing Yi (amongst his many skillsets). I love the Chen style and it is a bloody challenge to get the nuance and Winding.

    You could also look at Sun Style. Superb and you can see similarities in Wing Chun.

    You could go the Internal route: Xing Yi -> Ba Gua Zhang -> Tai Chi Chuan (Tai Ji if you prefer) but above all, get a good instructor. Good luck.
    Last edited by Eddie Hardon; 5/18/2013 4:30pm at . Reason: typo
  8. Rivington is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/19/2013 12:06am

    supporting member
     Style: Taijiquan/Shuai-Chiao/BJJ

    3
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Lao Tse View Post
    Hi everyone,

    a) What are the stylistic differences in how the major styles (Yang, Chen, and Wu) fight?
    Chen likes to go low, shake up an opponent, tangle a limb, and then fajin. Put 'em on the chopping block, then chop. Can't tell you much about the others, though of the people I've played with, it's Wu that seems to most ready to spar and play hard. Some Guang Ping guys can go as well. Some very good Yang guys can go, but most of them have something else going on too, and just impart a Yang flavor to what they already have.


    b) Are some styles more immediately transferable to a street fighting context?
    The ones that play hard.

    2) What does a combat taijiquan curriculum look like? Does it include hand form practice? If so are short or long forms more popular among the martial crowd?
    Yes, it does involve handforms, but not just mindless repetition of the same. The idea behind the handforms is to convince you that your dantien actually exists, to the point where you'll just move as if it was a real organ that actually does fuel your limbs. It's a way of perfecting kinetic linking for your throws and strikes, and also has the curriculum of applications embedded within.

    Frequently, you'll do pushing hands, often starting with single hand (an abstraction of punch/parry), then moving on to the unbalancing game of fixed-step pushing hands. If your school stops there, LEAVE.

    Then you'll begin stepping, starting as a drill, and then moving into free play, then free play including sweeps and such.

    Parallel to these should be striking drills, which won't actually work very well for striking, but which will work well for getting inside when seeking to grapple.

    You may learn two-man sets or routines. These can be okay if the idea is that you can change them up, go harder, suffer if you mistime your response, etc. I wouldn't get too heavily involved in two-man sets otherwise.

    Eventually, in push hands, your pushes will start looking and feeling a lot like palm strikes, and some of those sweeps will be low kicks. Better funded schools will break out the gloves and gear. Playground/city park bad-asses will basically throw and strike and try to avoid hitting you in the face, and will recommend that you not hit them in the face either. Often, sparring will be the standing grappling with the strikes "shown" rather than full-force strikes.
  9. Bezmond is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/19/2013 12:44am


     Style: Taijiquan, Karate

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rivington View Post


    Yes, it does involve handforms, but not just mindless repetition of the same. The idea behind the handforms is to convince you that your dantien actually exists, to the point where you'll just move as if it was a real organ that actually does fuel your limbs. It's a way of perfecting kinetic linking for your throws and strikes, and also has the curriculum of applications embedded within.
    Beautifully put.
  10. Eddie Hardon is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/19/2013 2:51pm


     Style: Trad Ju Jitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Bez is correct. That para stood out and immediately got my attention. Well done Riv.

    Another minor point is that in the UK, TCC instructors are graded:

    S Cat - teaching for over 20 years.
    A Cat - knows the 4 elements: Hand Form, Push Hands, Weapons, Chi Gung
    B Cat - know 2 of the 4
    TPA - Third Party Accreditation - commonly taught in China, Taiwan etc.

    I was taught Yang - the most common form and put together by Beijing TCC committee under Le De Yin - by some 4 teacher. All slightly different. The first and fourth teachers taught the Applications.
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