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Thread: ITCCA Taiji

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    ITCCA Taiji

    Hi, this is my first post to this forum and the reason why I registered here.

    So, I have been practicing Yang style taiji for some years in a organization called ITCCA that claims to be teaching the "original" Yang style and therefore special and better than anyone else. The organization is run by the mighty chinese master, Chu King Hung, who moved to Europe and established it somewhere in -70's.

    Now the problem I am having is that eventhough I like studying taiji in my school and wouldn't like to change school, ITCCA is so full of 1) itself and 2) bullshit. Now, to the actual issues:

    1) we practice only very little pushing hands and the martial elements of the form or other exercises are practically never discussed (and they seem to be complete BS, atleast according to the little evidence I have seen.)
    2) the "originality" claim seems to be complete marketing trick, and highly annoying one. ITCCA's yang style seems rather different from all the other yang's I have seen. The elbow lifting technique (so-called "opening our wings") especially is something I haven't seen done anywhere else. Either, everyone else is wrong and Chu is the real master, or, more probably, he is just teaching one of the many variants of yang style.
    3) "The master", Chu King Hung seems to be most typical TMA chi-master, who believes that the power of taiji comes from the chi and that the movement of chi is the crucial part of taiji. There are many videos of his "chi-pushes" on youtube. Now, I'm not saying that he wouldn't actually push these guys, but only that he pushes them on a very resticted manner and only when no one trying to stop him from doing it. In classes, we have (sadly) done similiar excercies and you really can make many people move if they are compliant. To consider this technique a mark of actual chi or good MA is of course complete bullshit.

    So, what do you think? Have I mixed myself in fraud or am I one of the few who are studying the "real art".

    (I had many links in the text but it seems that I can't post them because the forum doesn't believe I'm not a bot. So, you have to dig youtube and google yourself!)

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    Welcome to Bullshido.

    Brave to start off in MABS but I think you have done enough reading to know this. So where are you located? The ITCCA seems to be quite the large org and the "I" is of course "International".

    I think you have to make like five posts or something till you can post links. My advise would be to post in YMAS and Gen BS to get a feel for the site and reach that seemingly arbitrary number.

    Looking forward to hearing more specifics.
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    White Crane Opens its Wings at 1:20. Is this the elbow lifting you are talking about?



    Master Chu King Hung, in action.


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    Michael Tzadok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L'Doughnut View Post
    Hi, this is my first post to this forum and the reason why I registered here.

    So, I have been practicing Yang style taiji for some years in a organization called ITCCA that claims to be teaching the "original" Yang style and therefore special and better than anyone else. The organization is run by the mighty chinese master, Chu King Hung, who moved to Europe and established it somewhere in -70's.

    Now the problem I am having is that eventhough I like studying taiji in my school and wouldn't like to change school, ITCCA is so full of 1) itself and 2) bullshit. Now, to the actual issues:

    1) we practice only very little pushing hands and the martial elements of the form or other exercises are practically never discussed (and they seem to be complete BS, atleast according to the little evidence I have seen.)
    2) the "originality" claim seems to be complete marketing trick, and highly annoying one. ITCCA's yang style seems rather different from all the other yang's I have seen. The elbow lifting technique (so-called "opening our wings") especially is something I haven't seen done anywhere else. Either, everyone else is wrong and Chu is the real master, or, more probably, he is just teaching one of the many variants of yang style.
    3) "The master", Chu King Hung seems to be most typical TMA chi-master, who believes that the power of taiji comes from the chi and that the movement of chi is the crucial part of taiji. There are many videos of his "chi-pushes" on youtube. Now, I'm not saying that he wouldn't actually push these guys, but only that he pushes them on a very resticted manner and only when no one trying to stop him from doing it. In classes, we have (sadly) done similiar excercies and you really can make many people move if they are compliant. To consider this technique a mark of actual chi or good MA is of course complete bullshit.

    So, what do you think? Have I mixed myself in fraud or am I one of the few who are studying the "real art".

    (I had many links in the text but it seems that I can't post them because the forum doesn't believe I'm not a bot. So, you have to dig youtube and google yourself!)
    Fraud is a legal term for an actual crime, to define:
    In law, fraud is deliberate deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain, or to deprive a victim of a legal right.
    in my experience most of the time these deceptions are not deliberate, meaning that they do not have actual criminal intent. When dealing with Chinese Martial Art you typically have teachers that legitimately learned what they teach from someone else who claimed to have the *true* or *pure* lineage.

    My biggest experience with this come from ?ing ??un. I have several friends that have learned Ving Tzun, Ving Tsun, Wing Tzun, Wing Tsun... oh I could go on with the various spellings, each from a different lineage of the same art where people spend most of their time hitting a wooden dummy. Every single one of them believes that they have the *true* and *pure* art, and if they go on to found their own schools that is probably what they will tell their students. Therefore they are not committing fraud according to most.

    As for the rest... Well taiji seems to me to be as much a religion as it is a martial art of any sort, and so chi is their own sort of woo. You can call BS on that, but like most people and their religions science probably won't help you, and they will continue with their faith regardless of proofs against.

    I don't know how much Taiji you are going to find that doesn't involve chi.

    If you feel that certain practices are intentionally deceptive, would love to hear those.

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    Quote Originally Posted by L'Doughnut View Post
    Have I mixed myself in fraud or am I one of the few who are studying the "real art".
    Question: what exactly do you mean by "push hands"? Can you (please) find something similar on Youtube? (Definitions on this vary greatly.)

    To answer your question, you generally have two types of Tai Chi:

    1) Commie Tai Chi, as perpetuated by the official People's Republic of China's Wushu education program thingy. It's a very specific stylized type of Yang style of Tai Chi. The authority or lineage or what have you of this type of Tai Chi is that it's from the PRC.

    2) Everyone else.

    If you are 2, no matter who you are, you think you have the realest, most authentic, most special form of Tai Chi ever. That's better than 1, which is rife with "I just do this for health" crap.

    After studying multiple internal arts myself (including Yang style,) I have to say that you would be well served by doing 3 things:
    1) Find people who are sparring with the arts you are studying. Martial arts without sparring is dance.
    2) Once you are doing 1, study a variety of whatever it is you are interested in. If you are only interested in Yang Style Tai Chi, then study with a variety of Yang Style Tai Chi groups.
    3) Once you are doing 1 & 2, make sure you have the application down. How does it actually relate to a fight? What does the form have to do with what you do in sparring?

    But in the end I have to say Tai Chi is a stylized form of Chinese wrestling and fencing influenced by Chinese yoga. If you want to really understand Tai Chi, make sure you are doing some wrestling at your local MMA gym and sparring with some local stick fighters.

  6. #6

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    First, thank you for all your answers.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrouchyOldMan View Post
    White Crane Opens its Wings at 1:20. Is this the elbow lifting you are talking about?

    Master Chu King Hung, in action.

    The elbow thing is even more pronounced in ITCCA's style than in this video clip. If you look how this guy ends his white crane in 1.26 you can see that his right arm is shaped like L. In our style right hand would be lot higher, right elbow would be almost at the height of my ear and you would have a kind of twist in your arm that lifts the elbow even higher and closer to your palm. So the hand would look more like a C. The left hand would be pretty much like with this guy, but farther away from the body. In the other video you can see master Chu lifting his hand in a similiar manner I'm trying to explain (see eg. 2.16) but because the technique is different the lift is not as big as in white crane.


    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Tzadok View Post
    Fraud is a legal term for an actual crime.


    in my experience most of the time these deceptions are not deliberate, meaning that they do not have actual criminal intent. When dealing with Chinese Martial Art you typically have teachers that legitimately learned what they teach from someone else who claimed to have the *true* or *pure* lineage.
    I didn't actually know that fraud is only legal term (I'm not native english speaker). And no, I don't think that my teacher or anyone else from ITCCA that I know of is committig actual fraud or trying to mislead students intentionally. I think that they sincerely believe in what they are teaching. This, of course, doesn't mean that they are right.

    Quote Originally Posted by BFGalbraith View Post
    Question: what exactly do you mean by "push hands"? Can you (please) find something similar on Youtube? (Definitions on this vary greatly.)


    If you are 2, no matter who you are, you think you have the realest, most authentic, most special form of Tai Chi ever. That's better than 1, which is rife with "I just do this for health" crap.

    After studying multiple internal arts myself (including Yang style,) I have to say that you would be well served by doing 3 things:
    1) Find people who are sparring with the arts you are studying. Martial arts without sparring is dance.
    2) Once you are doing 1, study a variety of whatever it is you are interested in. If you are only interested in Yang Style Tai Chi, then study with a variety of Yang Style Tai Chi groups.
    3) Once you are doing 1 & 2, make sure you have the application down. How does it actually relate to a fight? What does the form have to do with what you do in sparring?

    But in the end I have to say Tai Chi is a stylized form of Chinese wrestling and fencing influenced by Chinese yoga. If you want to really understand Tai Chi, make sure you are doing some wrestling at your local MMA gym and sparring with some local stick fighters.
    I think that Chu is only student of Yang Shou-chung (I believe that these old lineage things are rather important in CMA's, but I can't really understand why) who is still teaching. So no commie Tai Chi here. And definetely the most authentic stuff ever.

    Now, I live in Europe in a smallish city with only two Tai Chi schools that I know of and they both teach Yang style. When I started Tai Chi I just (more or less) randomly selected one of these two possible schools. I just checked the site of the other school and they say that they are teaching the martial applications too but so does the ITCCA say and in practice they don't do that. So having someone('s) to spar with isn't easiest thing to find. When I started doing Tai Chi my main motivation had to do with relaxation and stuff like that but I now I think that the martial side of this art would be at least as interesting to me as the forms. Idea of studying martial art without doing anything martial seems highly stupid. Therefore it would be great to really do the martial stuff.

    I'll post some pushing hands videos when I can start posting links.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by L'Doughnut View Post
    ...Now, I live in Europe in a smallish city with only two Tai Chi schools that I know of and they both teach Yang style. When I started Tai Chi I just (more or less) randomly selected one of these two possible schools. I just checked the site of the other school and they say that they are teaching the martial applications too but so does the ITCCA say and in practice they don't do that. So having someone('s) to spar with isn't easiest thing to find. When I started doing Tai Chi my main motivation had to do with relaxation and stuff like that but I now I think that the martial side of this art would be at least as interesting to me as the forms. Idea of studying martial art without doing anything martial seems highly stupid. Therefore it would be great to really do the martial stuff.

    I'll post some pushing hands videos when I can start posting links.
    Two to-do items if I were you:

    1) DO check out the other Tai Chi class in town, and compare and contrast what they do compared to what you are doing. It will build your over all knowledge of Yang style significantly, as you sort out the differences and what you feel is more effective.

    2) My first Tai Chi instructor was also my kick boxing instructor (Vern Miller, first certified Sifu under Grand Master Doc Fai Wong.) Vern was teaching international-rules kick boxing from the 90's, something more like Dutch kickboxing than Muay Thai. But when he saw Muay Thai being practiced, he occasionally commented "that is a lot like Tai Chi." Your closest MMA gym, with their Muay Thai and Wrestling, is a major resource for understanding Tai Chi. Any continuous contact sparring you can get (in MMA, Tai Chi, or otherwise) will give you a better feel for how Tai Chi could be applied in self defense.
    Last edited by BFGalbraith; 4/02/2017 4:32pm at .

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    Quote Originally Posted by L'Doughnut View Post
    I didn't actually know that fraud is only legal term (I'm not native english speaker). And no, I don't think that my teacher or anyone else from ITCCA that I know of is committig actual fraud or trying to mislead students intentionally. I think that they sincerely believe in what they are teaching. This, of course, doesn't mean that they are right.
    Fraud means deception designed to de-fraud (defrauder), as in take something. At it's simplest etymology, it means "to cheat" someone.

    In civil cases, it's usually lying about something that isn't necessarily a crime (like a lineage) to get someone's money or services. It's not a crime to claim you are a BJJ black belt or a Kung fu master and take people's money....caveat emptor in these cases, but that's why victims would have civil recourse.

    In criminal cases, it's misrepresentation of a criminal nature (e.g. insurance fraud, forging legal documents), where you're actually violating a criminal statue AND benefiting somehow.

    Fraud gets thrown around a lot in martial arts circles, but actual cases of it are relatively rare. McDojo's aren't usually fraudulent, their business models just suck. Bullshidoka instructors often can't be charged criminally, unless they're misrepresenting themselves in a criminal way (e.g. false identity, counterfeiting, forgery, tax evasion).

    FAKE is a much better term than fraud. FAKE just means made up.
    Last edited by Pship Destroyer; 4/02/2017 5:47pm at .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pship Destroyer View Post
    Fraud means deception designed to de-fraud (defrauder), as in take something. At it's simplest etymology, it means "to cheat" someone.

    In civil cases, it's usually lying about something that isn't necessarily a crime (like a lineage) to get someone's money or services. It's not a crime to claim you are a BJJ black belt or a Kung fu master and take people's money....caveat emptor in these cases, but that's why victims would have civil recourse.

    In criminal cases, it's misrepresentation of a criminal nature (e.g. insurance fraud, forging legal documents), where you're actually violating a criminal statue AND benefiting somehow.

    Fraud gets thrown around a lot in martial arts circles, but actual cases of it are relatively rare. McDojo's aren't usually fraudulent, their business models just suck. Bullshidoka instructors often can't be charged criminally, unless they're misrepresenting themselves in a criminal way (e.g. false identity, counterfeiting, forgery, tax evasion).

    FAKE is a much better term than fraud. FAKE just means made up.
    Like I already said, I have no reason to consider that ITCCA's people would be doing any actual fraud. And if one thinks that faking is something intentional, then I don't believe that either. The people in ITCCA I now are not some dickheads who would just want to steal my money and they sincerely seem to believe in what they are doing.

    My original point was that eventhough ITCCA claims that they are teaching 1) "the real yang style" and 2) it is also thoughass MA, I have no reason to believe neither of these claims and especially the second claim is either something that doesn't really happen or I haven't just seen anything that would indicate that my teacher's can fight or defend themselves. This, by no means proves that ITCCA's people couldn't be kickass martial artists, it just proves that I have seen no marks of such behavior.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BFGalbraith View Post
    Question: what exactly do you mean by "push hands"? Can you (please) find something similar on Youtube? (Definitions on this vary greatly.)
    Now I have my 5 posts and I can post links, so lets see what I can find!

    Pushing hands exercises we have been doing are something similar to these:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzOqwkijJzo&t=138s
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rT1grRCEiAc


    So they are very soft and unagressive with no intent to unbalance the partner. I have to admit that I haven't been practicing tai chi long enough to know when (if ever) we start to do more complicated and MA oriented drills. I have been discussing with people who have been studying in ITCCA longer than I and from their talks I have understood that their pushing hands exercises are also similar to that in videos.

    Then there are ITCCA's advertisement videos like this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXBql23LRkE

    That look like complete bullshit if watched from the MA perspective. Everytime they say they are training some MA application, they seem to be just training some very strict drill with partner with very stiff movements.

    And one more with Chu King Hung. I have no idea what they say, because I don't speak french, but try to survive. There are more of these "energy tests", see eg. 11.20:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tsEfsabFbc

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