Posted On:5/20/2003 8:52am
Since Shooter invited people to ask about his experiences and his use of taichi principles... (I've asked this question in another thread before but it was off-topic so here it goes again)
How would you apply taichi principles to BJJ? I got a response about balancing the dantien and using lu and pen (correct me if I'm wrong). I know the dantien is the centre of balance but I'm not knowledgable about all the different taichi elements so hopefully someone can clarify these for me. Thanks
Posted On:5/20/2003 8:42pm
At the risk of sounding like a "mystical Kung Fu master", I shall give my honest opinion of what I've seen and felt in my research and studies;
On purely energetic levels, I don't see much difference between good Tai Chi Chuan and good BJJ. I could be wrong...anything's possible. Ha!
This is the same type of body-unity/energy-management I've felt in some very capable Tai Chi Chuan people and BJJers alike. As you try to come around the guard and get side-control on any purple belt, you'll feel the same 'bounce' as you would trying to get to the body on a good Tai Chi player while standing.
The same word is repeated over and over at BJJ tourneys as in most every Tai Chi Chuan school on the planet. Having never trained in a BJJ school, I can only imagine that the word gets the same play there as it does in TCC schools. "Relax!...relax...just relax". Having felt the response of some of the BJJers I've competed against, the word means the same thing in terms of sinking and becoming very heavy, or 'based out' as well as soft and pliable. It goes much deeper than that and has to be felt to be appreciated.
Listening skill is the very same level of sensitivity and receptivity one trains in Tai Chi as it is in BJJ and Judo. 'nuff said.
A strategic concept which guides the responses and actions of the player. I've seen lots of yeilding in the BJJer's game.
Silk-reeling is one of the types of enegrgy-management so many Tai Chi players are paying the big bucks to learn at seminars these days.
The Chen stytlists think they've got a leg up on the rest of us Tai Chi players for some reason. Yang stylists are the only ones who actively compete in various full-contact fighting though. anyway, I've trained with a few Yang players who can apply their Tai Chi combatively at a very high level. A couple of them could crush me like a bug despite my advantage of size, strength, and athleticism. This is full-contact I'm talking about where I'm allowed to do whatever I want to control them or hit them. (these guys are the real deal and I think they provide fair grounds to make the comparisons) It's the synergy of their peng, sung, and ting, combined with their chan-ssu-chin. The same synergy is discenrable in some of the better BJJers, Sambo dudes, and Judoka I've rolled with or competed against.
Chan-ssu-chin is a circular method of moving force into, and around the points of contact. It's the type of leading motion one uses to apply, avoid and escape chokes and locks. It's also used in the hitting and throwing I've seen in one or two very good Judoka when they include Atemi-waza with their regular repertoire of throwing and controlling on the feet.
The only real difference between the good Tai Chi I've had experience with and the good BJJ and Judo is the philosophical aspects. I'm being superficial in my saying that as I don't know the thinking of the non-TCC people in how they apply their respective arts to the real. Having read some of Kano's lectures, I can say that his model and vision was very close to that of Tai Chi Chuan. He talks about yeilding, and borrowing force and strength from the opponent, and how that method begins in the mind...as an idea which one applies to their own personal experiences and realities. Only after the idea is given personal substance does the tactical and subsequent technical skill really manifest as a natural part of the player's being. Time spent and proper training.
There are the obvious differences in the training methods, ie Tai Chi form, Chi Kung, and the way the introspective learning integrates itself into one's every day life, thus becoming a philosophical method as much as a physical/combative method. I consider both Judo and Tai Chi Chuan to be "Living Arts". That is, Martial Art which is lived rather than just practiced. They are the Tao and the Way for those who are willing to sound the depths of their art and themselves.
I'm sure there are many who apply the principles of their BJJ to their every day life as well, since the principles teach a new way of thinking about themselves and their role in their work, play, and life.
Posted On:5/20/2003 11:20pm
PD: I'm just into BJJ right now. I try to stay relaxed and sensitive though so I'm trying to incorporate softer principles in my game. I'm very technical because compared to almost all the people I've rolled with, I'm much smaller and less strong.
Posted On:5/20/2003 11:26pm
"I'm sure there are many who apply the principles of their BJJ to their every day life as well, since the principles teach a new way of thinking about themselves and their role in their work, play, and life."
They do? Praytell. It was developed by people with something to prove...
Posted On:5/20/2003 11:50pm
Style: Liu Seong Gung Fu
nice post, Shooter.
XX, a little anti-bjj, eh? they sure are arrogant aren't they?
" a cow doesnt whinny, and a horse has no udder, back is to the sides, and sideways is straight ahead"
Posted On:5/21/2003 8:54am
PIizDoff, yes, I do have a ground-fighting set in my Tai Chi. Some of us have well in BJJ/sub-wrestling competitions. Competition isn't the main focus though.
Such as thou art, sometime was I.
Posted On:5/21/2003 9:05am
Style: Brazilian Jiujitsu
At the risk of adding to the general impression that I am a BJJ fanboy, I have NEVER heard ANYONE with whom I train talk down any other system. There have been brief mentions of specific technical shortcomings, but most of what goes on is cross-pollenation. Someone gets wind of a neat idea from say, Escrima or fencing, and then we try to work it out.
On internet forums however...EVERYONE seems unreasonable.
Excellent post. Thank you. My brief with the CMAs left me with the ability to understand where you're coming from and to relate intuitively and sometimes technically to what you have to say. I have tried and tried and tried to relate to BOTH sides that CMA principles are universal ones. Ah well.
"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - for ever."
Normally, I'd say I was grappling, but I was taking down and mounting people, and JFS has kindly informed us that takedowns and being mounted are neither grappling nor anti grappling, so I'm not sure what the **** I was doing. Maybe schroedinger's sparring, where it's neither grappling nor anti-grappling until somoene observes it and collapses the waveform, and then I RNC a cat to death.----fatherdog
Posted On:5/21/2003 9:39am
Yeah, the few bjj people I've met were exceedingly cool, and more than open to sharing. I think that most good people who spar or roll consistently eat enough crow to learn humility. Everyone's got their guy that takes them down.
BTW, Shooter, nice post, and a good sum up of the pertinent info. It's funny, like Wastrel said, people don't sometimes get that internal kung fu isn't really comprised of special moves, but just common motions and principles being applied, and that those principles are at play in tons of fighting methods that aren't considered traditional.
Frankly, I'm not great at ground work, but I find that silk reeling is sooo helpful down there, occasionally saving me from more experienced ground fighters, and loi(sort of the opposite of peng, the inward drawing energy) can sometimes prove a good offensive tool for drawing in that stray limb you want to control. What I do is not specifically tai chi, but I believe the same principles apply.
Posted On:5/21/2003 9:54am
Great post, shooter. As of judo, I recently came across this link.
Posted On:5/21/2003 7:12pm
Yeah I understood - I've never done Taichi (except for a bit of push-hands and moving step) and I was just explaining why I posted this subject. I actually didn't know there was any ground-fighting in Taichi - too bad it's not more common.
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