8/12/2010 10:55am, #31
One thing I do have to say, he is probably confusing a lot of Taiji FORMS ONLY people <who most likely got their material from distance learning/DVD courses> for genuine Taijiquan instructors when he presents his info, since a lot of phyiscal posture and weight distribution info he emphasizes (which he seems to think is unique to him and his lessons,) is commonly taught by almost anyone who's ever pushed hands with another person.
Other than that and his "watch me, watch me" approach, his instructions on alignment are pretty decent.
8/12/2010 11:28am, #32
How 'wrong' is it to learn non-martial/exercise (is there an 'proper' name for that?) Tai Chi from distance learning schools, books and DVDs anyway (in your opinion, as a practitioner of the art)? Regardless, it seems to be a very widely-accepted practice that probably isn't going to change...
It's a bit different to, say learning something like Judo, or BJJ, or Krotty in this manner.
8/12/2010 11:33am, #33
No more wrong than learning BJJ via home study dvd, and still calling it BJJ. No hands on sparring, no BJJ. No push hand, shuai jiao, hands on training, no Quan (there is a distinction between Taiji Qigong and Taijiquan. It's just not a common distinction.) Just my 2c.
8/12/2010 12:28pm, #34
*I should add, when you train with a real (competent) instructor, they usually correct the posture problems that Al is talking about, which is what led me to believe that he is targeting the distance learning qi gong audience.
8/12/2010 3:49pm, #35*I should add, when you train with a real (competent) instructor, they usually correct the posture problems that Al is talking about, which is what led me to believe that he is targeting the distance learning qi gong audience.
(I'm not sure how I got to this page now (it's not linked from the front) - must've clicked through from somewhere else the other day.)
This seems to be the PhD dissertation he's referring to (haven't read yet):
So, what is the distinction between Taiji Qigong and Taijiquan? The former is the 'exercise' version? Sorry, this is one art that I 'know of' - but don't really 'know about'.
8/12/2010 4:00pm, #36
No worries, comrade.
Taijiquan (supreme ultimate fist- where quan = fist) is a martial art. It incorporates takedowns, to some extent joint locks, a few concepts not unlike Aikido that involve redirecting of the opponent's force, and something called sticking/adhering, where you close the gap between yourself and the opponent, and keep your hands on him/her (unless she has a good lawyer) continuously deflecting attacks until you get an opening for uproot or takedown, at least in theory.
During the early 1900's, China was facing a cultural crisis which called on it's people to "strengthen the nation," and martial arts/qi gong practice happened to be a prominent element, helping promote national pride against the invading foreign influences. During this transition, a lot of literoti began attributing great cultural elements (such as cultural heros and famous figures) to various arts and practices, to strengthen their image, and promote pride in these arts. (This is part of why Zhang San Feng was at one point associated with Taijiquan.)
During this period (just at the start of Mao's Cultural Revolution) a number of prominent instructors left the country for nearby continents, or in some cases, the U.S. They brought with them the Qi Gong, strengthen the body/strengthen the nation sentiments, and emphasized that above the more "undesirable" violent aspects of martial arts, at least from the perspective of an educated Confucian scholar (which many of these instructors were.) A perfect example is Prof. Cheng M'an Qing, who is responsible for the vast chunk of Taijiquan presense in the U.S.
Through this filter, Americans were exposed to CMA, and so began the new age hippie trend of the 70s, where frauds from all over the world latched on to various esoteric elements of CMA, and exploited the gullible.
The Qi Gong element of Taijiquan became prominent mainly because it involved the form, no applications were taught (because some instructors discarded them for various reasons,) and the art became known as "Chinese yoga" or moving meditation, when in fact, it's other elements simply became discarded. A bit like doing kata without ever learning why, being told only that it makes you healthy.
This is a gross oversimplification of it all, but this is it in a nutshell. Hope it helps. If anyone feels like correcting me, please go nuts.
8/12/2010 6:20pm, #37
I had just figured that 'forms-only Tai Chi' was to 'fighting Tai Chi' as boxercise is to boxing - but was something that Chinese people had been doing for hundreds of years as a keep fit thing.
I never really thought about reading further into it.
8/12/2010 6:25pm, #38
8/20/2010 5:59am, #39
Passive Aggressive Master Al is doing it again.
Originally Posted by Email
Originally Posted by email 2
Originally Posted by email 3
Originally Posted by email 4
Originally Posted by email 5
YouTube- The Critic - Buy My Book
8/20/2010 6:10am, #40