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11/24/2003 11:00am,
1) Is Tai Chi a martial art?

2) Does Tai Chi claim to be a martial art?

3) Does "combat Tai Chi" really exist?

11/24/2003 11:02am,
Ask Chen Xiaowang.....

Deadpan Scientist
11/24/2003 11:03am,
1) Yes
2) depends on the school
3) Yes

11/24/2003 11:04am,
A good fighter can turn any style into a "fighting" style.
Origianlly Taiji was one of the most respected MA in all of asia.

11/24/2003 11:04am,
If you are in Brooklyn look up William CC Chen's schools.... Also there is a guy called the Black Taoist. Not Taiji but, Bagua I think.

11/24/2003 11:51am,
Another poster on another thread said some very wise words to the effect of: (admitted paraphrasing) it's good to have a base in an external/hard (western boxing & wrestling, karate & jujutsu, hung gar kung fu etc.) style before trying to learn an internal style (hsing i, pakua, taiji, aikido, etc.). I agree with that statement, but I also think that it's critical that you train with someone that teaches the art from a practical perspective. Especially with the internal arts, there seems to be more chi-master wannabes because of the perceived lack of external prowess, i.e. no one ever calls them on their bullshit. A good test is to ask to spar -- a good internal stylist will make you feel it, even if you don't know what the hell they did.

Mr. Mantis
11/24/2003 12:00pm,
Opinion: Any soft style becomes a hard style once you start blocking and striking with power. Therefore the internal and external arts can never be separated.

11/24/2003 12:23pm,
Originally posted by Mr_Mantis
Opinion: Any soft style becomes a hard style once you start blocking and striking with power. Therefore the internal and external arts can never be separated.

I'm curious regarding what you're basing this opinion on.

11/24/2003 12:40pm,
I, for one, think that the distinction between soft and hard styles, internal and external styles, is silly and arbitrary.

Any style, in order to be combat effective, must be BOTH internal and external. Focus and body aligment are extremely important in boxing, grappling, etc.

11/24/2003 12:53pm,
I agree with Hapko3 on that one.
The very nature of Taiji for example is the yin and yang theory of both hard and soft, internal and external.

11/24/2003 12:57pm,
I've found it difficult to find good teachers of what I consider to be internal styles -- many fully ignore the external angle. And I'm not making the distinctions because I belive they have value, it's a form of termonology that's been around longer than any of us have been training. Of course you have to be well-rounded, but I've still seen a marked difference in the practice of a hung gar kwoon and a tai chi chuan kwoon. They may end up (ideally) at the same destination, but their manner of getting there is often decidedly different. Hence, the distinction between internal and external. If the terminology doesn't work or make sense for you, cool, no big deal.

11/24/2003 1:02pm,
A taiji guy once said this to me:
Internal stylist start of "soft" and end up "hard" and external stylist start "hard" and end up "soft" ( no sexual pun intended).

11/24/2003 1:04pm,
No wonder internal practitioners can practice their art for years.

11/24/2003 1:15pm,
Internalizing the process

feeling the process

being the process

Tai Chi Chuan isn't a martial art. It's a Living Art.

11/24/2003 1:17pm,
What the heck does that mean ????

11/24/2003 1:21pm,
My balls are hanging low today; I guess I'm gettin old!