Saturday, October 23, 2010
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
In fact, this is a polite way to challenge someone or to test your own skills in Tai Chi.
Sure, it's true that most of the great Tai Chi masters are all excellent at pushing hands. It's also true that all of them can fight, but that's a long time ago....
Of course, the number of Tai Chi practitioners fighting in tournaments has sharply increased in the last ten years. However, they all fight like they have been trained in Muy Thai or Jujitsu.
I once asked William C.C. Chen, one of the best students of Professor Cheng Man Ching, whether you needed to be good at pushing hands to be good at fighting.
His answer was simply "NO."
He also told me that he was once beaten in a tournament when he was still a teenager, even though his pushing-hands skills were among the best in Taiwan.
"You still need to learn how to fight." said William Chen.
In a nutshell, while it's true that learning to push hands is a major part in understanding the art, you also need to immerse yourself in a variety of fighting scenarios to develop your true ability in Tai Chi. This has helped me so many times since I was a kid.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Thursday, August 10, 2006
I was fortunate enough to find a link to the video of a fight between the White Crane Style Grandmaster (Chan) and Wu style Tai Chi Grandmaster (Wu) which took place in 1954. Please note that Wu was already in his sixties and Chan was around 31 at the time. According to the description in the video, which is in Chinese, both fighters had signed an agreement to relieve any liabilities to each other, even if they were killed in the battle. The result of the fight was a draw.
One comment is that I would like you to defer your judgments about the fight until at least a month later. You will understand what I mean when you are done with the video.
Here is the link:
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Jet Li made the following comment in a recent interview:
"Chinese martial arts are so extremely profound that most of the Chinese don't even understand the power themselves. It will take a long time to learn and practice."
Is this all true? Is that the reason why all of the so-called Sifu, with only a few exceptions, are all old and fat? Is that why most of the people who have studied Tai Chi for a long period of time still do not have a clue about how they can use their kung fu?
This brings up a good question: how long does it take for a Tai Chi student to apply the technique in a real encounter?
What's your answer?
I know that most of my friends are thinking what their teachers and classmates have been telling them: it's going to take a long time.
You must be complaining now, “But, I don’t have the time.”
I remembered William C.C. Chen once told me that he could train any normal housewife for three months and he would be confident that they could defeat most of the big guys in hand to hand combat. And, there is no magic. It’s all about learning how to relax, how to develop the skills, how to apply the fighting art, and finally, and the most important part, practicing with an open mind.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Wait a minute. Don’t leave yet! It has everything to do with Tai Chi.
While he was receiving tons of money everyday and participated in all the interviews you can think of, he still attended his classes. This type of calmness is a very high level of tai chi achievement.
Don’t argue with me yet!
Consider this: when you practice pushing hand with your classmates, do you feel frustrated when you were being shoveled away all the time?
Now consider this: if someone pissed you off and pulled out a knife to threaten you, can you keep your cool? Will you be calm and focused all the time?
The basic ideas of Tai Chi in martial application are using calmness against distressed mind and using softness against hardness. (This is my own understanding and translation.) During the course to achieve your goal in tai chi practice, can you maintain your mind like the British college student?
There are tons of million dollar homepage copycats out there. Even a California high school kid came up with a catch phrase “The evolution of the Revolution” and invoked our founding fathers and Lindsay Lohan recently. (www.American-Million-Dollar-Homepage.com). However, none of them can make a big impact so far, what do you think are the reason besides bad marketing, bad design, and bad luck?
Do you think the British college student can be a good tai chi student? Or, do you think he will even care with all the money he has now.
I’ll let you be the judge….