Let’s ponder what the late Bruce Lee had once said about Tai Chi for a moment – “Tai Chi has proven to be an excellent fighting act in history and Yang Lu Chan (the founder of Yang family Tai Chi) has proven Tai Chi is a deadly fighting art.” However, when we think about Tai Chi, most people will automatically associate an image of a bunch of old fellows moving slowly and gracefully in the park. Indeed, Tai Chi has become a new age phenomenon with its usage ranging from stress reduction to improvement of wellness. What has been forgotten from the equation is the martial art aspect of Tai Chi.
One must be wondering, “How can this slow-motion technique be useful in real fighting, especially against other styles which stress lightning speed and deadly techniques? Give me some proof.” For example, here are two western Tai Chi masters who have won full contact martial arts championships without even a scratch.
- Peter Ralston – Peter, a student of William C.C. Chen, was the first non-Asian to win the 1978 World Tournament.
- Dan Docherty – Dan, a student of Cheng Tin-Hung, won the 1980 open weight division of the South-East Asian Chinese Pugilistic Championship after a few years of Tai Chi training.