Hello friends and welcome to my blog. Today, I would like to share some of my thoughts about Tai Chi in the world of martial combat. As I mentioned in my last blog, we all have our parts to play in order to keep the tree of martial arts alive. So, now, I’m posing the question: is Tai Chi playing its part in the world of martial warfare?
First, I would like to say that Tai Chi is one of the greatest martial arts of all times. It is often misunderstood, because a major part of this mysterious practice involves the concept of using softness in a way that overcomes hardness. This is a difficult concept to grasp.
Historically, Tai Chi has had a long history of success on the battlefield. However, somehow, it appears that Tai Chi has lost its way as a boxing art in today's time. (my opinion)
Several years ago, I began observing individuals who said that they were masters of Tai Chi, but seemed to have inferior fighting skills. I was frustrated with this trend, and my frustrations were vented in a way that I did not intend. Some individuals took my comments as a personal criticism – believing that I was saying that their training had no real foundation. However, that was not my intention.
I was only voicing my passion and desire for Tai Chi to be respected as a true martial fighting art, as well as a healing art. In today’s time, the focus is on Tai Chi as an “internal healing art”, which I whole-heartedly believe to be true and practice daily. However, the fighting aspect has been greatly ignored.
I am a national/international competitor who has fought in many full contact competitions worldwide using the principles of Tai Chi. So, I truly believe in Tai Chi as a boxing art. Based on my experiences as a competitive and street fighter, and the successes achieved through this art, I would like to see us be examples to those inside and outside of the “internal martial arts world”, proving to the other branches that Tai Chi has merit in boxing.
“Tai Chi Chuan” -- its interpretation means “Grand Ultimate Boxing”. This is a BIG statement! It's like saying you're the “Fastest Gun In The West”. If a gunslinger were to say that about himself, somebody else would want to test that claim to see if they were faster.
Let's go back to the feudal days of China and then think about those days through the lens of an old Western movie flick. Picture this:
¨ There are many kung fu fighters from many different systems hanging out in the saloon: with dancing girls - a piano player - smoke in the air - lots of drinking – etc.
¨ A lone man, dressed all in white, walks through the door……The music and the dancing stops….. Everybody turns and looks at the stranger in dead silence.
¨ The only one that speaks is the drunkard….. He says: "who the hell are you?"
¨ The lone man in white responds to the whole saloon in Chinese: “I'm Tai Chi Chuan!”
Think about it! By saying “I’m Tai Chi Chuan”, he’s saying “I’m the Ultimate, and everything you do is obsolete!”. In wild west terms, he just insulted the whole saloon by saying “Tai Chi Chuan”. So, if you’re going to SAY that you’re the fastest gun in the west, then you also have to PROVE it.
Yang Lu Shan is a legend in Tai Chi and is the founder of his own style – Yang Family Tai Chi, practiced by millions today. He was called "Yang the Invisible" for a reason! What happened to that history?
Tai Chi Chuan is truly great as a fighting art and deserves the label “Grand Ultimate Boxing”! What happened? How did we lose this treasure?
My passion remains the same - we have to restore this bridge. We must make sure that Tai Chi – as a whole – is taught and practiced, so that Tai Chi holds its own amongst the other martial art branches.
In this post, I have stated “the problem”. My next post will be Part 2: “The Solution”
And, of course, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.