Sun Tai Ji's stepping

Tim's Discussion Board: Tai Ji Quan : Sun Tai Ji's stepping
   By kahho (Unregistered Guest) on Wednesday, November 05, 2003 - 12:24 am: Edit Post


Can anyone explain what the benefits are of Sun Tai Ji stepping ie. small follow steps. Does that not make you lose balance easily if you do such stepping as we seem to put most of the body weight on 1 leg at then end of each form ? I am comparing this with other styles of Tai Ji.

Thanks much.


   By Tim on Wednesday, November 05, 2003 - 12:12 pm: Edit Post

Actually, taking long steps and keeping your back foot in place is much more likely to cause you to lose your balance. Long, extended stances are inherently unstable.

Look at real fighters. No matter the style or method of training, when actually fighting all fighters use some version of a follow or half, shuffling step (boxers, wrestlers, fencers, Judo players and the fighters in all the Chinese IMA for example).

All styles of Taijiquan use follow steps when actually sparring and fighting as well. Fixed steps and extended stances are only for training. In most styles of Taijiquan, combat stepping(shuffling with half, follow steps) is usually practiced separately from the long forms. Sun Lu Tang simply put combat footwork directly in his training form.

   By Blakeism (Unregistered Guest) on Wednesday, November 05, 2003 - 02:44 pm: Edit Post

Most Tai Chi people try to push the opponent when they fight making them hit their head on a curb or table or osmething and break their skull.

   By think don't think (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, November 06, 2003 - 07:30 am: Edit Post

Yes, and most Ba Gua people walk around their opponents very fast until they get dizzy and fall over,

and most Karate fighters have the opponent hold a board right in front of their face so they can punch straight through it,

and most boxers walk around with gloves in their pockets in case they need to put them on when they get attacked ( sorry, they weren't pleased to see you if that's what you thought the bulge meant )

And most wrestlers won't fight you unless there's something they can climb up and jump on you from

isn't that right Blakeism,

   By Blakeism (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, November 06, 2003 - 03:50 pm: Edit Post

I've seen all kinds of clips of tai chi and the most combat out of any of them I saw was a guy pushing the other guy (same thing with Yi Quan). Even Wang Chu Jin just pushed the guy he was demonstrating tai chi on. Show me a clip of a tai chi striking.

And even the classic writings of people such as Cheng Manqing talk alot about pushing and uprooting and making men fly over 10 feet but not much about striking the guy so I'm led to believe this is tai chi.

   By internalenthusiast on Thursday, November 06, 2003 - 05:46 pm: Edit Post

blakeism, imo, usually when someone says there's no striking in tcc, it means either they haven't seen it, or they don't want to do it. same with other aspects of tcc, e.g., kicking, throwing, jointlocks, etc. if you are interested, you could investigate more deeply.

   By Michael Andre Babin on Friday, November 07, 2003 - 10:09 am: Edit Post

A good push can be a very useful martial tool if you do so with the whole body and not just with the arms or chest: a good push can be "percussive" and shake or jar the person being pushed in that manner. leaving them stunned and vulnerable to follow-up techniques; a good push can uproot and imbalance or topple an unstable opponent; a good push can send someone flying and twisting either upwards or downwards.

Saying there are only pushes in taiji is very self-limiting; but to ignore how usefull a good push can be is also self-limiting.

In training, pushing can be somewhat safer for the students than striking/grappling and I agree with those authorities who feel that the apparent emphasis on "pushing" in push-hands came about primarily to make some exercises a litte safer for daily practice. Unfortunately, many modern teachers don't have enough of a martial base of any kind to be able to understand just how usefull a push can be -- and how limiting it can be if that is all you can do.

   By internalenthusiast on Friday, November 07, 2003 - 11:59 am: Edit Post

good points, i think.

   By Jones (Unregistered Guest) on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 09:22 pm: Edit Post

I thought kung fu (CMA) stepping looks like this:

   By Brad Bauman (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, November 20, 2003 - 10:09 am: Edit Post

[QUOTE]I've seen all kinds of clips of tai chi and the most combat out of any of them I saw was a guy pushing the other guy (same thing with Yi Quan).[/QUOTE]
If you don't like seeing people pushing each other then stop watching push hands clips :P

   By David Wade Smith (Unregistered Guest) on Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 01:12 am: Edit Post

The almost universal misperception of Push-Hands is that it's combat. It isn't. It's a method of testing one's ability to neutralize externally applied force. The proof of a successful test lies in being able to neutralize that force and allow it to flow back toward one's partner. Done correctly, this can result in an explosive but highly concentrated release of energy called "fajing." The BIG RULE of Push-Hands is: Before you can neutralize externally applied force, you must first neutralize your own internal force. I never use the word "opponent" in describing the other in Push-Hands practice. The person facing you is your partner in exploration, with whom you have made an agreement. He or she is giving you the great gift of helping you to test your ability to let go of impatience, greed, and ego, all of which will negatively impact your ability to neutralize your own physical force. For this reason the partner deserves your respect and care.

   By The Iron Bastard on Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 12:57 pm: Edit Post

I agree with almost all your points above. However, push hands is a very distinct training method for fighting at a particular range.

   By Michael Andre Babin on Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 02:56 pm: Edit Post

What gets called Push-hands should be viewed as a means of refining how to re-direct and neutralize force and not as something that teaches ALL necessary combat skills.

Most interpretations that I have seen or experienced in the last 30 years only teach you to move softly in a safe and choreagraphed manner. Exactly what most modern students of taiji are looking for...

   By sleepydragon (Unregistered Guest) on Monday, January 24, 2005 - 06:25 am: Edit Post

Michael Andre,
I agree with you... most push hands have become a choreographed dance. I have been at many tournaments and when it comes time to push hands for real... it ends up in a sloppy arm wrestling match, because it is not the usual choreographed push hands most tai chi players are taught. When I learned to push hands I was not taught any fixed techniques. I was taught the basic single push and double push hand(to start with) and then it would go into freestyle and I would have to apply what techniques I could... experience became my teacher. If I got hit, then I looked to see why... I got hit alot!
I asked "what about the fixed patterns etc." I was told what I expected... there are no "fixed" patterns in a real fight etc. etc.( cant remember word for word).

Besides Tai Chi is anything but "fixed". You gotta flow man.

   By Michael Andre Babin on Monday, January 24, 2005 - 11:22 am: Edit Post

My first good Yang-style teacher (from a martial perspective) had learned from a Chinese who claimed to have studied with Chen Wei-ming on the mainland. My teacher's classes consisted of the long, slow form, a variety of applications and the push-hands method training that you described-- except he only taught single push-hands as an introduction to "going free-style". That was the total curriculum and there were never many students at his club, many started, few stayed.

The only problem with this kind of free-style training is that it doesn't provide enough structure for most beginners and really only suited those with considerable martial experience and some taiji apptitude.

Perhaps it's another aspect of the dilemna of how does a teacher encourage structure vs improvisation in his or her classes?

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