Tai Chi and fighting

Tim's Discussion Board: Tai Ji Quan : Tai Chi and fighting

   By D. Borg (Unregistered Guest) on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 09:32 am: Edit Post

"I was trying to say that if you are attacked in either full contact or a street situation, you are likely to get hit even if you come out on top."

I understand your point, and I think you that you in some way show a very realistic approach. My concern is another, and has to do with this kind of exercise you speak about.

You know, I prefer to listen on many teachers, and then build my own opinion. Not just listen to one approach, like that of Docherty's or any single person at all. If these kind of exercises were so good and useful, then why isn't this a well integrated part in Taijiquan today, just like they are in some praying mantis styles?

I think there is some danger in relying too much on this kind of exercise. Why? Well, isn't it obvious? You can never make your body completely full-proof, you will always have week spots, like the thoat, the eyes, neck and groin. Then, isn't it dangerous to think that you are going to stand a few blows in a battle? In the old days, you fought with weapons on the battlefield. The only way to stay alive was to NOT getting hit. If you got a couple of cuts, even if you didn't die instantly, then you would certainly bleed to death. Today, if you fight on the street and fall down, landing your head on something hard, you could easily crack your skull wide open.

Therefore, I think it is a dangerous approach to think that you easily could stand a few blows, when you know that anything could happen. And if a guy teaching me I could become full-proof, or even a little bit proof, learning neigong or whatever you call it, I would just laugh at him. It is always good to develop your physique and become strong, but don't rely too much on neigong on such. You will never get hit "in the right place" on the street. It is better to, at least try to, not get hit at all, and, well . . .at least try, to end the fight as soon as it starts. Well, maybe I still gets a few bruises, but at least I tried to protected myself in the most realistic way possible, in the way that I understand that I am very vulnerable, even if I was very big and strong guy(well, I'm not).

I am not saying that you don't understand these things, maybe you do as well, but I see a danger learning things like "you could easily stand a few blows" just like it is dangerous to teach that a style of fighting being full-proof.

Teaching people a false sense of security is not a responsible thing to do as a teacher. Teachers attitudes based on commercial ideas are often more dangerous to their students, then they are helpful. Because of this, I don't like when Docherty's students, or anyone of the more commercial teachers students try to tell everybody how great their methods are. Just like you said, Docherty is making a living out of this, and this kind of exercises you are referring to, is actually his trademark. Can you disagree about that?

   By Barry Dewar (Unregistered Guest) on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 10:32 am: Edit Post

To D.Borg
With all due respect, I don't think you still understand what I have said. I never said for one minute that I was being taught I would become full-proof, that is a ridiculous and quite frankly very naive thing to say. Docherty is a very pragmatic and down to earth teacher. The Nei Gung exercises would simply help one suffer less than would otherwise if unfortunately you were to be on the end of some aggression. If the attacker stabs you in the heart with a knife, end of story of course or if you are on the floor having your head kicked in, nothing will help you.
As far as you saying teachers based on commercial concerns are dangerous, I would say it depends on how good they are. I'm talking about paying the price of 2 pints of beer for a 2 hour lesson, if you think thats being ripped off, then I suggest you get out a bit more.

I have neither the time or inclination to go wandering about from class to class, interpreting what I think is right from differing teachers.I know there other good taiji teachers in the UK but I am happy with the one I have who tries to teach Taiji as the martial art it is and was meant to be.

It may well be different in other countries but in the UK there are more teachers who do not know how to teach Nei Gung than do, so that quite simply answers your question about why these exercises are not commonly taught.

You say teaching students a false sense of security is a bad thing. I agree. What do you think I am being told,"now go out and pick a fight cos you are invincible"?
Do you know the first and most valuable thing I learnt in Dochertys class? The seven stars step, in other words, how to get out of the bleedin' way.
1st rule of self defence, don't put yourself in a position where you are going to be attacked if possible and run away if possible.
Grow up pal.

   By Tim on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 01:20 pm: Edit Post

Interesting, thanks.

Ozzy Dave,
The Zhao Bao basics are primarily conditioning exercises to get the practitioner in shape for the form and techniques. There are separate practices to learn how to absorb blows while minimizing damage.

   By D. Borg (Unregistered Guest) on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 03:11 pm: Edit Post

Barry, maybe I didn't understand you correctly first. Thank you for making me understand more. I appreciate it. It very is easy to mix together everything you here about these sort of things. Maybe I thought your intention was different. I have great respect for your teacher and his students, so I am happy that you are satisfied with your own IMA.

You said: "I would say that anyone who says you could very effectively use Tai Chi and fight in contact comps without doing Nei Gung would be an idiot."

This was why I wanted to discuss this with you, thanks for explaining, but please don't generalize like this. How can I understand that your teacher, or you is "down to earth people" when you say things like this? There are many good fighters of IMA that don't care of these things, so calling a lot of well respected teachers for idiots, can be regarded as a bit . . . well? Childish or Naive? Well thanks for explaining what you actually meant by it.

Don't we all need to grow up, in one aspect or another? ;)

   By barry Dewar (Unregistered Guest) on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 04:23 pm: Edit Post

To D.Borg
Sorry Pal I think there is a language problem here, let alone an intellectual one and I do not mean to be condescending.
When you say things like ""so calling a lot of well respected teachers for idiots" makes me think that it is not your first language and if that is so then I commend you on your excellant skills at another tongue.
But, I have to point out, where and who did I call idiots?
Are you saying that there are some teachers of Taiji who you consider experts who advocate full contact fighting when the student has only done form and pushing hands? If so, then yes I would say they arfe stupid. But I doubt very much if someone who knew what they were on about would say that.

   By D. Borg (Unregistered Guest) on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 05:58 pm: Edit Post

Barry, thanks Pal! Yeah, there is a language problem. English is, as you understood, not my first language. So difficulties in understanding, from both directions(reading and writing concerned), are probably all my fault. No hard feelings. And I fully agree with your last post (well, with almost everything so far). I enjoy discussing all aspects of IMA, but I think I need to be more careful writing on the Internet.


   By barry Dewar (Unregistered Guest) on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 06:22 pm: Edit Post

No worries matey.
My French/whatever isn't too crash hot!
I am an old git but love taiji. I am not in it to satisfy my ego, I haven't got one left.
I just wish I had found it earlier but such is life.

   By cai bai lung on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 07:25 pm: Edit Post

bob #2 you are as ignorant as you are rude

FYI, both Tai Ji and Tai Chi are permissible terms AND MEAN EXACTLY THE SAME THING

it is simply a difference between wade-giles, standard pinyin, and any other number of crappy romanistions of the beautiful language that is Mandarin!

And, FYI, neither Tai Ji nor Tai Chi means yin and yang united - if yin and yang were united there would be neither.
Go grab daoism - for - dummies.


it aint rocket-science :D

for the record CHI Kung means energy work

   By Bob #2 on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 08:07 pm: Edit Post


I don't have clue what you're friggin' trying to say.

Tai Ji and Tai Chi aren't permissible AND DO NOT MEAN EXACTLY THE SAME THING.

(by the way- I was a Ghost writer on Daoism for Dummies. The book was written to further confuse and confound dummies. I'm glad it worked in your case.)


PS- Chi Kung means "Breath Skill".

   By D. Borg (Unregistered Guest) on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 - 06:05 am: Edit Post

"Tai Ji and Tai Chi aren't permissible AND DO NOT MEAN EXACTLY THE SAME THING. "

But they mean exactly the same thing.

Taiji: chinese pinyin system
T'ai Chi: English Wade-Giles system.

They are both methods to translate the same characters into western alphabet

But you never write Tai Ji and you never write Tai Chi. Both are wrong.

In pinyin you write characters together as words and in Wade giles you must be careful not to drop the " ' ". Tai Chi translated to pinyin is Dai ji, that can mean "to carry a chicken".

If you wrote a book about Daoism and dont know basic concerns about the language and translation, I am indeed very concerned. With all respect, but what did you think was the difference with the terms as you wrote them?

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