Archive through March 29, 2006

Tim's Discussion Board: Tai Ji Quan : The Ultimate Self-Defence (by definition): Archive through March 29, 2006
   By Xen (Unregistered Guest) on Saturday, March 25, 2006 - 02:11 am: Edit Post

A lot of old manuscripts delineating the so called internal styles spoke of not using force. But what they meant was not using brute or obvious force. To the old masters obvious force was something anyone could use - what they were really on about was whole body force or power - not something that is easy to achieve and needs a lot of practice. Used correctly much more effective than brute force or obvious force.

   By mixed fighter (Unregistered Guest) on Saturday, March 25, 2006 - 04:04 am: Edit Post

so when is this tournament gonna be tim? id like to be there.

   By Russell on Saturday, March 25, 2006 - 05:15 am: Edit Post

Of course you have kicks and punches in taiji! I didn't say otherwise. The difference is in how the power is developed. I believe it's the same power (from the root up into the relaxed arms) that is used in the push - just over a much shorter time.

As for force, I mean not to use muscular strength as one sees in tense karate punches. The power comes in the form of a wave from the feet up. By tensing muscles along the way, that force is inhibited. So, I don't see where violence and coercion come into it, at least not in the attitude one has to adopt (the results could well look violent.)

   By Michael Andre Babin on Saturday, March 25, 2006 - 08:19 am: Edit Post

Re: "I don't see where violence and coercion come into it at least not in the attitude one has to adopt..."

Many of the best fighters don't look violent or make angry faces or theatrical posturing just before or while they are demolishing real opponents in boxing and mma matches.

   By marc daoust on Saturday, March 25, 2006 - 05:46 pm: Edit Post

i'm just tired of this whole obvious
non-obvious crap and the whole body bologne.
if your punching without using your whole body
than your technique is wrong.
and if you're tense than it slows you down.
there nothing hidded or secret about that,
i think those old masters hit the opium pipe
a little too much.
keep it real!

   By Tim on Sunday, March 26, 2006 - 01:39 pm: Edit Post

Good explanation. And, as Marc pointed out, using whole body power is the hallmark of correct and efficient striking in all styles of MA, it just depends on the level of understanding and practice.

Mixed fighter,
I'm aiming for the middle of Summer. I'm planning on holding the event in Chinatown, Los Angeles.

I'll have more info up after the details have been worked out.

   By mmmm (Unregistered Guest) on Sunday, March 26, 2006 - 10:39 pm: Edit Post

Marcs last post summed up my own thinking right now. I am currently in China training with a couple of well known masters, both are very good. Personally i don"t think it was the masters on the opium pipe, it was more likely the students. Before becoming interested in the ima i was into boxing and ju jitsu. Since coming to china i can't really see much actual difference between the ima and boxing technique as described by Haislet /Dempsey, (other than perhaps a deeper awareness of physical processes) the same ideas and principles crop up.(obviously the chinese stuff utilizes elbows knees feet etc) . To say this to some students (western)of the ima here in china causes a little friction to say the least. Funny that ive been asked on at least two occasions by chinese students what i think the difference is between chinese m/a and boxing. The good/well regarded masters ive met here tend to be more practical. I think the method of training in the ima is about developing a highly refined level of techique through a deep level of awareness. I am just wondering whether going home and boxing/judo (refining technique thru practical application) would be more beneficial in terms of time/results and ultimately ending up with the same thing.

   By marc daoust on Sunday, March 26, 2006 - 11:48 pm: Edit Post

so it's a personal thing!
the chinese master emphasize on basics!
all of us should emphasize on basics
exept for the real talented!
that knows the basics in their blood
(and some do )
so what's next for people that everything
comes easy to?
some of us just naturaly knows the basics,
then what is after that?
better,more refinied basics?

   By Jason M. Struck on Monday, March 27, 2006 - 09:07 am: Edit Post

i'll quote matt thornton "Lenox Lewis does the same left jab i do, he just does a whole lot better."

   By Russell on Monday, March 27, 2006 - 04:25 pm: Edit Post

I still think that taiji has some sort of qualitative difference.

Has anyone looked at the video btw:

I would be interested in your views.

   By Tim on Monday, March 27, 2006 - 06:33 pm: Edit Post


That is Zheng Manching demonstrating his form. You are interested in our views on what exactly?

   By marc daoust on Monday, March 27, 2006 - 07:59 pm: Edit Post

in a form the movements follow each other
in a certain order,right!
and let's say you do the form once a day(or more)
for 10 you did it 3650 times.
but what happens in a real fight if you
have to switch the moves around in a random
order!have you heard of a thing called muscle memory!that is if only those moves really work!
then what?
i can see the benefits of slow movements,but if
you never go fast,you'll never go fast and
you'll never go faster!
sorry what was the question again?
i got carried away.
my vision of martial arts is the same as my vision for the world,if we all put our egos asides
and work together,to fine what works the best
and take some thing out of every styles to form one
thing "martial arts" (creating freedom of exprssion through physical martial movements)
freedom from style,from forms and from closed minded peoples.
that's good right,i've been practicing for the miss america pagent!
................................................................................ .......................!!!
sorry a had to take another bong hit!
do we really need some so called master telling us what is good and what is not?
yes,we can learn from them!
but what did they do learned,tried and miss.
then they found there own way!
we were all giving a ability to know what's good and what's not for ourself!

   By Russell on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 12:51 am: Edit Post


re the video; particularly the push hands and applications. Do you think it's anything special, considering he had such a reputation? There is, to my eyes, something about the quality of the moves (eg the push in the form looks like it would be irresistable.)

In the first push hands sequence, against the tall guy, Cheng seems to have a relentlesness about him, as if he has 'got' the guy anytime he wants.

This seems to be the case with the fencing as well - he chases his opponant all over the place (isn't there a saying about the fight being won the moment the swords cross?)

There's also the short sequence where he does the double stike after shaking the guy off (very relaxed arms) - I find the foot stamp curious and wonder where it comes from (the move itself resembles Step Back Repulse Monkey but for that stamp.)

It's a short video but has a lot in it imo.


I don't believe the form has to be applied exactly as it appears. It's done slowly to develop the root, relaxation and even chi. In a spontaneous application, eg against a sudden push, I am sure the reflexes acquired would prevent one from losing balance. Ultimately they would send a push back in exact measure to the force of the attack.

But I also believe that proper taiji would likely mean one detects even an unexpected push and allow evasive action before the push was able to land. These are all reflexes, not conscious and training slowly and in a relxed way is the only way to acquire them.

This is why I say taiji is on a different level to conventional martial arts, even including judo and aikido which have similar evasive turns - it takes this kind of relaxation and sensitivity to an extreme and trains consciously with that in mind.

   By marc daoust on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 03:11 am: Edit Post

push?who attacks with a push?
if your opponent is pushing you,
maybe once you get in high school they will
start throwing punches!

   By Tim on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 03:48 am: Edit Post

Well, nothing against ZMC and his style, but
it's difficult to tell a person's actual fighting ability in a friendly push hands demonstration.

I'm sure the professor was very good at push hands.

   By D. Borg (Unregistered Guest) on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 04:43 am: Edit Post

Marc, in tjq pushes can easily be transformed into a strike. Actually the original name for push hands was striking hands. There was much more then pushes into it. Pushes were only one aspect. In a real fight, you strike. And in practice you push. Is this hard to understand?

Some people even "push" in a very short manner and so very hard, even in friendly games. And those pushes hurt. Thats okey too for practice, but if you think that practice with friends should be a deadly sport, then . . . well, all of your friends will run away.

   By Michael Andre Babin on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 08:16 am: Edit Post

Cheng Man-ching shows real skill in the video clip but it is certainly helped along by the absurd martial quality of the 'attacks' in the self-defence and push-hands demonstration.

D.Borg made very good points on the potential value of pushing...

   By marc daoust on Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - 07:34 pm: Edit Post

my friends,they're all dead!
no seriously.
but if pushes could be strikes,then wouldn't you
want to keep one hand up to protect and push
with only on hand?
can someone generate enough force over only a few
inches to end the fight?
i've never seen it done,bruce lee's 1 inch punch
is the closest i've seen.but could he knock someone out in a realistic situation like that?
have you seen it done?

   By D. Borg (Unregistered Guest) on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 08:01 am: Edit Post

"but if pushes could be strikes,then wouldn't you want to keep one hand up to protect and push
with only on hand? "

marc, I am sorry but this is almost too strange of a question to answer. I believe that you have never done Tuishou and dont know what it is. In tuishou it is very common that you parry a push with one hand and at the same time push with the other, following the opponents direction of force. This could easily be turned into a strike. Practicing things like this teaches you:

1. coordination.
2 close the gap, and get your hands behind his defense.
3. controlling his root and whole body structure
4. defend yourself from strikes in a very subtle manner. (Please do a little thinking by yourself if you dont understand immediately)

" Bruce lees one inch - punch . . . but could he knock someone out in a realistic situation like that?"

No Bruce Lee could not knock someone down that way. He push-strikes. A taiji or Xingyi guy should strike-strike in the same short distance.

"can someone generate enough force over only a few inches to end the fight? "


Zheng Manqing might be dead, but many of his students are alive. Just go and "practice" a little with William Chen. He has an absolutely terrifying striking power (yes striking, not pushing). I have seen the results of that power by my own eyes. And he DID learn this from Zheng.

PLease, practice a little bit with a good teacher before making your mind up, about things that you appearantly havent a clue about.

   By Jerry on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 - 12:10 pm: Edit Post

"can someone generate enough force over only a few
inches to end the fight? "

Sure. Although I think it would be better to ask, not something melodramatic like "hard enough to end the fight", but just, can you hit hard if the blow doesn't travel far?

Actually the blow doesn't have to travel at all.
You can go beyond the one-inch punch to a sudden fa-jing when you're already in contact with the opponent. Look, the fist doesn't have a rocket in it; it's not accelerating as it approaches.
If the power is coming just from the arm and upper body muscles, then maybe it doesn need to travel a little to have some power, but if the power is coming from the legs, pelvis and spine, it's perfectly possible for the fist or hands to deliver a lot of force without covering any distance; as I said, you can already be in contact, then deliver the force.

I've seen and experienced it many times; I've even done it, and I don't make any claims about being even good at it, let alone having a special power. I playfully (and stupidly) knocked a friend of mine down that way once. Didn't hurt him, but it was enough force, suddenly applied, to knock him off his feet, and my hands were already in contact before delivering the force.
I have no doubt at all that more expert players could break a rib or two that way.