Archive through April 02, 2006

Tim's Discussion Board: Tai Ji Quan : The Ultimate Self-Defence (by definition): Archive through April 02, 2006
   By marc daoust on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 08:15 pm: Edit Post

hey,what about me i want to be knock down too!
listen you stubborn guy.
if you turn your waist,shoulder and shift your
weight away from the target and then back.
that's called distance!even if your fist don't leave the bag(or target)
and YES you can produce power like that,but
not enough to knock someone out!
my offer still holds,you want to knock me out,fly me there!
ps.can't you tell i want to go on vacation,
even with a black eye!if you can!!!!!!!1

   By Bob #2 on Thursday, March 30, 2006 - 10:06 pm: Edit Post

D.Borg- I just had my mother try putting her fist against my temple and stretch their arm quickly- then she tried with her fist in my throat- I felt almost nothing.

Mom said to tell you to "get a frigging clue"

   By marc daoust on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 01:06 am: Edit Post

bobs mom told me to put my pipi (see i don't
need the dots!)
against her tootsy(see!)
and then explode as hard as i can!
so 2 minute later,she felt nothing!?
your mom said to me,get a fcking clue!!!?

   By marc daoust on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 01:07 am: Edit Post

bob? it was a joke, i don't know your mom

   By marc daoust on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 02:55 am: Edit Post

is it too late for you guys ?
it's not even 12!

   By D. Borg (Unregistered Guest) on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 07:36 am: Edit Post

Bob, I am sure your mother dont want you to get hurt. And I do not demand that you to understand or accept my points. I dont care. I would be happy to show you some very relaxed methods and techniques. But I suppose you need to grow up first.

Marc:"if your fist don't leave the bag(or target) and YES you can produce power like that, but not enough to knock someone out! "

I believe that depends on where you strike someone. But you might be right on the everage effect of it. I dont know. I havent tried to knock someone down like this. But I actually do believe that you are right that you need some distance to get the maximum effect. But not more than two, three inches . . . ok, maybe even four. My last post was only an example how you can practice how to use your releasing force instead of tensioning force.

You see, when you unwine, or release tension, the acceleration of the movement is instantaneous. You dont need speed or distance to build up the acceleration. But of course, you could still need some distance for the impact of the blow.

With that even earlier post, that you guys for some reason got upsat about, I just wanted to show that the movements of the body has no relation to the distance to an opponent.

Why do everybody say that Xingyiquan needs almost no distance to an opponent using almost no appearant force? Well it is not evident, because you can not see how the body works from the inside. The movements do not look big from the outside, but the whole body coordinates into quite big movements that uses the bodys natural tension/releasing aspects.

More evident forms of releasing force, you do have in Yin-bagua. (I believe that there are some examples on the official homesite to watch) Look on the lion position that is quite streneous for the body. The body twists to its maximum positions and then releases that tension, accelerates it even more with the body movement and then goes into another, similar posture that also builds up the body tension. Karate, boxing, taekwondo etc. do not use the releasing force. They might twist their bodys in order to get a certain distance, and also so they can use their full body mass, but if they succeed to build up tension inside the body (from the waist twisting, shoulder move etc.), they still replace that force with obvious, or stupid force.

   By Michael Andre Babin on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 08:09 am: Edit Post

Watching Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock go a few rounds on tv last night provided me with more valuable lessons on how to strike and be struck than this lengthy exchange on 'ultimate self-defense'.

   By Jason M. Struck on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 08:57 am: Edit Post

there you go again, you froggy canuck...

you pick up topics like "Grand Ultimate super defence, by definition" and you think that they are going to be well-springs of valuable and realistic information.

You know what I would trust, something like:

"How to work really hard, for a really long time: The Jason method to never being the best, but never stop learning"

scepticism saves me more and more time for training every day...

maybe it's just changes in my perspective, but I feel like this whole MA world is getting dumber and dumber.

   By Russell on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 12:59 pm: Edit Post

Going back to the earliest available sources on internal arts is the way to avoid the dumbimg down of MA. Cheng is one of those and particularly interesting because there are witnesses to his technique.

If Wolfe Lowenthal, who trained with Cheng, states that the arms in the push are completely relaxed and move no more than an inch, maybe we need to accept that as a starting point, the goal to aim for, rather than start reinventing the wheel.

What this thread has tried to establish is how exactly that is possible. Several people seem to accept it (myself included) and have given their understanding of the theory involved.

Either you commit to internal methods or you don't. I don't see how it's possible to mix the two. To try and do so suggests little faith in either.

   By Michael Andre Babin on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 01:09 pm: Edit Post

Re: "Either you commit to internal methods or you don't. I don't see how it's possible to mix the two."

If you want to practise techniques that are supposed to bring effective martial skills against a committed and skilful aggressor; than you have to work from that perspective.

Only practising softness with soft partners will not bring much of combative value in the real world. On the other hand, it will certainly attract lots of potential students who want to develop skills that don't involve hard work, bruises and sweat.

   By Russell on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 02:12 pm: Edit Post

Well, I did put some times for various exercies in an earlier post - 3+ hours a day seems like hard work. I'm not sure sweating has much to do with it - most people I see sweating are wasting a lot of energy trying to get techniques to work by brute force; karate is especially bad for that in my experience.

Speaking of which, why do karatekas do so many stretches and warm ups - surely the method should not require one to be an athlete?

   By Tim on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 02:33 pm: Edit Post

"why do karatekas do so many stretches and warm ups - surely the method should not require one to be an athlete?"

Russell, fighting is an athletic activity. The better shape you are in, the better able you will be to fight. Technique (of any kind) is useless without the force to back it up and the endurance necessary to continue until you overcome your opponent.

I have a feeling you could beat any 11 year old child, no matter how good his technique is.

   By The Iron Bastard on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 04:22 pm: Edit Post

None of us are upset at all Mr. Borg. Some of us have been harsh I tried not to be but now.

You have a wonderful fantasy going on; I can only hope it works out for you.

   By marc daoust on Friday, March 31, 2006 - 08:06 pm: Edit Post

thank you tim!i couldn't have said it better!
you can't move without muscles and strength.
if you're fully relax you drop to the ground
(it probebly will happen that way if you only train soft)or you'll crap your pants!
"you don't need speed or distance to build
WOW! how many things are wrong with that line alone!
what is acceleration with either?

   By Russell on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 02:51 am: Edit Post

Tim, my point about being an athlete is that it implies any such martial art will only be of use if you keep in shape. What happens when you get older?

Sports require that level of conditioning but self defense isn't a sport and should be effective up to an advanced age. Taiji also has health benefits which are available to older people - I think competitive cycling is an example of a sport whose highly conditioned athletes tend to die young.

As for beating 11 year olds, it's possible without conditioning or technique, of course, but that's not how we would want to do so.

   By marc daoust on Saturday, April 01, 2006 - 03:03 am: Edit Post

cycling?please how can you compare that to fighting?
but what if you stay in shape into old age?
and who picks fights with old mens?
ps. you got the old man card,it's better than the
drunken thing."i'm old please don't hurt me!"
bang you break their neck!
stop trying rus,you got nothing!

   By Xen (Unregistered Guest) on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 04:17 am: Edit Post

The following is an excerpt of an interview from 1948 ish. It talks of the various gongfu styles, but particular criticism is levelled at taiji or tai chi quan or however you want to say it.

People often say that ‘Xingyi’, ‘Taiji’, ‘Bagua’ and ‘Tongbei’ are internal styles, I do not know how the names of internal and external came about, so I cannot comment on that. By observing the past famous masters, one can see a part of it though.

The original ‘Xingyi’, and the ‘Xinyiba’ and ‘Liuhebu’ of Henan province, are of the same school. When tracing the lineage of Mr. Li Daidong (who was known as Old Dai) of Henan , you can find out that he is Mr. Li Zhihe's great-grandson, Mr. Li Zhihe was the teacher of the old gentleman Dai Longbang. The Yuan family of Jiyuan in fact followed the school of Mr. Li , although they named the art differently. Mr. Dai, although he changed the name ‘Xinyi’ into ‘Xingyi’, was not in contrary with the original meaning, and in that boxing the word ‘boxing’ carried the meaning of most faithfully adhering to it.

One should know that the original ‘Xingyi’ completely lacked the training method of the twelve forms, but the whole body was meant to express the essence of all these twelve forms. It did not have the theory of the mutual promotion and restraint of the five elements, there were just the five elements representing five kinds of forces. It did not have any fixed techniques, boxing routines or forms of movements either. I remember well the words of my late teacher about the five elements: Metal means the strength contained in the bones and the muscles, the mind being firm like iron or stone, being able to cut gold and steel. Wood has the meaning of the bending but rooted posture of a tree.

Water means force like the waves of the vast sea, lively like a dragon or a snake, when used, it is able to pervade everything. Fire means strength being like gunpowder, fists being like bullets shot out, having the strength to burn the opponent’s body by the first touch. Earth means exerting strength heavy, deep, solid, and perfectly round, the qi being strong, having the force of oneness with heaven and earth. This is the syncretism of the five elements. It has nothing to do with one technique overcoming another technique as the modern people claim. If one first sees with the eyes, then thinks of it again in the mind, and then launches the counter-attack towards the enemy, it is very seldom that one will not get beaten up.

‘Bagua’ was originally known as ‘Chuanzhang’. In my childhood I met Mr. Cheng Tinghua, I remember he seemed to be like a divine dragon roaming in the sky, changing infinitely, it is hardly possible for the modern person to reach such skill and strength. I distantly remember Mr. Dong Haichuan, it is even harder to understand how profound was his insight into the Sea of Law and attainment of the Tao. Mr. Liu Fengchun is a friend of mine, his skills are really profound, but his attainments are slightly inferior, but still those studying the sixty-four palms and seventy-two steps cannot compare with him.

I wish that the people practising ‘Bagua’ would concentrate on the double and single ‘chuanzhang’, paying special attention to intuitively perceiving every movement, doing their best to take a more advanced course of training, and earnestly enter into the theory, putting it all into practise for a long time, then they could get close to approaching its essence.

As masters of the original ‘Taijiquan’, I should recommend the Yang brothers Shaohou and Chengfu. They are also old friends of mine, thus I know that this boxing really has some knowledge of mechanics, but out of one hundred persons not even one gains its essence, and even if one can gain it, it is still one-sided, because the basic skills of intuitive perception already died out a long time ago, thus their lower bodies have no real strength to speak of. Originally this boxing consisted of three fists, also called the "old three cuts", Mr. Wang Zongyue changed it into "thirteen postures", and it was later changed into as much as one hundred and forty or fifty postures, this is the major reason for the distortion.

For health preservation, it restrains the spirit and mettle, and brings discomfort to the practitioner. For combat, it harms the practitioner’s limbs and trunk, and causes the useful body to become a mechanical and stiff thing, it also disturbs the student’s nerves, and is nothing more than wasting one’s time. As for its method of training, a punch with a fist here, a slap with the palm there, a kick to the left, and another one to the right, that is pitiful and laughable.

As for dealing with an enemy in a fight, against a master-hand, please do not even consider it, if the adversary is not stiff and sluggish, even the famous masters of this boxing have no chance to apply their skills. These abuses are so big that ‘Taijiquan’ might soon become just a mere form comparable to a chess manual. For the last twenty years, most people who have studied this boxing have not been able to differentiate right and wrong, even if someone has been able to differentiate them, he has not been capable of putting it into practice. As for common students, most of them use their ears instead of their eyes.

So ruined is this boxing that it has become useless, this is really deplorable. I wish that the powerful members of this school would promptly and strictly clean it up, and attempt to develop it in the future. When the day of success comes, they will be held as the bosom friends of all the boxing fans. I dare to say that I understand ‘Taijiquan’ deeply, those who do not agree, can notify me or lay the blame on me, only the wise ones might understand. At the same time, I suppose those who have really gained something in their study of ‘Taijiquan’, when they read this, they will nod in agreement and cannot help laughing.

‘Tongbeiquan’ is popular in northern China , especially in Beijing . The practitioners I have met were mostly out of shape, however, some were also holding a theory that was close to being right, but when checking their skills, they were very far from it. Most probably their predecessors were not like that, but the later generations have lost the essence. Although occasionally there were some who had deep and great skills in some one-sided parts of it, eventually they will have no hope of walking down the right path of combat science.

‘Meihuaquan’, which is also known as ‘Wushizhuang’, has a direct lineage that has been passed down generation by generation, especially in Henan and Sichuan provinces. Their way is different in approach but equally satisfactory in results with that of the practitioners of ‘Wujisanshou’ of Fuzhou , Xinghua, Quanzhou, Shantou , and other places. They also have their special and profound strong points for dealing with the enemy, but unfortunately most of them are one-sided and only very few are complete.

‘Bafan’, ‘Mianzhang’, ‘Pigua’, ‘Baji’, ‘Dagongli’, ‘Sanhuangpao’, ‘Niantui’, and ‘Lianquan’, all have their strong and weak points, most are one-sidedly inclined to hardness and a few to softness, they lack the internal skill of gathering the spirit. As for ‘Dahongquan’, ‘Xiaohongquan’, ‘Tantui’, ‘Chuojiao’, long boxing, short boxing, and the other various schools, I would rather not discuss them.

Talking of criticism, I am afraid that among the ‘Taiji’ practitioners, those who will never understand combat science are fearfully many, and those who are far from being learned masters are even more numerous. In my childhood I heard of the fame of the Taoist Zhang Sanfeng. Having grown up, I travelled all around the country, so I know that among all the schools of boxing, ‘Taiji’ has the biggest amount of practitioners. I had already been doubtful of this boxing for a long time. I heard this boxing was handed down from Mr. Zhang Sanfeng, thus I had despised Sanfeng for a long time. Later I read the collected edition of Mr. Sanfeng’s teachings, and began to realise that he had advanced all along the great Tao.

He had already gone deep into the Sea of Law and profoundly realised absolute truth. However, I even more deeply believe that such boxing was not handed down from him. Actually, if it was or was not does not matter at all, because, even if one was the descendant of Sanfeng, one is not worthy to talk about his art if one has not gained its essence. I do not know who were the successors of Mr. Sanfeng, but I suppose they were inferior to Sanfeng. If they had been capable, why would they have misled others? Whether the teachings gained by the students are true or false is the key.

Moreover, nowadays the practitioners of this boxing are different from each other and the theories vary. It is all random and false! I remember that Mr. Sanfeng said: Leaving one’s own body is wrong, but clinging to one’s own body is much worse. ‘Taijiquan’ has one hundred and forty or fifty postures, is there any posture or method that is not being clung to? What are these postures for? Moreover, the spirit is firmly bound and cannot be liberated. It is indeed harmful to the freedom of the nerves, the limbs, and the trunk. Remembering how wise Mr. Sanfeng was, he should not have gone so far as to hand down ‘Taijiquan’ that is so improper.

Discussing the wordy content of the ‘Theory of Taijiquan’10, the single and double weighting and even weighting, and all such profound things are also nothing more than a part of the rudiments of combat science. May I ask the famous ‘Taiji’ masters to examine their conscience, whether there can be even a single posture or method in accord with the theories of this boxing guide? Since they claim it to be supreme combat science, why does it not produce any results in practice? Furthermore, the practitioners of this boxing believe that they can gain good boxing skills with superstitious practises. This is even more absurd.

Even if all the methods of this boxing would excel over the others, and the skills would tower above the ordinary, there is no doubt that it would still be wrong on the spiritual side, and besides, that is not the case. Although ‘Taijiquan’ is practised by a huge amount of people, which has given it much publicity, the sensible people have long known that it has collapsed of itself. Perhaps there was something improper in my words, I really hope that the other martial artists will question me without any hesitation, if there is someone who can instruct me, I will sweep the pathway to welcome him.

   By marc daoust on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 04:58 am: Edit Post

i printed it! i'll be reading it on the craper
i'll get back to you when i'm done!

   By Russell on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 06:30 am: Edit Post


the basic skills of intuitive perception already died out a long time ago

I wish that the powerful members of this school would promptly and strictly clean it up, and attempt to develop it in the future

that's an interesting post. I agree absolutely that taiji today has gone off track, with everyone having their own ideas - we need to go back to the earliest available sources. Your post says the same and from 60 years ago.


read my post properly please. Several people on this thread are trying to understand things and learn - you don't seem to have any theories of your own to contribute. If you are not into taiji, why waste time posting to (and reading) something irrelevant to you? Make a positive contribution or none at all.

Incidentally, in Tim's introduction to his translation of Sun Lutang's Taijiquan Xue, isn't there a comment to the effect that fighting ability and fitness are not the same thing? I'll check on the page number if you want to read it (if you have the book, of course.)

   By spot (Unregistered Guest) on Sunday, April 02, 2006 - 09:41 am: Edit Post

Saying we need to go back to the source is a meaningless statement.
Perhaps you should clarify it a little before I let it irritate me any more?