Taijifighting like kickboxing?

Tim's Discussion Board: Tai Ji Quan : Taijifighting like kickboxing?
   By Tobias (Unregistered Guest) on Sunday, April 16, 2006 - 07:55 pm: Edit Post


Sometimes looking on clips showing taiji fighting it looks to me,to my untrained eye that is,like kickboxing or something like that, with a little bit of wrestling in it. When reading the taiji - section it says that most of the techniques are grapple oriented and what Iīve seen are kicking and striking and the few push - hand competitions Iīve found on the net the opponents where acting like sumo - wrestlers pushing each other out of the circle, using only brute strength. I know that there is a place for everything and in a fight that split of a second one decides to hit or kick are īcause thatīs the best thing to do in that split second and maybe this is that most taijifighs looks like, I donīt know. Iīve been under the impression that it would look more like this guy cung le when he fights with a lot of grappling ( and throws) in it, and yes I`ve only seen him once on the net . I have no idea that his other fights looked like but I asume they would containe a whole lot of throws.
Iīm not trying to be discriminating of the art it self nor of they who practise the art. Iīve been doing taiji for some time now and I know how hard it is. Iīve seen the ground rushing towards my face too many times, when doing push hands with my teacher too do that, be discriminating that is.

Has anyone comments on the issue or maybe a tip or two where one can find more taijifighting clips. It would as always be appriciated

Happy easter

Best Regards


   By Jerry on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 02:25 am: Edit Post


The videos you've seen on the net, as you say yourself, are push hands competition. That's not fighting. It's kind of a fun modern chi-hugging sport.

Most taiji movements have multiple applications, including strikes, joint locks, and throws.
And, well, you can make a push out of a lot of them too, but in a real, gory fight you'd probably go with a strike or throw or joint lock most of the time, not an innocuous push. Take "Wild Horse Parts Mane"-- it can be an arcing throw, a strike to the ribs, or an elbow break.

When it comes to actual fighting based on taiji, if it ever does come to that, if your inclination and previous experience is grappling and chin na, you can take the art in that direction, but if you're more of a boxer, or a kickboxer, you can take it that way too.
I've heard that in William CC Chen's gym in New York, they actually had like a boxing gym with things to hit and gloves and such for the boxing types, and another area with mats for those who liked to do throws.

There is this very cool video with black guys beating each other up to hip hop music in dilipidated urban scenes. Very sound, I think, very worth checking out. Not necessarily a particularly good instructional video for people that have studied, for example, with Tim; it's not really that advanced. But it does demonstrate what taiji fighting is about, the boxing version. Basically it's like, he punches at me and I ward off with this hand, and redirect, and BAM! strike with the other hand.
Some throws and joint locks, but mostly it looks a lot like boxing.

He also has a very simple, eloquent, no-nonsense explanation of the basic principles.

Here's the reference:

Internal Damage Advanced Tai Chi Chuan for Combat is dedicated to changing the image of Tai Chi from a purely meditative art for health and longevity of the ...

   By Russell on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 07:58 am: Edit Post

That's quite a neat video - he seems to only use moves from the Form. You can see some other applications on this Cheng Manching clip:


They look similar imo.

   By tobias (Unregistered Guest) on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 01:45 pm: Edit Post

Here are some clips from chutaichi in New York.

   By tobias (Unregistered Guest) on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 01:52 pm: Edit Post

when I looked at the site the third time I could see clarly that it stated 2005 U.S. International Kuoshu Championship Title: Full-contact Kickboxing (Lei Tai) Title
matches so maybe it wasnīt that strange that it looked like kickboxing after all because thatīs what it was, got confused īcause itīs on a taiji site

   By spot (Unregistered Guest) on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 10:09 am: Edit Post

I think you're confusing yourself a little.
Lei Tai refers to tournament fights using punch, kicks, throws, locks, take-downs, but no on-the floor wrestling.
Depending on the organisers they can allow knees, elbows, headbutts and can proscribe hitting to certain parts of the body, eg, throat, back of head, groin.

A lot of American competitions use the label "Kickboxing" because of its popularity. How many people would have a general idea of what a kickboxing event is compared to those who know what a Lei Tai event is?

This would appear to be someone who practices tai chi, entering a competition and defeating other fighters from different (usually hard-style) martial arts.

This doesn't mean he's doing kickboxing.

   By Jason M. Struck on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 - 07:27 pm: Edit Post


kuo shu- the old wade giles (favored in taiwan) of guo shu ( national sport ). Lei Tai is the name for the ring, a raised platform. It was traditional back in the day, when one of the highest achievements was to throw your opponent out of (off of) the ring. It's not very common today.

spot describes the rules of San Da, also known in American circles as San Shou, Shoo or sou. The San Da is more of specific regimen of training and style practiced today in the mainland, predominantly as an armed forces/scholastic sport. San Da means literally "free/unrestrained hitting/striking". San shou ( i have no idea the characters or modern pin yin) implies (b/c of it's american and overseas chinese connection) free fighting with the application of traditional chinese martial arts techniques.

the only time you will see a lei tai, or elbows and knees, is in professional domestic matches. For scholastic matches, or matches against foreigners, the rules are basically boxing, kicking and throwing.

   By spot (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 04:47 am: Edit Post

Lei tai matches are still being held all over the world (with variations to the nature of the ring as well as the rules) and elbows and knees and still found in many amateur competitions (probably due to the influence of muay thai). However, with the endorsement of the chinese authorities (who have their own agendas), shan shou tournaments are becoming the internationally recognised standard.

   By spot (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 10:37 am: Edit Post

Although the popular term now seems to be sanda (one word).

   By Jason M. Struck on Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 01:31 pm: Edit Post


well if you speak chinese and are talking about san da, you are saying two words. SAN (3rd tone) meaning free/unfettered/unrestrained, and DA (3rd tone) a general verb to mean hit/strike/do/make.

The PRC's agenda was to develop a simple standup system to promote realistic hand-to-hand skills based upon boxing/muay thai/judo and other popular international stlyes, as well as their own indigenous gong fu and shui jiao, for H2H training for the armed forces. If you've ever been to the country with the largest standing army in the world, you'll notice there are a lot of young guys in the army. So it's no wonder that the sport caught on with the general populace.
It became popular for youths not unlike boxing in the states, and soon become a professional sport, not unlike muay thai in Thailand.
San Da Wang was a TV show in the PRC that featured line-ups of 3-5 fighters in various weightclasses, competing together as a team versus an invited team from abroad. So basically, it was China vs. Some other poor dumb schmucks. Ironically (or perhaps not if you are familiar with the martial spirit or history of these people) the only country that i ever saw that was not completely dominated by the Chinese team were the French.
Which is said Fa Guo- also two words. Needless to say, it makes a decent spectator sport, and the people of the middle kingdom enjoy watching contests were there is little doubt that the chinese team will dominate, so it was one of the most popular shows on prime-time tv for years.

   By IMA fool (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 01:39 pm: Edit Post

that was tai chi? what happened to the slow flowing movements? lol

that guy put it down. nice balance, but some pretty wild swings. good stuff

   By Jerry on Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 01:54 pm: Edit Post

"This would appear to be someone who practices tai chi, entering a competition...
This doesn't mean he's doing kickboxing."

The name of the event isn't what's crucial; it's the rules of the particular contest that determine what you can do. You could be a kickboxer, and it could be called kickboxing, but if throwing is allowed, you need to be ready for that.

What interested me about these three matches was this: yes, OK, this is a guy who does taiji (and probably does or has done other arts), and he's fighting, and the rules allow punching, kicking, throwing, and pushing the opponent off the platform, and he does all that stuff, and wins three matches. Good job.

But I wouldn't be able to tell by watching that he's the taiji guy. I don't see any obvious signs of internal principles (OK, sure, that's why it's called "internal" :-)
He does some throws, they look a little awkward and not specially "effortless", some upper body strength is involved. Then again, that's real life as opposed to bagua class.

His punches look like regular punches, not any special effortless whole body punches, and he's quite fond of a rather high front kick (to the chest) with nothing much to set it up. It's working for him OK, but it doesn't seem especially taiji-ish or internal.

When he pushes a guy off the platform, it isn't a fa-jing, doesn't look like Zheng Man Ching; it's just a straightforward bull-rush. Whereas I saw Kato, in the US Sumo Open, run a 550 lb opponent off the platform, and it was clearly because he had a better root. Now that was internal arts in action.

You occasionally hear the complaint, or challenge, "if internal arts are so great, why aren't taiji/xingyi/bagua guys dominating the UFC or whatever"? Well, here's, supposedly, a taiji guy winning full-contact fights, but he doesn't do anything that looks like an application from a form, or anything that's obviously internal.
Wouldn't you expect that once in a while somebody with an internal arts background would do something that looks like taiji or bagua or xingyi? I know Tim says he's won jiujitsu matches with Gao style throws, but otherwise, examples seem to be scarce.

   By Bob #2 on Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 05:31 pm: Edit Post

at my tournaments- fighters randomly select their opponent from one box, and then have the option of blindly pulling rules out of another. It's great fun for all.

I'm all about fun, skill and equality.

At last year's tournament- an Mrs Jenkins, an 83 year-old, farsighted pixie had to fight a 6'3" German kid, who, by the rule he selected, could only use headbutts. She threw him twice before he nailed her solidly- sending her to the mat a full second before her mouthpiece and dentures landed next to her. It was beautiful.

   By Jason M. Struck on Thursday, April 20, 2006 - 10:39 pm: Edit Post

sounds beautiful. I wish i could get out to Cali...

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