new generation Taijiquan and the cults of non-sense

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

new generation Taijiquan and the cults of non-sense

Postby Rhen on Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:40 pm

While I can understand the importance of Standing and holding postures, there is one thing I cannot understand. reinvention of the wheel and some of the marketing I'm seeing these days with young guys who teach Taijiquan.

for example: back in the day we had to do a ton of basics that involved classical chinese stances, punch and kick combos using those stances, stamina and endurance work, various kicks, combination of movements and sections of forms over and over. this was more Kung fu classes as teacher thought "Taiji is NOT enough".

Later on when he introduced Taijiquan: we had to do hundreds of repetitions of Taiji walking without arms: legs only: walking forward, back, sideways, drop stance work, etc. Later we added hands like part horse mane, brush knee, repule monkey, cloud hands. class was 80% basics. We did from and held postures as teacher corrected us. this is critical in development of moving the jin through the feet to waist and spine to the fingers, coordination of upper and lower body, continual movement and basically all the other "10 principles" of Yang Chenfu. (we do Yang style Taiji).

Nowadays there is way to much fancy talk about jin and having to hold postures and very little talk of the other basics. Everyone want to talk about how long that can stand in "Holding the Tree" and other waste of time non-movement type of training.

As for marketing, the whole thing I'm seeing with these full time Taijiquan guys who dont have real jobs, is to come up with something new and gimmicky and act like "I have something nobody else has".

I'm sorry to say but all the gimmicky stuff has been done. what are the gimmicky stuff in Taijiquan: people flaunting they have something so rare you will want to buy it.
Selling:
1. Fast form (claiming to have the real one)
2. Yang Small frame or Old Yang form
3. Middle frame form.
4. Rare weapon sets.
5. Rare push hands techniques.
6. Rare meditation techniques.

What is sad about the whole thing, is the lack of integrity, stating where and who they got it from, claiming "family" this or that. Most of these guys have not or will not ever step in the competition scence or else lose face.

What can remedy the non-sense in Chinese Martial arts?
Last edited by Rhen on Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: new generation Taijiquan and the cults of non-sense

Postby charles on Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:00 pm

Rhen wrote:What can remedy the non-sense in Chinese Martial arts?


Do you teach? If so, teaching what you believe to be The Real Deal is mostly what you can do to counter it. If you come from a bona fide lineage, in teaching it, you are passing on the family art. If others find what you do/teach to be of sufficient value, they will study with you. If not, they won't.

Beyond that, there isn't much else that can - or maybe even should - be done to remedy the situation. Maligning what others do, or trying to prove others "wrong" in what they do, jumping into the Kung Fu politics, isn't particularly productive. In some cases, those activities can displace the striving to be the best you can be at what you do: the art then becomes about how bad everyone else is, rather than about improving oneself.

My suggestion is to spend your efforts in building your art rather than spend your efforts in trying to destroy the art of others. Be the best you can be at what you do: let others be the best of what they can be for what they do. At times, that can be frustrating if you believe what others are doing is lesser, or even fraudulent. Others, largely, need to decide for themselves what is good for them or not.
Last edited by charles on Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: new generation Taijiquan and the cults of non-sense

Postby Rhen on Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:13 pm

charles wrote:My suggestion is to spend your efforts in building your art rather than spend your efforts in trying to destroy the art of others. Be the best you can be at what you do: let others be the best of what they can be for what they do. At times, that can be frustrating if you believe what others are doing is lesser, or even fraudulent. Others, largely, need to decide for themselves what is good for them or not.


sound advice. I guess it is that Fraudulent /couterfeitness I'm seeing emerge in the last few years with youtube, social media, and the other platforms that really gets my goat.

Appreciated Charles.
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Re: new generation Taijiquan and the cults of non-sense

Postby johnwang on Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:03 pm

Rhen wrote:1. Fast form (claiming to have the real one)...

The Yang Taiji was designed in such way that each and every move can be coordinated with either 1 inhale or 1 exhale. If you do it too

- slow that one move will take more than 1 inhale or 1 exhale, it's wrong.
- fast that one move will take less than 1 inhale or 1 exhale, it's also wrong.

So there is no such thing as "fast form". For each move, if you start slow and end fast but still coordinate with 1 inhale, or 1 exhale, IMO, that's still not "fast form".

Rhen wrote:to come up with something new and gimmicky and act like "I have something nobody else has".

In 108 long Yang/Chang Taiji form, I had replaced a front heel kick by a side kick. I also tried to replace a front toe kick by a roundhouse kick. Since a truly roundhouse kick will require full body rotation (like MT roundhouse kick), it's too much change for the original Taiji form.

IMO, if you (general YOU) don't add "side kick" and "roundhouse kick" back into your Taiji system, you have not contributed your share of Taiji training.

A CMA system doesn't have enough useful tools is not a good CMA system.
Last edited by johnwang on Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
I'm still allergy to "push".
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Re: new generation Taijiquan and the cults of non-sense

Postby charles on Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:06 pm

Rhen wrote:I guess it is that Fraudulent /couterfeitness I'm seeing emerge in the last few years with youtube, social media, and the other platforms that really gets my goat.


That you are seeing it via modern forms of communication is new: the fraudulence has been around long before the internet and social media. Like everything else in the modern world, what has changed is how far that communication can spread, and how quickly. In modern language it's "fake" Taijiquan, or, perhaps, "alternate" Taijiquan.
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Re: new generation Taijiquan and the cults of non-sense

Postby wayne hansen on Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:30 pm

Rhen nothing you say is wrong
The thing about tai chi not being enough the exception
There is plenty of crap coming down through the Families and some low skill there as well
If you have taught your own children you know family might not always be the best student
If you change a kick to a roundhouse you change the whole tactical basis
There are bullshit fast forms and ones with real value
Yes the cult and the pyramid selling scheme has been around at least here in Australia as long as tai chi has.
The more seminars ,the more students and the more air miles a teacher travels the more cautious you should be
As with those hero worshiping teachers it says more about them than the teacher
I don't recommend teachers because in that you take on a great responsibility
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: new generation Taijiquan and the cults of non-sense

Postby HotSoup on Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:35 pm

Rhen wrote:...
Everyone want to talk about how long that can stand in "Holding the Tree" and other waste of time non-movement type of training.
...


While I do share your sentiment in general, it's hard to agree with your statement above. Zhan zhuang was instrumental for me to "get" Fansong. I truly believe that practicing the form and hoping it would "click" one day would take much longer.

That said, replacing other training solely by pole standing is silly, but I wouldn't call the exercise itself a "waste of time non-movement type of training."
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Re: new generation Taijiquan and the cults of non-sense

Postby Rhen on Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:56 pm

Thanks John and Wayne. thoughtful writing.

HotSoup wrote:
Rhen wrote:...
Everyone want to talk about how long that can stand in "Holding the Tree" and other waste of time non-movement type of training.
...


While I do share your sentiment in general, it's hard to agree with your statement above. Zhan zhuang was instrumental for me to "get" Fansong. I truly believe that practicing the form and hoping it would "click" one day would take much longer.

That said, replacing other training solely by pole standing is silly, but I wouldn't call the exercise itself a "waste of time non-movement type of training."


apology, I sounded harsh on non-movement training. Only the excess of it. In my OP, I did mention something about my teacher always had us "hold and mold" postures while we did form so standing was there already. I do not under value it as well. "Seek stillness in motion, and motion in stillness" is the phrase I'm told.

Anyone hear the following? Excessive Standing aspect was not part of original Taiji, that was imported by a shaolin guy who did taiji, or imported from the popularity of Dachengquan. (at least I tend to have to agree with it.)
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Re: new generation Taijiquan and the cults of non-sense

Postby Appledog on Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:18 pm

Rhen wrote:What can remedy the non-sense in Chinese Martial arts?


Rated push hands tournaments.

I have a system in development right now actually. I could stand a rich partner.
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Re: new generation Taijiquan and the cults of non-sense

Postby Appledog on Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:20 pm

johnwang wrote:
Rhen wrote:1. Fast form (claiming to have the real one)...

The Yang Taiji was designed in such way that each and every move can be coordinated with either 1 inhale or 1 exhale. If you do it too


Yeah that's the thing, in all of what Rhen mentioned, there is value -- perhaps not "core value" but significant value. After all these years I have come to stomach a certain amount of marketing, as long as they have the basics down pat it wouldn't bother me.

To Rhen, a question I would have asked your teacher is -- why isn't taiji enough? What's the thinking behind that? Not saying it is correct or incorrect I just want to know the reasoning.
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Re: new generation Taijiquan and the cults of non-sense

Postby johnwang on Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:35 pm

Rhen wrote:Excessive Standing aspect was not part of original Taiji, ...

I believe ZZ came from some XingYi system. The idea of Taiji is moving, moving, and still moving. All my life, I have always believed that:

- running is better than walking.
- walking is better than standing.
- standing is better than sitting.
- sitting is better than laying down.
- laying down is better than to be dead.
Last edited by johnwang on Wed Nov 01, 2017 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I'm still allergy to "push".
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Re: new generation Taijiquan and the cults of non-sense

Postby windwalker on Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:54 pm

reinvention of the wheel and some of the marketing I'm seeing these days with young guys who teach Taijiquan.


I don't have a problem with it. They gotta pay the rent, eat, ect. Many CMA teachers teach taiji as an adjunct to what they do because
its what the people want, and "they gotta pay the rent, eat, ect"

When I was teaching taiji I had many long term taiji players come to me often saying " my teacher taught taiji, but he did not know taiji" These would be
from some well known teachers in the area...They came to me feeling what I did and they felt most aligned with what was written about some of the old teachers in the classics.

The family styles have a product, have to have some type of quality control process,
along with some way of controlling their recipe.

If one wants to learn "taiji" in this day and age it may take awhile just to find some
one who will teach it directly according to what one feels or understands as "taiji"
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Re: new generation Taijiquan and the cults of non-sense

Postby Rhen on Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:25 am

Appledog wrote:
To Rhen, a question I would have asked your teacher is -- why isn't taiji enough? What's the thinking behind that? Not saying it is correct or incorrect I just want to know the reasoning.


Like John said- sometimes Taiji is not enough for cardio health. Scientific studies in China indicate that for younger people, cardiographs of the heart did not improve. The athletes needs more cardio to get stronger heart. There was only a specific group that got improvement in the heart: elderly.

My teacher always felt that kung fu and boxing were the "fire" of CMA and Taiji and internals the "water', so he taught both.
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Re: new generation Taijiquan and the cults of non-sense

Postby Bao on Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:24 am

Rhen wrote:Anyone hear the following? Excessive Standing aspect was not part of original Taiji, that was imported by a shaolin guy who did taiji, or imported from the popularity of Dachengquan. (at least I tend to have to agree with it.)


Yiquan did invent nothing that was already there in IMA arts.

Standing exercises were there in the beginning of tai chi and before tai chi. Holding posture has always been an important aspect of tai chi practice. But it was probably toned down quite a bit when tai chi was introduced for the masses.
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Re: new generation Taijiquan and the cults of non-sense

Postby Ron Panunto on Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:21 am

Standing is the yin aspect of taiji practice, whereas the form is the yang aspect of practice. Both are needed for it to be "Taiji."
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