Taiji vs BJJ competition

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Re: Taiji vs BJJ competition

Postby Appledog on Mon May 28, 2018 6:37 pm

I think overall we are making progress.

The headless community is being led in a particular direction.

I am hoping that direction is towards realizing a BJJ competition is not the correct venue for demonstrating taiji skills. We need to defragment the community and restore proper push hands as a test of skill. I'm not sure about "competitions", but push hands is obviously a way for two people to compare skills as well as learn from each other. That's another thing that needs to change. With the advent of a unifying sports body and a proper common set of rules the adversity can fade away somewhat and we can come together in learning and friendship.
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Re: Taiji vs BJJ competition

Postby willie on Mon May 28, 2018 7:09 pm

Appledog wrote:I think overall we are making progress.

The headless community is being led in a particular direction.

I am hoping that direction is towards realizing a BJJ competition is not the correct venue for demonstrating taiji skills. We need to defragment the community and restore proper push hands as a test of skill. I'm not sure about "competitions", but push hands is obviously a way for two people to compare skills as well as learn from each other. That's another thing that needs to change. With the advent of a unifying sports body and a proper common set of rules the adversity can fade away somewhat and we can come together in learning and friendship.


I totally disagree, We are not making progress or heading in the right direction.
Push hand competitions will not fill in the void either.


Taiji is about POWER generation. It's about creating the "most POWER=Grand ultimate" that can be generated by the human body and killing your opponent with it.
Taiji has nearly nothing to do with the popular model...
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Re: Taiji vs BJJ competition

Postby C.J.W. on Mon May 28, 2018 7:38 pm

everything wrote:It keeps feeling like it's November 1993.

Someone send these guys the UFC 1 VHS.


Hear hear.
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Re: Taiji vs BJJ competition

Postby C.J.W. on Mon May 28, 2018 7:51 pm

willie wrote:I totally disagree, We are not making progress or heading in the right direction.
Push hand competitions will not fill in the void either.


Very true. I've always contended that Taiji PH was designed to be a form of cooperative training and never meant for competition. It's a transition between form training and free-fighting (sanshou).

I feel that in order for Taiji to redeem its reputation as a "martial" art, what China needs now more than ever is a group of dedicated Taiji practitioners who are willing to train full-time and focus on how to apply Taiji in various free-fighting competition formats -- and WIN.
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Re: Taiji vs BJJ competition

Postby C.J.W. on Mon May 28, 2018 8:07 pm

Appledog wrote:I think overall we are making progress.

The headless community is being led in a particular direction.

I am hoping that direction is towards realizing a BJJ competition is not the correct venue for demonstrating taiji skills. We need to defragment the community and restore proper push hands as a test of skill. I'm not sure about "competitions", but push hands is obviously a way for two people to compare skills as well as learn from each other. That's another thing that needs to change. With the advent of a unifying sports body and a proper common set of rules the adversity can fade away somewhat and we can come together in learning and friendship.


My view is that if Taiji is to be regarded as a martial art, it should be able to equip a practitioner with the skills needed to compete with those who practice other styles of MAs, including BJJ.
I've met a couple of Taiji guys who are able to apply Taiji principles and energies quite effectively in ground fighting and grappling. (They both have backgrounds in wrestling and BJJ, but have modified their ground techniques a' la Taiji.) 
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Re: Taiji vs BJJ competition

Postby GrahamB on Mon May 28, 2018 10:20 pm

You heathens!

How quick you forget that grandmaster Mo Ling already solved the BJJ puzzle with Taiji on the ground.
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Re: Taiji vs BJJ competition

Postby Dmitri on Tue May 29, 2018 10:04 am

Appledog wrote:proper push hands as a test of skill

...skill in what? Push-hands? Sure, but PH is just one of the exercises from the TJQ curriculum; competing/testing in being proficient in it is no different from comparing skills of doing form (another type of exercise from TQJ curriculum). If TQJ claims to be a martial art, it's supposed to be able to equip its practitioners to be proficient in martial arts, not just the training drills, no?
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Re: Taiji vs BJJ competition

Postby Fa Xing on Tue May 29, 2018 10:25 am

everything wrote:It keeps feeling like it's November 1993.

Someone send these guys the UFC 1 VHS.


It's unfortunate that some people will never learn.
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Re: Taiji vs BJJ competition

Postby willie on Tue May 29, 2018 12:05 pm

first off the whole thread is b.s. because there is no such thing as taiji on the ground.
So taichi vs BJJ never could happen in the first place.

Sure, A person who practices taichi can be brought to the ground and submitted, but the moment
that the taiji guys feet left the ground there is no taichi. Taichi is not the person, it has requirements. So the argument is stupid. Taiji is not designed for ground fighting.

Mo ling did not solve anything where bjj is concerned. All of that has been figured out a long time ago.
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Re: Taiji vs BJJ competition

Postby Steve James on Tue May 29, 2018 12:49 pm

Imo, it all depends on the goal of one's training and one's expectations from it. If the goal or expectation --of any martial artist-- is to be able to defeat any opponent, under any conditions, any time, then one will be sorely disappointed. Secondly, martial arts developed as solutions to particular problems: i.e., just like the art of war, being attacked required the development of defense.

If the problem is being on the ground, then the martial artist needs to develop a solution for that situation if it's likely to occur. If tcc people want to go up against grappler/wrestlers, then the tcc people need to adapt. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a tcc person studying grappling/groundwork. In my opinion, the fallacy is in expectation of success without appropriate preparation.

However, this is all and only in relation to competition. There's no reason to suggest that tcc alone is sufficient to defeat any attack or attacker. People can do it; but they can't prove it.

The other problem in the discussion is simply the definition of "tai chi chuan." If it cannot exist on the ground, then a person who can be successful on the ground can't be doing tcc. People would say the same thing when practitioners of "tcc" would put on gloves and shin pads. I.e., they said it wasn't tcc.

And there's an irony, too. If, say, a bjj black belt were to take up tcc and then won mma competitions, it would be like a judo black belt winning a push hands competition. People would say that it wasn't tcc.
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Re: Taiji vs BJJ competition

Postby willie on Tue May 29, 2018 2:31 pm

Steve James wrote:Imo, it all depends on the goal of one's training and one's expectations from it. If the goal or expectation --of any martial artist-- is to be able to defeat any opponent, under any conditions, any time, then one will be sorely disappointed. Secondly, martial arts developed as solutions to particular problems: i.e., just like the art of war, being attacked required the development of defense.

If the problem is being on the ground, then the martial artist needs to develop a solution for that situation if it's likely to occur. If tcc people want to go up against grappler/wrestlers, then the tcc people need to adapt. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a tcc person studying grappling/groundwork. In my opinion, the fallacy is in expectation of success without appropriate preparation.

However, this is all and only in relation to competition. There's no reason to suggest that tcc alone is sufficient to defeat any attack or attacker. People can do it; but they can't prove it.

The other problem in the discussion is simply the definition of "tai chi chuan." If it cannot exist on the ground, then a person who can be successful on the ground can't be doing tcc. People would say the same thing when practitioners of "tcc" would put on gloves and shin pads. I.e., they said it wasn't tcc.

And there's an irony, too. If, say, a bjj black belt were to take up tcc and then won mma competitions, it would be like a judo black belt winning a push hands competition. People would say that it wasn't tcc.

A very well thought-out and written post.
In order for something to be taichi it has to have a gathering phase. That phase is a internal winding of the dantian. This winding flexes the bows and stores the energy necessary for acquiring internal power. Without that there is no Tai Chi. A person can use their General knowledge of martial arts in all situations, but is not good enough to fill the requirements of Tai Chi in itself.
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Re: Taiji vs BJJ competition

Postby windwalker on Tue May 29, 2018 7:10 pm

I think it helps to remember that the term "taiji" was applied to what was being demoed or shown as representative of the concept, not something that started out based on it. As to what is correct or not depends on what ever family style that one happens to follow they all tend to say the same things expressing it in different ways.

Being a concept based art commonly expressed through family styles,
what is considered to be taiji will tend to reflect the marketing that made it so.
Not many new styles of taiji developed and recognized as such,, one might ask why?

The idea that some expressed about how CMA deals with different ranges seems strange...All CMA has to have answers for different engagement ranges.
A better way of looking at might be to understand the ranges they speclize in, which will tend to answer why they do.

As to competition ph has developed into its own specialized acknowledge taiji format.
Which in many ways killed the development of the art. Historically the art was noted for taking on all challengers regardless of style.

By making the ph hands into a competition it killed the art just as in judo...and many other arts when this happens...MMA in this aspect is probably more like what they did back in the day, with exception that there was more variation and specialization.

but push hands is obviously a way for two people to compare skills as well as learn from each other.


lets see how that works out.

if it was boxing, people box with each other
if it was BJJ, people grapple and tap each other out
If it was Judo, people would throw each other

If its "taiji" people would push hands?

Boxers dont compete in rope jumping.
BJJ or Judo don't compete in break falls
Why does taiji compete in pushing hands.

Why would a chen stylist listen to a yang stylist,,,mmm maybe they might


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNXnxCpjUNM
Last edited by windwalker on Tue May 29, 2018 8:29 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Taiji vs BJJ competition

Postby Bao on Wed May 30, 2018 12:40 am

As to competition ph has developed into its own specialized acknowledge taiji format.
Which in many ways killed the development of the art. Historically the art was noted for taking on all challengers regardless of style.


So true 8-)

Ph competitions practice is a limited form of combat practice. Most people who practice Tai chi and wants to compete practice mainly for PH comps. It's a pitty really because it limits their Tai chi to a very narrow skill set. It's not enough for anything else. It's just a way to learn how to beat others with the same limited rules set. Tai Chi people who wants to focus on developing their Tai Chi for combat use should rather seek out open style formats, sanda and similar. But then again there is still a question of focus. They still need to have tai chi and tai chi strategy in focus if they want to learn how to beat others with Tai Chi. If you turn it to kick-boxing, why not just go for MMA or Sanda practice? Preserving the integrity of a certain art might be hard, but still, this should IMO be the focus of any kind of combat practice. Otherwise, what's the point practicing a CMA? ;)
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Re: Taiji vs BJJ competition

Postby Steve James on Wed May 30, 2018 6:07 am

If you can do it, go for it. Tcc is no better than its practitioners. It didn't exist outside of them. Either they can put up, or they should shut up.

My point was that, if the goal is self defense, success against "mma" is totally irrelevant. I admire the man who wants to make sure he's doing tcc traditionally when his life is on the line. I'm just not that guy.

Afa as sports, if you enter matches where people wrestle, knowing how to deal with them is just being practical and prepared.

But, for the record, using tcc as an example is boring. None of the other ima styles have done any better in these matches.
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Re: Taiji vs BJJ competition

Postby Appledog on Thu May 31, 2018 10:33 am

windwalker wrote:I think it helps to remember that the term "taiji" was applied to what was being demoed or shown as representative of the concept, not something that started out based on it. As to what is correct or not depends on what ever family style that one happens to follow they all tend to say the same things expressing it in different ways.

Being a concept based art commonly expressed through family styles,
what is considered to be taiji will tend to reflect the marketing that made it so.
Not many new styles of taiji developed and recognized as such,, one might ask why?


A brilliant insight but one that panders to the common crowd, those that don't really know what this stuff is. We, on a specialist forum, have the advantage of discussing things from the concept stage. Let's take open and close for example. Open and close is (now) a well-known concept, thanks mainly to Sun's form, but also to the writings of Xu Yusheng who emphasized it, Xiang Kairen and ironically many of the modern day Chen masters, who discussed it in order to validate those styles as being Tai Chi. Therefore we have to understand if one's art doesn't have this open and close (typified by Sun's "open and close" and single whip movements) -- which in and of itself is a single movement qigong practice -- then it isn't really "Tai Chi" in the first place.

This is such an important point, yet is also so severely underemphasized because people don't understand open and close in the first place, and therefore only consider what they do know as having the right to define the art. "We know what Taijiquan is," they say to themselves, but do they really?

So us, from the standpoint of being on this specialist forum, what are we really complaining about here? It's that when people say a "Tai Chi" person was defeated by whatever, it is the training methods which are under attack. The training methods have failed. Most people don't get this stuff, even open and close -- nevermind the deeper skills. For Xiang Kairen, open and close was the height of his skill. He learned from Chen Weiming, Yang Cheng-fu, Wang Ru-en, Xu Yusheng(importantly, in a moment), and Liu Ennuan. Xu Yusheng and Liu were said by him to have learned from Song Shuming but really Xu Yusheng's main teacher was Yang Jianhou, and later Shaohou when Jianhou shipped everyone off to him. Another note about Xu Yusheng which plays into this is that he was born into a martial arts family (which is something it is important to know) so he had a great experience with martial arts growing up. Yet in spite of all of this, having the best teachers of the day, when Xu Yusheng went to Chen Village he was unable to locate a skilled teacher(!!) and was unable to determine that "Lazily Arrange Clothes" and "grasp Bird's Tail" were the same movement (he called them "completely different"). To me this does not read as someone who knew what he was looking at. Apparently, open and close were the limit of what he was taught as well, and he was unaware of chansigong (at the time; Xu Yusheng eventually became Chen Fa-Ke's student).

So the point I am making is that if someone like Xiang Kairen had to draw out opening and closing from Xu Yusheng in such a dramatic manner, even from someone who was known for opening and closing (and in their materials, 'ji' of peng-lu-ji-an is described as a 'closing' movement because the hands close together,) then the overall conclusion is that the teaching methods have failed.

We have thus committed the sin of, as specialists, looking at the art the same way the public does. We no longer own our own art, which is why no new styles have come out recently. I think we should remedy that situation.

windwalker wrote:As to competition ph has developed into its own specialized acknowledge taiji format.
Which in many ways killed the development of the art. Historically the art was noted for taking on all challengers regardless of style.

By making the ph hands into a competition it killed the art just as in judo...and many other arts when this happens...MMA in this aspect is probably more like what they did back in the day, with exception that there was more variation and specialization.

but push hands is obviously a way for two people to compare skills as well as learn from each other.



The proceeding quote above really is authoritative. I've been indexing various concepts out of my personal notes and rather extensive book and magazine collection now, for quite some time. There is a general trend for those who have been influenced by Song Shuming's legacy to describe push hands as an ultimate "letting go of oneself and following the opponent". Yet, all descriptions of the practical practice discuss a form of competition. The cautionary words focus mainly on avoiding any semblance of competition whatsoever and generally leave it at that. On the other side of the coin the Chens embrace push hands as "the sole criterion" for determining skill in all areas of taijiquan (a quote from Wang Fengming's book). The cautionary words from the Chens also guard against excessive competitiveness but the focus of the exercise is very clear. It is a learning exercise and also a demarcation line. This is made abundantly clear in the Yang-derived materials I have studied, except that they never come out and expressly say it. In any case the error seems to be in the lack of transmission of the 36 sicknesses. Chen Weiming for example in "Questions and Answers" advocates committing at least one serious error in push hands (according to the 36 sicknesses) as a way to 'make progress'. Thus I think that this is ultimately a matter of 'chinese morality' which is difficult for us westerners to understand. Push hands both is and is not a way to compare skills; It obviously is, but one must never go against his teacher when learning. This is actually laid out plainly in the chen materials I have indexed, with guidance on how to play vs. a more skilled opponent compared to someone who is less skilled. As an older brother for example, one should teach his younger brother instead of bullying him. This would work out to a very long list of rules that outsiders might not appreciate (or even understand) and therefore from a morality standpoint it may have been easier to just teach people it was for learning only.

People may have gotten this impression anyways since push hands would only have been practiced after an extensive period learning the form (in Yang derived schools anyways). However, we as specialists do not need to confine ourselves to one particular lineage or definition of the art (unless we have been so bound, luckily or unluckily).

I think I have mentioned before this is one of the conveniences of starting a new style. One does not have to pander to the public (Yang's, etc.) definition of what Push Hands has to be. In the very least it is possible to point out that the Chens do things differently and therefore it has to be accepted; even if you decide not to do it yourself. IIRC I think the Sun's school also does it that way, basing their decision on what the Chens do and what was seen in other schools (Xingyi, Bagua).

This all reminds me of what my teacher told me. Try the teaching methods. If the teaching methods didn't work for you, find something else quick!
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