For any martial art to stay great there must be some element of-change built into its structure so that it is able to change as the general standard of fighting changes and improves. All of the great classical martial arts were founded in an era when all martial arts were still evolving and people simply used different methods of attack and defense,methods that were still very basic. The foundation of all the classical martial arts were based upon the practice of certain forms or katas which themselves were based upon the methods of attack and defense of the time. T’ai chi is one of these great classical martial arts and as such is also based upon these rules. Any founders of a martial art who had some insight into the changing nature of martial arts would build into their art some element where-by the practitioner was still able to use the art in year to come and not be bogged down by classical maneuvers no longer relevant to the time.The Classical school of Chinese Kung-Fu, Chi Ch’uan has such an element of change built into it.
These training methods are relatively unknown due to the fact that most people practice t’ai chi nowadays to gain the great healing benefits that this art has to offer, so when someone wishes to learn a little more, i.e.: how to use t’ai chi to defend oneself from external attack, all we are able to “find out is how to use each of the postures from the classical form in it’s fighting sense. The form from any t’ai chi style was not invented so that people could learn howto fight. It was invented to give us some of the pre-requisites of any great martial art, good health in mind and body; co-ordination of mind and body: perfect timing; perfect balance; relaxation and sub-conscious reaction.If we take the classical forms from t’ai chi and attempt to use them in a fighting sense, they will probably work against someone who is not a trained fighter, (inexperienced street fighters included) provided thatwe have practiced for long enough. But take these classical technique sand pit them against a modem day trained fighter and we see a different story. Fighters just don’t attack as they used to 400 years ago.
We no longer use large open stances in order to gain more power; we use centrifugal force with more normal western boxing stances to gain power.We no longer attack and then leave the attacking portion there for someone to grab, we use whipping types of attacks which are very fast, full of power and get the fist or foot in and out with great speed not giving enough time for someone to use a grappling technique. What we are not taught in our t’ai chi training are the most advanced techniques of“Technique to gain no technique.”
|How To Use T'ai Chi As A Fighting Art Erle Montaingne cover page|
Note: The applications presented in this book are the basic applications and not the more advanced Dim-Mak applications. This book was written back in 1984 and first published in 1985. The original text has not been changed other than fixing typing errors and spelling mistakes in the original text.
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