Here's a friendly Taiji demonstration with some good techniques

Discussion in 'Tai Chi' started by ghost, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. ghost

    ghost Disciple

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  3. ghost

    ghost Disciple

    Title: *good techniques, since you can't edit the title.
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  4. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Lucky Cat Is Lucky

    Meh ... OK I guess. He outweighed him by at least 100 pounds, was slightly taller and they were sparring in slow-mo. And don't ask me what he was doing with that belly-cane-bouncing thing ... o_O

    Throat strikes - you could see the guy leaning back as he struck - what's that? And I didn't see any kicks - did he forget to train them?

    Taiji guy didn't have root - he was just using his weight.
  5. ghost

    ghost Disciple

    It was just a friendly demo, not really a sparring match. And certainly, you've been uprooted even slightly in dynamic situations, friendly as they may have been. Right, Sifu?
  6. ghost

    ghost Disciple

    The cane-bouncing thing is similar to demonstrations I've seen in Taiwan related to Neigong's "Iron Shirt" withn certain internal schools there and on the Mainland.
  7. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    I was too busy watching the chick pole dancing in the background to pay much attention to the video.
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  8. Sensei Martin

    Sensei Martin Warrior Monk

    The video is an excellent example of a good ``attacker `` vs `` defender`` demo. The defender works with the attacker to ensure proper technique is displayed, without anyone getting hurt, and should be typical regardless of styles; Taiji, Kung Fu, Jujistsu, Karate, etc. The Taiji instructor was dead on with his comments, as well.
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  9. ghost

    ghost Disciple

    Of course. It might as well have been a video of paint, of the dull white-flat variety, drying.
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  10. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Lucky Cat Is Lucky

    Yes I have, but rarely in such soft sparring sessions as this one. More like when I didn't coil enough when a 300-pounder was charging me.

    Interesting. I just found it strange because I have a friend who is around 450 pounds who can do pretty much the same thing without any training. He used to toss his infant son in the air that way. :eek:

    Wait, what? Damn you, man! I had to go back and watch it again. I really can't believe I DID NOT SEE THAT!!!!

    ... I must be getting old. :sleep:

    Sensei, just a question - do you think his physical condition was also indicative of a balanced lifestyle?

    I know it isn't right to stereotype, but I can't remember when I have met a Taijiquan instructor worth their salt who allowed themselves to sport a pot belly like that ...
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  11. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    I don't even know you any more, man...
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  12. ghost

    ghost Disciple

    You must have excellent skills, then.

    Certainly, anyone could do it.

    Wang, Shu Jin or Yang, Cheng Fu ring a bell? Apparently you've never met Bruce Kumar Frantzis?
  13. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Lucky Cat Is Lucky

    Like you said, I've never met them. When and if I do then I might change my mind, but the out-of-shape teachers I HAVE met are teaching the "dance" of Taijiquan without the "quan" and without any respect for themselves or the message they impart to their students.

    I wouldn't bring my car to a mechanic whose own car runs like crap, I wouldn't trust my health to a doctor who is constantly sick and I wouldn't want to learn principles of balanced living from a tubby.
  14. ghost

    ghost Disciple

    I could care less how a person looked or how overweight they were if they actually had skill and knowledge to impart. I have been to a number of workshops given by BK Frantzis, a phenomenal martial artist.
  15. RJ Clark

    RJ Clark Tree Ninja Staff Member

    I wasn't trying to be too critical of what I was watching - it's not my style to critique. But from watching and the narration it was very apparent that it was a good example of respect and cooperation between very different martial artists. Didn't notice the pole-jitsu demo in the background at first either...
    ghost likes this.
  16. Sensei Martin

    Sensei Martin Warrior Monk

    I have not taken this specific art, per say, but as far as an Instructor being in physical shape - they are as human as anyone else, and who knows what this person`s story is. I know a rather overweight instructor of traditional Jujitsu and he actually won Gold at an International JJ event a few years back, representing Canada.

    Today, martial arts have really fused with fitness - (commercially) - so that is how one expects an instructor to be. Most defensive moves are 1-3 at the most ... i.e, most fights are over in less than 10 seconds with 1-3 moves at most. It is not the marathon event you see on TV or what you see in``sport`` martial arts, like TKD, MMA, etc. But being fit is sexy and that sells.

    btw - I would not call this demo a sparring demo -- more of a freestyle practice, where the receiver of the technique (uke) initiates an attack against the person who applies the technique—the tori.
    ghost likes this.
  17. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    I have to side with Ghost on this one. Freddie Roach isn't exactly the model of health and fitness, but I don't think there is another boxing coach I would rather train under to learn boxing.
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  18. TheWhiteTiger

    TheWhiteTiger Taoist Immortal

    Hey, there are a few fat guys out there that can fight. Olympic Judo's kind of demonstrating that point right now.

    I'm not exactly the svelte movie star I was prior to being married myself.

    SifuPhil is entirely right, though, that nine times out of ten, fatties are best avoided.

    The real key is if someone's in good enough shape under that fat suit to move with vigour. I can't help but think of Frank Trigg, who is obese but whose hand speed stunned me when I first saw him, and Carlos Gracie certainly filled out his gi in those last few years. Yang Cheng Fu is a great example of a fat taiji guy who nonetheless could beat the shit out of ninety nine percent of martial artists (any style) that turned up at his front door. Those men are few and far between regardless of body fat.

    Incidentally, I might have to lose a little weight. I'm getting kind of tired of people saying 'shit you're ridiculously strong for a fat guy!' or 'how the FUCK does a guy your size move that fast!?'

    (I'm not that overweight by the way)
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  19. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    FYI, I've rolled with Trigg before. His BJJ ain't that great, but he is a beast of a wrestler.
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  20. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Lucky Cat Is Lucky

    See, I'm old-school - I believe that anyone that calls themselves a martial artist should be "fit for duty" - ask Enkidu what that entails.

    I also believe in the more spiritual aspects of the arts, and this means that the body reflects the state of the mind. If you can't control your body, to me that means you aren't fully in control of your mind. Now if this is a case of the ever-popular "under-active thyroid" then that's different, but if it's merely a case of laziness or lack of control then I'm against it.

    When you get to the level of being a teacher, especially, you're looked to as a role-model. It's your responsibility to meet your obligations and be in shape, if only for the sake of public perception.

    Being "fit" for a fight is more than just being in good enough shape to throw a few punches - it also means being in good enough shape to recover quickly from one opponent to the next, and being able to catch your wind afterward without increasing the odds of having a myocardial infarction. If you believe in the dictum of "run away whenever possible", where does that leave the overweight practitioner?

    It also means being able to deal with the psychological components of an encounter for hours, days or weeks afterwards, an ability that is directly proportional to your level of fitness.
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  21. ghost

    ghost Disciple

    This advice coming from a guy who opposes Enkidu's knowledge of weight training in your brand of art. Right? "Fit for duty" entails different kinds of fitness. And not just physical fitness.

    Certainly, there are a host of character or spiritual defects, other than the shape of one's body, many teachers may be challenged with that shows a lack of "full" control of the mind. I'm pretty sure that if a lack of full control of the mind in any area of one's life were a strict criteria to be a teacher, then many good teachers would be eliminated from their field, including faith based and mental health occupations. Enlightenment, spiritual or otherwise is a process. Not an end. Everyone struggles with challenges.

    I generally don't appeal to the authority of public perception or popularity, because more often than not, the public is full of misperceptions about what martial artists do. I don't gauge a person or instructor's spiritual development or lack thereof, based on the shape of their bodies. Not that one's body shape or condition is never a reflection of their spirituality, character, or lack of discipline however subjective that may be. I don't do that because my perception could be wrong.
    I wasn't making an argument against the general need to be fit. Just to you taking exception to this Taiji practitioner's weight and your disqualification of him as a competent teacher, as a result. I don't know whether or not this guy could actually defend himself or teach others to defend themselves or teach any other aspect of his art, based on his weight or any other judgements I may or may not be wrong in making based on the video.

    Again. No one is making a general an argument against being fit. You can't possibly make this claim in regard to the guy in the original post's video.

    Here's another spiritually lacking fat person purporting to have skill in internal martial arts:

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