One of the most enjoyable, necessary, and treasured training methods for taijiquan is push hands or tuī shǒu (推手). This two person practice is the key to developing sensitivity or listening skills (tīng jìn or 听劲), as well as a chance to practice issuing power (fā jìn or 发劲) in a relatively safe & controlled environment.
There are many of the most important skills of taijiquan, which are especially developed, honed, and accessible through the integral practice of push hands.
Except, the world over, there are …
[continue reading How To Organize A Tai Chi Push Hands Practice Group …]
Truth be told that you become what you train for. If you want to be a pilot, go to a pilot school that teaches you how to fly a plane with lots of hands on experience in flying real planes. Don’t go to a school that only have a simulator but no real plane to fly. If self defense is the goal, then make sure your training involves some realistic self defense situation with lots of sparring and testing. If push hand is the goal, then lots of body sensitivity and power work with non-compliant partners. If health is the goal, make sure the training really gives you health not just fitness.
Learning Cycle – Erroneous Zone of Training
There are four stages of learning. First stage is unconscious incompetence where no learning is possible when you don’t even know what you don’t know. Second, …
[continue reading Vicious circle within the Learning Cycle …]
I recently got in a discussion with someone who had a strong emotional reaction related to considering degrees of “compliance” in a martial arts video.
Compliance, and its opposing concept of Aliveness are two critical factors in any martial art training. Indeed, both are required to earn progress when it comes to preparedness for real self defense and fighting. To understand each, obviously a good start is to define them.
Compliance in Martial Arts Training.
Compliance’s dictionary definition has to do with “complying” or doing “what you have been asked or ordered to do.” In other words, someone in a state of compliance will …
[continue reading Compliance vs. Aliveness in Tai Chi & Martial Arts …]
If you’ve spent much time in the internal martial arts world (or the Chinese martial arts world, or the “Traditional” martial arts world in general)… you might have noticed that many people refuse to relax their grip on heated – and ultimately fruitless – arguments against reality.
People want things to be a certain way, even when they’re not.
People want to be more powerful, more adept, more skillful, and more privy to secret knowledge than everyone else. Just because you want something, doesn’t mean you have it.
Just because you believe you’re a badass fighter, doesn’t mean you are.
There is no invincible style. Nobody wins them all.
[continue reading Arguments Against Reality: Tai Chi Stereotypes …]
I have to warn you before you start reading: I sat down to write a brief post about knockout science … and ended up with the web’s longest (5,000+ word) single page on the science & art of the Knockout (aka the “KO”).
In this extremely long resource, we’ll progress from knockout basics, to knockout power, knockout anatomy, and then onto one of the largest repositories of knockout gifs you’ll find anywhere.
While it may be controversial, I write this from the perspective that everything in this article is contained in the centuries old classical tai chi principles. Brain science and sport science have come a long way since then, allowing for lots of new descriptions …
[continue reading The Science of the Knockout (KO) …]
MMA & Combat Sports in general have a mixed reputation in what I will refer to as the “Traditional Martial Arts” (TMA) communities, and the relationship between tai chi & MMA is no different.
I have heard all the rhetoric: MMA isn’t a “real” martial art, our techniques are too deadly for the ring, sport fighters are barbaric, fighting for sport is against the tao, MMA is too external, it is consumerism at its worst, it is corrupting our children, etc…
I’m not going to agree …
[continue reading Tai Chi & MMA – Part One: What Is MMA? …]
Contextualize to see the big picture
We perceive our world through our five senses and behave as if our perception is the ultimate truth. Unfortunately our five senses are limited apparatus to detect reality. Ask different witnesses of what happened to an accident, you will most definitely get different, if not conflicting accounts. Not only are the five senses very limiting, add to it are the conditioning that shape a belief system which see the world through a ‘rose colored glasses’ that varies considerably from individuals to individuals.
You will always find good in your good friends and find faults in your enemies, regardless of what they do, good or bad. You will see what you want to see! That can be a good thing provided it empowers you without getting delusional.
It is easy for us to believe …
[continue reading A Perspective That Empowers Us …]