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? …]
When people think of taijiquan — as a martial art or as a spiritual discipline — the first association is with the principles of the Tao. The classics of Taoism are tai chi chuan’s philosophical foundation, and without them, any consideration of our beloved art is missing its most essential cornerstone.
The history of Taoism and Zen (Cha’an in China) are intertwined in too many ways to count, but for the sake of the Zen of this article … we’ll save the history lesson for another time.
As I have heard from one of my teachers:
“All explanations are wrong. Correct taijiquan is a feeling.”
It is here, at this intersection of feeling & explanation, that I would like to examine the “Zen” of Taijiquan.
As I understand it, Zen, too, is a feeling.
I have heard it referred …
[continue reading The Zen of Taijiquan …]
Fu Zhongwen (1903-1994) is one of the most renowned, accomplished, and important figures for today’s Yang style taijiquan (and for the world tai chi community in general).
Zhongwen was born in the village of Guanfu in Yong Nian County, Hebei Province … the birthplace of Yang Lu Chan & the cradle of Yang style taijiquan. Grandmaster Fu was apprenticed to Yang Lu Chan’s most famous grandson, Yang Chengfu, at the tender age of 9 (in 1913). It was with Great Grandmaster Yang Chengfu that Zhongwen travelled around china, to Hong Kong, Tianjing, Wuhan, Guangzhou, Beijing, and more. During these travels, Yang Chengfu would teach & Fu Zhongwen would demonstrate. Fu Zhongwen would also …
[continue reading Tai Chi Movements: Fu Zhongwen’s Traditional Yang Style Taijiquan …]
The most popular topic of reading & discussion on this website is tai chi “fajing” (a technically incorrect spelling / concept). As such, I am going to build & refine this extensive online fajin study guide, for my fellow taijiquan enthusiasts to consider and comment.
Before I provide some of my own analysis on several fajin demos of accomplished taijiquan masters … we need to review the basics.
The Basics of Taiji Fajin
First of all, the “correct” translation would be taiji fajin (pinyin) … tai chi fa chin (Wade-Giles) … or 太極發勁 (Mandarin).
I get the impression — quite often — that many western taiji practitioners feel that “fa jin” is …
[continue reading Study Guide to Taijiquan Fajin (Fa Chin … or ‘Fa Jing’) – Part Two …]
This is a very interesting form indeed. Supposedly created by the somewhat mythological figure, Zhang Sanfeng (Chang San Feng), the Wudang Taiji 13 Posture Form is the form practiced at the Wudang mountain (and several other Taoist monasteries). The first two videos are of master Yuan Xiu Gang, who you can schedule a trip to study with at his website:
Wu Dang Gong Fu. He has many foreign students, and seems very friendly.
The third video is master Zhong Yun Long.
The final video is master Chen Shixing.
You can actually study this Wudang taiji in Los Angeles if you are so inclined. If anyone does, we’d love to hear about your experiences.
[continue reading Tai Chi Movements – Wudang Taiji 13 …]
Sifu Wei Chung Lin here demonstrates his fajin issuing energy on an array of his students. These videos are especially interesting to offer an insight into a specific school’s (Sifu Lin’s) approach to developing this specific method of issuing energy. The first video showcases Lin’s practice of stationary partner training to hone & demonstrate his fajin, whereas the second video shows the same energy being applied in a (slightly) more realistic setting. Sifu Lin teaches at a location in the Chicago area (Skokie, IL), and you can view his website at the Chinese Taoist Martial Arts Association.