Tai Chi & MMA - Part One: What Is MMA?

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.

Tai Chi & MMA - Part One: What Is MMA?Tai Chi & MMA - Part One: What Is MMA?

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 …

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The Zen of Taijiquan

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.

Zen and Taijiquan

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 …

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Tai Chi Movements: Fu Zhongwen's Traditional Yang Style 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).

Fu ZhongwenFu Zhongwen Yang Style Taijiquan

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 …

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Study Guide to Taijiquan Fajin (Fa Chin ... or 'Fa Jing') - Part Two

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.

Cheng Man Ching's Fajin (or "Fajing")

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 …

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Tai Chi Movements - Wu Style Long Form Tai Chi Video

This is the Wu Style tai chi form as practiced and taught by master Wu Yinghua (as seen in the 1st-3rd videos). This is the Wu style that was also taught by Ma Yueh Liang, who we will continue to add more and more videos from. Masters Wu Yinghua and Ma Yueh Liang were two of the taiji legends of modern Chinese martial arts. Not only did they author several classic and many now out of print texts such as: Wu Style Taichichuan : Forms, Concepts and Application of the Original Style and Wu Style Taichichuan They also brought this Wu Style to a huge number of people all over the world. I am learning this form right now in Southern California. …

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Tai Chi Movements - Wudang Taiji 13

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.

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Examples of Fajing (fajin) – Wei Chung Lin

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.