Taiji aplications

Taiji aplications

Postby rvc_ve » Tue Jan 06, 2004 5:05 pm

Has anybody researched taiji aplications against grappling or tackling? It seems that now at days the most common attack you can expect is a tackle or bump to knock you down.

Many external non chinese martial arts teach the value of groung fighting since after an attack like this you'll end up on the floor.

However, If you avoid getting knocked down, you dont have to worry about ground fighting anyway, and I believe tajiquan can acomplish this, through neutralization and yielding.


This is not a Pro-violence/streetfighting post. I hate those. Instead its intended to starts a technical discussion on martial aplications of our art.


Any concrete examples of taji as a tool to avoid being taken to the ground in combat?
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Postby Audi » Wed Jan 07, 2004 1:40 am

Greetings,

There was a discussion about this some time back that probably does not answer all your questions; however, it might be a thread you might want to pick up. Here is a link: http://www.yangfamilytaichi.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000008.html

Take care,
Audi
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Postby rvc_ve » Wed Jan 07, 2004 3:18 am

Thank you Audi! I'll check it out.
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Postby chris » Fri Jan 16, 2004 7:57 pm

I don't know much about taiji, but if the question were posed to a Wing Chun player, he would say that a grappler shouldn't be allowed to pass the three gates. In other words, if a person succeeds in taking you down, it is only because you missed the opportunities to attack with your hand, elbow, and shoulder while they were entering your space.
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Postby rvc_ve » Fri Jan 16, 2004 8:14 pm

The question has been formulated in the event tha the grappler DOES get to that point. Maybe is you foult maybe it isnt, but thats besides the point!


That would be like saying, well it doesnt matter if I can kick or not because my style is western boxing and I should have disabled my oponents with my fists only without having the need to kick!!!! But what if you have the need?


Let me rephrase it for you then...What if the grapler does go past the "three gates"? what would you do then? have you ever considered that? every fighter must have a plan B! Or Are you goinna just say, ohh My plan A failed...Im doomed, and stop fighting?

There is no perfect style. I meand, thats true a wing chung guy would have to be able to stop the attacker ont his tracks before getting to grapple position, and the taiji guy should be able no neutralize and/or get out of the way of the attack because he has listeninj jing...but what if the grappler makes it in anyway? thats the core of the question. I know taijiquan has aplications specially decided for this, and that why I wanted to discuss them.

But I was advised that there was already a thread on the subject ans after reading it my curiosity was satisfied (very good thread by the way).
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Postby Polaris » Fri Jan 16, 2004 10:25 pm

In Wu style T'ai Chi Ch'uan (directly descended from the Yang style) there is a primary emphasis on throws, footsweeps, jumping, falling, tumbling and other ground work in the early martial training. As well - striking, trapping and locking the opponent trying to close or grapple with us as a precursor in turn to our throwing THEM (or breaking the applicable part of them standing up, if needs be) are all eventual goals of our self-defense training.

Such techniques are implied in all of the major T'ai Chi styles. I can see motions in the Yang or Ch'en style forms which would make perfectly lovely throws, locks, what have you. It all depends on how long and how well you have been training as well as how deeply you see into the inherent nature of the forms you've been learning as to whether or not you will be able to pull the necessary technique out of it when the time is right.

Cheers,
P.
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Postby TC-Dragon » Wed Feb 04, 2004 11:46 pm

Well, we have gone into this a bit. Well, as a Tai Chi practitioner you never go down, because you are allways rooted :-), but in the unthinkable situation that the floor jumps up to you and grabs you, and the opponent is on top or near you a good technik to get free from him is the right hand from "needle at sea bottom" or the "secrect sword hand" to the base of his throat. This does not kill him (like a direkt hit to the adams apple), but hurts like hell, and gives you enought time to get into a more decent position. Also good techniks are "twin peaks strike the ears", the "pang" from "grasp sparrows tail" (as a neck twist chin-na), simple eye gouging or pressing hard intop the bundle of nerves/sinews at the sides of his throat. Alas, if you can get to his family jewels, start ringing his bells like judgmentday is to come. All this gives you pretty much room to get to any nice followup moves you desire to execute.

Regards,
Sascha
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Postby gene » Mon Feb 09, 2004 8:23 pm

Understanding basic applications for each posture is fun, interesting and important. But I wonder whether a discussion of specific responses to situations (if he does this, then I do that) has value. I wonder this for the same reason that we can't learn push hands from a book. There are too many variables, and the art is premised upon being sensitive to energy, which can't be communicated in words or pictures. I think the answer to your question lies in trying to understand the basic taiji energies and philosophy, and experimenting with a friend who is really trying to take you down. I bet you'll find that different techniques and energies flow from different takedown situations, depending upon the angle of attack, the strength being used, the position of your partner, and many other variables. An important problem to be solved is, understanding the energy you are sensing, how can you cause it to flow back into your partner? You may find yourself in a position to apply a specific posture (such as needle at sea bottom, as has been suggested), but you might make better progress if you stop looking for specific postures to apply, and instead try to sense and redirect energy based upon the principles you have learned in form and push hands practice. Good luck.

Gene
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Postby Polaris » Mon Feb 09, 2004 10:14 pm

Such discussions are useful in training, but after the fact. You, your training partner and any witnesses can identify what techniques happened when after something actually works, but that is hard to do (as you say) ahead of time. A good T'ai chi application is spontaneous, and predicated by what is in front of you.

Regards,
P.
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Postby chris » Wed Feb 11, 2004 10:32 pm

Sorry, I was answering the call for "concete examples". I think it is more likely that you will find an opening to strike, than you will be able to control an incoming limb. Do you agree or disagree?

If a grappler _succeeds_ in closing the distance, then yes, I think taiji is doomed. So Plan B would be to accept it, and Plan A is to continue practice.
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Postby Wushuer » Wed Feb 11, 2004 11:11 pm

I am finding it quite strange that Yang style TCC does not seem to have much cirriculum for "ground work". At WTCCA, as did Polaris, I recieved quite a bit of training on recovering from falls, tumbles, being swept or thrown, trapped, locked, all of these things.
It was at the very beginning of my martial training, where it should be.
When are you most likely to have any of these things happen to you? While you are a beginner. Then that is when you should train to recover from these things, so you will know how when you need to.
It only makes sense to me.
Maybe I've just not seen these things yet in Yang style? I do not know. I am not to the point where I would be ready to train that kind of thing in this system yet, I'm still working on learning Yang style form.
And anyway, I allready know how from previous training.
Is there "ground work" training available in the Yang style system?
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Postby Audi » Mon Feb 16, 2004 8:39 pm

Greetings Wushuer,

I know nothing of this from any reputable source I can recall; however, I have long been of the impression that grappling was not traditionally trained in Taijiquan, Bagua, or Xingyi.

Whenever I have read others talk about Wu2 Style grappling practices, there has always been some comment in the text, say that their ideas came from their family traditions outside the original Taiji system. I would be glad to learn otherwise, if anyone has any specific material or traditions to site.

Did your training involve how to fight from the ground, or only how best to fall and how best to recover? In other words, did the training assume that the best place to be was on one's feet, or did it presume that remaining on the ground and fighting from there was a viable option, or even a preferable option? I can cite Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as an example of the latter type of philosophy.

Take care,
Audi
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Postby Polaris » Mon Feb 16, 2004 10:53 pm

Audi & Wushuer,

Yes indeed, the Wu (吳) family emphasis on wrestling stems from their Manchu heritage. The Manchu (as with related Central Asian peoples such as the Mongolians, Türks and the Japanese) are big on wrestling, to the point that they see it as a defining aspect of their cultural expression.

Wu Ch'uan-yu (吳全佑) and other Manchu Bannermen learned originally from Yang Lu-ch'an, starting in 1850. Wu Ch'uan-yu was only 16 in 1850, so he started training T'ai Chi at a young age (more on this later). In 1870, Wu Ch'uan-yu became a disciple of Yang's son, Yang Pan-hou.

The Wu family's emphasis on wrestling covers all strategic aspects of the activity; tumbling for various distances, righting oneself, jumping from various heights, avoiding weapons, punches and kicks, catching punches and kicks in mid-air, catching punches and kicks and THEN jumping, throws, allowing oneself to be thrown for strategic purposes, footsweeps, locks and breaks, fighting from the ground, on the ground, etc.

What they insist on is that it all be accomplished with T'ai Chi principles. This gives many advantages over hard style grappling. Neutralization, speed, resilience and stamina are all enhanced when "soft" style technique is observed.

It has been explained to me that this emphasis on wrestling is for making sure that the training the students are getting is thorough. If they can neutralize or shield the impact of their entire body weight accelerated into the floor, then they are probably able to neutralize or shield the impact of a simple punch or kick. Generally, this sort of training is only exhaustively undertaken by younger students, older people coming to Wu style training have to get into the wrestling aspect much more selectively, as they don't yet have the resilience of a teen-ager. It does develop over time, but there are some throws and jumps that aren't appropriate for a new 40 year old student to train that a 16 year old would have no problem with. At higher levels of accomplishment, wrestling isn't that necessary, one isn't bound to the philosphy, so to speak. An attacker can be stopped perfectly well with more conventional stand up technique. The Wu family see their wrestling training as a "fast track" to the martial art and that it allows students at an earlier stage of their training to have more options for defending themselves.

From what I've seen of proper Yang family and Ch'en family style (although I've never trained them), there are many forms which are quite suitable for the leverages required in throws, footsweps and other wrestling applications. I'm sure that high level practitioners of those styles are quite capable of dumping their training partners if the mood ever struck them! Image

Cheers,
P.

[This message has been edited by Polaris (edited 02-16-2004).]
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Postby Wushuer » Tue Feb 17, 2004 4:02 pm

Polaris,
Ah. That does explain it. Thank you.
I was a bit puzzled by the ommission when I started training Yang style.
Thanks for your information. As always, very usefull.
You are correct, the moves are there for extremely effective throws and sweeps in the Yang style forms. That's one of the reasons I was so confused, no one seemed to be using them.
I will start to work on their applications as I have free time in my practice. They can't be anything but usefull to know well.
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Postby Wushuer » Tue Feb 17, 2004 4:09 pm

Audi,
It looks like Polaris answered most of your questions in his post.
If you have any more specific questions, it would probably be best to ask P, as my knowledge of the practical is moderate to high, but my knowledge of how to convey the theory in words is definitely weaker than his.
I certainly did not excel at catching the punches and kicks in mid air! I never actually manged this with anything approaching grace. There were those in the school who could do this, my brother being one of them, with apparent ease. However I seemed to not be able to grasp the concept.
I could do the throws, tumbles, drops from height (still do this off my back porch fairly regularly), I can fight from the ground and on the ground fairly effectively using Tai Chi principals, all that. But the mid air stuff escaped me when I tried to train it.
I just didn't "get" that aspect, for whatever reason.
I did get fairly advanced on the rest, though.
It's a lot of fun. At least it was for me.
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