- Do you practice full contact sparring for self
or as part of a calorie controlled diet? defense
- Do you wear steel
Dr Ma capped rtins for aesthetics or for devastating rib attacks?
- And are exponents of
chi perverting the fundamentals of the style or are they riding the waves of a new historical tide? health tai
Listen to the full podcast here, or download it to your device of choice.
The reason I ask, is the old conversation again is cropping up, and it goes something like this:
- "Hey, teapot, are you teaching Tai Chi as a martial art?"
- I groan and sigh and then say: " Listen, with the group I have this year, no way!"
- "I suppose", they continue, "that's why you
playso much with and change and talk about flow studentsteaching, or giving beginners a sword to learn with ...because (and here comes the crunch).. You aren't teaching the art "seriously", you teach just for exercise or fun.
It's at this point I take a fork out of my back pocket and wedge it up the nose of the speaker until the handle can no longer be seen.
I'll tell you why for 3 reasons...
- Because I'm tired. I'm tired of this
reductionistapproach to tai chi. An approach that has afflicted the arts since time immemorial. It is an attitude that stifles and silences, it is an attitude that constructs a hierarchical practice - placing death blows at the cloudy top, and balance or breathing exercises -satiny sifu downin the cobwebby basement.
- It demeans and undermines the complexity and depth of the art and its wide applications, relevance and practical use
formillions of practitioners.
- It reinforces the idea that only though the serious study of how to inflict harm upon others can the art be understood.
Back to tradition Again
Obviously anyone arguing this has a personal agenda - an agenda that feels threatened by any shift away from traditional practices. Yet, all traditional practices come with power structures
So ask yourself if what you are practicing is relevant? Does it relate to the times in which we live, resonating with
Looking Beyond the Confines of Definitons
Attempts to demean a class by defining its purpose as "fun
More Confusing Words Words and
Unlike almost all other martial arts that have maintained their fighting principles over time, many schools of Tai Chi have shifted consciously away from the martial towards an
In theory the whole title: Tai Chi Chuan means the martial practice (
The Components of Tai Chi
- An emphasis on the principles of relaxation under duress.
- An emphasis on breathing techniques for remaining soft rather than hard, and for remaining alert, focused and in balance.
- A focus on developing the internal 'Ch'i' (choose your pick of definitions)
healthycocktail of physical balance, open and active listening, sticking, rooting and yielding skills
This collection of life skills not only makes Tai Chi a useful addition to any martial
For the whole argument:
- Listen to the podcast above. Subscribe for free in iTunes: Talking Ta Chi with the
- Watch the video here or on Youtube Teapotmonk Channel.
- Read the Trilogy and muse a while.