Combat Tai Chi – It’s Not Park Tai Chi

Welcome to Shaolin Arts School of Self Defense and Fitness. We’re going to do some more Combat Tai Chi, today. We’re going to talk a little bit about what Combat Tai Chi is. Most of the Tai Chi you see isn’t Combat Tai Chi. I’ve said this before in other videos, you’re going to hear me say it a lot because most of what I see is very embarrassing to combat Tao Chi. Combat Tai Chi is effective. Tai Chi is effective. People just don’t know Tai Chi.

I see a lot of people who do Tai Chi and it’s Park Tai Chi. If you want to be have good health and be in shape to an extent, that’s fine. But it’s not going to help you in self defense. Self defense Tai Chi is what Tai Chi originally was. Tai Chi Chuan, fighting, self defense, but it’s lost. Very few people teach it anymore. And what I see people teach, half the time, doesn’t still work. If you learn something from a book, see a YouTube video, you have it written on paper, doesn’t mean you know it. It doesn’t mean you understand it. It doesn’t mean you can use it. It is much more difficult than that. It takes years to learn Tai Chi but it’s super effective.

So today we’re going to talk a little bit about how to really use it and how it’s different than park Tai Chi. Mr Garcia is going to help me out today. When we first do Tai Chi, we have an opening movement. There’s many forms. But, this particular form has this very slow soft arcing movement with our hands. It’s really built out of an embracing the tree movement. Our hands are just in a little different position. Tai Chi is often known as iron wrapped in silk. People lost the iron. All they have is silk. Silk is great but you don’t want to fight with it.

So Mr Garcia is going to help me out today and we’re just going to do this movement. The block should be soft gathering of energy, redirecting of energy. It’s the soft part. Then you have to have iron inside that silk. Also, Mr Garcia is going to punch a little slow because he’s going to actually hit me when he does this. He’s going to go slow and if I just kind of come up relax like Tai Chi, I’m just going to get punched. This is what you see all the time on videos where a Tai Chi master gets in a fight with an MMA guy or a box or whatever it may be. The the guy gets up there and the boxer just punches him. He doesn’t even have a defense because he hasn’t practiced fighting; he’s practiced park Tai Chi. That’s fine. Nothing wrong with it. Don’t fight with it. You will get hit.

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When Mr Garcia comes in, I’m relaxed. He comes in, but I can redirect him. I’m going to kind of change an angle here. — Will you come in slow? — When he comes in, I’m using the principles of Tai Chi: my Dan Tien is dropped; my stance is good; I’m up; I’m rooted through the floor; my structure is correct. I’m going to bring my arm up, it comes to the outside of his arm. It’s very soft as I change my angle. If I do something in Tai Chi which would turn me all the way over here, Mr Garcia is going to punch me with his other hand. That doesn’t make any sense. That’s Park Tai Chi not Combat Tai Chi. He comes in. I can come around and hit him before he’s even finished his strike. He comes in. I can roll around, I can use elbows – Tai Chi uses elbows, it’s a grappling art. From in here, we can do anything we want: we can strike; we can take down. Soft.

Soft does not mean no structure. Soft does not mean that’s all I can do is — He throws a punch and — I can softly block one hand. What if he doesn’t throw one hand? What if he throws multiple hands? That’s fine. He throws in, he throws in again, I’m inside him. I’m on top of him. I can strike. I can strike. Because I kept my structure. I was soft, relaxed but powerful – iron wrapped in silk, not just silk. If I’m on the inside, he arcs a punch in. He comes in with the second one. I’ve already hit him before he did that and I didn’t have to move for his second punch. I’m going to have him throw hard strikes: round, round. round. He’s going to hit himself in the face. I’m actually pulling my strike because when he hits my arm it hits him. All I am doing is this: I’m just keeping my hands in the very first movement of a form.

This is an old frame form. Old frame forms are kind of the more original forms. They’ve made, new frame forms. New frame forms have a lot more, I’m going to use the word fluff, in them. Old frame forms have a lot of repetition, but just movement, just arcing, just relaxed, rooting, hips down, body structure correct. If I — you’re going to hit me on this — if I have my head back, my chest collapsed, my hips not in the correct space, he comes in, he just punches right through my movement. If I’m trying to do Park Tai Chi — you’re going to hit me again — and I come up and I do this, he’s going to come right through me, over and over and over because I’m just “this”.

Structure, hips underneath, chest up, shoulders down, head up AND you know how to fight. If I go, “Okay, I watched videos, this is all I have to do, my structures, right my structures right,” and nobody’s punched in on you before, you’re going to go … and you’re going to get just cracked. He’s just going to come in with his secondhand or thirdhand or a fourth hand. You have to apply your material with somebody. That is another important element to this.

So, Mr Garcia comes in. I come around here. I have strikes right here. My hands are already in his face. He comes in round, I don’t care. Round. He has the second one. Maybe it comes in straight, maybe comes in third, whatever he wants. I’m just right here. If you’ll notice, I’m still right here. If I move over here, I’m too far. He’s going to punch me with that next hand or that hand and it’s never going to work. He comes in with two strikes. I don’t even care what they are. One. Two. Okay, I’m getting in on him. I’m actually pulling because I don’t want to hit him.

So now the other thing about Tai Chi is it’s not nice. I say this to my students all the time. There’s nothing nice about Tai Chi. There’s nothing nice about kung fu. Nothing. You see movements in movies. You see movements that people demonstrate on YouTube. That’s fine. There’s truly nothing nice when it’s truly applied. Mr Garcia comes in with his strike. I’m going to take him down with his head. I am going to drag him. I am going to be on top of him from the first moment he hits me. If I just let Mr Garcia punch me and punch me and punch me, he’s eventually going to get in. He’s eventually going to hit me. That’s not fighting. You see these kung fu masters and Tai Chi masters who are like, “Uh! Uh!” and then they’re just cracked because all they’re doing is having no structure, no defense. When Mr Garcia comes in, I’m immediately coming in on him. I’m immediately defending myself. I am not soft, I am structured, it looks soft, it may even feel soft on the block after that it’s iron. Okay.

So, as we do this movement one last time as he comes in, I’m just soft. My hands face my opponent. From here, the next thing that happens … happens. Whether he’s hitting me, whether I’m attacking him. But the principle is, can you move your movement with Tai Chi? Combat Tai Chi is not absorb somebody punching you a whole bunch of times. If you’ve never had somebody punch at you, you will never be able to do Combat Tai Chi.
So, take this movement in your mind. How can I move this and protect myself? Just that simply, not a lot of movement. — Thank you sir.

It’s again so embarrassing to watch Tai Chi masters get beat up. They just have never really had to use their Tai Chi. They are doing new Tai Chi, which is health. That’s great. Old Tai Chi is grappling, fighting. You’ll notice how tight I am in on my opponent. I’m not way out here. We’re close, we’re fighting. That is Combat Tai Chi. Hopefully you’ll join us next time for our next Tai Chi lesson. Like, subscribe, leave comments below. Tell me what you know about Tai Chi. Can you use Tai Chi and what would you like to see? Thank you for joining us. Stay safe, stay Shaolin fit.

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