Tai Chi Chuan

There is much written about this subject, and until now, I have not said anything. As one of the first to learn the Wu style and go beyond the beginner phase, I feel that I will now give my opinion. I learned the Wu sets before there were video books, etc. on this style. I’ve heard it said that Wu and Chen were the original fighting sets. As a type of boxing whose origins are confusing at best, I do not know and I do not care. As Tai Chi is common knowledge, there have been many interpretations – some good, some bad. The one thing to keep in mind is that if you are in good shape and you only go slowly, it is only going to teach you to move slowly. We know that if one only moves slowly, the muscle fibre is fired by the brain in small groups. In the case of quick movements, you want large groups to fire at one time. The slow movements are great for the elderly and to recuperate from illness, but this is only one side of the coin. If taught properly, it can be taught for an increase in speed to relax and to get better balance. However, there are no religious connotations and you will not learn to walk on water. There are a lot of misconceptions, such as push hands. This seems to be the one that has been most misused. Push hands is a training method only. You get nothing from it unless both sides go by the rules. Otherwise, it becomes just a pushing match. Other styles have some form used for training for the control or learning the control of someone close. From my research, those that had a great fight ability had also learned some more practical art form. In my opinion, Tai Chi alone is lacking and has some weaknesses. I would not suggest that it alone be depended on for defence. Combat must be learned in combat – not by exercise. Tai Chi has many good sides, but always ask questions, as you would if you were buying a car. This and other articles I write are meant to educate the budding martial artist so that hopefully the choices they make are good ones. First, remember that the teacher is not some person you rarely see, but the one who spends the time with you. Someone whom you experience at a seminar is not your teacher. Name droppers have a habit of using names of some well known, but rarely seen, people. So, make sure you choose carefully. The man in front of you will be your teacher, not anyone else.
Pak Mei Pai