Tai Chi Kung Fu or Kung Fu Tai Chi?

Discuss Taijiquan or other soft styles. Theory, practice and applications. Please stay on topic.

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Tai Chi Kung Fu or Kung Fu Tai Chi?

Postby Yianie » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:47 pm

Hello, I am very new to Martial Arts. I have been doing a lot of internet research and I am totally confused. I am an athletic 52 yr old male, and I have chosen to learn combat Tai Chi. I think because of the learning method of going slow, the flowing with the enemy and the efficiency of the actions taken. This does not mean I know what I am talking about or any disrespect to other martial arts. The problem is that I can not find Chen Tai Chi or any type of combat Tai Chi in my area, Valparaiso, IN. but I did find a well educated Chinese instructor who when I spoke to, laughed when I said combat Tai Chi. He stated that what I want to learn is Chinese Kung Fu in the Tai Chi style. After signing on for a month, the next thing I know I am learning how to kick forward and around. Not easy for any athletic 52yr. My quesiton is that is he teaching me combat Tai Chi, or Kung Fu or both or neither? If not, then what do you suggest? Thank You.
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Re: Tai Chi Kung Fu or Kung Fu Tai Chi?

Postby Josh Young » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:38 pm

Kung-fu is skill gained over time with practice and taijiquan is a martial art, there is no special version of taijiquan for combat.

It sounds hard to understand what is going on, but how do you feel about what you have been learning?

I might suggest some of Dr. Ynags taijiquan books and DVDs, they contain a wealth of valuable information.
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Re: Tai Chi Kung Fu or Kung Fu Tai Chi?

Postby Dvivid » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:19 am

Yianie,

It can only be called combat Tai Chi, if you are learning the tai chi form eventually. If you are only learning certain techniques, like a kick, you may just be studying fundamentals right now.

This is combat Tai Chi:
http://ymaa.com/publishing/dvd/internal ... i_beginner

Tai Chi Martial Applications:
http://ymaa.com/publishing/internal/tai ... ations_DVD

I hope this helps, thanks
David
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Re: Tai Chi Kung Fu or Kung Fu Tai Chi?

Postby Yianie » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:08 pm

As silly as it sounds, I thought he training would be different. Right now it's various hand feet coordination, blocking, kicks and punches. Maybe I am wrong in my thinking, but I thought th training would be slow practiced movements, instead, I am learning how to kick, on the second lesson. Like I said, I am athletic, but still 52. Again, I thought the training woulbe more graceful instead of army sic training. So,what do you think? Stick it out or move on, but there is nowhere to go since no one inmy area teaches Chen tai Chi.
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Re: Tai Chi Kung Fu or Kung Fu Tai Chi?

Postby Dvivid » Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:56 am

Ask your teacher if you may see some of his Tai Chi form.

If it looks nothing like the tai chi you have seen in this forum or online, you might want to move on, or enjoy learning kung fu.
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Re: Tai Chi Kung Fu or Kung Fu Tai Chi?

Postby chh » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:14 am

Another thing that might help solve this would be to take a look at a book by a reputable author who addresses tai chi martial theory. Books by Master Yang Jwing Ming or Master Jou Tsung Hwa would be nice to look at. If your teacher isn't addressing some of the core principles that those books focus on, I guess it could be the case that you're doing something other than tai chi. Those kinds of books are always nice to have, anyway!

If you're still looking for teachers, I'd recommend not limiting your search to people who teach Chen family style or respond positively to 'combat tai chi'. Taijiquan with a focus on martial applications is not at all unique to Chen style, and I get the impression that 'Combat Tai Chi' is the name of a program used by specific dudes or schools to emphasize their focus on fighting techniques- it's not a general term for taijiquan as far as I know. If you keep your eye out for someone teaching taijiquan in general, and then investigate how much martial training they do, you might have a higher chance of success.

Good luck- I hope you find the program you're looking for!
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