This is a distillation of previous published interviews with Master Wang.
Having traveled across China, I know that Taijiquan has the most practitioners of any martial art. Upon hearing that this boxing method was handed down from Zhang Sanfeng, I despised him for a long time.
Taijiquan is far from the art of actual combat; they have nothing in common with each other.
Later on, I read the collected edition of Zhang Sanfeng’s teachings, and realized that he had progressed deeply into the great Tao—and I came to believe that Taiji was not handed down from him at all! Actually, it doesn’t matter; even if one is a descendant of Sanfeng, he is not worthy to talk about this method without first gaining its essence.
Bad for Health, Worthless in Combat
As masters of the original Taijiquan, I should recommend the Yang brothers Shouhou and Chengfu. They are my friends, and I know that their Taiji has some knowledge of mechanics. But out of one hundred students, not even one gains its essence…and even then, it is still one-sided, because the skills of intuitive perception died out a long time ago. Originally, Taiji consisted of three fists, Wang Zongyue changed it into thirteen postures, and it was later embellished into as much as one hundred and fifty postures. This is the cause of the distortion.
Sticking to mechanical movements, seeking beautiful postures and mistaking it for the glory of martial arts…that is terrible. Such a person cannot comprehend boxing for life. If a man of insight sees such a performance, he will feel sick for ten days.
As a means of health preservation, Taijiquan restrains the spirit, and brings discomfort to its practitioner. For combat, it harms the practitioner’s limbs and trunk, and causes a useful body to become a mechanical and stiff thing…it’s nothing more than a waste of time.
As for the training method—a punch with the fist here, a slap with the palm there, a kick to the left, and another one to the right—it is pitiful and laughable.
As for dealing with an enemy in a fight: please do not even consider it. So ruined is this boxing that it has become useless. There are many more things, but I feel embarrassed to say them.
The Essence of Combat Science
Among the world’s countless martial artists, those who know the essence of combat science are as rare as a unicorn’s horn.
The correctness of a martial art cannot be judged merely by victory or defeat. If one does not thereby achieve comfort, gain strength, and enhance their quality of life, then it cannot be called a martial art.
The value of combat science is not merely in attainment of relaxation and other trifling achievements. Combat science is persistent learning…and it cannot be completed in a very short time. This is why Zhuangzi said, “Martial arts do indeed enter the Tao.”
I don’t understand why other boxers avoid contacting me; I have always respected martial morals. I really hope that fellow martial artists will question me; and if anyone can instruct me, I will sweep the pathway to welcome him.
What questions do you have for this “Master Wang”? Do you agree or disagree with his statements?
My experiance is that I have met so,so many Taiji form students that have no clue about what they are doing. Many were trained in form by a renound Chinese master I have met. I mean clueless.
I also understand that all of the best Tai Chi Chuan instructors in old days also had experiance in Shaolin or other hard styles.
I think that broad study allows to pick up the details found in internal styles and how practical application really works.
What struck me was that Wang was criticizing taiji as being defective regardless of who was teaching it. He said the forms AND the way they were done were both detrimental. In fact, he basically said everything about taijiquan, period, was wrong.
It read like some screed on bullshido. I dismissed the entire thing. Rubbish.
Well, the old man must have been right. He really wanted to change the way of thinking many still nowadays have. BTW, that Yiquan e-book is translated by my Yiquan teacher from Finland.
You seem to have no idea about Tai Chi. Go meet Master Waysun Liao of Oak park, IL if you want a demonstration of the power of Tai Chi.
According to Master Liao, the great power of T’ai Chi cannot be realized without knowing its inner meaning…” The texts are introduced by three chapters explaining how to increase inner energy “(ch’i), “transform it into inner power “(jing), “and project this inner power outward to repel an opponent without physical contact. ..
What a bull!! Rudra get a life and wake up a little!!
Faik, what source are you quoting?
I’ve found that from the description of Liaos book ” T’ai Chi Classics (Shambhala Classics) ” on the book cover. Btw, I have great thoughts about tai-chi and Ch’eng Man Ch’ing style. That because it’s very applicable and not delusional as many other styles of tai-chi. But that quote is quite too much for me to apprehend.
Finally some indications that people start waking up. Taiji can’t be used in combat ever. There’s also a very easy way to test yourself for free! Get in a real fight. Just be ready to run…don’t get killed.
Thx Master Wang – u r wise.
Faik, I wouldn’t be surprised if the cover text was written by its publisher. I actually have a copy of the book, and this is what Liao himself wrote inside:
I believe this paragraph is the only discussion of “empty force” in the entire book.
I’ve been practicing Chen Style Tai Chi for some time now, and I can tell you that the principle, the mechanics and the theory behind Tai Chi is far from being bull shit.
The wide difference in opinion arises mainly due to the fact that it is radically different from other forms of martial arts, where the emphasis is on hard training, kicks, blocks, punches, etc and also on the techniques.
Tai Chi on the other hand, views all attacks simply as a flow of energy. Now, how do you intercept that energy? Do you stop it with an equal amount of force? Do you evade and simply let the energy run its course and exhaust itself? Do you channelize it in such a way that the attacker loses balance or ends up hurting himself? This is where Tai Chi differs from other arts.
When an attack happens, you don’t need the same aggression of the attacker to stop it. Neither the aggression, nor the force. Tai Chi emphasizes on soft energy. Now most people seem to confuse soft with weak, which is not true. Soft means less physical strength and more of a flow. It means the mind does not lose its tranquility. It means that your strike is more of a proper channelizing of your energy which penetrates into your opponent, than a hard strike which hurts on the surface.
Do you understand it? Perhaps not. And most people don’t. Not because the theory is flawed, but because it takes time. A lot more time than a hard martial art like Karate, Wusu or Judo. It is more difficult because the practitioner cannot immediately gauge his prowess like in other arts where he can show off a well practiced kick.
Tai Chi involves a deep calming of your mind, a sound understanding of your balance and centre of gravity, a natural softening of your movements which make your punch or strike more flowing than a hard muscle filled exercise. It’s like a Tiger Woods teeing off. There’s very little force or strength. But there’s a beautiful, uninterrupted flow. There’s optimum use of body mechanics. Thats what Tai Chi is about, and it takes years to master.
And one final word: Tai Chi isn’t separate from every other art. The principles of Tai Chi can be applied to any activity, any sport and any martial art. And thats also the reason you will find that most authoritative practitioners of Tai Chi usually have a prior martial arts experience of over 10 years.
Tai Chi isn’t crap; the understanding that people have about it is.
A principle in Tai Chi: “Use your mind, not strength” (If I remember it correctly in Chinese: “Pyong yi, pu pyong li” 🙂 Yang Luchan was appointed to teach the Imperial Guard in Beijing – who are you to say “Taijiquan Sucks”? He fought many times with masters in China and was never defeated. That’s why he was called Luchan (The Invinsible).
I practice Yang style Tai Chi, and my source is the most genuine there is – Master Yang Jun, 6-th generation of the Yang family. Tai Chi is both an effective defence method and useful for your health. How many martial arts there are which old people can practice? It literary prolongs life! Can you see and old grandma doing Karate? I don’t think so. But you can see 70-year old people with black hair and soft skin doing Tai Chi everywhere in China.
Quote: “Originally, Taiji consisted of three fists, Wang Zongyue changed it into thirteen postures, and it was later embellished into as much as one hundred and fifty postures.” This is bullshit. Tai Chi has 13 postures. 150 is ridiculous.
I am always a little – actually, a lot – skeptical if someone claims “Martial Art X is better than Martial Art Y”. Usually, what they are saying is “I practice Martial Art X (and I have never practiced Y seriously)”.
Beyond that, absolute statements about any martial art are always very questionable – so much depends on the reasons why people practice in the first place. I wonder if someone who claims “Taiji is bad, because it looks good without being good for fighting” would despise Belly Dancing for the same reason. If he does not, how come he criticises students of Taiji in the first place? Can he know for sure that there is not a single student who learns it simply because it looks good? If he doesn’t know that for sure, then such an absolute statement is at the very least patronizing and presumptuous.
I don’t mean to say that Taiji “just looks good”. I just wanted to point out that students are in it for different reasons. You probably won’t ask a 70-year old to start practicing 100 knuckle-push ups so that he can hit really hard and compete in an MMA competition. So before even starting to make recommendations of teachers or styles, a student should find out what he is looking for. Any good teacher respects that. Bad teachers don’t.
So I wondered who this “Master Wang” is to begin with. There is limited material on the web, but from what I have read so far I tend to believe that what he teaches seems to be about standing meditations. So that is more “effective” for health and for fighting? Yeah, right. (Maybe there is more to it, but given his moronic statements from before I don’t care to find out more.)
It is quite annoying that so many fakes open their business these days. Frank Dux got a movie about his alleged legendary victory. There are people teaching how to knock out others with a kiai alone. And he we have a guy calling himself “Master” and teaches standing meditation.
It isn’t easy finding reputable teachers these days with so many frauds and fakes around. Admittedly, finding good teachers is difficult. But recognizing certain types of bad ones is easy – just avoid everybody who says “System X sucks” (without even asking what a student is seeking) and who claims to have superior, secret knowledge that other teachers don’t have.
You dont throw the baby out with the bath water. Tai Chi suffers from alot of fake masters and students who never really grasp the real meaning of its ‘softness’.
But it is a lethal art form when developed correctly.
It is very similar to an ancient martial art in India called Varmam. Varmam utilises the ‘softness’ philosophy and utilises nerve damaging techniques. But in the past some students turned bad and abused its powers. After that the masters became so secretive that they rarely teach anyone and deliberately avoid teaching the lethal techniques except to the most spiritually evolved and disciplined people. And it takes too long for most modern fast paced people to learn.
Tai Chi may have a similar situation to this. You may not see masters like Chang Sanfeng, Yang Lu chan etc these days because nobody is willing to endure the deep focus and discipline required to learn it.
NEVER dismiss the supernatural powers that real masters have. There is far more going on in this universe than the arrogant scientist thinks. I have personally witnessed what Chi (prana) can do. It is not a myth. It is a real power which can be used to do some shocking things!
I enjoyed this article.
It inadvertently addresses changes in the teaching methods of taijichuan that took place around a hundred years ago that have failed to live up to the result of previous training methods.
I am reminded however that our progress and skill is not a sign of the veracity or prowess of a martial art so much as a sign of how we have worked and applied ourselves to it. Judge the effort, not the art and we can then transcend the petty opinion based consensus that has in reality; no bearing upon martial reality.
Karate_and_Taiji_student, I agree with you. Personally I believe that for all the mind sets out there you’ll find a martial art to fit that mind set. And if you don’t, then an art will be made to accomodate that way of thinking. that’s y there r so many martial arts. However that’s just my theory. (forgive my spelling, left that back in highschool).
Who is Master Wang? I can not believe a true master would place himself in such a position. I am not a Master, but have practiced Tai Chi for over 30 years and would be willing to challenge Master Wang to full contact combat with last man standing as winner.
Hey Ma Fu-chen I was wondering what style of taiji you studied and have you studied more than one, I just wanted your opinion cause “thank my lucky stars” I haven’t been in a life threatening situation yet to test my metal as such but which would you consider as being most practical.
For exercise I prefer Tai Chi because it saves me from falling on ice, has kept numerous ruffians from laying on hands in addition to having saved me in my entire life from back injury and keeping carpal tunnel away. For defeating foes in mortal combat, the way of the gun is best. I favor the Mossberg and challenge any hand-to-hand fighter in the world.
@snakeyfistfighter … thanks for the lies. I doubt you have ever faced any “ruffian” or you would’ve gotten your ass kicked using your cult brainwashed slow new age bs. Real people don’t hold back and play nice like your cult. As for your gun, yeah that’s nice when you do have a gun, but unfortunately it’s not attached to your body and you can’t take it everywhere.
Why waste time claiming you can use Tai Chi in unarmed combat, if you’re gonna deflect into armed combat. That’s nice a gun can beat an unarmed guy, big deal … there’s nothing saying the other guy can’t have a gun too, and if neither of you do, your Tai Chi gets your ass kicked.
Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Boxing and wrestling work. Of course that kind of thing actually hurts to learn and is too real “fighting” for most people who just want a fake badass feeling.
Snakey never mentioned anything about a cult. In your effort to bash an art you know absolutely jack about, you make stuff up out of thin air while claiming the other is lying.
The POINT of slow Tai Chi forms is that the coordination (breathing, hand movement, and center of gravity) is perfected to a degree that when if comes time to fight, everything comes together in a snap movement.
The core of Tai Chi is strong root and balance. This fact alone make Tai Chi a favorite form of practice for Shuaijiao practitioners. Don’t believe me? Look up YouTube for a list of Tai Chi masters in actual fights.
Many of the redirection moves in Tai Chi show up in Aikido and Jujutsu, and subsequently Judo. Is the latter a “pussy martial art”?
Punching and kicking is NOT always the solution.
Just what does this so-called Master Wang actually do, anyway? Xingyi? Wing Chun? Or just another generic external martial art? What does he know that makes him think he can judge a firmly established art to be inferior?
If my research is correct… I think this is the one and only founder of Yiquan… who himself was a Xingyi practitioner. And he’s been dead for ages, so it’s not he “says”, but rather “said”.
OK, so apparently deriving from his own knowledge of Neijia, he has deemed orthodox Tai Chi to be outmoded at best and dangerously limited at worst. He was also apparently personally acquainted with the Yang grandmasters.
Now, I’m puzzled at his characterization of Tai Chi as “mechanical”, when I have seen it to be nothing more than fluid and (yes) natural. Certainly more than Wang’s prized Xingyi – now THAT’S a mechanical (dare I say, robotic) martial art!
I might agree with him in criticizing the use of the taolu/kata/form as a manner of training. That seems to gotten over everyone’s heads here in the comments (including my own).
I myself am not familiar with Yiquan, but it appears that Wang decided to dispense with taolu altogether, and instead decided to focus on sparring form, akin to Western boxing.
Consensus? I think that Wang was just trying to promote his own art, and in the process disrespectfully pooh-pooh’d other arts. If he believed that his training method was more practical and superior, and that orthodox Chinese MA practice was to be thrown by the wayside, then that’s a perfectly valid opinion to have for himself. (Perhaps it wasn’t as malicious as it was framed here.) But then he couldn’t bash those arts with such vitriol and still claim he had wude.
The issue is rarely the art. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that any art can be highly effective if trained in properly. That said I have to agree that most Tai Chi practitioners these days have a limited, at best, understanding of how to fight with their art of choice. That same statement applies to most karatekas, tae kwon do stylists, etc. It’s becoming rare that a martial artist of any style becomes an exceptionally talented fighter.
It is obvious from some comments that Grand Master Wang Xiang Zhai is unknown to the writer. Born in 1885, he studied hsingi with Guo Yun Sin then later travelled China, studying with the great masters of the day. In the 1920s he became critical of the decline in the country’s martial arts. He developed da cheng chuan “Great Accomplishment” and issued a standing challenge to martial artists to best him. This was never taken up. He died circa 1963 but the lineage lives on with his students
There are indeed countless taijiquan practitioners who do not have the essence of taijiquan, however there are also several who do have it…
You can judge a style of taijiquan or other martial art in various ways depending on what one wants to gain from it, but various things can be attained from various styles of martial art. Different styles have different benefits…
However some taijiquan styles are useless and sometimes harmful, but you cannot judge all styles of taijiquan as false only because some styles are false or harmful.
Martial arts are not always primarily for combat efficiency, some are art forms for cultivation on various levels, body, mind, internal energy, spirit etc… Other martial arts are for combat efficiency or sport…
Taijiquan can be quite good in combat when practiced by a master, but would a master of something more straightforward such as mixed martial arts or jeet kune do be more efficient if mastered for the sake of combat? I cannot say, for I am far from being a master of any martial art…
I studied taiji and qigong for 10 years and I am sorry to say that I do not believe it be a martial art at all. Yes I learned a bunch of forms, a few applications, and sensitivity exercises but after all that it became clear that it is nothing more than empty promises (no real combat ) , hearsay, and a lot of cognitive biasing. As soon as you as you show that learning the forms with fluidity is a simple task, and pushing hands does not frustrate you, the “masters” do not want you in their class. They really just want students are willing to believe anything they say, dutifully repeat it while teaching the newcomers, and pretend that their training methods actually work.
I took workshops with the grandmasters and did not find that they added to my understanding. They would adjust a hand position here or there but nothing meaningful.
What they are good at is finding were you would be most uncomfortable. If you are used to training low, they will raise your stance. If you are used to training high, the will lower your stance etc. This kind of training does indeed have some neromuscular advanges as does any kind of muscle confusion but as soon as you show that you’re used to it, they get frustrated.
My experience is that the better you get at “playing by their rules” but not falling for their bullshit the quicker they want you out of their class.
Of course I am one of the students that was told (after 10 years of practice) that everyone else just needs practice, I was “incapable of learning.”
If figure that, if after 10 years of memorizing forms and doing push hands, I have not learned how defend against an opponent, I have not learned a martial art. I have learned a dance.
But hey, what can I say, I’m “incapable of learning.”
Oh well I really enjoyed learning all the forms and playing push hands but I am not the kind of person that lies so I can’t pretend that it is form of self defense 🙁
I’m laughing at this article as I can’t believe it’s another dumb article downing Taijiquan. Let me say this to some of you who may or may not be familiar with the Taoist Cosmology. What comes first is the Tao that is complete emptiness or the great void in which everything that is something began. In religion that is said to be God as the Creator of all things is nameless, formless and beyond human perception. The second stage is the Taiji which is Yang and Yin. If there’s nothing then something then something created also creates it’s opposite thus Yin the mother, feminine principle first and then Yang the father also son. All things can have opposite as hot has cold and light has dark and hard has soft. The third stage is the 5 elements of Water, Wood, Earth, Fire and Metal which all things in the entire universe consist of forms of these five states. I will skip the explaination here and proceed to the next stage. The fourth stage is the 10 animals because all life on Earth can be found to be based upon 10 animal types of DNA patterns.
Now you say what does all of this have to do with Martial Arts? I will tell you please keep reading and have an open mind as this doesn’t go over easy with worldly minds who have very little patience for the spiritual aspects of the Martial Arts. Taijiquan such as Chen, Yang and Wudang are all based upon Long fist fighting styles. This can be proven but I won’t waste your time as that’s not my point. Do other styles of Martial Arts have Taiji in them? That is the question the answer is Yes they do. Taiji is not an martial art Taiji is a concept that can be utilized to perfect a Martial Art. Since human beings evolved from animals, yes the 10 animals then all martial arts are animal movements whether they be boxing, jujitsu, silat, long fist, kung fu or any combat art period. Taiji is higher in the cosmology rank than the 10 animals and that is why any art that utilizes the concept of Taiji to perfect it’s movements and balance it’s called Taijiquan which quan simply means fist or fighting with fist.
So imagine with me now because this is getting into the realm of what the great masters spoke of in the holy text. Does anyone here have experience with fighting? All fighters know you don’t need a 1000 moves to win a fight. Most fighters use a few moves which they have perfected the balance, timing, distance and dynamics of those moves to defeat opponents. So Taiji started off as this article says with 3 moves then 13 then 108 and never in a fight will anyone use 108 moves to win. Never in a lifetime of fighting will you need that many moves to win even if you are a champion fighter and fight lots of opponents or military soldier or law enforcer will you ever use more than a few moves.
There you have it all wrapped up in one nice neat package. So begin to now practice your art with by slowly adding the principles of Taiji to your art. Thereby as time progresses you will improve and then you will see why Taijiquan is the ultimate fist. Everyone starts off hard using more muscle than needed to win but every good fighter starts to learn to use leverage, slight redirection and defection of attacks to overcome oppponents. This is soft skill and sometimes we need to start hard and get some fighting experience before we understand how a feather can move a 1000 pounds. Or how to win is to lose or to lose is to win.
For all of you thinking Taijiquan is weak you need to look at Master’s Wong’s videos who resides Sulkfolk, U.K. Master Wong using Taiji superbly as he incorporates Wing Chun, Jeet Kune Do and traditonal Chinese Martial Arts into his Taijiquan. Only some expert fighters can percieve how he does that. To those of you still learning don’t be persuaded into a close mind and keep practicing and most important never stop learning.
Why does this article lead me to believe that this “Master” Wang doesn’t know what he is talking about? He obviously never met anyone from Wang Pei Sheng’s lineage. He was never defeated by any style of martial art.
Just another ill-knowledgeable a-hole pontificating on Taijiquan. Should he wish to face an easy defeat at the hands of a real (and very rare) master of Taijiquan, I can help with the arrangements. You will need to get to Beijing, but many are going there these days. Please follow up “master” Wang.
As a disciplined student of Taiji for the past 20 years I found master Wang’s interview to be very intriguing. My teacaher (perhaps paradoxically) has been saying the same thing (essentially and if one can read between the lines) and its true when I look at the videos of people performing Taiji it really doesn’t look like they have a clue as to what the intent or visualization is behind their movements and almost everyone I’ve seen looks to not have an understanding of boxing technique.
It may seem ironic that my teacher , a teacher of Taiji would ‘for the most part’ agree with Master Wang’s criticisms, but it isn’t really all that ironic (at least to me). Allow me to explain. Most Taiji schools teach as a class and the focal point is on the entirety of the form or the movement as a whole (commonly a 108 movement set is referenced). With Lee Wah Yook Qi Quan Taiji each student is taught individually and great focus and emphasis is placed on the corrections or the details in each individual movement. When you train just one small piece over and over essentially you are doing a form of standing meditation because you are in that one stance or shifting between that one and one other as you move (and your movements are very subtle and also extremely specific and there is boxing technique and intent behind each of these small movements) – then when you put it all together into the external form it holds more meaning. As master Wang said regarding Chang San Feng – he was a person who really lived ‘The Tao” – training the corrections or individual pieces of the form in this manner helps one to really incorporate the boxing techniques principles into daily life. Further, I will absolutely say that when I train various stances, standing meditation techniques, qigong, and/or corrections prior to doing the Taiji form- I notice a big difference in the grounded ness, centered ness, and powerful energetic feeling circulating through my body after the form is completed. When I look at the movements of most Taiji practitioners out there it does look like they lack these elements and it looks like they lack the element of boxing technique – its like a lot of this has been lost. As far as master Wang’s statements about 3 fists becoming 13 then changing into over 150 (and this being necessarily a bad thing) – I’m sure I do not agree (humbly) – if the elements, technique, intent, power, energy, and ability is present-its not necessarily a bad thing to have more ‘fists’ or forms.
Similarly to master Wang, my teacher sifu Mark Bram of the Lee Wah Yook Qi Quan has always been open to challenge, and I’ve never seen anyone come even close to him on a pure skill level (engaged in a sparring situation), and in push hands I have seen him send many people back at the same time but unlike most of the videos out there I’ve seen him send big strong men – guys who are 6’5″ with huge wrists and overall bone structure and a real strong root into the ground, and he tells them to not ‘be respectful’ and to really try and move him (because he is and always has been true to his word that it has to work)- and he has made these dudes just go flying – like get sent off their feet, curling up in a ball, and just go flying backward. So I know his system works and has merit as a boxing technique. That said, in regards to master Wangs overarching point about the vast benefits of standing meditation – I couldn’t agree with him more and as such I personally try to incorporate standing meditation into my regular practice schedule.
I know I’m going to regret opening my mouth on this but… The problem isn’t Tai Chi’s effectiveness. The problem is the horridly poor level of internal power needed to use it effectively that most practioner have these days, a problem that’s rampant in most traditional martial arts. Yes, most of it has been watered down to teach little old ladies at the YMCA, but not all of it. Tai Chi can be devastating…if you spend the decades needed to make it work. Practical? Of course not. But that doesn’t mean it’s ineffective. Tai Chi is worthless in combat if you don’t have the chi to do it. But fight a Tai Chi man that has the chi and good luck hurting him even if you do manage to land a punch. Research the life of Wang Shu Jin (who may have been a student of Wang Xiangzhai at one point, but still a Tai Chi man another other things) for example. Remember, they call it an internal style for a reason. It’s old school kung fu. It’s not “Wow, I have a purple belt in BJJ”. The old stuff takes years to master the most fundamental levels but most teachers won’t own up to that (for the money). One of the old Chinese sayings said it took 15-20 years to make a proficient fighter and that’s training hours everyday. With our life now, and work and kids and family and Monday night football and bar hopping with your girlfriend, it’s not going to happen. Nobody has that kind of dedication anymore.
You are an idiot and know nothing of tai chi or combat arts.
Martial arts come about differently through different styles, through the ages. Fighting is not about arguing intellectually, nor emotionally.
I had a very good instructor for over 23 years. Street fighting man.
We never studied kata as there is perhaps one second that if you have to think, you are beaten.
We took the best of what we knew from different styles. Others have done the same.
It is about strength, speed, and timing. I am 67 now and only have timing left, which is, perhaps the best of the three.
They are fighting arts. Take the best that works for you and practice. Do not waste your time on negative energy.
Remember yin-yang. Light, dark ; Heavy, light; Good, bad; Soft, hard.
It all depends upon the strict training of your opponent’s skills which can be used against them.
Old warriors fight differently than the young ones.
As the old Chinese master said, “I know nothing”.
Please oh please “Master Wang” – if you’re going to take the view that “Taijiquan sucks” please challenge this man:
I might even be able to arrange the meet. He lives in Beijing but will likely visit here again. Please????!!!
Since Wang died back in the 1960’s he’d have a problem with any challenge right now.
Anyone who feels that Tai Chi as a practical fighting art is bullshit is welcome to visit the Tai Chi Chuan Center in midtown NYC and participate in the fighting class.
The only fighting there is full contact.
Good luck and make sure you sign the waiver form first!!!
Point to consider: to be effective as a martial art any system needs to have practical applications that are achievable and useful within a relatively short time. The statement “it takes years to master” is not really relevant here. Imagine you wanted to create an army. Are you going to choose a martial system that takes years to master? No. In all systems there are basic principles that can be applied after much shorter training times. If you survive then you have the chance to improve and refine. If at any time in history the art now known as Tai ji quan was taught as a means to combat, then it would be of no benefit if you had to wait years before you could use it. Not rocket science people.
Deyan , A Great Xing I master known as divine fist ,master Gao was the teacher of Wang Xiang Zhai, and master Gao defeted Yang Lou Chan, yang the unbeatable lol and Wang Xiang Zhai beat up the hole country of china for 40 years losing only two times after fighting with every style many were tai chi,they lost easyly, dont you think he know who can fight hahahaha that who he is a legend in the art of combat science ,every thing he said is true ,dont be butt hurt empty your cup you might learn something and save your selve from waisting time
I can’t even gain an orientation to the material since this site is formatted so terribly. Readable yes, understandable no. “Master Wang” – who the hell are you? You certainly aren’t “Wang Peisheng” who through a life of 80 years preached the essence of Taijiquan and met all challenges without hesitation. What kind of fraud are you intending to proffer here?
Wang Xiangzhai created the system of Yiquan. Yiquan training begins with standing practice to teach whole body connectedness, then moves onto “testing force”, simple circular movements to maintain whole body connectedness throughout movement, these are trained repetitively rather than strung together as an elaborate taolu. They can be strung together later spontaneously when stepping patterns have been added and fighting principles are better understood. Then is taught fa li, much like fa jing, explosive power that one accumulates by whole body force integration. Then one can move onto push hands, sparring drills, shi sheng (augmenting the fa li power with sound and breath), and freestyle sparring.
If Taiji were taught this way, with the linked form as more of an afterthought, or a reference library for the arts techniques it would greatly reduce the time one takes to comprehend the art and apply it practically.
Why so many things to learn when the complaint is no one can do it,no one has the true way of teaching,none of the students can express the teaching,there are too many moves,then it goes on to say the way of teaching is this form and then that form and blah blah still following forms and not many can do it,so it’s no different,Yi Quan or … Tai Chi
If one sticks to no form then why is there a teaching?
If we only learn by the physical fight then we might not survive long enough to get good.
If we only imagine struggle then it’s all fantasy and won’t improve much.
If we understand that life is the struggle and fight in itself,then training is living,and life is the form,and physical fighting becomes less important.
The importance lives in living healthier life. So if you want to be the best fighter, practice the best fighting,and understand that it’s only a small part of the big picture ☯️☮️
It is true that only a few instructors are worth listening to when it comes to learning the teachings from long ago,one such person was GM Fu Sheng Yuan of Yong Nian and of original Yang Family blood and met none to be his equal in sheer understanding of the art and being able to express it’s martial ability and the time and effort it took to learn proper Long Boxing of the Yang Family.
I see a lot of doing forms in Master Wang’s way,and an impossible accuracy in the transmission from teacher to teacher to student,and a pure arrogance from being self indulged. The teaching takes way to long to learn all the same complaints he expressed about Tai Chi are applicable to his teaching too,look how many words he had to rufht…
Martial Arts,the arts of survival are an ongoing living thing called life itself and should be trained and taught this way…
The view from minds eye… ☯️
Wang died almost 60 years ago, so those challenging him might have some difficulty getting a response. He lived in Beijing, put out an open challenge and was not, as far as I am aware, ever beaten by any Tai Chi practitioner.
I don’t know if Yang Shaohou was still alive when Wang’s comments were printed in the newspaper, but I’d be disappointed if he was and didn’t respond. There’s much more to Wang’s comments than has been put on this page. He was asked about Yang Luchan in this interview and basically dismissed him, saying that he ‘achieved only a part of the Tao’. Yet he praises Cheng Tinghua as being like a divine dragon roaming about, and Dong Haichuan’s attainment being even better, he being so great that it is even harder to understand how profound was his insight in the Sea of Law and attainment of the Tao.
James Anognos, what nonsense it is you are talking. It is not master Gao but master Guo – Guo Yunshen. And where did you hear that he defeated Yang Luchan? Apparently most of the great masters in Beijing in the mid to late 1800s – Yang Luchan, Dong Haichuan, Guo Yunshen, Song Mailun, Liu Shijun etc – got along quite well with each other and shared knowledge. Of course there was said to be challenges among them. Regarding Guo Yunshen was said to have challenged Cheng Tinghua and when he struggled with him, abandoned his idea to fight Dong Haichuan, knowing him to be a superior practitioner to Cheng. Others say he did fight Dong for several days to a draw. First time I’ve seen it mentioned that Guo Yunshen beat Yang Luchan. Considering the 30 years age difference, I would have thought Guo more likely to fight Yang Banhou or Yang Jianhou.