We use the internal to match with the external. Taijiquan aka Tai Chi is ‘water’ training. Fight training is ‘Fire’ training. Shadow boxing, cardio, heavy bag, strength training, sparring, technique drilling, pad work, medicine ball, and much much more will be used to harness your inner fire. Taijiquan, neigong, etc. will be used for internal power cultivation and as a recovery from strength conditioning, cardio, and endurance training.
Let’s examine some features that Taijiquan has with other styles and how all abide by ‘universal fighting principles’. Real Taijiquan should be able to “hang” with fighters from other styles with its unique training method. Remember, every martial art styles are best at what they were designed to do. Taijiquan is no exception, it has strikes, throws, locks, sweeps, and more.
With the cultivation of internal power you’ll be able to use the application of various functions of Taijiquan: horizontal force, vertical force, diagonal force, axial rotation, spiral, yin and yang circles, and more. We don’t talk in mysterious jargon when it comes to function, only in practical terminology.
Characteristics of Tai chi fighter, Tai Chi is a ‘Chuan’ which means fist and loosely translated as ‘Boxing’. These things might help in hanging with fighters from MMA, Muay Thai, Boxing, Wrestling, BJJ, etc.
Fight Stance: If you want to fight with Tai Chi you’ll need to develop good structure in fight stance- ‘hands up’ like 7 stars or Play Pipa- protect your knock out points- temple, jaw, face, liver/stomach. Traditional and modern stances will be taught to teach strength in legs, back, waist, and hips.
Striking: Fist, Palm, hook, elbow, knees, shoulder, hip, kicks. Your gonna need striking. ‘Parry (open palm) and punch (fist)’, for hand techniques and ‘separate foot’ for kick. Footwork: gonna want to use 5 element steps or 5 directional stepping- (front, back, left, right , and center), be mobile and work to out maneuver, yet be efficient. Various striking with fist, elbow, knee, and foot will be learned. Striking areas for street self-defense as well in pictures below:
Fa Jing/power hit: You’re gonna want to transfer power through the leg, body, and out the hand- articulate legs and body (core) ‘speed x mass’ for more power in strike.
Principles: You’re gonna need to have good balance, Root and absorb the opponent incoming force with neutralization, also try to lead opponent to emptiness (empty body). Understanding of leverage, use of techniques like sweeps and throws, etc.
Mental Intention: You’re gonna have to relax and try to be more relaxed than opponent. sink breath to dan tien, breathing control under pressure.
Strength: no doubt your gonna need stamina, endurance, cardio, and strong legs, body and arms. combining- ‘yi’ (mind strength)+ ‘Chi’ (internal strength)+ and ‘Li’ (bone and muscle strength).
Anti-Qinna, Throws, and grappling: work throws from standup. Students can decide if they want to work on ground submissions or break-up and back to stand up once a sparring partner is down.
San Shou Free Sparring: free spar often and to timed rounds 2 min. to 3 min. for amateur and pro stand up. 5 min. for mma. This is not the 88 two-man set or dance. This is putting on gloves applying da shou, tui shou, da lu, and with striking, kicks, and throws under real pressure.