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Extract from Usenet group

I was writing as khampa2, but with my signature of Idiotic Taoist
A thread on Taijichuan  martial arts
TaijiChuan

(Below is part of a long thread, that thread can be read from above link . I extracted what I wrote. the whole thread should be read to see it in context)

From:  khamba2 -
Date:  Sun, May 30 1999 12:00 am 

Groups:   alt.philosophy.taoism


Dirk Bruere <arte...@kbnet.co.uk> wrote:


>OneOf10K wrote:

>> The way he teaches it is for exercise, yet he does explain how the moves can be
>> used for self-defense and attack.


>As long as the teacher knows what each part of the form is for, then it
>is less likely to be arbitrarily corrupted through ignorance.



The teacher may well misinterpret that form by using the context of
his earlier training in 'hard' martial arts.  So despite his 'knowing'
of what that part is for, his knowing is wrong.  What is worse is that
he will 'edit' out what he thinks is superficial thus indeed throwing
out the baby and keeping the bath water.

The sophistication of the movements in taijichuan is breathtaking.  I
had an earlier background of hard ma which prevent me so long from
seeing what I must see instead of just seeing what I want to see.



>> Tai ch'i, from my limited knowledge, is considered a soft martial
>> art--redirecting the opponent's strength and looking for an opportunity to
>> throw them off



Quite wrong.  Taiji is nothing like judo in using opponents strength.

Neither does taijichuan uses strength to oppose strength.  It taps
on power beyond my understanding or ability to explain here.



>Hard - straight lines, power
>Soft - circles, agility

>From a self defence POV it takes about 3 yrs to be good via hard styles,
>and about 15 in soft.



If you do not have a Master teaching you taijichuan and you do not
have the dedication to spend at least an hour everyday at it, you can
train for fifty years and be nothing.

That 15 years is a myth promoted by unskilled taijichuan 'teachers'
who know little on taijichuan.


With warm regards


The Idiotic Taoist

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Dirk Bruere <arte...@kbnet.co.uk> wrote:


>kham...@spamoff.hotmail.com wrote:

>> >From a self defence POV it takes about 3 yrs to be good via hard styles,
>> >and about 15 in soft.


>> That 15 years is a myth promoted by unskilled taijichuan 'teachers'
>> who know little on taijichuan.


>No. It comes from the fact that I teach a martial art that has both hard
>and soft elements. Although the 15 yrs is a bit of a round number, using
>soft technique against a fighting mad aggressor does take vastly more
>skill than kicking him in the stomach or punching his teeth out.


>Dirk



You mentioned in your earlier letter that you do (and now I know you
teach as well) shorin ryu kempo.

I used to do shaolin in the past.  I do like to think that is the same
martial arts that you do as shorin is Japanese phonetics for shaolin
and the characters are written the same way.


I was learning it from a disciple of Sek Koh Sum, the head abbot of
Suan Lin temple in Singapore.  Sek was a martial monk in the old
tradition from China.  I spend about 8 years in that art.


I once thought shaolin combines both hard and soft unlike the TKD and
goju-ryu karate I did earlier.


The softness in taijichuan as taught to me by the Masters that I had
the good fortune to meet is totally different all together from what
is in shaolin.  


My training with them was very personal with a relationship almost
akin to father/son.  Training was done everyday for 2-3 hours with
every move, and more important, the transitions in and in between the
moves closely explained to me by Masters who can clearly manifest
their chi power.


As for the period that it takes to be good in taijichuan of the level
of those Masters, I think it is going to take the rest of my life and
I will never be half as good as they are.


For one to be good enough to handle another aggressor who uses hard ma
and say 3-4 dan, I will say 4-5 years with a good Master will be
enough.


With warm regards


The Idiotic Taoist
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
In article <37542EF2.8905D...@kbnet.co.uk>,

  arte...@kbnet.co.uk wrote:
> kham...@spamoff.hotmail.com wrote:

> > >No. It comes from the fact that I teach a



martial art that has both hard

> > >and soft elements. Although the 15 yrs is a


bit of a round number, using

> > >soft technique against a fighting mad


aggressor does take vastly more

> > >skill than kicking him in the stomach or


punching his teeth out.

> > You mentioned in your earlier letter that you



do (and now I know you

> > teach as well) shorin ryu kempo.

> Similar name, vastly different org. I do



Shorinji Kempo. Check out

> http://www.neopax.com/


> for my dojo


> and


> http://www.shorinjikempo.or.jp/wsko/index.html


> for the world organisation. It is registered as



a zen religious sect.




A mistake on my part.  I initially wanted to write
shorinji as that will be the direct Japanese
equivalent for shaolin tse or temple.  I tried to
'japanise' the word but I was too smart.

Only with your letter I now know that shorin ryu
and shorinji are different entities altogether.


I enjoyed browsing the webs that you have pointed
out to me.


Sorry for this late reply though.  My usenet
provider is having glitches and I need to use
Dejanews in lieu of Agent instead.



> > I used to do shaolin in the past.  I do like


to think that is the same

> > martial arts that you do as shorin is Japanese


phonetics for shaolin

> > and the characters are written the same way.

> Same origin. Ours is more recent (1946) and



although Chinese in origin,

> it has been heavily 'Nipponised'.

> > I was learning it from a disciple of Sek Koh



Sum, the head abbot of

> > Suan Lin temple in Singapore.  Sek was a


martial monk in the old

> > tradition from China.  I spend about 8 years
in that art.

> > I once thought shaolin combines both hard and



soft unlike the TKD and

> > goju-ryu karate I did earlier.

> > The softness in taijichuan as taught to me by



the Masters that I had

> > the good fortune to meet is totally different


all together from what

> > is in shaolin.

> That's something I'd like to check out sometime.



It's difficult to get

> an appreciation of an art until you've felt it.

> > My training with them was very personal with a
relationship almost
> > akin to father/son.  Training was done



everyday for 2-3 hours with

> > every move, and more important, the


transitions in and in between the

> > moves closely explained to me by Masters who


can clearly manifest

> > their chi power.

> When you say 'manifest their Chi power', what do



you mean?

My Masters can fajing at will.  Despite their
being 90+ lb in weight, they can effortlessly
throw me 10-15 feet away at will.  Their ability
to tingjing (supra-human awareness) has been so
uncanny that they tie me in knots.



> > For one to be good enough to handle another



aggressor who uses hard ma

> > and say 3-4 dan, I will say 4-5 years with a
good Master will be
> > enough.

> Well, in my style in Britain 3-4 dan is about



the 15-20 yrs mark, mixed


> hard and soft (aikido style + pressure points).
Unless that student
> above is exceptional I doubt your claim, for the
simple reason that
> speed and luck are important factors as well as
skill. I think you
> underrate hard ma's. Have you ever faced (say) a
10 yrs dedicated
> Shotokan man?

> Dirk



I have felt uncomfortable with the question of how
long does it takes to train in any ma to be
effective.  Too many aspects are involved that are
hard to define by themselves even alone eg
dedication, innate ability of the student and most
importantly, his courage.

Time of training also have to include how often
the training is.  Once, twice, thrice weekly or
daily affair and who are involved in the training.
Not just the Master alone, how good are the other
students as they take part in the training of
forms and especially sparring too.


At best to you, I am someone who popped out of the
woodwork.  My desire to keep myself nameless
in Usenet does not help.  Your doubts on what I
have said is understandable.


Based on what you said about the period it takes
to get 4th dan and if what that man told me was
true, I have faced with a 15+ year experienced
Shotokan man even though he switched allegiance
to another martial art at the time we met.


That is outside the scope of this a.p.t.


If you are interested to go into that, we will
take it out of this apt into private email where I
can talk of that and the training I did.


With warm regards


The Taoistic Idiot
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

kham...@my-deja.com wrote:

>> A mistake on my part.  I initially wanted to write
>> shorinji as that will be the direct Japanese
>> equivalent for shaolin tse or temple.  I tried to
>> 'japanise' the word but I was too smart.


>> Only with your letter I now know that shorin ryu
>> and shorinji are different entities altogether.


>I think it was more a question of who got the copyright on the name
>first.



LOL.

This is an aspect of modern society that I think we have to live with
and we can live without.


We now have a company in USA with the patented name of Bismati rice
when people in India have been growing for ages and they are not
allowed to use that name now.


We have Vin Tsun and Wing Chun talking of the same thing (more or
less) but different entities altogether,




- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -

>> I enjoyed browsing the webs that you have pointed
>> out to me.

>Thanks. Mine is a long way from finished, though, and is really intended
>for beginners rather than 'outsiders' or longtime students.


>> Sorry for this late reply though.  My usenet
>> provider is having glitches and I need to use
>> Dejanews in lieu of Agent instead.


>I think all ISPs have trouble with usenet.


>> > When you say 'manifest their Chi power', what do
>> you mean?


>> My Masters can fajing at will.  Despite their


>I think you failed to tanslate the most important word in the sentence!



I know what you mean.  For the lights of me, I cannot see how I can
translate that word even though I am a native user of English language
and fluent speaker of Chinese (I am a chinese by the way).

Explosive release of energy? I don't know.  I did not feel any
'explosion' in me when I manage to do that sporadically in my
training.  I fear that there are things which are beyond my ability to
translate.



>> being 90+ lb in weight, they can effortlessly
>> throw me 10-15 feet away at will.  Their ability
>> to tingjing (supra-human awareness) has been so
>> uncanny that they tie me in knots.

>Again, it's difficult for me to comment without experiencing the power.
>Occasionally I show my students 'tricks' like kneeling down and showing
>how two of them, pressing on my shoulders, are unable to push me over.
>However, I think you mean something else.



I meant something else.  

One must experience that to understand.  I have seen that Chen Xiao
Wang periodically visit England for seminars.  He was one of my Master
when he visited and stayed in Singapore for a while.  I did not learn
much from him though as I could not speak a word of Chinese then and
had too much baggage from the past to comprehend him even if I could
understand Chinese then.  I since heard that he can speak pretty good
English now.  I am not sure if he can explain fajing to you either.


My main metamorphosis took place when I was working in Taiwan.


It will be worth your while as a martial artist to have on-hands
experience with him when he is in your part of the world.  Do not
waste that opportunity by watch him from the stalls.



- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
>> waste that opportunity by watch him from the stalls.


>Does he accept 'casual' students who just drop in and 'challenge' him?



That I really do not know.  When I last saw him about 14+ years ago,
he was very unassuming and friendly.  I did not feel he kept any
secrets but his truth went over all our heads, even to those who were
native Chinese speakers.

What I recalled was that he was faced with a few  challenges and had
sudden attacks made on him when he was in Japan earlier.  I wished I
could understand directly what he told us instead of relying on
translation which always missed the most exciting parts as others
rather listen than translate to me at those times.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
>> > Also on a more serious note, it is much better to learn Tai Chi that is
>> > taught as a martial art rather than as an exercise. It's quite an
>> > eye-opener.


>> This breeds a whole new line of questions.  How would one identify a
>> martial art type class, as opposed to an exercise class?   I've only


>My test is fairly simple.
>If the teacher shows its combat application, then it's a martial arts
>form. If the teacher does not even know this much, then there is a good
>chance that the form has deviated from it's pragmatic base for arbitrary
>reasons or carelessness.



It goes a bit more than that.

Now even if you have no inclination to fight with anyone and prefer to
turn both cheeks to follow that path, you will only learn the real
taijichuan if  your instructor really knows what it is about.  All
others are just slowly moving and waving arms and legs and talking
about chi that they know nothing about but the sound that they make
with their mouths.  You short change yourself and your time if you
should be under such 'masters'.


They will proclaim that their taiji is for 'health'.  You will remain
healthy without any taijichuan if you just wake up early in the
morning and go for a slow walk and look and smell the flowers with
occasional slow stretching and waving of your arms.


You will even find people with no skills in taijichuan and yet 'show'
you its combat applications.  Many of the applications will be obvious
to anyone with some degree of martial arts training.  It does not mean
that because such people who can show combat applications that
therefore that they do know taijichuan.


True taijichuan Masters are rare.  You will not believe half of what I
can tell you about them.  Their impact is even more powerful if you
have been trained many years in martial arts as you then have the
background to appreciate their skills even though you cannot believe
in what they have done to you, not to talk about hearing it from third
parties.  Try checking them out if they are in your part of town to do
any seminars.  A one-time on hands experience with them will be such
an eye opener that may be your very key to unlock what is taijichuan
and what is Tao.


I suggest if you have the time, go to Dejanews and check my intro
letter which touches on taijichuan and my experiences.


Taijichuan is one of the most complex system of manifested
'heart-mind' in play.  Moving slowly with kindly thoughts of love IS
NOT taijichuan although many instructors who know nothing wants you to
think that that is so.  They practice a parody of taijichuan and want
you to be as equally deluded.


Even if you have no interests in combat, the combat function is a
vital yardstick that you are indeed doing the taijichuan as it is
intended.  Vital aspects like 'sung yeow juo kuang' (loosen waist
sitting your trunk) will be unknown mumble jumble unless you do
tuishou(push hands) to know what is correct and what is your own wild
interpretations.  


How to be 'sung' (relaxed) is more than just posturing bearing in mind
'sung' must start and end with your 'heart-mind'.


Without that combat element, you can practice away and think you have
all kinds of chi running up and down when what you have is only a
healthy imagination of what you think is chi.


Such elements cannot be gleamed from books or videos for any
beginners.  If you have a good foundation, then books and videos from
noted Masters will be useful, but not before then where they will be
distorted by your own wild imaginations.


I think it is far better to refrain from a d-i-y taijichuan course if
you cannot find any competent taijichuan master in your area who can
teach you.



>For example (I don't know the Chinese name...), that rolling hand motion
>followed by the right hand being extended palm up, fingers pointed
>forward. That's breaking a grip followed by a killing strike to the
>opponents throat. Another mark of it being taught as a martial art is
>practicing these movements with a partner.


I am unable to tell from your description what movement you are
referring to.  What I can tell you is that even the most innocent
movement, the very first movement itself (the raising and falling of
the arm), is to snap your opponent neck.  I had whiplash injuries when
that was applied 'gently' to me.

There is another movement which twist the opponent body around the
spine followed by snapping the spine at the waist.



>Dirk



The Idiotic Taoist
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
cc...@abednego.com (cyberclay) wrote:
>Hey,
>  I just thought I'd share something with the rest of the group. . . I took
>my first Tai Chi lesson last night (at a local community college).  I'd
>highly recommend this to anyone who isn't already doing it.

>Regards,
>  cyberclay
>---
>cclay at fastlane dot net
>http://www.abednego.com



I hope your lessons will include tuishou as well at a later date as
you just started.

If it does not, I think your instructor does not know anything about
taijichuan and you are wasting your time.


If the tuishou that is being done in the group looks like wrestling
with a lot of huffing and puffing, get out of there too.


If the tuishou looks like if it is 'fixed' and your instructor pushes
away students without any effort at all (and you as well) , stick on
to him like a leech as you are in the presence of a true Master.  You
will learn more than you bargained for.


With warm regards


The Idiotic Taoist
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
>> I hope your lessons will include tuishou as well at a later date as
>> you just started.


>tuishou = pushing hands?


>Dirk



Yes.  That is a misnomer as it goes well beyond just pushing of hands.

I have seen too many tuishou which are nothing but uneducated
amateurish wrestling.  That ignores entirely the real purpose of
tuishou which is sensitivity training of a very high order
substituting instead a 'I wanna win you and show how strong I am'
mind-set.


With warm regards


The Idiotic Taoist
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

>cyberclay wrote:


>> Hey,
>>   I just thought I'd share something with the rest of the group. . . I took
>> my first Tai Chi lesson last night (at a local community college).  I'd
>> highly recommend this to anyone who isn't already doing it.


>I've been looking into this and have come to the conclusion that a video
>would be best for me, but I'm not sure which one would be best.  Can
>anyone suggest any?



My advice to you is that you find a competent Master.

Trying to learn taijichuan from video is not a good way to begin.

Idiotic Taoist
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
>> But a competent Master is not readily availible.


>What about incompetent ones?



Avoid them like the plague.  They waste your time entirely
and teach you things that must be unlearned.


>Videos are good for broad brush strokes for beginners, and as an aid to
>memory. However, as the saying goes, 'the devil is in the details'. You
>can't ask a video questions, and it won't tell you what you are doing
>wrong.

>Dirk



The details are important.  You cannot even start to ask any
meaningful questions at the beginning.

I repeat.  Videos and books are bad for beginners.  If you have a good
grounding in taijichuan, then and only then, will video and books from
a good Master will be of use to you.


With warm regards


The Taoistic Idiot