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Breaking Molds

Thinking outside the box to critically examine theories in Asian martial arts

Latest from the Blog

‘Forceful Like a Tiger, Like a Raptor Diving on a Chicken Coop’

Chen-style Taijiquan has a long history of cultured and educated individuals as patriarchs of the Chen clan. Since the art’s founding by Chen Wangting who integrated Taoist theory and cosmology into his martial arts and calisthenics practice, members of the Chen family have frequently produced poems, essays, and manuals attempting to elucidate or distill theContinue reading “‘Forceful Like a Tiger, Like a Raptor Diving on a Chicken Coop’”

Combat Effectiveness of Tai Chi (Chen Style): A Theory of ‘Speed’ in Combat and Analysis of Tai Chi’s Relevance

the core concepts and key objectives of any martial art including Tai Chi are not immediately apparent to lay observers the same way a lay observer may not appreciate many grappling practices such as shrimping or sprawling. As an example, before the 1990’s it might have been perfectly reasonable to wonder ‘what’s the point of rolling on the ground looking for a submission when I could win still standing up?’ Yet, today, the concepts and objectives of BJJ and other grappling arts are accepted as fact. The purpose of this essay is to explore some combat concepts in Chen style Tai-Chi, and relate them to concepts from my time training in more popular martial arts in a manner that clarifies the martial spirit in Tai Chi. I believe there are effective concepts that can be easily incorporated into a modern grappling game, and that Chen style Tai chi can modernize as a system by recognizing its combat strengths and otherwise weaknesses.

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