Is teacher cheating me?

bgrant

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My teacher teachers Tai Chi. He says that it is the real Tai Chi and all the other tai chi I have seen is just exercise and show. He says his Tai Chi is a real martial art. The problem is I don't know whether to believe him or not. His Tai Chi is very short and looks nothing like anything I've seen. It is not smooth nor graceful. I can say that my knees are stronger and I feel better but I don't know if he's telling the truth. Would like some feed back on this.
 

Xue Sheng

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What style and who was your teacher's teacher?

EDIT: Styles recognized by the PRC– Chen, Yang, Wu, Wu/Hao, Sun, Zhaobao. There are others, they just are not recognized by the PRC.
 

Ceicei

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Well, Tai Chi is definitely a real martial art. The question is how an instructor is teaching it... and the needs/desires of the students. Some instructors modify the Tai Chi into nothing more than an "exercise program", some others teach and explain how every single move is done with an eye to defense. Of the latter category, there are, unfortunately, not enough instructors around teaching the full appreciation of Tai Chi.

- Ceicei
 

Jade Tigress

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Well, Tai Chi is definitely a real martial art. The question is how an instructor is teaching it... and the needs/desires of the students. Some instructors modify the Tai Chi into nothing more than an "exercise program", some others teach and explain how every single move is done with an eye to defense. Of the latter category, there are, unfortunately, not enough instructors around teaching the full appreciation of Tai Chi.

- Ceicei

I agree.

Question for you XS....what is the PRC? Thanks.
 

BlackCatBonz

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I've done yang and wu style.....and I am still as novice as a student can get, but both teachers claimed that their respective style was more martial than the other.
The movements were the same in some respects, but i found that one focused on different principles than the other, which is what makes the stylistic differences.....AFAIK
 

Xue Sheng

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I agree.

Question for you XS....what is the PRC? Thanks.

Sorry, I am so use to it I just blurt it out - the Peoples Republic of China

I've done yang and wu style.....and I am still as novice as a student can get, but both teachers claimed that their respective style was more martial than the other.
The movements were the same in some respects, but i found that one focused on different principles than the other, which is what makes the stylistic differences.....AFAIK

I have trained Yang and Chen and a bit of Wu and all say things against the other (My Yang teacher say Chen is to low and a Chen family member I once had the honor to talk with says Yang is to high.) but without knowing what style bgrant is taking I cannot comment on whether or not his teacher is cheating him, and to be honest, I am not sure I can comment on it even if I do know. It may be something that would need to be seen to know. And if he says Yang I need to know what yang form, 24, 48, 108, (or 103 depending on how you count), etc.

Also I would like to know how long bgrant has trained with this Sifu. Tai Chi is a very effective martial art but it takes a long tome to become effective using Tai chi as Tai Chi is meant to be used. And many Sifus will not teach the martial side until after the first form is taught and understood.

Now if you are talking Yang style (my main style) it is very hard to find a real teacher, but they are there. Many teach it for health other teach it for MA but they really do not know the MA of Tai Chi, they apply something else they learned previously to it and call it Martial Tai Chi. It works, but it is not true Tai Chi. Nothing against Karate but I ran into a guy teaching Tai Chi that was applying his Karate to it and calling it martial Tai Chi which it decidedly wasn't.
 

michaeledward

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bgrant ... I can offer no help here. But, in other posts, I have talked about the importance of lineage. Knowing the source of the material you are learning, and how connected to that source helps ensure the quality of what you are learning.

It is a delicate question.

But, I have jumped in here more because of Xue Sheng's post. My understanding of Tai Chi has always been very limited, and not something I was terribly curious about. I just thought it was a slowed down version of Kung Fu - more a training method than independent style. I admit to my incuriousness on the subject.

Xue Sheng, in this last post, has piqued my curiousity. I won't go digging too far. But, someday, I'ld love to see a workout, and maybe an explaination of the difference.

Thanks.
 

Xue Sheng

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michaeledward

Tai chi tends to be much softer in application than karate and it is not a slow version of Kung fu. As a matter of fact there are major variations in the way Internal Kung fu trains as apposed to external Kung fu. Tai chi also does not force an application; if it isnt there it isnt tried. Tai Chi sticks and follows. There is also a strong emphasis put on Push hands as sensitivity training in order to feel your opponents center and try to get to a level where you can sense your opponents direction before he/she does (I am not quite there yet on that one). This by the way is similar to Chi Sau of Wing Chun. The punches and applications are not as hard as Karate, meaning less muscle tension, not difficulty. The best description of a Person very good at Tai Chi is Cotton covered steel; this is not me by the way. It was my Sifu and a few others I have had the honor to train with. Tai Chi is also big on Fajing which I can best explain in a short definition as explosive power while staying relaxed.

Tai Ch takes a long time to get to the actual application of martial arts and I do not know how to explain it in 1000 words or less but I can say many people that I have trained with that came form hard styles absolutely hate trying application on me, I am to relaxed and I stick and follow to easily. However I have been thrown by some Aikido people and good Qinna people don't care about this at all, and I can say from experience it hurts.

However this is not to say that a hard external style is not as good as a softer internal style. To name a few I got a pretty good beating from a Southern Mantis practitioner I spared with and a TKD/Shaolin long fist guy that was a friend was nice enough to not kick my head off my shoulders. But he said he just could not let me get close.

One more thing, there are fast sets at more advanced levels in Tai Chi.

Tai Chi Chuan
http://www.answers.com/topic/tai-chi-chuan-2

But back to the post, sorry for going off.
 

Jade Tigress

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Tai Chi sticks and follows. There is also a strong emphasis put on Push hands as sensitivity training in order to feel your opponents center and try to get to a level where you can sense your opponents direction before he/she does (I am not quite there yet on that one).

This is central to South Mantis too. Very interesting. I would love to see some actual Tai Chi sparring. :asian:
 

bushidomartialarts

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1. the 'this is the only true style' sounds like some of the standard hooey you'll find in a lot of martial arts schools. it doesn't mean they're charlatans, just means they believe their own press a little too much.

2. it the form is short, that might be a red flag. on the other hand, there is a movement among even the traditional tai chi practitioners to create shorter forms. there's an 8-posture yang form that's official, and an 'infinite 9' which is (you guessed it) 9 postures long. probably others as well. if your instructor only knows the short form, that's probably a sign.

3. ask your instructor about lineage. this doesn't have to be as a challenge. good students are interested in the history of their style.

4. ask yourself if you're getting value out of the class. your knees are stronger. how about your flexibility, stress level, core strength, breathing? if you're getting value, then by definition you're not being cheated. there may be better instructors out there, there may not.

5. personally, i think lineage is overrated. there's a lot of bozos out there resting on the accomplishments of their teacher. if your teacher is informed, solid and cares about your development you've probably got a good teacher.

just my 1.5 cents canadian
 

Xue Sheng

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This is central to South Mantis too. Very interesting. I would love to see some actual Tai Chi sparring. :asian:

OH NO :eek: Your just trying to put another Southern Mantis hurting on me, I know what's going on here. :)

To be honest I would love to see Tai Chi sparring too, but I have not seen it in years. Not since my days of getting my but kicked by Southern Mantis people.

My Sifu use to have use do freestyle push hands, but that is still not the same as sparing.
And there is a Cheng Manching style Sifu trying to get a Tai Chi sparring group going near me, so maybe I go check that out one of these days.

One of the only reasons I am considering teaching is to get a group of push hands people together and take that to sparing, but if that is my only reason to teach it is not enough for me and I currently do not have the time.
 
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bgrant

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The teacher says it's Yang style. He has never done push hands with me. The form is quite short, 40 or so movementas, I think. He says the long form is just exercise and has no real martial value. He also teaches Liu he ba fa which I have been learning for several months now. The form seems endless. Much longer than the Tai Chi he taught me. So I think he may be adding movements to extend the my time and thus collect more money. He always talks about his lineage in China, but who knows if he's telling the truth. Is it true that Tai Chi was originally a very short form taught by the Daoist?
 

Touch Of Death

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The teacher says it's Yang style. He has never done push hands with me. The form is quite short, 40 or so movementas, I think. He says the long form is just exercise and has no real martial value. He also teaches Liu he ba fa which I have been learning for several months now. The form seems endless. Much longer than the Tai Chi he taught me. So I think he may be adding movements to extend the my time and thus collect more money. He always talks about his lineage in China, but who knows if he's telling the truth. Is it true that Tai Chi was originally a very short form taught by the Daoist?
Noing nothing of this system, I will say your instructor is probably right. In my system, practitioners can't wait for Long form 5,6,7, & 8, but doing short 1,2, and 3 like a black belt is far more important to your art by far.
Sean
 

Xue Sheng

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The teacher says it's Yang style. He has never done push hands with me. The form is quite short, 40 or so movementas, I think. He says the long form is just exercise and has no real martial value. He also teaches Liu he ba fa which I have been learning for several months now. The form seems endless. Much longer than the Tai Chi he taught me. So I think he may be adding movements to extend the my time and thus collect more money. He always talks about his lineage in China, but who knows if he's telling the truth. Is it true that Tai Chi was originally a very short form taught by the Daoist?

Possibly, it depends on whose story you want to believe.

I tend to believe the roots of Tai Chi come from a shorter form taught by Taoists and Tai Chi has its roots in Taoism. But I also tend to believe that the thing we now call Tai Chi originated with the Chen Family. That is not to say that there was not something around that was very similar prior to Chen. But the Tai Chi all do today comes directly from the Chen Family.

What is your Sifu lineage from China?

Most Sifu's of Tai Chi have lineage to China, that does not mean they know Tai Chi

Yang Chengfu taught Tung Ying Chieh who taught Sifu Chu who taught me.

Or a sifu near me can say Yang Chengfu taught Cheng Manching who taught William CC Chen who taught him.

I do not know of a Sifu these days that will not be able to tell you his lineage. Lineage does not mean a good teacher but your sifu should have no problem telling you his lineage.

I can also say I learned from my first CMA sifu that was from China, but he learned in a Chinese Wushu University. My Second CMA sifu learned form Tung Ying Chieh, which one do you think really know Tai Chi?

Saying it is linked to China means little.

Also ask him the origins of Yang style. If he claims direct connection to Taoist then he is wrong. Even if Tai Chi originated in total with Taoists it still came from the Chen family to Yang.

I cannot answer you questions about Liu He Ba Fa but there have been a few posts on MT about it and there is or was at least one practitioner on MT at one time.
 

charyuop

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Well, the way Tai Chi was created will remain a mistery (dream, animal fight and more), but I thought it was sure that it came from a Taoist Monk (Zhang San Feng...well I guess, I am not really good with Chinese).
I read once that he used the Shaolin style as a base to create an Internal boxing style. I think his Tai Chi originaly (always per what I read) was just made of like 6 or 9 stences. Then the Chen family studied from him and then they created what the Chen style became.

As a metter of fact once I asked my Master if Aikido could be compared to Tai Chi, since by what I know even in Aikido it exists an idea of yielding. She told me that Aikido is more like Judo and not like Tai Chi. She added that I could find similarities to Tai Chi in Karate and TKD, where one took from Tai Chi the top part of the body and the other the lower part of the body (I don't recall which is which). She concluded that what gets closer to Tai Chi is Shaolin Gong Fu. Actually once I watched on Youtube a form of the long fist shaolin and I could identify some of the Tai Chi movements (of course we can say they were like cousins, you could see them if you paid attention because they were different).
 

Xue Sheng

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Well, the way Tai Chi was created will remain a mistery (dream, animal fight and more), but I thought it was sure that it came from a Taoist Monk (Zhang San Feng...well I guess, I am not really good with Chinese).
I read once that he used the Shaolin style as a base to create an Internal boxing style. I think his Tai Chi originaly (always per what I read) was just made of like 6 or 9 stences. Then the Chen family studied from him and then they created what the Chen style became.

Actually it may be related to Zhang San Feng and many will insist it does directly come form him as did I until recently. I have been following some of the research done in China on it and at this point I feel it is likely the basic postures come form something Zhang San Feng did but Tai Chi as we know it came form the Chen family or from someone just prior to the Chen family. The Chin families stance on this by the way is Zhang San Feng had nothing to do with it; the Chen family is responsible for Tai Chi

As a metter of fact once I asked my Master if Aikido could be compared to Tai Chi, since by what I know even in Aikido it exists an idea of yielding. She told me that Aikido is more like Judo and not like Tai Chi. She added that I could find similarities to Tai Chi in Karate and TKD, where one took from Tai Chi the top part of the body and the other the lower part of the body (I don't recall which is which). She concluded that what gets closer to Tai Chi is Shaolin Gong Fu. Actually once I watched on Youtube a form of the long fist shaolin and I could identify some of the Tai Chi movements (of course we can say they were like cousins, you could see them if you paid attention because they were different).

Interesting, my Sifu is very intrigued by Aikido and Ueshiba because he feels that there are a lot of similarities between Tai Chi and Aikido, as a matter of fact he was searching for old videos of Ueshiba the last I knew. And he sees little connection to Shaolin, Karate, Judo or just about anything else. I do not necessarily agree with him as to relation to nothing else, but I do agree that there are similarities between Tai Chi and Aikido
 

charyuop

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I had the thought about Aikido while "playing" with a coworker who did Aikido. He never blocked my punches, but always received them as we do in Tai Chi and he always applied wrist/arm locks before throwing me away (I couldn't figure out a way to avoid them, LOL never punch an Aikido guy they are tough). In my opinion in Aikido there is much of Tai Chi and Chin Na.

I found the video I was talking about, I don't speak Chinese, but in another forum they told me it is a form of long fist Shaolin.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ap1Ee9ftPY&mode=related&search=
Of course the movement are a little different, but as the video goes by I coud recognize (or better I think...) this:
_he opens the form with a Needle at sea bottom followed by a ward off and after a move another needle at sea bottom;
_after the move that looks like the rooster standing on one leg it reminds me alot (I don't know Chen style tho) that stence of Chen style where you punch with a fist on top of the open palm of the other hand;
_after the "flying kick" he does a fist to the head;
_after crossing the hands he goes on with a hands wave like clouds on the spot (without walking);
_after the hand clouds I think I can recognize the lady at the shuttle;
_after a while he does another flying kick followed by a step up and low punch.

I don't know the other styles, so I cannot compare those. I might be wrong, but in my opinion they have alot in common.
 

oxy

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He also teaches Liu he ba fa which I have been learning for several months now. The form seems endless. Much longer than the Tai Chi he taught me. So I think he may be adding movements to extend the my time and thus collect more money.

From what I know of Liu He Ba Fa and the Taiji videos I've seen, LHBF certainly seems a lot longer than the longest Taiji pattern I've seen. I would not know how well he teaches LHBF, but there's a chance he's not adding movements to the LHBF form. If the LHBF on the internet is anything to go by, he's probably left out many movements (most probably due to forgetting over time).

Here's the time frame in which I was taught:

Sometimes I get taught one or two moves a week. Sometimes I couldn't progress through one move over two weeks. It took me the better part of two years to learn the complete main form of LHBF. And that's because I have a theoretical 24 hour access to my LHBF teacher (my father).

My father himself took years to be competent enough to teach (about 8 years) but he stayed on for 16 and only then to move to Australia. His teacher learned from Chan Yik Yan for 8 years until Chan Yik Yan died.

So I don't quite think your teacher is adding movements for the sake of it and money. In my experience of my father teaching LHBF to people of all ages, people always come back for more. There has never been a feeling that he was extending the pattern for more money. So if you are feeling what you are about your teacher, there is a possibility that he isn't teaching you enough about each individual move. But that's speculation.

Meanwhile, there's a website www.waterboxing.com which features photos of Chan Yik Yan posing for all the movements in the main LHBF form which you can reference.
 

Hand Sword

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bgrant, In general, I would say that any teacher who speaks like that (in your opening post) is not worthy of being a teacher. they are still in an immature mind set, and should not be a teacher. So, I guess I would say you are being cheated.
 

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