Tai Chi and Karate - Article

Xue Sheng

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Tai Chi and Karate – Hirokazu Kanazawa and the integral practice of Taijiquan - Author - Dr Wolfgang Herbert

In this article, I will reflect upon the connections between Karate and Tai Chi[1]. These deliberations are based on my personal experience and thus inevitably limited in scope. Although I dabble(d) in other styles, I primarily practice Shôtôkan Karate and Yang-style Taijiquan. Both of the syles have their pecularities and characteristics, which set them apart from other styles of their family, i.e. Taijiquan and Karate. Shôtôkan with its long, mostly linear moves, deep stances and strong (momentary muscular) focus (kime) is on the “hard” side in Karate. Yang-style Taijiquan is the most relaxed, slowest and softest way to practice Taijiquan. These two styles therefore make a perfect contrast. I shall recur to it when discussing the distinction between external and internal martial arts. I began my Taijiquan training under Kanazawa Hirokazu[2] (1931-2019) in the 1980s. Kanazawa-sôke studied Yang-style Taijiquan under Yang Ming-Shi (jap. Yô Meiji 楊名時 1924-2005) and was a dedicated lifelong adept of this art. Therefore, I will frequently quote and refer to Kanazawa-sôke and his experiences. He has shaped my understanding of Karate-dô like no other teacher and without him I might never have practiced Taijiquan.
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Oily Dragon

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You had me at "Tai Chi and Karate seem to be antagonistic at the first glimpse".
 

_Simon_

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Yesss, read this one awhile ago, great article! Found it very helpful
 

O'Malley

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Interesting perspective. On a related note, you might want to read on the relationship between Kyokushin karate and Taikiken/Ikken (Yi Chuan).

Karate has interesting ties to internal arts, also including Japanese ones. Rick Hotton (shotokan) studies under Mitsugi Saotome (aikido) and this former Kyokushin champion mixed in some Daito Ryu:


There is also a cool collaboration between Kenji Yamaki and aikido teachers (I suspect he got into that stuff when he trained under Hatsuo Royama): Matsuoka and Yamaki: The Power of Cross-Training – Aikido Journal
 
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