Tai Chi rooting vs takedowns...

Kung Fu Wang

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So you're saying they have throwing techniques but we shouldn't expect them to use the techniques?
No! I believe Taiji has push. Taiji doesn't have throw. The concept of "throw" is not in Taiji's DNA. In order to apply a throw, you have to execute 2 forces in the opposite directions at the same time. Taiji just doesn't have such training.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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Except that most taiji people, when it comes to application of the skills, do not enter competitions.
Sometime you don't have to enter competition. The competition will come to you.

Many years ago a famous Taiji master (I won't mention his name here) had argument with a wrestler. The wrestler used bear hug to lift the Taiji master's body off the ground. The Taiji master didn't know how to get out of that situation.

Similar situation happened in Taiwan. One day in the park, a Bagua guy Bruce Frantzis asked a Taiji master the application of "needle at the bottom of the sea". Bruce suddenly got a bear hug on that Taiji master from behind. Bruce then asked that Taiji master, "What can you do now?" Since that Taiji master was also a Chinese wrestling master, he

- twisted his right leg on Bruce's left leg,
- made a circular hop with his left leg,
- lifted Bruce's left leg off the ground with his right leg,
- pulled Bruce's right shoulder back,
- rotated Bruce's body to the right, and
- took Bruce down.

If a MA person cannot use his MA skill to solve the real world problem, his MA ability is useless.
 
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Flying Crane

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Sometime you don't have to enter competition. The competition will come to you.

Many years ago a famous Taiji master (I won't mention his name here) had argument with a wrestler. The wrestler used bear hug to lift the Taiji master's body off the ground. The Taiji master didn't know how to get out of that situation.

Similar situation happened in Taiwan. One day in the park, a Bagua guy Bruce Frantzis asked a Taiji master the application of "needle at the bottom of the sea". Bruce suddenly got a bear hug on that Taiji master from behind. Bruce then asked that Taiji master, "What can you do now?" Since that Taiji master was also a Chinese wrestling master, he

- twisted his right leg on Bruce's left leg,
- made a circular hop with his left leg,
- lifted Bruce's left leg off the ground with his right leg,
- pulled Bruce's right shoulder back,
- rotated Bruce's body to the right, and
- took Bruce down.

If a MA person cannot use his MA skill to solve the real world problem, his MA ability is useless.
Why do you assume he cannot use it?
 

Anarax

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No! I believe Taiji has push. Taiji doesn't have throw. The concept of "throw" is not in Taiji's DNA. In order to apply a throw, you have to execute 2 forces in the opposite directions at the same time. Taiji just doesn't have such training.

When I refer to throw I don't mean the conceptual energy "throw". To be more specific, a technique to take an opponent down. This include throwing, sweeping and takedown techniques. The Tai Chi style I studied had takedowns. Not all takedowns require 2 opposing forces to be executed by the practitioner.
 

Anarax

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Well, what is wrong with showing that he can nullify an attack?

Tai Chi has so much more to offer than what he "demonstrated." Someone with basic grappling skills and only focused on takedown defense could've achieved the same thing. He proved nothing for Tai Chi.
 

Anarax

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The absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence.

By that same logic I'll drill holes in my car to make it go faster. Is there evidence that says doing so will make it faster? No. But there's no evidence that states that it won't. I'll start believing in fairies, goblins and witches too. Again, no evidence refutes their existence.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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When I refer to throw I don't mean the conceptual energy "throw". To be more specific, a technique to take an opponent down. This include throwing, sweeping and takedown techniques. The Tai Chi style I studied had takedowns. Not all takedowns require 2 opposing forces to be executed by the practitioner.
What you may call "energy throw", I'll call it "push".

Even the "foot sweep" will require you to

- sweep the leg up, and
- pull the shoulder down.

The Taiji "diagonal fly" will require you to

- push your opponent's upper body with your shoulder, and
- block his legs with your leading leg.

Of course you can twist your opponent's shoulders and take him down. That also require you to

- rotate one of your opponent's shoulder clockwise, and
- rotate his other shoulder counter-wise.

The follow picture shows "push".

cheng_peng.jpg
 
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Anarax

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Even the "foot sweep" will require you to

- sweep the leg up, and
- pull the shoulder down.

There are trips which are just a sweep variants, you position yourself close to your opponent, take his balance, and essentially walk through his space taking him to the ground.

The Taiji "diagonal fly" will require you to

- push your opponent's upper body with your shoulder, and
- block his legs with your leading leg.

So you do or don't consider that opposing forces? I don't know if you're using this as an example for or against opposing forces.

Of course you can twist your opponent's shoulders and take him down. That also require you to

- rotate one of your opponent's shoulder clockwise, and
- rotate his other shoulder counter-wise.

The only way for me to that is to break his torso in half and rotate the two halves independently. Meaning, both shoulders are going in the same direction, no opposing forces.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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both shoulders are going in the same direction, no opposing forces.
When apply twisting, it can be considered as one hand push forward while another hand pull back.

There are trips which are just a sweep variants,
Many MA systems has "trip" that you use your leg to block your opponent's leg. The issue is your opponent can still step over your trip. If you hook your opponent's leg, it will be much more difficult for him to escape.

You can have:

1. 1 point push.
2. 2 points push and trip.
3. 2 points push and hook.

3 > 2 > 1

Here is an example of "push and hook".

leg_lift.jpg
 
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Anarax

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When apply twisting, it can be considered as one hand push forward while another hand pull back.
It's a circular motion, which are very prevalent in Tai Chi.

Many MA systems has "trip" that you use your leg to block your opponent's leg. The issue is your opponent can still step over your trip. If you hook your opponent's leg, it will be much more difficult for him to escape.
This isn't about what's effective, it's a response to your opposing forces comment. I gave you an example of a takedown without opposing forces.
 

Gerry Seymour

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First video is Tai Chi vs BJJ, not Judo. The Tai Chi guy demonstrated some legit skills standing, but he was just outclassed. He got taken down fairly easily, but by someone who was both highly skilled and much younger and more athletic. Once on the ground, he was more out of his element and the BJJ guy could have submitted him easily, but was being friendly and was content to just stay on top.

The second video I think was a bit of a setup by prior arrangement, although you need some experience to see it. The Tai Chi guy had a good base, but no more so than an equivalently skilled Judo practitioner. The Judo player seemed to go for some legitimate throws, but he didn't set them up the way he would in competition. He voluntarily went for a no-gi style clinch rather than taking grips on his opponents uniform as would be normal in Judo competition. He didn't use grip fighting, feints, combinations, or proper kuzushi to setup the opening for a throw the way you have to against an opponent who has a good base and is being completely defensive the way the Tai Chi practitioner was.
Agreed. I saw a couple of places where a bit more commitment to the technique (reaping) would probably have off-balanced the Tai Chi guy, and places where feints likely would have opened up hip throws. And that Judo BB should be better at that than I am, so he must have been being very gentle. It's hard not to go gentler when you get someone you suspect doesn't know the falls (some of the throws I saw openings for are hard to fall from) and who is older. It wasn't an MMA competition, so he was just trying the easy entries to throws. That said, it's a good testament to the translation of Tai Chi rooting into resisting throws - it did take away all the easy throws that most non-grapplers are easily taken by.
 

Gerry Seymour

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That could be a viable strategy for self defense. Winning the fight doesnt matter. Getting home safe does. Deflecting attacks until an opportunity to escape presents counts as a win, in that case.

In competition, thats different. Something needs to happen to advance the encounter. Its a different set of goals.
There's this duality in SD. When defending "in the street", we don't have to score, so we can afford to play defense. But we can't afford to keep giving them (or their friends, or well-meaning but ill-informed third parties) opportunities to hurt us. So, to me, the patience of BJJ's approach on the ground can be over-cooked for SD (I get into that, myself, in ground work), but is also a useful trait to cultivate.

We can be more patient and defensive, except when we can't. I'm not sure how we classify the difference, except in that moment. So we need both the ability to be super-aggressive ("I gotta win and get out, or I'm not gonna make it!") and the ability to be patient and defensive ("I need to get out, so I can stall for an opportunity."). I think most martial arts training (at least most of what I've seen) has at least some of both elements.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Striking changes the dynamics of that though.
Yes. If they just want to throw me (and nobody else is interfering), I can most likely stymie them indefinitely. If they want to punch, and punch often enough, I'm going to eventually miss a key block unless they are pretty bad at it. I guess we could add patient offense against some of those folks (using a few kicks and long-range punches to keep them out of flurry range) to help, but each attempted strike is still a chance to mess up and get clobbered.
 

Gerry Seymour

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While rewatching the videos I noticed the Tai Chi guys had shoes on, while the bjj and judo guys were barefoot. Having shoes helps to grip the mats and aids in stability. Though that wasn't the deciding factor in the outcomes, it definitely played a factor.
I'm not sure how much of a factor that is. Those who train without shoes don't tend to get best use of grippy-soled shoes. Some of that is on purpose (as in my case, since dress shoes aren't usually very grippy, for instance).
 

drop bear

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Yes. If they just want to throw me (and nobody else is interfering), I can most likely stymie them indefinitely. If they want to punch, and punch often enough, I'm going to eventually miss a key block unless they are pretty bad at it. I guess we could add patient offense against some of those folks (using a few kicks and long-range punches to keep them out of flurry range) to help, but each attempted strike is still a chance to mess up and get clobbered.

You also have to switch between punching defence and takedown defence. Or swich between punching and takedown defence.
 

Gerry Seymour

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This can sometimes be a valid tactic in a self-defense context - especially if the situation allows the defender to keep retreating in order to avoid engagement.

It's not typically such a good idea in a training context, even if you are training for self-defense, for a few reasons:

  • Part of developing a really good defense against a certain attack (whether it's striking or takedowns) is understanding and getting competent at the attack yourself. (Just as mastering an attack requires understanding the defenses against it.)
  • Even a defensive strategy is greatly bolstered by having an effective offense in your tool box. If an opponent has no cause to be concerned about your ability to do anything to him, he can commit 100% to his attack with no fear of repercussion.
  • Many self-defense scenarios do not allow the luxury of just retreating and defending the whole time. They occur suddenly at close range, with avenues for retreat blocked off. Even if you just want to get home safely you may have to hurt or take down your attacker long enough to make your escape.
There's a place in training for purely defensive and evasive drills, but they don't take away the need to practice offense as well.
Agreed. Part of training should be purely defensive. Part should be purely offensive. And much of it should be learning to blend the two effectively.
 
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