"btw : fyi, in many parts of china, taiji and bagua zhang, are under the same umbrella and often cross termed to refer to either ( just like they often call my dimmak chinna I guess )"
Your words, not mine!!
I assume by your logic then that Karate and Taijiquan are the same as they are both Asian?
Sorry, flawed logic
By the way, I entirely agree about your Macdojo sentiments.
P.S. The words Taiji or T'ai Chi on its own is a meaningless term. It means by literal translation "Supreme Ultimate". It needs the qualifier Ch'uan (Fist or Boxing) to make it a meaningful expression. The shortened version is used for convenience only.
That's nonsensecial . I don't understand how you're finding a karate / taiji connection from " my logic" at all. And for the record, karate certainly was from Asia but as you are well aware, taiji and daoist gongfu are not the only Asian systems, but now that you mention it, being shaolin gongfu was an amalgamated expansion of confucism and daoist theories and combat styles and philosphies, probably not as ludicrous as it sounds.
Tai ji / taiji chuan ... its all semantics my friend and as you should know, again " tai ji " is a perfectly acceptable and widely recognised term for the style. My non - yingyue speaking Henan Taijiquan Master knew what I was talking about anyway. Just like when people say "shaolin " meaning young forrest in literal translation without the buddhism or gongfu on the end, are as equally understood. Besides , how many taijiquan schools are advertised as taichi centers anyway and still we know what they're talking about......... sheesh dude.
May I ask: East Winds, Blooming Lotus - how much time were you able to spend in China? I am intrigued that you have such different perspectives.
I was grateful to spend 2 weeks there earlier this year, exchanging demonstrations with 2 Shao Lin temples and 2 Kung Fu schools. I was pleased to note that I saw a great deal more martial intent than I expected. I also noted Wu Shu was still predominant (in what we saw). The flexibility of showiness of this style must be very compelling to young pre-teen and teenage boys. Most of the martial forms we saw tended to be practiced by either the very young or by elder masters (ages 55-65).
I also found it deeply inspiring to watch the Tai Chi (Chuan! he he) demonstrations. It was easy to see that several of the elder masters had been practicing for decades; in fact, a 65 year old Chien Tai Chi practitioner brought us all to our feet, clapping.
The current western v. eastern internal instructor debate notwithstanding, have either of you encountered much resistance to teaching non-Chinese, or been intentionally taught watered-down Tai Chi?
I'm sure that the majority of mcdojos of any given style don't intend to give you dodgy instruction and likely believe they are teaching exactly as it should be taught.............. but they're not
Bad instruction perpetuated is a vicious cycle of token practice and unfortunately, for those students who really are dedicated, often not what they're paying for at all.
I spent about a year in china, and though it doesn't sound like long, when you're exposed to it in this capacity and where it was created , it is an experience tyhat I couldn't get in 5 nor 10 years at home!!! It's everywhere and in all styles conceivable. You go out in the play ground, and they're playing gongfu, you go out early of a morning and they're playing taiji or doing bagua palm conditioning. You turn your back in class to write something on the board..and when you turn back around, the students are dimmaking each other ............. You have a meeting with your principal or a colleague and end up sparring. And every one has a new story to tell from history ( and the ppl you meet on those long 1 and 2 day hot and dirty train rides across the country is an awesome experience of its own) , to information on political influence, to religion to origin to training methods and ,medicine to other gwailo ( foreigners ) you meet on the same adventiure as yourself that you can have a laugh with about how sick you are and bad you smell, how much your legs ache when you have to do a squat toilet ( with no toilet paper or light) after a days training and so on. It's a poor, often extremely hot or cold crazy gongfuing nation. If you haven't done the extended trip, I highly recommend it to everyone!!!! In fact I know a guy who did the same trip for 6 mths, did a very quick stop in Taiwan for the same , and went to Cambodia, wrote a book about it , won a few titles and now is doing kungfu movies!!!! lol........ extremely cool stuff!!
In that year I spent abbout 4 mths just near the Henan Songshan shaolin temple ( and only 20 mins on a bus to the very first buddhist temple in china ever in luoyang ) , spent time at the most famous and best reputed gongfu schools in the world ( tagou), spent time with monks, played with their students, and also visited and got instruction from schools, shifu, ex-champions from both china and abroad, police, army officers and a couple of masters from Beijing, Shenyang ( Manchuria) , Shanghai, Guangzhou, Anhui and had a quick look at HongKong.
I was there to both study as much "authentic" gongfu as I could possibley find, and research gongfu history and philosophy for my phd in chan buddhism. I also taught English to make a living to post grads and teachers , so I was exposed to alot of academic and historical information. I also had quite intimate contact with a couple of disciples ( one with a school and few monks of his own ( ) , and another who is a writer , reporter and publisher for quite a successful gongfu magazine with an abundance of scholarly information and similarly many contacts endowed with information himself) daily for the most part for about 14mths. Alot of my students had history degrees and majors and helped me interperate many a chinese language document or translation that would have otherwise been inaccessable......... alot of these works and so on not being translated anywhere in english, and until we get a programme that converts chinese characters into english, likely never will.
I have been extremely privilaged to have learnt what I have, but am always open to consider new or different information and understand thoroughly that there is always more to learn and always will be.
Your experiences very much mirror my own in regards to Taiji and Wushu training in China. On my last visit to China, we flew to Tashkent, then travelled through Uzebikistan and Kyrgystan over the Torurgart Pass and into China. We then travelled West to East and on to Beijing. It was interesting that we did not see or experience any Wushu until we were well accross China. In fact it was in Turfan before we saw any Taiji at all.
I have trained Traditional Yang Family Taijiquan for 15 years now, the last 4 with a lineaged Master who comes from Yang Zhen Ji (the second son of Yang Cheng-Fu). And yes, I have been down many blind alleys in my Taiji training (and sad to say, down the same blind alley more than once!!). And yes in the early days before I knew any better, experienced some very bad teaching both from Western and Chinese teachers.
I thought I had made it clear in my last post that Taiji, T'ai Chi and Tajiquan were all about semantics and that Tai C'hi was just a conveniet (and shorthand) way of describing Taijiquan. The original question was, what is the difference between T'ai Chi and T'ai Chi Ch'uan? The answers is no difference. You did however say that Tai Chi and Bagua were interchangeable terms. Thats where we differ. I bow to your vast experience of taijiquan and can I ask, which forms you play?
There was no intention of being sarky. I was just interested in the claim that he had "...of those I have stiudied three with masters in china." I assumed he had studied these forms elsewhere, as after a year I had barely learned the sequence of moves of the long form, and I was merely interested to know which forms and to what depth his study had been.
Firstly this he is a she and I don't have as much experience in taiji as yourself, but as much as you have taiji I have cma general and particularly qigong.
Beside the point, and I didn't say 3 masters ( and in fact indicated there were actually more :0 ) that was your assumption and we all know what assumption does. What I said was ( or meant to if I didn't literate clearly enough) is that when asking, gesturing to indicate and speaking about taiji, locals referred to as ba gua, just like when demoing dimmak they refered to that as chin na. Go figure a local mind. I've even had shaolin called wushu, and it is anything but, shaolin gongfu being closer to the original style and wushu being a governmental compulosry and dictated style created during the CR, more akin to gymnastics and performance but also a term meaning martial arts in general.
How long were you in China yourself?? And being different things ( aspects and styles ) are highlighted and more readily found and typically practiced more from place to place ( particularly pending IMO proximity of most local " creation point " for any given style or temple, 10 master locales ( widely accepted and recognised by the PRC government as Chinas greatest masters) and then their students and schools off that etc), do you mind me asking which provinces you studied in?? Just gives me an idea of your exposure.
Please accept my sincere apologies for assuming you were a "he". That was quite unforgiveable of me!! I have studied in Shanghai, Beijing and of course Henan Province, the home of the Yang family. I worked on Chen style for a while with a Chinese Master, but not long enough to call myself one of his students.
I've studied both chen ( at home and in china ) and yang ( in China) myself. It's funny that you say you got your yang from Henan, because I found myself that chen taiji masters seemed to be everywhere there, and my own master there played and taught chen herself. I did find Anhui ( Hefei ) quite dominant with Yang though and Beijing having the Beijing university where you can ( and the shaolin monks do ) get degrees in martial artistry and philosophy, a great general Taiji hot spot for practically all styles ( and huge on wushu ,which could explain why you thought that's predominantly what everyone is teaching ) , though don't quote me on the "sun", because I can't be sure I saw any.
Shanghai is home to I think 2 of the top ten "chinas great master " contingent and it's not surprising you'd find some great schooling there. When you were learning taiji there, was it in a school or private on public sites?? And how often and long did you train in a week??
I was fortunate in Henan to have a colleague ( our school accountant of 65+ yrs taiji exp ) offer to teach me each morning. WE'd usually spend about an hour only, but she also knew I did my own qigong and body weight exercises and basic warm ups for up to 2 hrs each day before I saw her. i think my long form only took about 3 weeks to grasp , but then I drilled on my own at home as well. Another colleague I used to play with was an ex-national sanda champ, another who was an ex-shaolin student, and my 2 prinicals both extremely proficient in snake / crane and various others, and I guess she took that and my maing study on the side with them into account aswell. I don't think I studied long enough to remember the whole form today, but if I had a refresher, no doubt I'd just click straight back into the flow. I do remember base concepts, little tips on form posture and stepping etc though , so being that they all taught me for love of the game ( free ) , still well worth the effort.