The truth on Self-Defense and TaijiQuan / Tai Chi Chuan

JowGaWolf

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Anybody wants to comment on my question? Can you become a good Taiji fighter without mastering the kicking skill?
Yes. you just won't be as effective as you could be. It all depends on the rules of the competition. If you are talking about fighting in the street, then I would say that it's going to be more difficult to be good with that without having kicks to set up attacks.
 

Tony Dismukes

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You can use waist turn instead of hip turn. It may sacrifice some power for increased mobility. I use both for different situations.
I'm not a fan of using waist turning instead of hip turning, but there are definitely times where it can be useful to use waist turning in addition to hip turning.
How do you distinguish between the two? I sometimes suspect that the terms are used interchangeably, although they probably shouldnt be.

As far as this type of concept goes, the distinction that I make is the rotation is powered by driving the feet into the ground, directing the force to rotate the torso at the hips, vs. initiating the movement from the hips without engaging the feet and legs, or, worse yet, initiating from the shoulders and dragging the hips along.
I agree with your first definition. Hip rotation is literally using the legs to turn the hip girdle (along with the rest of the torso above the hips) from one direction to another. If you are using just hip rotation then your shoulders will stay aligned with your hips. (Assuming you aren't adding leaning into the mix.)

Waist rotation is using the muscles of the core to twist the spine (generally around the waist) so that the shoulders end up rotated further than the hip position.

I don't think there are many applications where it is helpful to generate power by just twisting the waist without moving the hips. But using both forms of rotation together is pretty common. In those cases I think the ideal is to initiate the power from the legs, rotating the hips, then moving up to the torso for waist rotation, with any contributions from the chest, upper back, and arms coming last.
 

Flying Crane

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I'm not a fan of using waist turning instead of hip turning, but there are definitely times where it can be useful to use waist turning in addition to hip turning.

I agree with your first definition. Hip rotation is literally using the legs to turn the hip girdle (along with the rest of the torso above the hips) from one direction to another. If you are using just hip rotation then your shoulders will stay aligned with your hips. (Assuming you aren't adding leaning into the mix.)

Waist rotation is using the muscles of the core to twist the spine (generally around the waist) so that the shoulders end up rotated further than the hip position.

I don't think there are many applications where it is helpful to generate power by just twisting the waist without moving the hips. But using both forms of rotation together is pretty common. In those cases I think the ideal is to initiate the power from the legs, rotating the hips, then moving up to the torso for waist rotation, with any contributions from the chest, upper back, and arms coming last.
I agree, it becomes a single rotation of the entire torso. Eliminate, or at least minimize, any twisting of the spine.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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How do you distinguish between the two? I sometimes suspect that the terms are used interchangeably, although they probably shouldnt be.

As far as this type of concept goes, the distinction that I make is the rotation is powered by driving the feet into the ground, directing the force to rotate the torso at the hips, vs. initiating the movement from the hips without engaging the feet and legs, or, worse yet, initiating from the shoulders and dragging the hips along.
Ok bear with me, It is a completely separate and distinct motion. Try this, sit in horse. Now cock your thumb back and make both hands flat, palms facing down. Now place the side of both index fingers against your abdomen, two inches below the navel. The index fingers point at each other but do not touch each other. Now keep both elbows slightly in front of the body(they should be bent slightly so that the hand position is possible). The palms still face down. Now hold the head and hips completely still. Now turn only the waist, keeping head and hips still. The foot still creates the waist turn by pulling against the ground but the hip does not move. Isolate the waist turn and keep the hands in position above to avoid using the shoulders to create the turn. The bottom moves the top. The inside moves the outside. The breath rides the motion. The inaction creates the action. After you are able to isolate the waist turn, try squaring the torso to the front and moving the horse forward without letting the torso turn with it. In other words, if you are in a square room, the elbows each face the side walls as you move forward, they do not change position as the horse moves forward. On each move, try to end up with the toes pointing at one of those side walls while maintaining the elbows position of also pointing at each of the side walls. For this to occur, the waist, not the hips, must be what turns. I hope that this makes sense. Let me know if you have questions about it or if my description is lacking.
 

Flying Crane

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Ok bear with me, It is a completely separate and distinct motion. Try this, sit in horse. Now cock your thumb back and make both hands flat, palms facing down. Now place the side of both index fingers against your abdomen, two inches below the navel. The index fingers point at each other but do not touch each other. Now keep both elbows slightly in front of the body(they should be bent slightly so that the hand position is possible). The palms still face down. Now hold the head and hips completely still. Now turn only the waist, keeping head and hips still. The foot still creates the waist turn by pulling against the ground but the hip does not move. Isolate the waist turn and keep the hands in position above to avoid using the shoulders to create the turn. The bottom moves the top. The inside moves the outside. The breath rides the motion. The inaction creates the action. After you are able to isolate the waist turn, try squaring the torso to the front and moving the horse forward without letting the torso turn with it. In other words, if you are in a square room, the elbows each face the side walls as you move forward, they do not change position as the horse moves forward. On each move, try to end up with the toes pointing at one of those side walls while maintaining the elbows position of also pointing at each of the side walls. For this to occur, the waist, not the hips, must be what turns. I hope that this makes sense. Let me know if you have questions about it or if my description is lacking.
Yes, can visualize it I think. Does the lower spine twist? It seems to me that it would. What do you do with this? How are you putting it to use?
 

Wing Woo Gar

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I'm not a fan of using waist turning instead of hip turning, but there are definitely times where it can be useful to use waist turning in addition to hip turning.

I agree with your first definition. Hip rotation is literally using the legs to turn the hip girdle (along with the rest of the torso above the hips) from one direction to another. If you are using just hip rotation then your shoulders will stay aligned with your hips. (Assuming you aren't adding leaning into the mix.)

Waist rotation is using the muscles of the core to twist the spine (generally around the waist) so that the shoulders end up rotated further than the hip position.

I don't think there are many applications where it is helpful to generate power by just twisting the waist without moving the hips. But using both forms of rotation together is pretty common. In those cases I think the ideal is to initiate the power from the legs, rotating the hips, then moving up to the torso for waist rotation, with any contributions from the chest, upper back, and arms coming last.
Perhaps then, I do in fact have something to share. I agree the method I use is something I have not seen elsewhere. I also have never seen someone able to do it without some very specific instruction. All that said, it is integral to our martial art. You may not agree, that it is useful, my opponents may differ with your assessment. I will toot my own horn here because I am able to get fine coordination and motor control with this and other isolations that I do not see others perform ever. I can give examples, but I hesitate because without being in person I doubt that someone will believe that it is useful or even possible.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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Yes, can visualize it I think. Does the lower spine twist? It seems to me that it would. What do you do with this? How are you putting it to use?
Well the lumbar spine rotation is around 12 degrees for most folks. Yes it turns some. The best way for me to describe it is an analogy. Picture the old style military tanks where they have a huge gun that is fixed forward on the chassis. The tank chassis must turn in order to aim the gun. Then later we got tanks with a turret, that tank can move in one direction while firing in a completely different direction. I can switch stance and sides as I move forward or to oblique angles. It allows for more mobility while shooting punches in all directions. The waist turns allow me to shoot the punch off the back and each turn creates the breath, and coils the spring on the opposing side of the turn. It is not an easy coordination to learn, it takes time and patience. I dont expect anyone to believe me because guess what, there isnt a video. Now when you come to visit you can see my training brothers and my students do it and you can make a better assessment of what I am doing. Please remember, this isnt new, and this is not my creation, this is what my Sigung and my Sifu taught.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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I'm not a fan of using waist turning instead of hip turning, but there are definitely times where it can be useful to use waist turning in addition to hip turning.

I agree with your first definition. Hip rotation is literally using the legs to turn the hip girdle (along with the rest of the torso above the hips) from one direction to another. If you are using just hip rotation then your shoulders will stay aligned with your hips. (Assuming you aren't adding leaning into the mix.)

Waist rotation is using the muscles of the core to twist the spine (generally around the waist) so that the shoulders end up rotated further than the hip position.

I don't think there are many applications where it is helpful to generate power by just twisting the waist without moving the hips. But using both forms of rotation together is pretty common. In those cases I think the ideal is to initiate the power from the legs, rotating the hips, then moving up to the torso for waist rotation, with any contributions from the chest, upper back, and arms coming last.
Strictly speaking, the legs generate the power, the waist turn is the governor, the arms are the expression.
 

Flying Crane

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Well the lumbar spine rotation is around 12 degrees for most folks. Yes it turns some. The best way for me to describe it is an analogy. Picture the old style military tanks where they have a huge gun that is fixed forward on the chassis. The tank chassis must turn in order to aim the gun. Then later we got tanks with a turret, that tank can move in one direction while firing in a completely different direction. I can switch stance and sides as I move forward or to oblique angles. It allows for more mobility while shooting punches in all directions. The waist turns allow me to shoot the punch off the back and each turn creates the breath, and coils the spring on the opposing side of the turn. It is not an easy coordination to learn, it takes time and patience. I dont expect anyone to believe me because guess what, there isnt a video. Now when you come to visit you can see my training brothers and my students do it and you can make a better assessment of what I am doing. Please remember, this isnt new, and this is not my creation, this is what my Sigung and my Sifu taught.
Hey, there is a whole lot of stuff Ive never seen before. Sometimes the best answer is simply that is outside of my experience, I look forward to learning more about it.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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I'm not a fan of using waist turning instead of hip turning, but there are definitely times where it can be useful to use waist turning in addition to hip turning.

I agree with your first definition. Hip rotation is literally using the legs to turn the hip girdle (along with the rest of the torso above the hips) from one direction to another. If you are using just hip rotation then your shoulders will stay aligned with your hips. (Assuming you aren't adding leaning into the mix.)

Waist rotation is using the muscles of the core to twist the spine (generally around the waist) so that the shoulders end up rotated further than the hip position.

I don't think there are many applications where it is helpful to generate power by just twisting the waist without moving the hips. But using both forms of rotation together is pretty common. In those cases I think the ideal is to initiate the power from the legs, rotating the hips, then moving up to the torso for waist rotation, with any contributions from the chest, upper back, and arms coming last.
You arent a fan, but you can do it like I described? Dont get me wrong, but this is exactly why I dont describe what I do much. People think they know, and then dismiss it out of hand. If the left lateral surface of the femoral head is facing front, then when the left straight punch is shot to the front, the shoulder and hip will be in alignment. The person must be sure not to over rotate so as to not get the shoulder behind the hip.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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Hey, there is a whole lot of stuff Ive never seen before. Sometimes the best answer is simply that is outside of my experience, I look forward to learning more about it.
I appreciate that you are open to the possibility. As I said, it is very difficult to describe in text. Seeing(or better yet, experiencing) is believing.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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Hey, there is a whole lot of stuff Ive never seen before. Sometimes the best answer is simply that is outside of my experience, I look forward to learning more about it.
I have put some demonstration videos from 1958 Lunar new year up a while back, I dont think anyone watched them.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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I'm not a fan of using waist turning instead of hip turning, but there are definitely times where it can be useful to use waist turning in addition to hip turning.

I agree with your first definition. Hip rotation is literally using the legs to turn the hip girdle (along with the rest of the torso above the hips) from one direction to another. If you are using just hip rotation then your shoulders will stay aligned with your hips. (Assuming you aren't adding leaning into the mix.)

Waist rotation is using the muscles of the core to twist the spine (generally around the waist) so that the shoulders end up rotated further than the hip position.

I don't think there are many applications where it is helpful to generate power by just twisting the waist without moving the hips. But using both forms of rotation together is pretty common. In those cases I think the ideal is to initiate the power from the legs, rotating the hips, then moving up to the torso for waist rotation, with any contributions from the chest, upper back, and arms coming last.
Your description is almost completely correct.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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I'm not a fan of using waist turning instead of hip turning, but there are definitely times where it can be useful to use waist turning in addition to hip turning.

I agree with your first definition. Hip rotation is literally using the legs to turn the hip girdle (along with the rest of the torso above the hips) from one direction to another. If you are using just hip rotation then your shoulders will stay aligned with your hips. (Assuming you aren't adding leaning into the mix.)

Waist rotation is using the muscles of the core to twist the spine (generally around the waist) so that the shoulders end up rotated further than the hip position.

I don't think there are many applications where it is helpful to generate power by just twisting the waist without moving the hips. But using both forms of rotation together is pretty common. In those cases I think the ideal is to initiate the power from the legs, rotating the hips, then moving up to the torso for waist rotation, with any contributions from the chest, upper back, and arms coming last.
Maybe think about it like how you might hold someone close with arms and then rotate at the waist separately so as to engage with both legs in either direction without losing your hold or contact with the torso. It can be accomplished with or without hip engagement. In a striking sense, it gives additional options and offers a greater range for footwork and transportation options. It also allows for certain blocks without changing hip position or movement direction while maintaining structure. Oh and one more thing, it is a hit on the dance floor as well. :)
 

Flying Crane

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I have put some demonstration videos from 1958 Lunar new year up a while back, I dont think anyone watched them.
I am certain i did watch them. Interesting stuff.

It seems to me that you and I are both practicing a method that can look odd in some ways to people who are not familiar with it. It is my opinion that people whose experience is primarily with modern combat sports, either training them or watching them, or both, have an idea fixed in their mind of what a combat method should look like. The method that I train does not quite fit that image. We do things differently, but there are very definite reasons that we do them as we do. To those who havet experienced it before, it looks odd and there is a tendency to dismiss it. I understand that point of view. We are all shaped by our experiences. This makes me able to step back and simply recognize that with some things, I have no experience with it, so I cannot understand it properly and cannot judge it. Not everyone is willing or able to do that. But I try to keep it in mind. Its ok with me that most people dont understand it. Im not trying to sell it like a commodity nor convince the world that it is the best in some objectively measurable way. It simply suits me, it makes sense to me, I am impressed with the results of the training, I enjoy it, I feel it is tremendously effective, and I am willing to share with those who are genuinely interested. But I dont need to convince the world. Quite bluntly, it is not the best thing for everybody. Everybody needs to figure out what is the best thing for them, and that can be different from the next guy, for a whole host of reasons.
 

windwalker099

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It seems to me that you and I are both practicing a method that can look odd in some ways to people who are not familiar with it. It is my opinion that people whose experience is primarily with modern combat sports, either training them or watching them, or both, have an idea fixed in their mind of what a combat method should look like.

Sometimes an advantage no
More so with something like TWC

. People who boxed IME were very susceptible to the long arm and foot work.

Very different from my current focus and practice. also something that looks odd
or fake, when viewed with out having experienced it.
 

JowGaWolf

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Eliminate, or at least minimize, any twisting of the spine
When twisting with the waist don't twist on the spine twist with the core muscles. Relax and GENTLY twist the waist. This is twisting the spine. Now tighten your stomach and twist the waist. This is twisting with your core. You should be able to feel a big difference. It should also feel powerful and naturally engage the legs.
 

Flying Crane

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Sometimes an advantage no
More so with something like TWC

. People who boxed IME were very susceptible to the long arm and foot work.

Very different from my current focus and practice. also something that looks odd
or fake, when viewed with out having experienced it.
I agree. I have always trained in something that most of the people around me didnt know. I was always part of the unusual group, and I appreciated that.

When I first began training, we were the only kenpo school in an area full with Tae Kwon do. Later, I trained capoeira in the 1990s when it was still pretty obscure in the US and even experienced martial artists would scratch their heads at the name. Now, I train Tibetan Crane which is rare in North America. Its all good to me.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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I am certain i did watch them. Interesting stuff.

It seems to me that you and I are both practicing a method that can look odd in some ways to people who are not familiar with it. It is my opinion that people whose experience is primarily with modern combat sports, either training them or watching them, or both, have an idea fixed in their mind of what a combat method should look like. The method that I train does not quite fit that image. We do things differently, but there are very definite reasons that we do them as we do. To those who havet experienced it before, it looks odd and there is a tendency to dismiss it. I understand that point of view. We are all shaped by our experiences. This makes me able to step back and simply recognize that with some things, I have no experience with it, so I cannot understand it properly and cannot judge it. Not everyone is willing or able to do that. But I try to keep it in mind. Its ok with me that most people dont understand it. Im not trying to sell it like a commodity nor convince the world that it is the best in some objectively measurable way. It simply suits me, it makes sense to me, I am impressed with the results of the training, I enjoy it, I feel it is tremendously effective, and I am willing to share with those who are genuinely interested. But I dont need to convince the world. Quite bluntly, it is not the best thing for everybody. Everybody needs to figure out what is the best thing for them, and that can be different from the next guy, for a whole host of reasons.
Very well put as is usual for you. I dont take offense when people dismiss it, I know that it doesnt matter what others think of the practice. It works for me and has worked best on people outside the style. I am confident in my ability even though I am likely the least of my training brothers. I have a student that is likely to eclipse my ability very soon. It makes me proud that I have been able to transfer the skills to another. I have quite a few more videos that are old films. Perhaps I shall post them.
 
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