with Inchiki's youtube post!
And good to see a post from you once again.
I really loved this and it did indeed make me laugh.
Of course, the humor is based on the fact that all most people know is the "non-martial" T'ai Chi Ch'uan, which was really begun by Yang Cheng Fu, in the 20th century, which removed pretty much ALL of the martial aspects of T'ai Chi Ch'uan, which was named because it really was one of the most powerful martial arts (the Chen style and the earlier Yang style).
The original T'ai Chi had both slow and fast, explosive movements, kicks, punches, etc, which Yang Cheng Fu removed and made an all slow, all for health (his reasoning was logical, albeit, not perfect: the gun, in his opinion, made studying martial arts for self-defense obsolete, and this was also based on the trauma to the martial arts world in China, the Boxer Rebellion, which brain-washed martial artists to stand up to guns).
There is very little T'ai Chi Ch'uan fighting competition (much more push-hands competition these days. And those can get pretty vigorous and intense. Not too slow at all!
). However, it does happen. Master William C.C. Chen, in New York City, used his T'ai Chi (he was originally a student of Cheng Man Ching, a student of Yang Cheng Fu, who taught no martial applications. Master Chen, who I had the privilege of studying push-hand with, would, on his own, take each movement of the form, and practice it thousands of times, over and over. Slow, then faster, then faster etc. He would imagine the applications and work it out in his mind, based on what he already did know about martial arts.
He eventually became a great fighter and used his T'ai Chi to win fighting bouts in many tournaments. He is one of the only well known T'ai Chi masters in America, that I have heard of, who actually has a separate fighting class and there are many Western style boxers in his class.
Again, this is the exception, not the rule, because T'ai Chi, to a large extent is the epitome of what Bruce Lee said in ENTER THE DRAGON, "My art is the art of fighting without fighting". There have been many master and are now, who could, if they had to fight very well, and most likely prevail, but they never show it. And likely never will.
To a large extent any martial art that is a "-do" or "Way" has this built into it (whether it is in the title or not, many if not all martial arts are or can be taught this way). I was just reading a passage in a great book last night, THE ZEN WAY TO MARTIAL ARTS" A JAPANESE MASTER REVEALS THE SECRETS OF THE SAMURAI. I think it may have been in the introduction, by author and Akidoist, George Leonard. He explains that "Budo", which does not translate well into English, but is usually translated as something like "The Way (or Tao) of War or the Warrior" really has to do with enlightenment and not with fighting. He says something like, "The one who learns 'Budo', eventually learns that ALL battles are eventually with oneself.
I have learned this a lot in my little experience in learning martial arts and most especially T'ai Chi Ch'uan.
I agree with the suggestion of the Sedonna method or any such releasing techniques. I think the overarching theme here in this thread, is that the true way to overcome struggle is not how to "fight better", but rather how to calm the struggle within. One of the great principles of Taoism, as I understand it, is that when you find a struggle on the outside, it reflects a struggle within.
I have found this to be true in my life. The "dojo" as it is called in Japanese, is the place of enlightenment, not a mere place to learn how to fight.
So ultimately, if one goes to the school regardless of the style, with that intention firmly in place, I believe that one will find the right teacher and the right style.
Turn it over to your Master's energy and you cannot fail!
Here is a link to the introduction to that book (an awesome book by the way) HERE.