Originally written by: Matej Velicky There are many stories about Chen Fake and Hong Junsheng and their fighting ability.
Do these mean that they were actually able to defend themselves against a real attack and unprepared? I was wondering about confrontation with a trained boxer for example. Especially in Czech (and I believe it’s the same in most western countries) boxers and other martial sport guy argue as follows:
- What kind of martial art that is (and they speak about most traditional martial arts) when you have to train many years to be able to fight?
- And even most people cannot fight at all.
- Most martial artist only train applications and not free fight they don’t really have the ability.
- So, in taiji learning, is there a stage when you actually confront yourself in real (even friendly) fight to be prepared for a real opponent?
Yes, both Chen Fake and Hong Junsheng were able to defend themselves if they were attacked. The merit of a martial art rests on whether in the end ability is produced, not in how many years it takes. A Chinese proverb goes like this: you sharpen your sword for ten years just in order to be used once in your life time. Chen Style Tajiquan Practical Method is a good martial art not because it takes a long time to learn it but because you achieve real fighting ability in the end. I don’t want to compare Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method to boxing because boxing is a sport while taijiquan is a martial art. In modern days, people confuse sport with martial art. A martial art trains people to kill or to defend oneself against being killed. This is quiet different from being trained to score. Yes, most “martial artists” cannot fight at all. The problem is with “most martial artists” not with the martial art. The whole spectrum is:
- basic including forms.
- push hands
- free fighting
Most people cannot fight because they don’t follow the above procedure. They like one or more aspects of the above but not all of the above.