Tai Chi Striking and Engaging Practice
This exercise is designed to help students to deal with strikes. It will broaden the ability to use the skills and internal power which have been cultivated in forms and tuishou practice.
Tai chi tuishou is an advanced training method, as martial training methods go. But the nature of tai chi and its typical demographic creates a situation where many of the people who practice tuishou have very little basic knowledge. They engage in high level practice but are unable to deal with the more basic and simple matters of self defence.
This was not always the case. Tai chi was originally taught from the ground up, and it still is taught this way in some places. But when tai chi became an art of elite martial artists in the imperial palace, there was little need to teach the basics. Many of the students were already masters in their own right. After the fall of the Qing Dynasty, however, tai chi became increasingly marketed as a health promoting exercize. This and the tendency toward secrecy lead to the loss and near extinction of the core martial training principles.
The fact is that many people today might be justified in saying tai chi is dead as a martial art. This may be true if everyone assumes that the common view of tai chi is a complete one. There is more to tai chi than qigong, forms, tuishou, and martial applications. But since so few tai chi players are interested in the esoteric martial arts, then very few teachers will bother to teach it openly, and therefore more teachers don’t even know about it.