I recently received this comment in response to the video about “Tai Chi Fighting Strategy“. The comment and my response are reprinted here.
I still haven’t seen a real application of Tai Chi in an actual combat scenario or through free sparring. Most of the applications are always shown with a complacent attacker. He puts his hand up, then I do this. Please Please Please show us some real time uses of tai chi. I respect IMA, but so few ever show any real applications.
I understand the spirit of your request. But I’m not sure you understand what you are asking for. Actual combat is brutal and usually very short, lasting only for a few short seconds. I know of no skilled fighter who is willing to engage in real combat for the entertainment or even the edification of others. It would be like asking us to fence with live blades. A martial art is very different from a martial sport. You can watch taiji players do sanshou. But that is sport – not real combat.
People use tai chi in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competitions. But then it looks like MMA, not like tai chi. The best way to examine the uniqueness of tai chi is in a controlled demonstration, which is what I tried to do here. In combat, tai chi would look much like any other style. If the there is a big difference between the skill levels of the combatants, it would be short and clean. If they have equal skill, it will be messier. If they are extremely good, there will be no observable fight.
– Ian Sinclair
You can see an MMA match with Ayron Howey (a Vancouver Sanshou fighter who does Tai chi, Xingyiquan, and Baguazhang, and many other things.[ www.youtube/watch?v=PuwB4fr1lUE ]
To see some martial applications of tai chi forms, see this previous post on the subject.