TAI CHI CHUAN (TAIJIQUAN) SPARRING
Daniel, Shaolin Wahnam instructor of Spain
The following discussion is reproduced from the thread Taijiquan Sparring posted by Daniel in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum on 12th April 2003 in response to Master Montaigue's contention “that sparring is one of the most damaging things for real self defence!” and that “the very best method of learning how to defend yourself using all that you have learnt, is what we call 'Attack/Defence' methods where the instructor puts on all of the protective gear and then attacks the student with full force and ferocity as it would happen in the street.”
Shaolin Wahnam Instructor, Spain
12th April 2003
I visited your webpage before and found it interesting and I really think you are very kind, taking time to participate in this forum and giving your points of view which are always good for keeping oneself open-minded.
But from my experience it seems to me that using protective gear in sparring and being hit is not very practical in a real street fight where being hit just once can be enough to be put out of action. Moreover, being used to hit an opponent without mercy is in my opinion brutal and has nothing to do with spiritual cultivation (which is one of the reasons why we practise such a great art as Tai Chi Chuan).
I believe that kungfu (any style of kungfu, be it Pakua, Shaolin, Hung Gar, Tai Chi, etc) is efficient, elegant, non-aggressive and lethal at the same time, and you must train and use your kungfu with the stances, techniques, force and skills of KUNGFU!
If the stances, force, techniques and tactics of traditional kungfu weren?t useful, then past masters — who were many times more combat efficient than today?s so called masters — wouldn?t have transmitted them to us
Many kungfu students today use kickboxing methods to spar because they have never being trained to use kungfu form and patterns to fight. In this case, students who just do form and never train force and skills, and never learn how to fight systematically, when facing an enemy will find their techniques more a burden than an advantage.
When facing a dangerous situation in the streets as real kungfu practitioners, we must be as relaxed and confident as we can. If we cannot get out or run away (and that will be in my opinion the best choice), we have to be aware of our own safety, and be as efficient as we can causing the less harm we can, and it all comes from our kungfu training! We are not wild animals and we must not train our instinct only to kill.