Wahnam Taijiquan

As Taijiquan is a genunine martial art, it is unwise to cross-train


My purpose in asking these questions is to clarify these doubts and also find out if there would be any detriment to cross-train in both arts.


-- Yang, Singapore


While it is not detrimental to cross-train in Taijiquan and Wing Choon, or any other kungfu styles, it is both unnecessary and not a wise use of your time.

Many martial artists find that cross-training is necessary. This is because the arts they practice are incomplete. Those who practice Karate, for example, are lacking in felling techniques. Those who are good at felling techniques, like Judo practitioners, are lacking in kicks. Those who are good at kicks, like Taekwondo practitioners, are lacking in holds.

If an opponent holds the leg of a Taekwondo practitioner as he kicks, the Taekwondo practitioner would not know what to do because holding the opponent's leg is not allowed in Taekwondo, and therefore not learnt or practiced. On the other hand, if the Taekwondo practitioner kicks at a Judo practitioner, the Judo practitioner would not know what to do because kicking is not allowed in Judo. Hence, these martial artists would have to cross-train to compensate for what is lacking in their art.

But kungfu is a complete martial art. Although certain styles of kungfu may prefer particular modes of attacks, all kungfu styles are capable of defending all kinds of attacks. In other words, it does not matter whether you practice Wing Choon, Taijiquan or any other kungfu style, so long as what you practice is genuine, traditional kungfu, you can handle Judo throws, Taekwondo kicks, Karate chops or any other attacks. Of course if you merely practice kungfu forms, without force training and combat application, irrespective of what style you practice and for how long, you will be unable to defend against any attacks.

Therefore, the issue you should address is not whether it is detrimental to cross-train, but whether what you train is genuine, traditional kungfu. Initially you may try out various kungfu styles to savour their different principles and practices, but once you have found a style to your liking and have ascertain that it is genuine, traditional kungfu, you will generally get more benefits by sticking to your chosen style.

Reproduced from June 2005 Part 3 in Selection of Question-Answer Series


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