The Tai Chi Dance, let the energy flow from head to toe, Tai Chi is a martial dance and is similar to Capoeira because both arts hide their true meaning, Capoeira was banned in Brazil in the 19th century because of it’s fearsome, brutal and dirty reputation the government of the day thought it was of no use and took offense at it’s practice, Tai Chi seems to have been subject to the same ban as the Chinese government also drove martial arts under ground and this lead to what we now know as wushu the term wushu tends to lend itself to the watered down version of a martial art, the term wushu is similar to the term “Do” that is used by Karateka, the emphasis is more on health and form practice, a way of doing form rather than actual fighting.
There is no real harm in doing forms but the distinction must be clear for those that are looking at a martial art as a way of fighting or self defense. The benefits of doing form can be very useful if you know why you are doing forms, and if you do the forms in a way that is realistic in performance, boxers shadow box and no one looks at that as a problem but the difference with western boxing is that when they shadow box you can see that those patterns are almost identical to the patterns that they use when they actually are in combat
As you can see in these videos the first one shows wushu and there is great athleticism in the way that the wushu artists are performing, this way of performing is very good for fitness and for balance, the second video shows how a western boxer is also moving freely and with good focus and intent, you can see that when he is moving he is doing it with a real opponent in his mind and because he has experienced of how a real person moves he can imagine what it is like to get hit and to hit and to evade and to visualize what he feels is a realistic situation.
The wushu practitioner also has a focus when doing moves but I feel the difference is that the people doing wushu are doing it without the focus of another human in mind, I think that the performance is more of a dance of beauty than of realism. This is not necessarily a bad thing as long as the people doing the arts know why they are doing the arts that they have chosen, the right art for the right reason.
The Tai Chi Dance
Tai Chi as with many martial arts have had very obscure history and it too was most likely changed from the art that it started out as, if most other martial arts have become do’s and ways and dances then it too must have been subject to the art being changed to disguise the martial art from the dance art. I believe that Tai Chi would have looked much more martial when it was invented and that the shadow fighting of Tai Chi would have been more like the shadow boxing of western boxing.
Sometimes it’s nice to break out of a formal way of doing things and just smile and let lose,
The taolu (solo “forms”) should take the students through a complete, natural range of motion over their centre of gravity. Accurate, repeated practice of the solo routine is said to retrain posture, encourage circulation throughout the students’ bodies, maintain flexibility through their joints, and further familiarize students with the martial application sequences implied by the various forms
This statement of intent shows that the movements should be natural and not forced. The Tai Chi Dance