There are those who see no application for Taijiquan in the sense of modern methods of combat. In this article, a Taijiquan teacher uses the "13 Methods" of TJQ to train boxers, some of whom have done very well.
Illusive Pugilism: Merging the 13 Postures of Tai Chi Ch’uan with Western Methods of FightingBy Master Gurjot K. Singh, M Ed.
|Illusive Pugillism, or Western Tai Chi Ch’uan, is the physically-deceptive manipulation of an opponent’s sense of offense and defense to the point of ineffectiveness. It uses grappling and striking to neutralize the offense of an opponent while fluidly striking and grappling through an opponent’s defense without serious injury. It is a striker’s approach to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). |
From studying these fighters, Master Singh developed a system for teaching fighters he called "Illusive Pugilism." In Illusive Pugilism, Master Singh integrated the 13 postures of Tai Chi Ch’uan into the competitive, combative disciplines of Western boxing, kickboxing, and grappling, all of which he had taught since 2006.
Tai Chi Ch’uan’s emitting energy (Fa Chin), Interception energy (Jie Chin), Sticky energy (Nian Chin), Long and Short (Chang Chin and Duan Chin) energy, and Attraction into Emptiness energy (Hua Chin) began to have meaning when applied to competitive, combat situations. Using the pedagogy of the systems approach to training, the process of systematizing a curriculum of understanding, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesizing and evaluation was realized.
Between March 2007 to the present, this system has helped produce more than 20 amateur champions for the USA Amateur Boxing Association, the International Kickboxing Association, the North American Grappling Association, and several MMA event victors. Few of these champions had more than a year of competitive experience before becoming a champion in their respective, competitive disciplines.
The Yang Style forms that Singh was taught did not reflect his style of fighting but he found that the strategies behind their use were invaluable. He then realized the reason masters created forms and situational sparring drills:
- To reinforce what they had learned from their teacher and to transfer knowledge into application
- To realistically fight the way of their master
- To evolve mentally, physically, and spiritually
In Angel’s Gym the goal is to produce amateur fighting champions that are physically, mentally, and spiritually skilled enough to win bouts. When this system of Yin and Yang (or hard and soft) grappling is integrated into the previously-mentioned striking disciplines, a paradigm of illusive pugilism is realized. The conceptual merging of Eastern and Western concepts of martial arts begins with relating the 13 postures with the Western patterns of combative movement. Movement in this sense should be regarded as potential offensive and defensive energy disposed to allow the pugilist to yield and submit—without being vanquished—in order to neutralize an opponent.