Tai Ji for Self Defence


TaiJi For Self Defence 

In a previous post on the general subject of training for self defence I ended by summarising the general position as:

So in a sentence, early training consists of: get fit, get strong, learn to hit and get mean. The "Art" in "Martial Arts" is something of a luxury if your priority is self defence in a short period of time.

So given that the Art in Martial Art is a luxury, where does that leave Tai Ji, as it can reasonably be asserted that Tai Ji more than most focuses on the art aspect of Martial Arts?

Well firstly to avoid doubt, if time is short and or you’re not really interested in following Martial Arts as a long term hobby / lifestyle, then as stated above focus on betting fit, learn to hit etc, etc. But if you are interested in a more holistic, lifestyle focused approach to training then TaiJi is a great way to develop self defence skills or indeed broaden your understanding if you follow another martial art as a primary method. I’ve delivered several workshops for senior Karate students who find the  different approach a useful contrast to their regular training.

Some things that often surprises practitioners of other Martial Arts is that TaiJi training is often quite hard and not all of the techniques are soft. The labelling of TaiJi as a “soft” Martial Art confuses many people. I think pretty much everybody is familiar with this image. It is often referred to as the Yin - Yang symbol it is correctly known as the TaiJi (Tai Chi) symbol. This does NOT mean that this symbol specifically refers to TaiJi the Martial Art, as that is more correctly known as TaiJiQuan (Tai Chi Chuan). The TaiJi symbol is an illustration of the philosophical view that all matter and activity is made up from a mixture of active and passive, hard and soft, fast and slow etc.

The word Quan (Chuan), in its simplest form means fist, by implication it means Boxing  / Martial Art. The symbol shows an equal balance between Yang (white) meaning; hard, active etc and Yin (black) meaning: soft, passive etc. In reality pretty much every martial technique is more Yang or more Yin. A punch, for example, is much more Yang than Yin, but a slight bend at the elbow and relaxation of the muscles not involved in the punch is the Yin aspect of the punch. Likewise a side step to avoid an opponent is clearly a Yin strategy, but the body still needs structure and energy to move quickly which is Yang. So both aspects need to be trained.

Therefore training TaiJi for self defence should involved a balanced approach that includes aspects of soft relaxed movement and vigorous powerful techniques. You can’t defend yourself by simply learning to relax.

#selfdefence #selfdefense #martialarts #fightingfit #taijiquan

Dragon Crane logo
an image of the black and white yin yang symbol.

The TaiJi Symbol

This website makes use of cookies. Please see our privacy policy for details.