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#4356940 - 05/12/17 09:31 AM Tai chi v MMA: The 20-second fight that left China reeling  
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Xu Xiaodong turned the Chinese martial arts community on its head two weeks ago with his highly controversial fight against Wei Lei, a master of the ancient art of tai chi.

The long-awaited showcase battle was intended to prove whether tai chi could really be a match for the modern, highly aggressive fighting discipline of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

When weeks of planning came to reality, at a venue in Chengdu, Mr Xu soundly beat Wei Lei. The fight lasted only 20 seconds - Mr Xu says he had bested his opponent within seven seconds.

Millions of people have since watched video footage of the competition, and it has triggered a huge discussion in China on whether traditional martial arts - or wushu - can ever truly be effective in combat.

But Mr Xu, who has studied traditional martial arts himself, claimed these stories were overblown, and that there was a lot of fraud and hypocrisy in martial arts industry.

He said his aim with the fight was to expose the fakes, and show that the old ways are no match for modern fighting methods.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/39853374



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I've always understood Tai Chi to be more like combat yoga than a real fighting art though, and while there are certainly lots of ineffective posers among traditional martial artists, every once in a while you'll come across one who you'd hate to fight in the ring let alone for real.

Rarely do the really dangerous guys come from an art where they don't practice full contact freeform sparring though, and Tai Chi master above doesn't seem to have done much if any of it. It probably doesn't help that he seems to be giving up at least 30 lbs also.

It will be interesting to see how the more fighting oriented Chinese arts stack up.

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#4356941 - 05/12/17 09:39 AM Re: Tai chi v MMA: The 20-second fight that left China reeling [Re: Crane Hunter]  
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it's all in the training methods. tai chi people never spar for real. when you get real sparring you see what works and what doesn't work.

most good martial arts can find a way to apply whatever technique it is included in the art, but the lack of quality of teachers creates big problems. passive, unresisting students or training partners creates a ridiculous circus where the training has no real value whatsoever.

not only a western problem either. there's a lot of bad martial arts in japan, despite it being the source of a lot of combat techniques that exist around the world at the moment.

#4356942 - 05/12/17 10:13 AM Re: Tai chi v MMA: The 20-second fight that left China reeling [Re: Crane Hunter]  
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Another issue with a lot of arts, particularly traditional ones, is that even if they're combat effective it can take a long time to get good.

So long in some cases that even someone that starts young will be past their physical prime before they've mastered it.

Its either because the necessary skills take a long time to develop, or that tradition demands that the teachers not teach the really advanced skills to anyone other than his most senior students.

#4356954 - 05/12/17 12:03 PM Re: Tai chi v MMA: The 20-second fight that left China reeling [Re: Crane Hunter]  
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Why didn't the Tai Chi guy just sweep the leg?


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#4356960 - 05/12/17 12:10 PM Re: Tai chi v MMA: The 20-second fight that left China reeling [Re: Crane Hunter]  
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Had Ralph Macchio been there the fight would have turned out differently.


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#4356965 - 05/12/17 12:26 PM Re: Tai chi v MMA: The 20-second fight that left China reeling [Re: Crane Hunter]  
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#4356966 - 05/12/17 12:27 PM Re: Tai chi v MMA: The 20-second fight that left China reeling [Re: letterboy1]  
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Originally Posted by letterboy1
Why didn't the Tai Chi guy just sweep the leg?




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#4356970 - 05/12/17 12:40 PM Re: Tai chi v MMA: The 20-second fight that left China reeling [Re: Crane Hunter]  
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@ Crane: I wouldn't take such videos too seriously. They are part of the the MMA marketing machine.

Tai Chi used to be a "real" martial art a couple centuries ago. Nowadays, it is apparently mostly used for health reasons, so strengthen one's Chi. Similarly, many Qui Gong styles form the basis for Wushu styles.

From what I saw in that video, I am not impressed with either of the contestants. The very fact that the Tai Chi "master" assumed a "combat stance" shows that he is not that much of a "master" - at least regarding actual fighting ability. I don't know enough about the Chinese martial arts and their present-day "curriculum", but I assume that if combat adaptions are being taught today at all, they are most likely rather stylized forms, designed to teach beginners the basic motions. The closest to actual fighting that I have seen coming out of China is probably Wing Chun/Pinying.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of martial art "schools" today do not teach beyond beginner's forms, because they simply "forgot". During their heyday, the various "Karate" ryu (for example, 1590's) were far from being this rigid style as seen today (like Shotokan Karate, for example). That also applies to most Jujutsu,Aikijutsu, Kenjutsu/ Iaijutsu ryu as well. Mostly due to Japan being unified and pacified by the Tokugawa Shogunate; the resulting, lasting peace made the Samurai neglect honing their skills. And the reforms of the Meiji Restoration (1868) simply outlawed the old Bujutsu schools. Hence why the "Dô-systems" were born, to at least keep some of the traditions alive, albeit in either a Zen-Buddhist way (= dô), or in the form of a competitive sport (or both): Judô, Kendô, Aikidô, Kyudô (archery), Karate-dô, Iaidô and so on. They ceased to be effective ways of fighting, and focused entirely to help on the path to Buddhist enlightenment.

Back in the day, all functional martial arts were by their very nature "mixed" - they were complete, as in teaching punches, kicks, blocks, locks, throws, multiple weapons etc., until you were capable enough to actually start to learn something: distance, timing, positioning, strength, weakness, tactics, deception. The "trick" is that you have to be able to do the right thing at the right time by intuition, not by thinking about it. That's the part that takes a long time to develop....you need to accumulate experience.

Boxing and other styles that are limited to only a few forms are faster to learn - but just as difficult to master beyond a certain level. Rules help a lot. Pit a boxer against 5 street-hardened thugs with baseball bats and knives and see how well he does.

Over time, necessity disappeared (firearms, artillery, tanks, air superiority), and so many martial schools became "arts" - some by design, others by accident.

Also, in every martial or fighting art/style/sport (including, and especially, Krav Maga or MMA), the vast majority of practitioners just...suck. Charlatans are rampant. Simply fly to China/Japan/Thailand/Philippines/Israel/Brasil, train a year or two, pay a good sum of money to get a high rank, get your picture taken with the respective grandmaster, fly home, start your own school and try to cash in....and hope that you never get into a situation where you'd actually have to defend yourself (granted, in today's western world, you are relatively safe).

Lastly, there is only one real grandmaster: yep




Last edited by Jayhawk; 05/12/17 04:09 PM. Reason: added some stuff

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#4357003 - 05/12/17 02:54 PM Re: Tai chi v MMA: The 20-second fight that left China reeling [Re: Crane Hunter]  
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I have trained Karate (Shotokan style) for about 8 years, ~from age 16-24. 1st Dan (black belt), competed in quite a few Kumite competitions, was quite successful.

Once, when I still trained seriously, I had a friendly fight with a Krav Maga instructor.

I didn't stand a chance.


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#4357004 - 05/12/17 03:11 PM Re: Tai chi v MMA: The 20-second fight that left China reeling [Re: Crane Hunter]  
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When I was young everybody getting in fight would say they knew karate (Kung Fu was all the rage). Now all the young guys say they know MMA moves. Tap Out shirts were everywhere a while ago. I learned a long time ago the guys that never mentioned a thing about what they knew were the ones you didn't mess with.


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#4357024 - 05/12/17 05:35 PM Re: Tai chi v MMA: The 20-second fight that left China reeling [Re: Crane Hunter]  
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MMA is a lot more effective than your typical traditional martial arts, however if I had to choose to fight someone for real who's trained in a more practical and progressive art where they actually spar and train dynamically, then please let it be an MMA guy.

In my experience they're usually overconfident and somewhat technically crude compared to their counterparts in other styles.

#4357068 - 05/12/17 09:15 PM Re: Tai chi v MMA: The 20-second fight that left China reeling [Re: Crane Hunter]  
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Originally Posted by Crane Hunter
MMA is a lot more effective than your typical traditional martial arts, however if I had to choose to fight someone for real who's trained in a more practical and progressive art where they actually spar and train dynamically, then please let it be an MMA guy.

In my experience they're usually overconfident and somewhat technically crude compared to their counterparts in other styles.



I suppose that smugness will be useful as you rearrange your vertebrae while contemplating the uncouth assault you just participated in biggrin

#4357088 - 05/12/17 11:14 PM Re: Tai chi v MMA: The 20-second fight that left China reeling [Re: Crane Hunter]  
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That wasn't even MMA.

It was straight up Western Boxing. His stance was a boxers stance and all he did was continue to throw punches after he was on the ground.

So, I guess you could say the last few punches were MMA.

#4357119 - 05/13/17 02:26 AM Re: Tai chi v MMA: The 20-second fight that left China reeling [Re: U-96]  
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Originally Posted by U-96
Originally Posted by Crane Hunter
MMA is a lot more effective than your typical traditional martial arts, however if I had to choose to fight someone for real who's trained in a more practical and progressive art where they actually spar and train dynamically, then please let it be an MMA guy.

In my experience they're usually overconfident and somewhat technically crude compared to their counterparts in other styles.



I suppose that smugness will be useful as you rearrange your vertebrae while contemplating the uncouth assault you just participated in biggrin


Meh, I've sparred with lots of MMA guys, as well as boxers, Muay Thai guys, JKD guys, Karate guys, Defendo guys, SAMBO guys, Krav Maga guys, Filipino martial artists, Kung fu guys, etc.

Give me the MMAists plz.

#4357226 - 05/13/17 08:59 PM Re: Tai chi v MMA: The 20-second fight that left China reeling [Re: Crane Hunter]  
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Originally Posted by Crane Hunter
Originally Posted by U-96
Originally Posted by Crane Hunter
MMA is a lot more effective than your typical traditional martial arts, however if I had to choose to fight someone for real who's trained in a more practical and progressive art where they actually spar and train dynamically, then please let it be an MMA guy.

In my experience they're usually overconfident and somewhat technically crude compared to their counterparts in other styles.



I suppose that smugness will be useful as you rearrange your vertebrae while contemplating the uncouth assault you just participated in biggrin


Meh, I've sparred with lots of MMA guys, as well as boxers, Muay Thai guys, JKD guys, Karate guys, Defendo guys, SAMBO guys, Krav Maga guys, Filipino martial artists, Kung fu guys, etc.

Give me the MMAists plz.


Huh? MMA isn't it's own discipline. it's made up of other disciplines such as the ones you mentioned.


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#4357229 - 05/13/17 09:57 PM Re: Tai chi v MMA: The 20-second fight that left China reeling [Re: Vertigo1]  
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Originally Posted by Vinz_Clortho


Huh? MMA isn't it's own discipline. it's made up of other disciplines such as the ones you mentioned.


Most MMAists these days train specifically for it in a dedicated venue.

To me that makes it a system, vs everyone cross training in a standalone systems and then putting it all together themselves.

Its usually not all that much a mix either, you'll typically have Muay Thai for the standup, BJJ, and Greco-Roman Wrestling for the grabbling and if there is anything else its usually some minor elements only.

#4357527 - 05/15/17 08:56 PM Re: Tai chi v MMA: The 20-second fight that left China reeling [Re: Crane Hunter]  
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