Level 2: Tai Chi and Martial Arts,Explanations


This page holds notes that explain my interest in Tai Chi (Chuan), karate, and martial arts. Originally I set up this page because I wanted to start a Tai Chi club at a Civic Recreation Center in Auburn, AL; but that didn't work out. I might try again. I am not a master of any martial art, as you can see from my "Background".

I use the standard American shorthand, and say "Tai Chi" instead of "Tai Chi Chuan". I use the old spellings rather than the new spellings, such as "Taijijuan". I do standard Yang family style Tai Chi. This style begins with a solo form of 108 steps. I do "Shotokan" karate. The term "Shotokan" is a mistake but it has become established, and I follow it now. More properly, it might be called "Japanese style Okinawan karate as descended from Kichin Funakoshi ("Shto") and his son" but that phrase is too cumbersome.

I have noticed much overlap between Tai Chi and karate. In the future, I will add some essays and diagrams to show that. I have created a page with this goal in mind but nothing is on the page yet.

Shotokan kata are notorious for NOT providing any applications for the moves. Teachers give students applications for most of the moves but not all the moves. Some of the standards Shotokan applications are not plausible. Tai Chi does not have any explicit applications in the 108 step solo form but some of the moves are obviously martial and students see applications right away. I also learned a Yang 88-step two-person interactive combat form that is nothing but applications. Since about 2000, several good books have appeared on karate kata applications. Comparing Tai Chi and karate, and using ideas from other people, I was able to come up with some applications for both Tai Chi moves and karate kata moves. These appear on the "Applications" page. I will try to provide crude drawings. This kind of material takes up a lot of memory. If it all gets too cumbersome, I will make the material available elsewhere. See the "Books and Websites" page for works on applications.

Except for the "Best Karate" series on Shotokan kata, I never read any books in martial arts until about 2010, when I noticed on the Internet some good material. The document "Books and Websites" might someday list some that I found useful, but, as of March 2014, it was sparse. I have become uneasy about recommending any books and websites because you would have to go through a lot of material to get a well-rounded unbiased view, and few people are willing to do that. It is better not to read books and websites at all unless you are willing to read many good ones. In the meantime, you are much better off with a good teacher.