Home Discussion Forum Has anybody ever used tai chi as a self defense ?

Has anybody ever used tai chi as a self defense ?

I am researching multiple martial arts and tai chi has suddenly facinated me most any and all information is good to know


  1. It’s a very good style for self defense, the problem is that supposedly it takes a very long time to learn. Teachers who teach the martial aspects are fairly rare too. Everyone just wants to use it as a kind of alternative to yoga.

  2. Taijiquan (the pinyin method of spelling Tai Chi) is a great exercise and provides numerous health benefits to its practitioners, BUT it is first and foremost a martial art. A couple of my students have used what I have taught them to save themselves from criminal situations. And several of my teachers, including my master, have used it to defend against attackers intent on causing them bodily harm. I have been very lucky to avoid criminal situations and have talked my way out of most confrontations, but I will get the occasional challenger who wants to test my style. There was one Army veteran fresh from Iraq who was shocked at how I very easily stifled his attack and floored him. He was very respectful but still wished to test my efficacy. Summarily, I have defended myself quite successfully in these situations, often surprising my challengers that Taijiquan is not an octogenarian exercise. The thing is, we train this as a martial system – as it was intended to be.
    The slow forms that most people associate with Taijiquan is only a training method and does not comprise the entirety of the art. The slowness allows the student to gain an in depth understanding of proper body mechanics and energetics. But it has to progress from there into understanding and practicing the plethora of martial applications that are cataloged in the forms through numerous drills and sparring situations with cooperative, and later uncooperative and resisting partners. As far as the forms go, in my style of Taijiquan (Chen Style) there are at least 11 to 14 bare-hand and weapons forms, and of these, only two are performed slowly. The others are done at moderate to fast speeds.
    I hope this helps.


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