Home Discussion Forum Why has Tai Chi Chaun lost its martial heritage in the west?

Why has Tai Chi Chaun lost its martial heritage in the west?

I have from the begining wished to pursue the art not just for its other benefits but also for its martial application. However few if any teachers seem to instruct in this manner. I knew one that really wanted to, as this is how he was trained, but he couldn’t find any other students who would pursue it for this reason and had no choice but to teach only the form and some push hands to the elderly for health purposes. Why did we drop the martial aspect from Tai Chi while other arts still retain their martial status??


  1. I think the biggest problem is that people no longer have patience….a sad but true fact. It takes about 10 years to be able to really use tai chi as a martial art. Many people do not want to make a committment like that and so they give up very early on or they don’t even realize the applications. It is not good that people no longer want to wait to have something good since tai chi is one of the most powerful martial arts once you get good enough at it. Tai chi deserves respect and many of the elderly that do it would never use it as a fighting art because they would never have to and becasue most of them are too frail to do the martial arts aspect. My Sifu teaches us the martial arts applications and I am sooooo glad that he does. It is truely a deadly and affective martial art.
    In short people are lazy and not willing to work for it…they would rather do something like boxing that they can use immediately. Therefore teachers cannot find followings….it is very sad to me and I am very lucky to be able to be learning tai chi as a martial art.

  2. Lots of reasons.
    People think it looks funny, and they fear their social status for doing the funny looking thing.
    People do not see martial value to it.
    Tai Chi is not as commercialized as Kung Fu or MMA, thus it is less appreciated as a combat style.
    People want to fight now, not later.
    People simply cannot comprehend it.
    People hear that it is good for health, then see an 80 year old teacher and assume ‘old people only’
    The list could go on. However, there are some real teachers out there, and if found, they are generally great people, and teach you core tai chi.

  3. just ask him about the martial applications of the form before or after class and also doing push hands is one of the main practices in tai chi to teach you how to fight


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