Why Yang Tai Chi Is A Deadly Fighting Art

steve strangle gav

Why Yang Tai Chi Is A Deadly Fighting Art

Many people practice Yang tai Chi for health only and I see nothing wrong with that as the ‘magic’ is effective at many levels, but I also teach and have taught it to many fighters, law enforcement officers across Europe and security personnel.  One of my students, a long time nightclub doorman described it as the perfect ‘skirmishing’ art.

What is it that makes it so effective?

The first aspect is the mindset and training in emotional intelligence.  In the neigong we train:

Good posture
Good breathing

Bringing more oxygen to the bloodstream and up to the brain, coupled with meditation practice in the standing practice, this leads to a mind that is:


This mind in meditation in the yin postures is focused on:


In the yang postures on:


This trained mind is now in a position to deal with violence in both soft and hard skills and with impending physical violence becomes the Hunter’s Mindset meaning that the practitioner is focused on resolution and not ego or sating anger or revenge, but is prepared to do whatever is necessary to resolve the problem and has the intensity and skill set to do so.

The qigong practice opens the joints and myofascia connecting the body and developing the core power and fa jin skills. At this point I would recommending my blog post on the subject here….

The Yang Chen Fu 108 Form is then learned ‘Monk’ style, this means concentrating on posture and breathing with smooth, spiralling movements and a mind that is aware, focused, sensitive and intense focussing on spatial awareness and kinaesthesia, ensuring that all the skills listed above are practised in the ‘yin’ form so that there is no excessive physical, emotional or mental tension from preconceived ideas about fighting. You can’t write on a piece of paper that has already been scribbled on, it needs to be ‘cleansed’ first!

Basic yin pushing hands is learned at this stage using the skills learned and focusing on stick, follow, redirect and return single hand, double hand horizontal circle, single and double hand and vertical circle.

This brings us to the Chong Chuan (Long Boxing) form which is practiced ‘warrior’ style, where the martial is extensively trained. Now an opponent is present in the practitioners mind and every move is learned with martial intent, fa jin and chin na and the 13 Dynamics utilised.  Each movement is given an open ended amount of application for every centimetre of movement and any weak spots worked on. Yang Tai Chi is driven all of the time from the feet, powered through the  spine and core, constantly spiralling and the energy transmitted into the opponent through the dynamics used within the technique.

Pushing hands now becomes far more martial using techniques from the form and small circle using locking, striking, choking, strangling and manipulation. It can flow from compliant to non compliant and turn freestyle.

These skills are then utilised and enhanced in the weapons training. The Dao (broadsword) Jian (double edge sword) and Qian (spear) each have their own character and individual skills that can all be worked back into the hand forms.This range of weapons covers the skill set required to use any weapon and utilise any object as a weapon. All weaponry is learned through application into form.

The 2 person Sanshou set and Da Lu (4 Corners) sets are also learned at this stage to learn how to use all these skills to neutralise and respond to technique at a subliminal and sensitive level.

The Dynamic pushing hands involves strengthening the structure and peng training for one side and receiving and redirecting on the other, training the 13 dynamics within a transfer of energy and throwing a partner against a wall to learn how to control and utilise adrenaline flow on impact.

Yang Tai Chi structures the mind and body, breathing to move in a structured and aligned manner driven from the feet, powered from the spine and core and transmitted to the opponent without any loss of structure or power, the level of sensitivity and intensity means that the practitioner is always in control of both mind and body in the most extreme of circumstances.

To my mind, one of the best and most comprehensive systems of learning how to deal with violence and the trials and tribulations of life.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s