Robert M Watson Jr
Thanks for that. Some see what they want. Others can see deeper. None can tell what goes on inside the others head.
In 2009, I tried a similar thing actually. There was allot of talk about Tai Chi internal training on this discussion site. At the Arnold Classic (Columbus, Ohio) Dr. Hsie Ming Hwang had sponsored "Extreme Tai Chi" as a competitive event. Everyone was invited to try and throw their opponents out of the ring or take them down. No face punching but open hand pushes were welcomed. No leg hooks but trips and all forms of Shuai Chou, Judo and wreswtling were fine.
I am deceent in Tai Chi, but what I brought to the game was an ujnderstanding of small circle pivot points I use in Aiki irimi tactics. Now, this style of fight is pretty linear in gross appearance. And Tai Chi guys protect their center with a wide variety of suppleness practices, rarely making the mistake of tightening their shoulders when pushing, and reading minutae to uproot others at the torso. But looking closer, you see the small circles in play.
This was a great leqarning experience. My Aiki was pretty good against the other players. I took 3rd place. A Shuai Chou/collegiate wrestler who was 30 years old and in his prime took second. Timothy Hwang (Tai Chi, Baji, and Shaolin) took first. He was 24 years old and trained with his father since he was a kid.
In this photo, I am uprooting Timothy.
(1) Like Okamoto's Ropokai - "over", "under", "side", "side", "front", "back" are all good ways to create kuzushi. Also, like Okamoto, the circles have to be small and irimi must be subtle. Traditional Aikido techniques would not work. But my Aiki was there in little bitty circular movements attacking his spine and sometimes attacking his shoulder with a compression so I could link into his center. Thus, it looked like Tai Chi.
(2) Mits Yamashita once called Helio Gracie's ground work "Aikido on the ground". Little guys can indeed use small circle and relaxation to get the better of big guys. But you have to take the principles you learn from an Aiki art and translate it into the art you are practicing. My Aiki stumped Tim Hwang a little bit and for just aq little while. But he is an excellent Tai Chi man. I hear is also training judo now. He is near impossible to throw. He is a real force to recon with. He has his eyes on the Olympics.
(3) I will never try this again. I was 55 years old at the time and about 50 pounds overweight. Before the final bouts in the elimination match, my arches had fallen. The Shuai Chou guy was like a bull dozer during overtime and his thrusting palms shook my frame. My form began to suck and I paid a price in my back for about 4 months. Now days, I take knives to boxing matches. Win and lose are sophmoric illusions. Livinf and protecting my physical vulnerabilities is the way of the Tao.
For those who want to see extreme Tai Chi, check out this link. Tim hwang vs Jan C Childress. Watch Timothy's use of flexible spine and single weighte legs to literally suck-in" the opponent's attacks and spit them back out in any direction. Now that is Irimi on a whole different level.