Does Taijiquan Work as a Martial Art

by C.P.Ong


This question has always lingered as the slow-motion practice cannot be more remote from the speed and power of a knockout punch, but there was never an open discussion as it was deemed irreverent to bring it up. In April 2017, the issue was thrust onto the forefront of Chinese social media when a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter crushed a self-styled Taijiquan grandmaster in 10 seconds and harangued that Taijiquan combat was mostly fake. In effect, the sacrosanct concept of Neijin (Internal Strength) at the heart of Taijiquan’s kungfu prowess, was being derided as bogus. That touched a raw nerve in the Chinese national psyche as Taijiquan is a cultural heritage. The Chinese martial arts community was thrown into a convulsion, with the uproar raging online for months.

About the Author(s):

Dr C.P. Ong currently works as an independent researcher. He is a 20th generation lineage disciple of both Chen Xiaowang and Chen Zhenglei of the Chen Style Taijiquan. C.P. does research in Sports Medicine. His current project is investigating the science in Qi and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

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