Q: Traditional Chinese Martial Arts & Fighting

September 18, 2017

This is a response to a comment on one of our YouTube videos.




Can any one of you apply this in a real fight? Have any of you tried? Why not spar and post videos? Why not challenge, or accept challenges, and post the results? Why only post demos? You all could do so much more for traditional Chinese martial arts if only you could demonstrate it actually works. If not, how will tcma survive in a world dominated by mma? Have any of you seen the mma vs. Tai chi chuan fight that recently went viral? Any thoughts?




Thank you for your questions and we understand your curiosity. As Dr. Yang says (and many of us agree), the important elements in winning a fight are: 1) Bravery/Spirit, 2) Power, and 3) Technique. Most of us have not been in real fights and the outcome would depend on the situation and the 3 elements above.


Our goals are to become well-rounded martial arts practitioners and teachers. This includes the ability to fight and we incorporate sparring in our schedule. However, professional fighting is not our primary goal. If it was, our training would be very different. It takes a relatively short period to become a decent fighter. It takes a lifetime to understand the many techniques at a deeper level and to become good teachers/coaches.


Posting videos is up to the individual and none of us is comfortable with being put on the spot as an example in terms of sparring. We train for ourselves and we are always in the process of learning.


As for the MMA vs. Taijiquan fight video, each of us may have differing opinions. One may assume that most level headed individuals would not use the outcome of that fight to declare a martial arts style to be superior or inferior to another. The Taijiquan practitioner appeared completely unprepared and it was not much of a match. Defending the effectiveness of traditional Chinese martial arts against the opinions of others is not the purpose of the Retreat Center.


You can also read Enrico's Facebook post regarding the video:


Additionally, fighting outcomes are not the only measure of successfully adding to the value of traditional Chinese martial arts in the world. Fighting (whether win or lose) was/is but one aspect of the highest martial codes of conduct. While currently popular, MMA is a sport-centered activity seemingly fueled by a need for competition and recognition. The roots of traditional Chinese martial arts are deeply embedded in a cultural philosophy and history more complex than that.


Each student has their own reasons for training and you are welcome to ask us what they are. We hope this answered your initial questions.


Best Regards,
YMAA Retreat Center

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