Patrick Swayze's Tai Chi Scene in Roadhouse

Discussion in 'Tai chi' started by Grond, Sep 16, 2021.

  1. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

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  2. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Hahaha, nice! I haven't seen that before :)
    Grond likes this.
  3. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    (Mod Note: part of this post is in the original thread. See mod note later in this thread)

    Keep that to yourself.Otherwise next thing ya know we'll have "Hot T'ai Chi" class advocates.(At "reasonable" prices). Although we could apply Gen. Chang's expression he closes his TC book with-"Let us go to sweat for success."

    Always liked that poorly translated line.

    Gag me with a spoon. Someday I'll find that vomiting emoticon we need here.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2021
  4. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Thank you. Keep it to myself, you bet I don't ever do this if anyone else is in the room. If there are people in there, it's just contemplation with my head hung low and my lower back stretched to the maximum.

    I don't understand. Are you not a Patrick Swayze fan? I might be able to change that. He was one of the best American artists of the 20th century, in dance and martial arts cinema.

    Tai Chi is great but it's got nothing on this.

  5. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    One can like Patrick Swayze (I love the movie Ghost) but HATE and/ or LAUGH at the absolutely horrendous "Tai Chi" in that clip. He response of wanting to vomit was specifically to the clip of him doing Tai Chi, And I agree. :eek:

    Flexing muscles hard, collapsed arms, arm movements disconnected from the body. etc. etc. It is a wretched display of Tai Chi. That clip is WIDELY reviled and/ or laughed at in other martial arts forums/ FB pages etc.

    It just comes with the territory of seeing something you are passionate about badly portrayed in movies. I have a dear friend/ long time roommate who is a lifelong gun collector. He never failed to point out when something was portrayed stupidly about guns.

    And it isn't people taking it too seriously. What is the fun of being involved in something if you can't geek out on nitty gritty details?:D
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  6. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    I see. So he wasn't hurling about Swayze, but the allegedly bad Tai Chi. Fair enough.

    Swayze did kung fu, taekwondo, aikido, judo, and of course kickboxing as seen in the clip below. I still think he showed more skill, strength, agility, and fighting technique than any representative of Tai Chi has ever done in at least my lifetime. Swayze had footwork that would put a lot of pros to shame.

    I mean, find me a video of a Tai Chi guy as ripped, graceful, and powerful as Patrick Swayze in his prime, and I'll be fair but...this is real skill. Look at who trained Patrick Swayze below. I don't know where he picked up the Tai Chi, maybe somebody else does.

    "Patrick Swayze - Much is made of his ballet dancer background, and it is by far the most impressive accomplishment on his pre-fame resume. Swayze danced with the Joffrey Ballet before a knee injury cut short his career. However, Swayze grew up struggling with his temper and turned to martial arts for self-mastery. He practiced wushu, taekwondo, aikido, and judo over the years. These skills that would serve him well once destiny called and he answered, agreeing to star in a little film called Road House. Now, there are as many reasons to dismiss Road House as there are stars in the sky, but let it be known that the players left it all out on the field. During the climactic fight sequence, Swayze suffered broken ribs and his opponent a broken orbital bone but they just kept going. Legendary stunt coordinator Benny “The Jet” Urquidez was proud of his star pupil Patrick Swayze—by the time The Jet had Swayze on set he could routinely kick a cigarette out of his trainer’s mouth."

    Five 80’s & 90’s action stars with legit martial arts backgrounds
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2021
  7. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    (Mod Note: part of this post is in the original thread. See mod note later in this thread)

    Swayze,no problem. But that "T'ai Chi"........

    as for
    Probably in 15 minutes on the movie set.That's how good it is.I imagine if he had actually been doing it at the time it wouldn't have looked at all like that.At all.

    Dan Docherty,B.K.Frantzis,Peter Ralston.,Tim Cartmell. I don't know how ripped they looked-which doesn't mean all that much in and of itself-but I fear how he would have fared. These were guys who fought,fought well,and at least a couple of them not always in the ring.

    I wonder if he could carry as much poundage as Frantzis and look as graceful as he did doing very fast Pa Kua.

    Cool he was trained by Benny!
    Right.And it's just a silly fun movie.I'd only take it seriously if it was supposed to be a serious representation.

    But it do look so downright unpleasant .
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2021
  8. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Well it's still a pretty powerful scene, complete with one other man in awe and another completely dismissive. And a lot better than most Tai Chi I've seen. Can you be more specific?

    I'll look at videos of those people you mentioned doing the forms, but is there anything in particular you can point me towards? Saying "that sucks" is kind of blase on the Web nowadays. Everything sucks, but seeing is believing.
  9. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    (Mod Note: part of this post is in the original thread. See mod note later in this thread)

    As for people who don't do roadwork and get in the ring....they get what they ask for!
    Are you saying the "allegedly" bad TC in that segment is better than most TC you've seen?

    You've been doing this for awhile. Can't you see? Just the things Aardia mentioned? How much more specific?

    The poor execution always prevented me from perceiving it as a powerful scene.

    I don't know if there are vids of all those guys doing forms - not important,I just mentioned Frantzis ala your grace comment. I was just saying in regard to your statement- "find me a video of a Tai Chi guy as ripped, graceful, and powerful as Patrick Swayze in his prime"-that those"internal" arts guys fought.Well.
    Ripped or not.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2021
  10. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Pretty much, because most of the Tai Chi videos on the Web appear to be at least below average. Patrick Swayze is far better than, for example, Jake Mace in one of my early posts about the art before I'd really started learning. So Patrick's Bad Tai Chi beats Jake Mace's Bad Tai Chi. Now I have a baseline.

    Is there video of those fights? That's all I'm looking for. Right now I'm stuck on Patrick Swayze's Bad Tai Chi. Show me better Tai Chi. Names don't matter. I don't know enough about the people you mention to make a decision, so help me make it by convincing me better than Patrick Swayze did. To learn Tai Chi, I mean.
  11. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Grond, I would like to hear you break down HOW specifically you think Swayze is better than Mace. Details Sir, I want to know WHAT makes you say this. What is better and why is it better?

    Comparing two awful Tai Chi clips does not make one good, just because it is less atrocious than the other one anyways. That is sort of a flawed logic there.;)

    May I suggest you ask your instructor if he has seen that clip, and what he thinks of it?

    You are stubbornly defending the indefensible. :D Seriously man, with another few years of TCC practice, you will look back on this and cringe about this ardent defense a little. Trust me!
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2021
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  12. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    How come you haven't seen better Taiji? What about your teacher?
    I can see better Taiji when I look at my teacher, or the senior students/instructors in my school and of course, the chinese masters.

    I am not as knowledgeable as the others here, but from what even I can see the video was made with the camera showing the "cool" angles and moving about, showing more of Swayze's nice body rather than his great technique. I suppose different styles/teachers would teach differently, but I think I could see he's too tense, his posture could use some improvement (back bent, head forward), he's using his arms without the impulse coming from his legs and the way he's shown he steps sideways falling from a certain height is also considered a mistake the way I was taught. I don't get the "cool Taiji" vibe from this scene.
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  13. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Yeah, Nachi! I started to say something about this, but couldn't figure out the right words. I think you are dead on target. That scene wasn't meant to show Tai Chi, it was meant to show of Swayze's body for sex appeal in the movie. And I am quite sure a lot of straight women appreciated it. o_O Nothing wrong with that per se. But THAT is what the scene was about, not actual real good TCC.

    Good analysis btw. Your instructor would be proud!
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  14. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    Not getting too involved in this car wreck of a thread (swayze was an actor I'm not even sure it was meant to be tai chi for lords sake) but video of Doherty fighting
    never seen any fight footage of frantiz but Tim Cartmell fought and won in documented south East Asian full contact events although I'd class him as a xingyi guy back then I think, he also is a 3rd degree bjj blackbelt and his takedowns are exclusively tai chi and internal from what he says
  15. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    I'm going by the responses people on this forum have given to me when posting both Jake Mace and Swayze videos. Based on the responses, Patrick Swayze's Bad Tai Chi is better than Jake Mace's, especially when you take athleticism into account. Swayze is universally acclaimed, Jake Mace is for lack of a better word, lowkey.
  16. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    I respectfully disagree with the part about showing off for sex appeal. That wasn't the intent of the scene at all, in fact. But if you're overwhelmed with sexual attraction for Swayze, that's understandable. I don't see sex at all, I saw a very well trained man practicing an esoteric art in the dawn light.

    Never said he was a Tai Chi master, did I? I also practice during the dawn as much as possible, and I don't look that good doing it.
  17. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Thank you for that video. I'm just using my eyes, not what people on the Web tell me to think, so your information helps.

    AS far as just an actor... That's a shame to pin him to one thing. He was also a man, a husband, an elite dancer, and a pretty dedicated martial artist. MY notes say Swayze was showing off some Tai Chi he had learned (possibly from Benny the Jet, I really don't know).

    Swayze did all his own stunts in Roadhouse. So if what you're saying is his Tai Chi was the WORST part, I can dig that, because it's also mine.
  18. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    So, being good at something depends on whether you're acclaimed (an actor), or lowkey? What logic is in there? I haven't seem a Jake Mace video where he really practices a taiji form or so, and Swayze here does only a few moves with not ideal agles of the camera. I have no idea if Swayze learned any taiji apart from these few moves on the camera. Did he know more (I honestly don't know). In case he hadn't, how could he be better?

    I haven't seen the movie, but... other than this scene I've never seen anyone practice Taiji half naked. Practicing an art that is all about being relaxed when tensing your muscle, the camera showing those particular flexed muscles instead of his full body to capture the wonderful taiji mechanics... just how is it not made to show off sex appeal? No one here seems to be owerwhelmed with that, though. Well, honestly, the one most awed are you, Grond, haha :p This is totally a fan service, though.

    But he's here in his role as actor, not father, nor dancer. I am not putting down Swayze, he probably did the best job of what was asked of him. Even if he was successful in many areas, it doesn't mean every little thing he did was automatically perfect? I suppose it was not his idea to do this fanservice. Maybe he was told to flex those muscles, too. I am not holding it against him, but it's what actors are expected to do. And he's in that role here. So yeah, even if I say I don't like his taiji, I am not saying he's a bad or not dedicated person.
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  19. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    LOL! (I literally did when I read this.) I am a lesbian Grond. I have openly discussed this in other threads multiple times. Not personally attracted to Swayze at all. I do have a crush on Michelle Yeoh though. ;)

    Let me know what you think of that scene after a few more years of practice!

    Doing TCC in the morning is good though. I am a night person, I have trouble moving at all in the morning before coffee. So, good for you.

    Anyways, this has been amusing, but to take this side bit and get it back to the original thread. Yeah, this side thing has me dismayed regarding helping people know how to find a good TCC class. If one has certain ideas, certain romancing of what TCC is, and they go for that over what experienced people tell them to look for............

    Well, you can take a horse to water, or a good TCC class, but you can't make him drink, or walk in the door to practice in the good class. :cool::D:p

    I guess this isn't just true of TCC though right? People have idealized ideas of what they want to study from movies? And that idealized vision, well, it inspires people to study martial arts, but sometimes maybe it also has them picking an art with a very unrealistic idea of what they are getting into? I suppose that is really a topic for another thread though.
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  20. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Grond, you've chosen a bizarre hill to die on.

    Close-ups of Patrick Swayze flexing his muscles have nothing to do with sex appeal? What galaxy are you from?

    The obvious thing about that scene, even to someone with a cursory knowledge of Chinese internal arts, is that if he were moving correctly his surface musculature would not be flexing so dramatically. It is drama, marketed for women to want him and for men to want to be him. Proper form would not be dramatic, no shiny muscles rippling, or at least not visible surface muscles.

    The way he is moving is the antithesis of good form. You've had Tai Chi practitioners tell you this, yet you're still arguing with them. Why? It doesn't display an open, questioning mind. Maybe empty your cup a bit if you are serious about learning Tai Chi?

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