Self Defence and Taijiquan : which technique.

Discussion in 'Internal Martial Arts' started by Botta Dritta, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. SimoniousPunk

    SimoniousPunk New Member

    If someone breaks the fence, you hit them like in any other boxing style. The difference in Taijiquan is you're always listening to where their center is, and don't oppose force with hard force, and then come back on a different line. Usually fixed/one-step punch deflections will be a split or roll-back. If you have good listening skills, you can step with people too (like conventional boxing), move off the line, etc.
  2. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    Absolute rubbish.
    "If my opponent doesn't move, I don't move. If my opponent moves, I arrive first." - If this isn't talking about pre-emptive striking, I don't know what is.
    All the time the opponent is not a threat, don't react. As soon as you perceive that the faecal matter is going to hit the rotary device, you clobber him in the chops.
    All this nonsense of tai chi practitioners standing there, waiting for someone to punch them, before gracefully warding off, or repulsing the monkey is fanciful tosh.

    Also, rather than "the fence", I prefer "the wedge", demonstrated below by Steve Rowe;

  3. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    To me, that maxim is clearly describing countering.

    If it were describing pre-emptive striking, it would say something like "I move before my opponent because that is the only way to guarantee I arrive first.".

    The idea of countering and believing you can wait for your opponent to move and still "arrive" first is exactly what Geoff Thompson and the likes say will not work, which is why they are so big on pre-emptive striking.
  4. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    I'm not talking about waiting for the opponent to physically move.

    When you know the situation is going to get physical, because the opponent is gearing themselves up for it. That is their move. Your 'move' is a pre-emptive strike. It arrives first, because you have pre-empted their physical attack, which itself was a follow-up to the psychological build up, of dehumanising their target.
  5. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Well, I'm just taking your maxim on face value.

    You already know they are your opponent, yet you are not moving until they move. I just don't see how you can interpret that as a description of pre-emptive striking.

    It doesn't really matter, your interpretation and how you teach it is all that matters :)
  6. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    How can you read, if he moves I arrive first as anything like countering him?

    If it was countering it would be he moves, I defend and hit first

    Id say Geoff Thompson is much more in line with this thinking that you seem to think he is

    The whole idea of the fence is the opponents moves first, ie makes contact with the fence you hit first and arrive first because he is a danger to you, you don’t wait for him to make the first hit it’s the first move which can be verbal or physical, which is exactly in line with the maxim Dan quoted,

    Which is a pretty standard one across southern chinese and hakka arts too
  7. Botta Dritta

    Botta Dritta Valued Member

    The pre-emptive strike is always problematic when it comes to triggers. If you are reacting to a physical move/que its probably already too late. If you are reacting to body language or intent Thats the ideal but in the heat of an altercation its very hard to isolate the 'psychic chatter' around the situation and focus on what the other guy is doing. The more cunning bastards speak to you (interview) to keep your mind distracted from actually discerning their intent. Thats why keeping the fence is such a good idea. If they break it thats the signal to go and it gives you a fighting chance to beat their reaction time.
  8. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    That's presuming there would be a defence before the strike/throw/takedown. It could be counter-striking, or a simultaneous parry/block and strike, or slip/change level to strike/throw/takedown.

    I'm not going to speak for Geoff Thompson, Ive never met him.

    I'm just speaking from what I've read and seen of him, such as in the first minute of this video, from 50 seconds is the relevant part (warning: bad language):

    [ame=""]Geoff Thompson - YouTube[/ame]

    This is what I would call pre-emptive striking: you strike after assessing a potential threat, but before that threat has manifested.

    Striking after your fence is engaged would be countering to me, because you are reacting to a threat rather than pre-empting a threat.
  9. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    As I said above, pre-empting is not reacting. It is taking the initiative.

    If you're reacting to someone breaking your fence, you've missed the pre-emptive part and lost the initiative. You are now reacting and countering.
  10. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Pre-emptive striking simply refers to throwing the first shot when the situation is "live" - in other words "hit them before they hit you"

    It doesn't mean you have lost the initiative, merely that you are waiting for your predetermined "line in the sand" to be crossed. There are many situations that Geoff himself talks about where he is nearly at the point where they need striking but that he does not have enough yet...this is standard. The important thing is that he has a plan of action for several alternatives scenarios

    Combat psychology is incredibly nuanced, and even something as apparently clear cut as "pre-emptive striking" has a lot of layers to it
  11. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    From 4'35" in that same video above is another great example of what I would call a pre-emptive strike.

    Once you bring the verbal fence into it, then it becomes nuanced. But I see it as quite clear cut that a pre-emptive strike pre-empts a physical assault upon your person. For instance, if someone tells me they're going to kick my head in, then they push me, then I strike them; that is reacting to a physical assault. If someone tells me they're going to kick my head in, then I strike them; that is a pre-emptive strike.

    You pre-empt an imminent physical threat to your person. You dowse the match before it lights, rather than snuff it out once it's struck.
  12. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    "Imminent physical threat" is not always that cut and dried

    Someone is talking to you softly, their eyes shifting left and right and they do not seem to be paying any attention to you

    Do you strike?
  13. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Of course that is context dependent and open to interpretation.

    It is the nature of pre-emptive striking that there is no objective way to guarantee your threat assessment was correct.
  14. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Ok he stops talking and glances down

    Do you strike?
  15. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Of course ALL his steps above are triggers to POSSIBLE application of violence against your person....the key word being possible. He could just be shy or nervous or remorseful at whatever actions have led you to be face to face

    You strike right now then, although justifiable in your mind, you have may have a lot more explaining to do. However, if you place yourself in a position where you are ready to act (move to one side, back off a few steps, raise a simple "fence") then you are taking preparatory steps to react to any aggressive motion. Technically you are not pre-empting his action, but you are making it easier to deal with his action should it occur

    "when he moves I arrive first" :)

    Pre-emption is as much a mindest switch to prevent inaction as it is a physical action in and of itself
  16. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Without full context it is impossible to give an answer.

    It is also irrelevant to the definition of a pre-emptive strike. Where your line lies is up to you; your temperament, the laws of your land, your experience and environment.

    Now, I could well have misinterpreted Geoff Thompson, as I've never been one of his students, but by the definition of "pre-emptive" in every other context, I don't see why there need be any confusion on its definition in this context.

    Is the application a murky subject? Definitely, but that doesn't mean that the definition of the act need be.
  17. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    I would say that raising your fence is a pre-emptive defence :)

    You have judged a situation likely to end in violence, and in response you position yourself in a manner advantageous to deflecting and striking.

    In principle, I don't see that as any different to simply striking from the get-go. Of course, in application and result they can be worlds apart.
  18. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    The difference is because the action of raising the fence - and often an action such as raising your voice too - can ward off, dissuade or complete psych out an assailant before it gets physical....a strike means that, no matter what happens, the "fight" is on.

    In many situations you know you may need to go, but you are not quite at the point where you are comfortable doing so

    "Pre-emptive defense" is not "pre-emptive striking", although conversely the latter is a subset of the former
  19. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Yes, but in both cases you are performing an action in response to a perceived threat, whether by reflex or response. That is what I meant by being the same in principle. Your character and experience, when met with the context of that perceived threat, will dictate which course of action you take.
  20. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    So "when he moves I get there first" would seem entirely applicable n'est pas? :)

Share This Page