Tai Chi Chuan - Optimum combat range?

Discussion in 'Tai chi' started by Dan Bian, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    And because I always share this, some tai chi folks sparring takedowns vs one of the best in the world at BJJ.

    Great attitudes on display, I regularly watch this to figure out gaps in my own clinch game.
    Dan93 and Hannibal like this.
  2. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    I just thought I'd make clear "twist step" means finishing with opposite hand and foot in the forward position. Wasn't sure if that would be clear for everyone.
  3. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    I was wondering how they were using a forward step for a reap...
  4. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    Yeah, I've seen the odd awful vid that shows brush knee with a reap in the application. It's cringe tbh..

    You've done Earls "old Yang", it's one of the few Yang influenced forms to have the twist step repulse monkey in it.
    Known as "tripping repulse monkey" in that system. I've done that form and IMO it's a hybrid of Chen Pang Ling tai chi..

    The repulse monkey thing is actually one of the give aways - amongst others. Like the reverse hand position in snake creeps down.
    The first time round it's done in "twist step", the second go round it's the same side, like regular Yang.
    CPL form does that, where Wu style does both twist step and Yang does both same side.

    I should leave it there as you're probably not too bothered about this boring lineage stuff. But for posterity I'll throw it out there.

    CPL learnt both styles as well as Chen style and synthesised a form that came to be known as Orthodox Tai Chi.
    There are now various versions floating around, least of all because CPL also taught a few other styles and systems.
    One of CPL's teachers also happened to be Yang Shao Hou, which is perhaps no more than an interesting coincidence.

    But rather, I think it more likely Earl had a teacher that was connected to CPL, rather than YSH. Especially after finding out
    there was indeed such a gentlemen floating around teaching in South East Asia who happened to have a very similar sounding name to Earls claimed teacher..
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
    icefield likes this.
  5. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    Not boring at all, i always took Earle's stated history loosely lol, as did my teacher he had trained tai chi with several other people in the UK and China and as it wasn't his nor mine main style claims made about it didn't matter too much he and I just liked the form and the push hands he did. Although I did think that as some claimed if he had made the form up himself them he was a very clever guy lol
    cloudz likes this.
  6. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    When I work on this, it's not the stepping-forward leg that does the reaping..
  7. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    And the rear leg doesn't reap / step back in brush knee. So you're not really doing brush knee (technically speaking) if you're doing a reap.
    Trust me, you ARE doing a repulse monkey in a cross/twist stance. You finish in the same positions as brush knee effectively, only you have reaped/ stepped back..
  8. ned

    ned Valued Member

    I think DB's referring to reaping with leading (hook) hand
  9. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member


    Forgive me, I don't know what reaping with lead hand means or looks like. But I though his post did suggest leg reaping was involved. As far as I'm aware when we talk about "reaping" in martial arts, it's done with a leg against a leg ?? I've not heard that term applied to the action of a hand before.

    I'm also not clear about a hook hand in brush knee either; I understand it in the context of how it appears in single whip. Do you mean something else ?
    If DB is talking about a brush knee application without a leg reap involved then it's not been clear at all. If I've got the wrong end of the stick then apologies.
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  10. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    I've quoted the messages above.
    In the first instance Ben mentioned the leg reaping action. I know what DB is talking about..

    In Yang form from Cross Hands you step back with your right leg first THEN turn to face the other way transitioning into Brush Knee twist step. There is a reap there, but I wouldn't place it in "brush knee" as part of it. You step back (reap), then turn 180 degrees to face the other way into more or less a brush knee posture - one that is the same other than the lower hand being slightly different position IRCC.

    Certainly if it's the application of "soto gari" or in English.. outside leg reaping throw.. Then there is a direct map onto it from repulse monkey twist step. Not sure how that throw works with a 180 degree turn :) In the end it doesn't matter so much as it's a technical argument more than anything. The moves are in TCC, where exactly you ID them (or the components) in a form is less important than having the tools themselves at your disposal for use in technique training.

    happy training
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  11. ned

    ned Valued Member

    Perhaps we're talking at cross purposes.
    My interpretation(one possible application amongst others) was that as the leg steps forward,same (brushing) hand clears/hooks either arm or leg(to throw) whilst other hand is pushing forward/striking, as in this clip

  12. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    In some Yang versions you step forward then turn into a brush knee position. Like this - right at the start of clip.

  13. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    This is why, in discussions, I'm very adament about repulse monkey twist step and the outside leg reaping throw (osoto gari). The movement itself and the finishing posture maps perfectly exactly as it is, so considering anything else is just complicating things for no reason. The issue for Yang stylists is they don't have it "as is" in the long form. So they have to look for bits here and bits there, which kind of sucks really.

    My advice would be to just change one of the repetitions of it to cross/twist step. Watch Wu style and drop it in and or practice it solo.
  14. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    here is the form, briefly, and some technique practice.. ..main thing, this illustrates the form in relation to the technique.

    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  15. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    This is a cringy one where a Yang stylist is using their version of repulse monkey and trying to make it fit the leg reaping throw. If you notice though how his top half is doing the opposite side action in the throw in comparison to how he demos the form movement.

  16. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    In my mind, the difference between Repulse Monkey and Brush Knee is that with the latter, the weight is borne on the front leg, whereas in Repulse the weight is on the rear leg.
    In terms of the application we're discussing, this would mean that Brush tends to rely more on Cai-Jin to lever the opponent over the leg, whereas I would classify your "twisted" Repulse as more of a Liat-Jin, taking the opponents feet from under him, rather that pulling him across your own leg as in Brush.

    I would also see your "twisted monkey" as a good counter against a strike, whereas the application I'm thinking of is a good take-down having already controlled the opponent via a rear-hold.

    For us, this application is classified as Carry Tiger, Return to Mountain - the step behind is the set-up for the takedown in Brush - stepping with the left, applying Kao-Jin in order to disrupt the opponents balance, then the turn of the waist and transfer of the weight forward, in concurrence with the pull-down of the right hand, and the forward thrust of the right, pulls the opponent across my extended left leg.
  17. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    You don't seem to actually be describing a "reap" as it's understood in martial arts terminology. "Placing" your leg and pushing someone over it isn't a reap, that's what has confused things for this strand of the discussion.

    In the 'same side' Repulse Monkey you do finish the posture toward the rear, but not in the twist step version. Ignoring the transitional elements; The main difference for me is that basically repulse monkey uses withdrawing (steps) in some capacity together with advancing. Brush knee is advancing. Literally: brush knee twist step and repulse twist step are the same thing other than one is stepping forwards one is stepping backwards.

    Also, maybe stating the obvious, the same side version contains much more pulling/ plucking towards the rear than the twist step RM.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
  18. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    Describing it sequentially, as tends to happen in written discussion can lead to that kind of confusion :)

    Obviously I can only speak from the Yang-style perspective, as that's what I'm familiar with. It is interesting though - I had a little play with twisted monkey last night, and I like it. It definately has a distinctly martial feel to it.

    Again, coming from my Yang perspective, the receiving hand in Brush tends to pull to (my) outside, whereas the receiving hand in Repulse is pulling more down-and-in towards my center, which is I think what you're saying with

    Given that Yang doesn't generally have the Twisted Monkey so I'm generally thinking of 'typical Yang style'. :)
  19. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    You should see Eddie Wu's application of that, it is the same, but he is not a gentle in its application. But then Wu style, from Eddie Wu, also has learning how to break fall as part of the curriculum.

    And I do realize those are students of the Wu family
  20. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    Most of the leg move can be replaced by the hand move. For example:

    - Leg break vs hand block.
    - Inner hook vs. hand harmony.
    - Front cut vs. knee seize.
    - ...

    It's a trade off. When you use your

    - leg, you will have 1 leg standing but you will have 2 free hands.
    - hand, you will have 2 legs standing, but you only have 1 free hand.

    IMO, both Taiji "right brush knee" and "right repulse monkey" are to use your

    - right hand to push on your opponent's right shoulder.
    - left hand to pull on his right leading leg.

    The leg move are not even involved in both moves. Since Taiji guys prefer to stand on both legs than 1 leg, to assume that the leg move is hidden may not make logical sense.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017

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