San Shou – Fighting

In addition to being a quiet, peaceful practice, Tai Chi is known for its superiority as a martial art. By developing internal power and the technique of yielding, Tai Chi students can neutralize opponents with much greater speed and strength. This is summed up in the saying, “four ounces deflect a thousand pounds.” Because Tai Chi is a fighting art, training in self-defense applications also provides essential refinement for one’s practice of the form.

Students from CK Chu Tai Chi have excelled in fighting tournaments, winning the heavy-weight and middle-weight titles the last time a full contact kung fu competition was held at Madison Square Garden (1981). At the New York Chinese Martial Art Championship and Tri-State Kung Fu Full Contact Tournament, a student won the heavyweight division (1996). In 2007, after three consecutive appearances in the Baltimore tournaments and a two-year undefeated run, one student was voted Fighter of the Year by the United States Kuo Shu Federation. This is a testament to the originator of the Yang style of Tai Chi taught at the school, who was known as Invincible Yang.

San Shou Form

This is a two-person Tai Chi form developed by Grandmaster Chu incorporating all the moves of the Tai Chi long form plus a few moves not in the form. Through this form, students learn the application of the Tai Chi moves in an easy to remember fashion. Rather than trying to remember the application during the solo form, in San Shou you have a partner to practice the applications with. Through repetition, the meaning of the movements in the Tai Chi form become familiar and habitual. This new sensibility to the moves will then transfer to your solo practice.

Prerequisite: tai chi form and push-hands.

Street Fighting

“If one lives in Venice, one should know how to swim.” Easy-to-learn self-defense techniques for dealing with potentially life-threatening situations. The techniques, based on Tai Chi principles, will enable you to overcome a much stronger opponent. Each class includes solo exercises and two-person sparring practice using chest protectors when appropriate.

Prerequisite: None. This is a special class offered occasionally, check the schedule.

Fighting I

First level of CK Chu Tai Chi training in the self-defense applications of Tai Chi. Class consists of solo practice of various movements from the Tai Chi form done stationary and at fighting speed. In each class, students usually cover several different kicks and hand techniques while working on twisting and rooting. Master Chu often said it is better to have one sharp knife than 20 dull ones. In this class, we learn to sharpen a few of our “knives.”

Prerequisites: Tai Chi Short Form.

Fighting II

Two-person workout wearing chest protectors. Here, we take Push-Hands a step further into actual fighting situations. You are better able to understand the tai chi movements when you practice them with a partner. Students work on fixed-position attacking and yielding. Emphasis is on a loose waist and strong root for maximum striking power and for neutralizing attacks.

Prerequisites: Fighting I, at least six months of Nei Kung, and permission from Sifu Harris.

Fighting III

To defend yourself, you need to be strong. That is why we encourage students to practice Eternal Spring and Nei Kung regularly. In this class, we do additional conditioning, circuits (heavy bag, focus mitts, kicking shield, iron palm), and mat work.

Class also includes using Tai Chi moves as throws and take-downs. In this class, students learn how to plumb the depths of Tai Chi techniques, how to fall, and how to get back up. Class also includes sparring with partners on mats wearing protective gear.

Prerequisites: Push-Hands, Fighting I, and Fighting II.