125,798 people have watched this Wu Shu Tai Chi Champion from Henan province on Youtube. The question is, is this anything like Tai Chi as performed by the founding fathers of the art? I could utilize ballet more effectively as a martial art than by attempting performance art version of Tai Chi.
Tai Chi Chuan never was a performance art.
An empty form is a form that has no core, no substance and no function. It is purely for show. Sadly I have met a few English people who have paid large amounts of money and time to take their Tai Chi fantasy to a new level by training with people who are quite happy to sell Chavvy martial arts, like the guy here in the Youtube video.
What do you want?
If you decide you would like to train the Gong Fu of any of the Internal Arts 9 not just tai Chi Chuan ) and realise the promise that they develop internal power then you have to take in board the notion that they were termed Internal for a very precise reason. The inside is more important than the outside. The facade, the exterior movement by does not indicate that there is much going on on the inside.
The reason why the internal arts are good for health is that they work the internal environment of the person incredibly well, they massage the internal organs, lengthen and unwind constricted tissue and by doing so increase the flow of vital force via the meridian system and produce phenomenal bio- tensegrity and whole body communication.
Exaggerated forms are utterly useless and frankly plain pointless, what can happen is that when some genuine old boy does a visually muted yet internally generated form people demean it.
For example: one of my masters the late Tian JIng Jia was a phenomenal Tai Chi man. He practiced a version of Tai Chi Chuan that predates all modern forms, a clip on Youtube drew awful comments, yet this old man at the time would really mess you up if you tried anything on him.
The problem seems to be that internal arts are very difficult to visually appriase when the artist has internalised the movement principles. In fact the only sure way to test an internal martial artists work is to cross hands with them and feel what they have under the skin, a lawnmower engine or a V8. Then you will really know.
Whilst playing soldiers as children we are aware that we are pretending. Pretending to do something is not doing something. Equally any one performing Wu Shu should be under no illusion of what it is they practicing. Wu Shu is not martial arts.
Waving your arms about and squatting your backside on the floor and leaping high in the air are poor indicators that what your are doing will work or that it is at all related to the Internal Arts that they are passed off as. Wu Shu performers often are consummate athletes, but so are gymnasts, who as things go are more closely related to Wu Shu than Wu Shu performers are to Martial Arts. There are dozens of comments on Youtube arguing about the validity or lack of it of these forms. All this emotionality one way or the other misses the point.
There are many Wu Shu performers I can appreciate from a performing and athletic perpective, I have personally known much better Wu Shu performers than the guy in the video. One of my old friends used to compete in China vs Jet Li. So before anyone gets all hot under the collar, I admire all athletes. I do not admire empty forms. One however must distinguish between IMA and Wu Shu. They are really not the same.
check out my blog for the video: