Today, many Tai Chi enthusiasts enjoy the practice of empty-hand routines and work on intricate biomechanics, possibly some scientific martial physics- fighting prowess is rarely the priority. Fortunately, well-preserved feudal systems retain elite biomechanics, endured through battles of ancient dynasties. The sophisticated and scientific body mechanics are still practical for all walks of life.
Razor’s character (Wang Kar Wai’s film) as a military secret agent/Bajiquan fighter is inspired by Liu Yun Qiao and his teacher Li Shuwen. Liu Yun Qiao is the security consultant and instructor of Chiang Kai-shek’s bodyguards in 1970s. Liu Yun Qiao sought to develop abilities in all areas of accomplishment: intellectual, artistic, and physical- but most importantly, REAL KUNGFU.
The fight between MMA fighter Xu Xiaodong and Tai Chi master Wei Lei sent shockwaves through China. A competition which only lasted 10 seconds- forever changed Chinese Kungfu history in contemporary times. The punch that Xu utilized is the feudal Shaolin fist- iconic in Bajiquan. This straight fist with the expansion of the rear arm is renown for penetrating force, with a continuous second energy upon impact. Beijing Gongfu Jia Taijiquan 83 system also contains this style of boxing technique… Xu has earned the support of the Shaolin Temple in China, in an effort to preserve factual Chinese Kungfu- as there are too many exaggerated Tai Chi or commercial Kungfu promotions nowadays stemming from the 1928 Fitness Reform, detrimental to REAL Taijiquan or kungfu reputation. Xu is supportive of authentic Taijiquan (feudal Chen Longfist), he is great friends with some of Chen Yu’s early disciples.
In ancient Chinese sculptures and paintings, most of the Generals were portrayed with a thicker muscular belly- characterized as the waist of a tiger, or ancient military commander’s waist. In modern times, though rare… raw lineages maintain a distinct core muscle control which descends from the Armor dynasties. Under the ancient umbilical is the Dantian, which is regarded as a crucial muscle group for medieval Chinese Knights. A dynamic and thicker waist can provide additional protection of the spine, and auxiliary force to the core muscles. Ancient treatise favors the commander’s waist for generating short-range power and maintaining stability on foot while wearing heavy armor. Armor prevents damage from sabers and polearms, requiring more emphasis on wrestling, balance, and core control for weapons precision. Many conflicts ended with knocking the opponent to the ground and disrupting their Qi with either a blunt weapon (mace), or a short weapon- to penetrate a suit of armor at the seams, or through the visor of the helmet.