“Once you have acquired the skills, you must test them on an opponent, but in no way should you consider victory or submission to be a cause for shame or pride. Rather, you ought to think, “By what means did I defeat him?” Or, “By what means could have I defeated him?” —  Qi Jiguang, book Ji Xiao Xin Shu

“By what means did I defeat him?” There is much wisdom in Qi Jiguang’s statement, as context remains an important factor in regard to the combat capabilities of the ancients. Now with the popularity of MMA fighter Xu Xiaodong, it is apparent that Tai Chi today is not what it once was.
Chen Fake (1887-1957) is the son of Chen Yanxi, grandson of Chen Gen-yu, and great-grandson of Chen Changxing. Each of Chen Fake’s Tai Chi predecessors had occupations in the world of armed escort services and militia.
Contemporary defensive strategies of Tai Chi Chuan require an accurate context of application with realistic goals, body mechanics, and reactive pressure training. “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”
Robert A. Heinlein