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.
Sumo is originally a method originating in China, and the golden age of Chinese sumo wrestling is the Song Dynasty. Song era imperial guards are strong and disciplined soldiers, but they have to undergo a strict selection and training to become a royal sumo wrestler. Descending to the Ming Dynasty (Chen Tai Chi synthesis), Sumo wrestling is listed as the six royalties- an important means of military combat training. “Real” Chen Tai Chi PUSH HANDS without armor, in ancient times- is medieval Chinese Sumo wrestling. The modern “sticking and adhering/ soft” aspects of push hands sport is borrowed from feudal weapons training and philosophical integration.
Chen Taijiquan descended from Ming Dynasty Qi Jiguang’s “32-style boxing method”. Qi Jiguang’s “32-style boxing method” was significantly influenced by Taizu Changquan with feudal Shaolin military origins. Documentation by Chinese scholars reveal before the Republic of China era (1920’s), Chen Taijiquan is labeled as Chen Longfist/ Cannonfist- not Tai Chi Chuan. The modern interpretation of Chen Taijiquan is modified for mind-body and sports in 1928, to adapt to the already popular Yang Style Tai Chi in the capital. Real Chen Taijiquan training has unfortunately diminished with this modification for modern fitness training and qigong practice. The reality, Chen Taijiquan is feudal Shaolin and not Tai Chi. The tortoise speed practice today with over emphasis on rooting and non-dynamic footwork contradicts the very nature of feudal Shaolin Longfist used by soldiers. The fluidity of movements and transitions of feudal Chen Taijiquan is of a faster tempo (which flows the moves) with alternate power generation similar to Bajiquan.