Bruce Lee on Tai Chi – Insights from the Martial Artist

Bruce Lee on Tai Chi

Here is a video I found while “cruisin” the net. It is a short clip on Bruce Lee giving a little explanation on what is Tai Chi and how the exercise works. I must say that Mr. Lee was one of my role models growing up, and now that I am older I can understand more of his intent.

a picture of Bruce Lee a mixed martial artistWhen I read his book “The Tao of Jeet Kune Do”, I was surprised at how many elements of the Chinese martial arts system he had retained, as well the other styles of martial arts that were included.  To him there were some martial art styles that where linear and some that were circular. Obviously if you asked him which was the best he would say which ever is more effective at any given time or place.

What intrigues me most about Tai Ji Quan, which is the correct pronunciation, is the fact that you do flow like water and you can really sense your freedom to move your arms.  Strikes should be delivered from any angle, any position, at any moment.  When being attacked you should just go with the flow and redirect with little effort. Martial arts to means that you are so talented in handling physical combat that it becomes a game, a way of of creating the situation in any way you wish because you art the artist. This is why it takes practice and sparring experience.

Tai Chi in MMA

Can Tai Chi Chuan be in MMA Fighting Mixed Martial ArtsWill we ever see tai chi chuan in the mixed martial arts arena? I believe so. MMA is a growing sport, and many people are ignorant to the many other forms of martial arts available or to the fact that mixed martial arts is just that, a mixture of different fighting styles. Muay Thai is known right now as the unbeatable martial art, but how many other martial art styles have been given that name throughout history? There are tai chi moves and concepts that can work in a ring fight, but it would be wisest to supplement your style with some ground techniques, different strikes, etc.  Most tai chi practitioners today study additional Chinese martial art styles such as Hsing I Chuan, Ba Gua, or some other soft or hard style.  So why not include additional training like bjj, jiujitsu, or wrestling as a balance to become more well rounded.

Traditional Martial Arts Forms and Meanings

I’m a big fan of tradition, especially good traditions because it means that someone wiser than you said this is important and it should be passed down. So when it comes down to doing forms and movements, I do enjoy practicing traditionally and learning the traditional concepts of movements. As the I-ching means the book of changes, as time progresses so does my understanding of how and why things are to be. However, things may be different then than they are now, and some changes are needed in order to adapt and survive.

Lastly I must say I have to disagree with Mr. Lee about tai chi being for old people. It is for anyone of all ages. When your older however, you’re more appreciative of how precious your body is and to protect it. I have not reached that stage in life, but I have learned from others that if you can start to do something good for your life right now, why wait.

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Carlo St. Juste Jr., L.Ac

Hi my name is Carlo and I'm a licensed acupuncturist in California with over 10 years experience in exercise and health. My martial arts background consists of eight years training in various martial art styles, and I look forward everyday to helping people discover the healing powers within themselves.


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