Is Tai Chi Chuan Kung Fu?


Ok. It is time for a little bit of education in the Chinese martial arts. I am getting tired of reading, or hearing, people referring to Tai Chi and Kung Fu as two separate entities. For instance, “John Doe Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy”; “I practice Kung Fu and Tai Chi”; and my favorite, “I love to watch Kung Fu and Tai Chi Movies!”

People: to say “I practice Kung Fu and Tai Chi” is the same as saying “I practice Karate and Shotokan” for the Japanese arts practitioners. If you know Karate, then you know that Shotokan is a style of Karate. If you know Kung Fu, then you should know that Tai Chi is a style of Kung Fu.

Karate and Kung Fu are umbrella terms. Karate means “empty hand” and it refers to a self defense system in which your main weapons are your empty hands. Kung Fu means something that gets accomplished by years of sacrifices and hard work. It doesn’t have to be a martial art. For instance, a scholar does “kung fu” to accomplish his degree.

In the Chinese martial arts, Kung Fu gets divided in two major areas: Hard Hand and Soft Hand Kung Fu. Under Hard Hand you have styles like: Shaolin Kung Fu Praying Mantis Kung Fu Long Fist Kung Fu Under Soft Hand you have styles like: Tai Qi Quan (Tai Chi Chuan) Bagua Zhan HSING-I

Also, some styles get subdivided into other styles under that particular umbrella or system. For instance, Tai Chi Chuan gets divided into Chen Family Style, Yang Family Style, and Wu Style, just to mention a few.

The point I am trying to make is that Tai Chi is one of many styles of Kung Fu! So it is totally wrong to refer to Tai Chi as a separate entity from Kung Fu! Sifu Pedro


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