Different martial arts focus on specific fighting ranges, one or several. Kicking styles usually prefer a greater distance to the opponent compared to a wrestling art. In General, distances can be summed up to:
- Outside kicking Range
- Kicking Range
- Striking Range
- Throwing Range
- Clinch Range
- Grappling Range
- (/Ground Fighting Range)
Most combat oriented Tai Chi practitioners agree that Tai Chi is a close range fighting style. Some people call Tai Chi a punching art, others a throwing arts and yet others claim that it’s a grappling art. Still most people agree about the close range, that Tai Chi works best, or is designed mostly for from the distance you can set up a throw, make a clinch or grapple. Yet many seem to be not so sure about how to make Tai Chi work, and they seem to not know about genuine Tai Chi fighting strategies.
If Tai Chi is a close fighting range, then why do so many people who wants to learn how to use Tai Chi, practice fighting by using common distance point sparring? When people try to use this art in sparring, they mostly have a common sparring mind-set. They start on distance, try to keep distance and keep on chasing and trading punches. What does this has to do with close-in fighting? And if you look at how most people practice applications and techniques, they practice while punching and attacking from at least a striking distance. Even when practicing push hands many practitioners stand far from each other, barely reaching each others hand s while rocking back and forth.
No wonder why people question if Tai Chi works or not. They claim that Tai Chi is designed to work at a certain distance, yet they practice Tai Chi combat and self-defence by using mainly another distance. I wonder why?