Talk:T'ai chi ch'uan

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Former good article nominee T'ai chi ch'uan was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.

Fighting effectiveness[edit]

I suspect this has been debated for some time here, but I must point out an inaccuracy in this section.

Opponents of t'ai chi ch'uan as an effective martial art point to the lack of success of t'ai chi ch'uan in the current competitive arena :of mixed martial arts. However, despite its primarily defensive philosophy, and in contrast to the 'ground and pound' tactics often :favored in MMA, offensive t'ai chi ch'uan often relies upon singular, crippling precision strikes at soft and vulnerable parts of the :body, such as the throat and stomach, in order to disable opponents[40] - an approach which is by definition considered illegal in modern :competitions. The question may therefore not be one of effectiveness, but of safety in the ring.

My issue is with the bolded statement. While blows to the throat have been illegal in most MMA organizations since the 1990s, there is nothing illegal about "crippling precision strikes at soft and vulnerable parts of the body" - this is what lots of fighters are trying accomplish. I know nothing about Tai Chi, so perhaps the art is very dependent on throat strikes. Whatever the reality, this needs to be re-worded. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Harley peters (talkcontribs) 02:43, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

I do not have an answer to this, but think I can add to the discussion. Not to say that it is the explicit meaning of the statement, but to in taijiquan, certain techniques/forms such as wave hands like clouds are designed to disable the opponent by doing instantaneous & long term damage such as breaking joints, rather than subdue using qinna. Perhaps it's alluding to that. ~ InferKNOX (talk) 05:19, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Tai Chi practiced as a martial art depends on mastery of balance, controlled weight shift, and alignment of the human frame, as it does in the context of a health practice. As such, first and foremost amongst any Tai Chi practitioner seeking to use it's principals against an opponent would be to master an opponent's balance and defeat an opponent's strength by applying force at angles against that opponent's arms, for example, which would put an opponent's arms an angles disadvantageous for action and strength. Although not unique to Tai Chi, this in conjunction with subtle off balancing is the chief path in Tai Chi for mastery of a contest with an opponent. Watching a push hands contest will reveal this at once.

With respect to vulnerable strikes, all martial arts consider such techniques a part of their lexicon of tools for self defense, and Tai Chi is no exception to this. This however is not the mainstay of Tai Chi's emphasis in self defense contexts. Bitswapper (talk) 03:01, 16 September 2012 (UTC)

In essence, China recently held an "MMA" competition, and the Tai Chi guy not only won, but the black-listed website cites his "superb skill." I want to revamp this section of the article using factual representation as the basis from this link: Here is the black-listed: (fix-it) http:// www. examiner. com/article/does-tai-chi-have-any-real-martial-art-value Please check out these details and get behind me on this. TommyKirchhoff (talk) 05:47, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Traditionally T'ai Chi was not a sport for competitions in a staged arena but a practical defence method against actual attacks. In a real self defence scenario there is no referee, no timed bouts, there may be multiple attackers who strike unexpectedly from behind, possibly using weapons and a variety of techniques that would be considered illegal in a MMA kick-boxing contest. You only need to look at a list of legal MMA moves to realise this, for example in a real world scenario a defender would not be wearing groin protection and a knee or kick to the groin would be a primary form of defence that is not permissible in a boxing contest. A martial art like MMA uses various ways of offsetting the danger of these techniques by using gloves, groin protection, fighting in the ring against a set opponent for a determined length of time, however the means by which T'ai Chi teachers offset these dangers are different, for example by slowing a technique down or limiting a factor like the amount of force used in a simulated attack routine.

"Illegal blows were listed as groin strikes, head butting, biting, eye gouging, hair pulling, striking an opponent with an elbow while the opponent is on the mat, kidney strikes, and striking the back of the head with closed fist. Holding onto the ring or cage for any reason was defined as foul." Chuangzu (talk) 06:49, 12 January 2014 (UTC)


Is there a reason that this article has apostrophes (T'ai)? As far as I know, the Wade-Giles system for representing Chinese has been superseded by pinyin, which doesn't use apostrophes to mark final/initial separation. Moreover a comparative wiki search reveals 16.5m results for "Tai Chi" vs. 850,000 for "T'ai chi" This title is not only inconsistent with almost every other Chinese-named page on Wikipedia (Anglicized using Pinyin or common variants), but also internally inconsistent - it should be "T'ai ch'i ch'uan" if initials and finals are separated. Confused, LT90001 (talk) 04:40, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

I pushed hard to switch to pinyin about 2 years ago, and was met with a majority of people who feel the wade-giles is more appropriate because the majority of westerners know it by that name. Eventually we will switch to pinyin, but the consensus was that we should not do that until it reflects both the most popular way to write the word in western countries, AND is technically correct ("Tai Chi" for example is the most popular but not technically correct). The topic of changing the name of this article is controversial, so I encourage you to read archived talk page threads first if you really want to change it now.
Regarding the current title - Chi is correct wade-giles because 極 in 太極拳 = pinyin "Ji" and w-g "chi" (Ch'i would equal Qi, which is not the correct transliteration of 極). Technically the u in ch'uan should have an umlaut, and I cannot recall the rationale for omitting it. Herbxue (talk) 15:14, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
More specificly, you can find about 2 meters of discussion here: Talk:T'ai chi ch'uan/Archive 1#Romanization / Naming Revisited. Also, a couple of sections below taht, there's 1 meter discussion of the various redirects.-- (talk) 16:30, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Well, I appreciate that there's been a lot of debate, so I just want to register my discontent. It seems like a compromise was reached, and now you have a title written in a way that is not commonly used in a system that is no longer employed by the vast majority of Chinese speakers. LT90001 (talk) 22:54, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
Actually I eat my hat on this one. Although I think it's inevitable this article will eventually become the pinyin form, it's clear a lot of work went in to finding a suitable consensus name, and today's probably not the right day for this change. LT90001 (talk) 02:46, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks LT, I agree, and please weigh in with your opinion the next time the pinyin question is raised!Herbxue (talk) 04:53, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
Just to weigh in here, since I was part of the original push for Pinyin. I've been increasingly seeing the pinyin name being adopted, however, it's hindered by those advertising, using the incorrect Wade-Giles spelling (Tai chi chuan, without the apostrophes) in order to catch the attention of more people, who are familiar with that incorrect spelling. It is unfortunate that taijiquan is still referred to in the Wade-Giles transliteration, however, if it's to be employed here in accordance with popular usage, it is only logical that it has to be written correctly, thus the apostrophes. The comparative searches you'd have to thus look at is not "t'ai chi" vs "tai chi", but rather "tai chi" vs "taiji", as "tai chi" is a Wade-Giles misspelling, not Pinyin. :) InferKNOX (talk) 16:41, 7 December 2013 (UTC)
Just to beat a dead horse a bit, why is correctness so important? I see this a lot with China-related topics, where users insist on using the "correct" name or some version thereof. WP:NAME would suggest that we should use the common English name when there is one. In this case there should not be any question what the common English name is. Today, it is overwhelmingly "Tai Chi" or "Tai Chi Chuan". Remind me why correctness is super important for China-related topics. see WP:EN and WP:COMMONNAME - Metal lunchbox (talk) 16:15, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

Large deletion of T'ai chi ch'uan's long-standing health section[edit]

There is a discussion happening by WP:FT/N#T'ai chi – neutrality & sourcing regarding a huge deletion of the health benefits section on this article by Alexbrn talk, on the basis that the "content was out-dated, superseded, or poorly-sourced".
Please join the discussion. ~ InferKNOX (talk) 13:18, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

Discussion hopefully moving here, where it's supposed to be. htom (talk) 16:47, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

It was done without consensus, and with lots of valid content removed -A1candidate (talk) 16:53, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
The content was in violation of WP:MEDRS. We should not be including such stuff that's sourced so poorly. jps (talk) 18:16, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
Not all of it. I'm putting it in a section below for discussion, elaboration, and (at least for some of it) return. You're welcome to participate. htom (talk) 23:09, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

Article Promotion[edit]

I promoted this article to B and with the exception of a few small sections without references it is close to being classed GA. A little effort should take it at least to that point.Peter Rehse (talk) 18:19, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

Finally! I've been waiting for this to happen, to the point of almost requesting a review of the rank and am glad to see it come to pass. For my part, I've been looking at Aikido (a GA ranked martial arts article) & trying to glean the positive aspects to employ here towards that end. Hope it gets to GA. Sigh... refs, just to build those refs. ~ InferKNOX (talk) 21:37, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
Anyone can promote from C to B - you could have done it yourself - after that it becomes complicated. Aikido is a featured article (FA) by the way and the process was quite tough - it first went through GA and peer review. The next step for the T'ai chi ch'uan article is to get it to GA and, based on your response, I will start the process. As I said, in my opinion it is very close.Peter Rehse (talk) 22:30, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks InferKNOX for all your hard work on this article.Herbxue (talk) 09:41, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
I looked again at the GA criteria and the article and instead of submitting it directly to GA I have asked for a peer review. There are areas that could use more references with some that are unreferenced and there is also the current issue about health benefits that should be resolved first (ie. stable article). With the Peer review it is stated that the goal is GA so hopefully suggestions that come along will have that goal in mind. There are some automatic tools available on the review page that can help.Peter Rehse (talk) 09:45, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
Oops, I meant Aikido is an FA. I'm too nervous to edit ranks, as I'm not well versed enough with WP & don't want to get ahead of myself & promote something just because I feel I've inputed enough to do such, so I'll leave it to you more experienced editors. Thanks Herbxue, but I haven't done much material input, just things like formatting, clean-up, etc. Despite all the time I've put in thus far to these various taijiquan related articles, if it makes any sense, I'm lazy to go into referencing, which just seems tedious to me, ha ha. I'm hoping other editors that are more enthusiastic in that vein will fill that in, but at this point, if there continues to be little input, I may take-up that slack a bit. For now I look forward to the feedback from the peer review & to have some attention here, thanks for the, Pete. ~ InferKNOX (talk) 14:18, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
Peer review was closed without any comments. Pity - but the next step is a GA submission. There are a couple of sections with no references (i.e.. Fighting effectiveness) but I still think it is worth going ahead. Comments?Peter Rehse (talk) 10:50, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Health discussion[edit]

The following was deleted as not conforming to WP:MEDRS. It looks to me more like a new study came out and is being used to dismiss all of the other work, in some cases other meta-studies.

Further, the replacement is not even a fair summary of the abstract: Several systematic reviews (SRs) have assessed the effectiveness of t'ai chi for many conditions including hypertension, osteoarthritis and fall prevention; however, their conclusions have been contradictory. The aim of this overview was to critically evaluate the SRs of t'ai chi for any improvement of medical conditions or clinical symptoms. English, Chinese and Korean electronic databases were searched for relevant articles, and data were extracted according to predefined criteria; 35 SRs met our inclusion criteria. They were related to the following conditions: cancer, older people, Parkinson's disease, musculoskeletal pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), muscle strength and flexibility, improving aerobic capacity, cardiovascular disease and risk factors, lowering resting blood pressure, osteoporosis or bone mineral density, type 2 diabetes, psychological health, fall prevention and improving balance, and any chronic conditions. In several instances, the conclusions of these articles were contradictory. Relatively clear evidence emerged to suggest that t'ai chi is effective for fall prevention and improving psychological health and was associated with general health benefits for older people. However, t'ai chi seems to be ineffective for the symptomatic treatment of cancer and RA. In conclusion, many SRs of t'ai chi have recently been published; however, the evidence is convincingly positive only for fall prevention and for improvement of psychological health.

The original text of the section is also available here Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 10:05, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

It's important not to rely on the abstract: the full text also includes a mention of "improving balance" in the category of things for which there is a "suggestion" that the evidence was "conclusively or tentatively positive". I have expanded the quotation to clarify. Of the 15 sources that were used previously, just one was potentially okay: PMID 20492638 - and now we have a stronger, later source for its subject (which arrives at the same conclusion anyway). Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 10:19, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

Fighting effectiveness vs Martial application[edit]

The controversy of the "fighting effectiveness" section was never resolved and it cannot be denied that it will be continually argued against as being subjective. In the interest of improving the quality & rank of the article this needs to be addressed. After noticing the "martial application" section on the Chen-style taijiquan page, I would like to propose naming the "fighting effectiveness" section likewise, as a step towards a "neutral point of view". I think "fighting effectiveness" is within the scope of "martial application", but the latter has a less suggestive tone. From there the follow-up can perhaps be verification of the section through referencing, etc. Comments? ~ InferKNOX (talk) 10:36, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

You are right. "Fighting Effectiveness" is a loaded term open to interpretation by the reader especially one fueled by numerous televised MMA bouts. "Martial application" requires less "proof" and would be easier to reference. That said the section would require a bit of a re-write to accomodate the change.Peter Rehse (talk) 11:23, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree. 'Martial application' more neatly captures the application of techniques (or roots of techniques, if they have evolved since moving away from direct application, and especially since 'fighting effectiveness' also loses contexts such as typical opponents and their styles, armaments, etc). And to be fair, the section will likely need a rewrite to accommodate further referencing. — Sasuke Sarutobi (talk) 13:25, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
This section still remains without any references and probably will be the main block to GA status. My advice is to delete the entire section unless some references can be found quickly. I actually don't think as a whole it really contributes to the article.Peter Rehse (talk) 10:54, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
I also agree, it could be replaced by a simple description of common techniques.Herbxue (talk) 16:58, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Done. I will submit to GA status after a few days assuming the change is accepted.Peter Rehse (talk) 11:29, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Sorry I went quiet on this, got tied up with real life issues. Will try and see if anything valuable can be salvaged. ~ InferKNOX (talk) 17:58, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Comment (from disinterested observer) - for an article aiming at GA, this contains an awful lot of unsourced material; I can't imagine it passing unless this is fixed. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 11:50, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for that. I am of two minds specifically because of the point you made. The section removed was just the worst case and I feel that it might not make the cut this time either but I would hope that a GA review would highlight the shortcomings that were not delivered during the peer review process. On the other hand it might considering there are at least some references for all the remaining sections. I am trolling for opinions here.Peter Rehse (talk) 12:05, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

Steps in the forms list[edit]

Hi guys. I would like to develop the rather bleak list of t'ai chi ch'uan forms article by adding lists of steps under each form, but have no idea where to start as far as the names go. I'm willing to put in the work, but need help find the list of steps for each form. Optionally, I can also colour code the styles in list to match the colour coding in the lineage tree (in the e.g. I've added coloured borders since they're more subtle). Also, instead of writing the hanzi & pinyin separately, ruby characters can be employed. Here's the example of what I've made so far (I've only added the steps to the 1st):


24 forms[edit]

28 forms[edit]


Comments and opinions are welcome. ~ InferKNOX (talk) 19:24, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

External links[edit]

I have moved some links from the External links section because they are inappropriate for that section but might be useful as sources to support article content:

Jojalozzo 14:23, 19 March 2014 (UTC) .