I think with Tai-Chi you can honestly get better and better with time..............but the problem is finding a decent teacher. A thing called the classical disconnect operates very strongly here, a lot of folks do Tai-Chi because it looks cool, spiritual etc.............so it becomes the province of ageing hippies, middle aged folks who want to look cool etc.........when in reality it is a devastating martial art.....but folks have forgotten what it was originally developed for and just do it as a game. It's difficult enough finding aTai Chi club where they know the applications of the forms....finding someone who is proficient in the fighting applications is even harder
It's interesting to speculate on the impact some teachers have.....I was speaking to my friend about this and he mentioned Wong-Sheung Leung......and said that he had been a great teacher, although mostly remembered as a great fighter.and he mentioned a few of the people wong taught.
Bruce Lee .........here is a clip of Tommy Carruthers. rated as one of the best JKD'ers in the world
Sifu Wan Kam Leung
and the "chunner" everyone is talking about Gary Lam....ex Thai Boxer, returned to wing Chun
it's interesting to me that these guys all learned from the same source and then developed on their own.they all have some of the core attributes.
now with Tai-chi you have also different styles but similarly they all have the same core.they all have " Crane spreads it's wings" Two winds blow ears, play the guitar etc.but they apply them in different ways, or they have more or less importance.....and sadly sometimes, without good instruction the actual knowledge is lost.and it just ends up as kickboxing
...in the final say all these arts are about is beating a younger,faster,stronger opponent.....and obviously to do this you can't relay on youth, strength or speed.not even a different type of strength or speed e.g. powerlifters and Thai Boxers are both strong and fast but in different ways
I think the shaolin was the real cradle for all this knowledge............
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rT3a6b11 ... re=related
they had throws and locks as well as strikes
And as Chinese people grow up they are introduced to these arts...so from a very early age they hear of old masters who are still capable of holding their own at an advanced age........and with that skill comes a certain type of mindset that doesn't promote or encourage violence.