Thursday, February 3, 2011

Batman Tai Chi

I found this in my inbox at yesterday, pretty cool.
It's amazing how technology has changed and the video artist can mirror the movements of a human performer.

--But Chen-Style Taiji guys... why is Chen looked upon as being a more "martial" style than say... Yang style?
OK, I see the stomping, spiral energy, fast fajin - but to me it is actually harder to discern the martial movement than in the Yang style that I practice.

Any thoughts?


Charles James said...


B said...

Big Dark Knight fan here!

I will be stealing this from you!

Toldain said...

I learned a Yang form first, actually, a couple of them a long and a short. Then, from the same teacher I learned a Chen long. All of this was with little to no instruction in applications, the goal was health.

The Chen form I learned didn't look all that much like that video. In the form I learned, some applications were more readily apparent, but it was also easy to get the wrong idea about what one is doing. In my life experience, Chen players think of it as the "real" Tai Chi, since it's the original form. And it attracts people who are more Yang oriented than Yin.

As to the video, It's hard to say for sure, but at a guess, it wasn't done with motion capture. So some of the things I see in it as unusual, make me wonder if the master really does that, or the animation is wrong. And it doesn't help that the figure is wearing skin-tight black. Tai Chi looks better and is easier to track when done in light colors and flowy garments. The cape was great in that respect.

Sean C. Ledig said...

Cool. I'm also going to steal that from you!

Speaking as someone who's trained in both Chen and Yang Taiji, my opinion isn't that Chen is necessarily better than Yang for self defense.

It's that Chen Taiji people have done a better job of preserving the martial aspects of their art. Yang has turned into an exercise.

I've tried to get people interested in Taiji, but I run into the same problem over and over - they think my Taiji is too "violent."

My feeling is until you can apply what you're learning in the form, you don't know if you're doing it right. I don't expect students to go in and bash each others' heads, but without the martial aspects, it's just a dance.

Dojo Rat said...

Toldain and Sean;

Maybe it's that I know the Yang form inside and out, but the (Yang) martial postures resemble other basic Kung Fu fighting postures to me.
Chen spends a lot of time in a horse stance pounding the fist and such.
Perhaps I am not addressing the spiral energy and fajin as I should, but I see that in my Yang form also, and it moves around more than the comparably stationary movements of Chen style as represented in the video.
Great animation!

John Francis Leo said...

Nice to see people writing about the animation.

For the record it was keyframed by hand, based on a frame by frame study of a video tape provided by Master Shu Dong Li.

After finishing the initial keyframing, I consulted Sifu Justin Eggert for translation of the movement names from Chinese and to verify that the entire form was animated correctly (As the video tape showed only one perspective).

The form itself is a variation of New Frame Chen Style, developed by Master Li and used in demonstration.

The Chen Style First Road that we are learning in class does not include jumps or the sudden movements seen in this animation, although it does utilize spiral energy.

Dojo Rat said...

You did a great job on that John. I saw your Darth Vader sword form and may put that up later also.
Thanks for sending it to me!

Zacky Chan said...

Sweet! The cape effect really made it nice. I'm sure during downtime while cruising the streets Batman would find an empty spot to practice the form ... it's what I do at my job hehe

Ben C said...

Great video! I'm a big Batman fan, but it was hard to see some of the movements clearly. But I am definitely stealing this one...

John Francis Leo said...

I've noticed it looks a little too dark if played inside a window on YouTube at the lowest resolution. To see if more clearly, try playing 'full screen'.

The video goes all the way up to 1080p, if you have good bandwidth. At that resolution I have no problem seeing everything.

Martial Development said...

Nice. I'm glad they used the classic Batmobile, and not that one with the silly green neon lighting!

Anonymous said...


my web-site ... electric toothbrush