I love it when people argue over which is better, Karate or Tai Chi Chuan, because it is a bogus question. The point I'm putting forth here is that they are opposite sides of the same coin. This is one of those things that most people haven't really come to grips with.
To define the art of Karate one would first describe it as linear, for everyone has the rather erroneous idea that Karate is straight lines. Second, one would think of explosiveness, for the violence of Karate explodes outward from the center of the body. And, there isn't a clearly definable third point to be discussed here.
To describe the beautiful Tai Chi art one would think circular, for the movements of the art loop and twine like a snake in love with itself. Secondly, one would say slow motion, and here is the first point of contrast to be made. Most people, you see, usually don't understand what an explosion is.
An explosion is an expansion of energy in all directions from a central point. The question I put forth here is...what is the actual speed of an explosion? We have set notions, probably established by the violence we expect from such a happening, but the truth is, there is no set speed which would define an explosion.
Thus, when considering TCC there is an explosion, but it is slow and sustained. Both martial arts take their power from the explosion. Both have power, but the technical application is where we have the seeming divergence of arts.
Tai Chi accepts the attack, and circles it back into itself, and expels or otherwise handles it. Karate accepts the attack, and destroys it. It may seem rude, but we don't care about that; we care about the fact that real karate is not herky jerky angles. Bad Karate is, but the real and good stuff is smooth and liquid, and the movements of the body are filled with subtle circles.
The real problem here is that people tend to set their ideas in stone as to what a Martial Art is, and they categorize and label, and they usually miss the point. The best martial arts I ever saw was my Korean Karate sensei, who was as liquid as greased oil. He just used the explosions and circles and angles like a master of TCC, but in a different application.
The real key here is to define the direction of the attack, and then decide which art is appropriate to your whim and the moment. And, here is something, can you change your Tai Chi Chuan into hard explosiveness? Or, can you change your Karate explosiveness into a harmonious handling of violence?
Which style is better, Karate or Tai Chi Chuan. Head on over to Monster Martial Arts and find out more.