Many people within Tai Chi Chuan, Taijiquan are against combining the "internal arts" with harder martial arts like kungfu. Many people say and state that it can destroy your internal martial arts skills and that a person can become more external orientated.
I want to tell you, show you that this is not true and that the Chinese internal martial arts are connected to external arts.
With being in the martial arts for years i have studied several styles: I did Kyokushin Karate, Kickboxing and Ninjutsu. Eventually i met grandmaster Fred Decramer of How Chuen Monkey Kungfu also known as Standing Tall Monkey Art or Monkey Art How Chuen.
How Chuen Monkey Kung Fu is the way of the mythical Yi Ren or Sasquatch, Bigfoot, Yeti. Many Chinese martial arts are bases off some mythical creature like the dragon, phoenix and others. Sasquatch Kung Fu is a weird style but very unorthodox. If we look into it, it has many skills like Wing Chun Kungfu but also many circular techniques.
How Chuen Kung Fu has 6 forms for teaching the students the unorthodox way of moving of the Standing Tall Monkey Art. Further, the system consists of much combat techniques with resisting partner. Full contact sparring bare handed and many other exercises. How Chuen Monkey Kung Fu is a very hard style like other Chinese martial arts.
At the time i practised How Chuen Monkey Kungfu i also learned some Tai Chi from my master Fred Decramer. I was fascinated by this way of moving, pushing hands and applications. I studied Tai Chi in depth under other teachers and did Yang style, Wu style, Chen style and Wudang Tai Chi. Some teachers told me do not practise Tai Chi together with Kungfu because it is bad. I never understood that, so i tried to figure out what Tai Chi is to me.
To me Tai Chi is besides internal also very external, why? Because we need a physical body, to train a physical form, which used a way of breathing that is also physical. The conciousness turns inwards, but not always. For instance when you practise Chen style Taijiquan some moves are exploding and are focussed external. So to me harder martial arts and Tai Chi help the person to grow in both arts and if possible they should be trained together.
If you practise a very hard external style and you also want to do Tai Chi next to it. Start with the Chen style of Tai Chi. The Chen style gives you a challenge and prefers low stances and explosive punches and kicks.
Try to focus on the things which are connected between the arts, instead of looking at the differences too much. Connect things which are the same and learn the differences between the arts. Keep on going, do not give up and see what the combination of internal and external arts can do for you.
Keep on training:
How Chuen Kung Fu, Standing Tall Monkey Art the way of the Sasquatch, Bigfoot, Yeti
Shifu Douwe Geluk is an international recognized master of the Martial Arts. He is a Tai Chi Chuan teacher in Apeldoorn the Netherlands. He wrote several books and had made an online learning programm for How Chuen Monkey Kung Fu way of the Sasquatch.