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 Thoughts on Tai Chi

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Defie

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Tai Chi   Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:51 pm

I've been an assistant instructor for Chen Taijichuan, and have been practicing for about 8 years now. One of the best things about Tai Chi as a martial art is its flexibility. The principles of this art can be easily adapted to other fighting styles.

Anyone with a more traditional fighting background would find Taiji counter-intuitive, as its emphasis involves redirecting an opponents force against them. Instinctively, humans tend to meet a force with greater force, and the principles in Taiji are just the opposite.
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Sage

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Tai Chi   Sun Aug 03, 2014 6:43 am

The Great Pumpkin wrote:
My understanding of Tai Chi is that it is the other side of the coin from Kung Fu; it is the internal side and Kung Fu, the external art.

As I understand it, Tai Chi is a subcategory of Kung Fu.

My on-again off-again Taoist teacher suggested I practice Tai Chi, but when he found out that there weren't any teachers in my area, he said that what is equally useful is spending time in nature.  Fortunately for me, I live in a rural area, so this is easy.  Point being, he told me that the ancient masters developed the art while observing nature, so going to that source is just as spiritually useful as the forms of Tai Chi.

I say "spiritually" because it's less a martial art than it is a way of understanding the Tao.  It can be used in conjunction with martial arts, but on its own it won't be much help for self-defense.
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Equal

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Tai Chi   Sun Aug 03, 2014 6:06 pm

When the pajamas mafia get hold of a style, they start marketing them as something beautiful and spiritual, repressing the violence.

I wouldn't recommend old styles to beginners. Start with modern styles. The old ones are hard to understand without experience.
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Sage

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Tai Chi   Tue Aug 05, 2014 6:10 am

I agree, Equal.  This seemed relevant:

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Equal

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Tai Chi   Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:25 pm

Martial arts are overrated when it comes to violence. Train something simple and modern, and building your strenght is more important. Unless you just want to dance in a pajamas (nothing wrong with that).
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Sage

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Tai Chi   Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:36 am

Bruce Lee would agree with you whole-heartedly, Equal Very Happy  Absorb what is useful and discard the rest.  No belts, no ranks, just practice.  I imagine that if he were still alive, he'd be in the MMA/UFC scene.
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Defie

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Tai Chi   Thu Aug 07, 2014 11:40 am

When the New-Age bullshit brigade (no offense to new agers) got a hold of Tai Chi, they white-washed the martial history from it; leaving it nothing but a sort of beginners yoga.

Finding a Tai Chi instructor who can teach it as a martial art is like finding a needle in two haystacks, and even when they do teach it, they often do so in the most unscientific and unnecessarily complex way that you'll just end up wasting your time.
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Blue Stranger

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Tai Chi   Tue Jul 07, 2015 7:15 am

I've been taking Tai Chi for a few months now. The style is Cheng Ming Tai Chi, and every move in its forms (including the beginner from I've been learning) has multiple applications--at least 1 health benefit and 1 martial use. It incorporates strikes that can also be used as blocks--and vice versa--which we also practice separately while warming up.

There is no ranking system and no belt tests, which I appreciate. When I took Taekwondo, I didn't like the focus on preparing for tests. Yet even without tests at this dojo, the instructor has no trouble remembering how long we've been around and what we need to learn next.

By sheer coincidence I became a student directly before the grandmaster of the entire style came to visit. So I, the newbie in the corner, got to see the guy who's been practicing for 60+ years explain the form I was just starting to learn. It was really something else.

Oh, and yes, 60+ years. One of the things about Tai Chi is that it doesn't tear down your body. My instructor's mother, who is my grandmother's age, has taught me enough self-defense moves by now and unbalanced/joint-locked me enough times for me to be certain she could beat me in a fight. And it would probably hurt. A lot. She's really good at setting up elbow breaks, which you only need 15 pounds of force to carry through.

If you can find a school that honors Tai Chi as a martial tradition AND something to practice for wellness, it's definitely a powerful option for all kinds of RLSH. You can even teach elderly homeless the stretches and meditation positions that help with circulation and flexibility and relieve joint pain.
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Cornelius Brunner

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Tai Chi   Wed Sep 02, 2015 2:33 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

"How To Use Taiji & Bagua For Fighting" is the one you want.
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Blue Stranger

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Tai Chi   Fri Sep 04, 2015 5:00 pm

You really need an instructor. Being around other martial artists is something you can't replace. People who do Tai Chi every day ooze zen, and that environment affects your training. Bagua is also not something for the beginner. An instructor will guide you to what you're ready for.
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Cornelius Brunner

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Tai Chi   Mon Sep 07, 2015 6:18 am

Figured out how to post the direct link. (just don't use the link button, lol)
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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Sage

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts on Tai Chi   Thu Sep 10, 2015 6:43 am

Thanks, Cornelius.  I'll have to read through that.  Sounds fascinating.
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