Advice please gentle people!

Tez3

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I've discovered there's a Tai Chi class close to me that's on during the day which means I can usually go, it's only for an hour a week though which doesn't seem a lot. The instructor is a certified instructor with these people.
http://www.jdiatcc.com/

Can I learn anything constructive in an hour or will an hour be enough for a beginner? If I phone the chap up what sort of things should I ask him? should I let him know I'm already martial artist, I don't want to prejudice him against me lol!
What I'd like out of a class is apart from expanding my knowledge of martial arts is probably a softer, health promoting counter balance to my karate and MMA practice. Is that reasonable or am I asking too much of myself? (or Tai Chi!)
 

mograph

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I'd prefer a two-hour class. Right now I can only do bagua one-hour a week and I'm regretting it ... I'm just getting warmed up and I have to bail out! Soon I'll be able to stay for the whole class. Anyway, an hour a week requires practice as soon as possible after the class, and as often as possible to retain the lesson, in my opinion.

I guess you should ask him how long the form is, what is the structure of the class, what is the focus of the instruction (martial? health?), what are the learning objectives (e.g. to do a 108-move set on your own after six months), what are the stages (e.g. beginners learn choreography, what after that?)...?

Yes, tell him you've studied martial arts, but also tell him why you want to study Tai Chi and what you want to get out of it (like what you wrote here).

Hope that helps ...
 

MA-Caver

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I think it's reasonable... and love the Tai Chi method of MA... helps slow things down gives you time to clear your head and relax your body. If you can go one hour a week and just LEARN what you need to learn then that should be enough no? You could devote yourself to it or just get enough to help you find that center and go from there. Afterwards you should be able to find folks in the parks practicing it...
I say get what you can as much as you can.
If you can squeeze it in to your busy schedule then by all means... the benefits are worth it IMO. :asian:
 

Xue Sheng

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I do not know anything about John Ding, but his teacher Ip Tai Tak was a student of Yang Shouzhong who was the oldest son of Yang Chengfu

And a hour for to begin with should be fine. I looked at his curriculum and although I do not know what some of it is (the stuff labeled John Ding and JDIATCC for example) an hour a week there should be fine. However most of taiji and learning it has to do with how much you dedicate to it outside of class on your own.

My sifus beginner class is an hour but he is teaching them the long form and some associated qigong and as they advance a bit he gets into basic push hands stuff with them as well.
 

LuckyKBoxer

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I am about as far from Gentle as you can get, but let me tell that I recommend Tai Chi for anyone.
As a fighter I have learned enough from Tai Chi to make it more then worth my while. I have only taken a couple classes, and at some point plan on doing it regularly when I can fit it into my shcedule, but I used some basic principles I learned in less then an hour, applied it to things I do, and have improved because of it.
 

terryl965

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Tez the best thing is to give it a try and go from there, each person learn at different level some may need more than an hour some the hour will be fine.
 

pete

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Can I learn anything constructive in an hour or will an hour be enough for a beginner?
yes, if he is a good instructor, and you a good student.

If I phone the chap up what sort of things should I ask him? should I let him know I'm already martial artist, I don't want to prejudice him against me lol!
definitely! i love it when new students come to me as already experienced martial artists. we get to work applications they've already done, but make them more efficient and effortless using tai chi principles.

What I'd like out of a class is apart from expanding my knowledge of martial arts is probably a softer, health promoting counter balance to my karate and MMA practice. Is that reasonable or am I asking too much of myself? (or Tai Chi!)
not only reasonable, but should be expected. if you are lucky, the instructor will be well versed at working with someone like yourself. if not, it may be worth a little more travel time or even less frequent sessions to get quality instruction.

good luck!

pete.
 

teekin

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Tez, not to derail your class but perhaps you need time when you take time not to "act" in a class but to be "acted upon" like a heavy Swedish massage. Where you just let everything ...go.... and let someone else take the reins?
lori
 

TV954

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You should observe a class or two first and talk to the instructor. Ask yourself "What are my reasons for taking the class?" From my looking at the website it seems like a well-rounded curriculum. Internal work, forms, weapons, application, all seem to be there. An hour for a beginner class is a reasonable length depending on how much information is being imparted in each class. An individual's practice outside of class makes all the difference.
 

ReggieK

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Hi Tez

I train with John Ding's organisation and I can highly recommend them.
My background is in hard styles but I have always wanted to try Tai Chi Chuan.
However, it was very hard to find a good class teaching proper TCC. My first class was purely health orientated where I learnt the standard Yang forms but purely health based ( which I didn't figure out at first as I knew very lttle about TCC.) Then I found another class purporting to teach proper TCC but which was an absolute ripoff and that guy taught nothing of any use. So I had basically wasted 3 years when I found John Ding's organisation and I can honestly say that I learnt more in 3 hours with them than I had learnt in the last 3 years.
Rant over - go for it, you'll enjoy it
 

chris arena

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I don't know about the gentle part. Tai' Chi for real is anything but. I took a tai' chi class about 15 years ago for about 1 year after recouperating from surgery. It was a great help in getting my strength back. But I was looking for a little more action and finally fell in with a local Modern Arnis group. Anyway, after about 15 years of Modern Arnis, I kept noticing amazing similarities in the techniques. So, 1 1/2 years ago, I started to re-learn the Yang long form from Michael Gilman.

The results have been very rewarding to me. I study the long form as an exercise and as a martial art. I was once told in the past that the form was shortened as it was too repetitive. However, that is not the case, as there are even many more martial variations of each form movement. I know of at least 5 techniques of brush Knee and twist step, some of which are take downs. Single Whip is done many times as there are many, many striking, locking and takes downs in just that one movement! I derive a ton of fun working at the martial aspects of each form, although I have to admit that I have a lot to learn. In short, once you learn the long form, then you will need at least another 5 years to learn the long form.

As far as exercise, It helps my problems with lower leg balance and is helping me in that area. NOTE: A lot of beginning students in Tai' Chi complain about knee problems. That is due to form error. the knees always bend in the direction the feet are pointing. if not, your knees will ache. As a 60 year old plus martial artist, Tai' Chi helps to keep me young. And I can still move faster than most of my FMA students half my age. It is not that I am stronger or actually faster. It is that I am very conservative in wasted movement and have learned to stay relaxed under stress. We do a lot of double stick unpadded free flow and if you get stressed or try to think and not just react, you will get hit.

Modern Arnis and Tai' Chi are all about flow and timing. Like water moving around a rock. Each art makes me better at the other art.
 
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Tez3

Tez3

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Tez, not to derail your class but perhaps you need time when you take time not to "act" in a class but to be "acted upon" like a heavy Swedish massage. Where you just let everything ...go.... and let someone else take the reins?
lori


One of my reasons is that I want to be a student not an instructor, I actually hate teaching but have little choice about it at the moment. I also have a huge interest in all martial arts and would like to do a style that compliments what I do now but one that no one from my club is involved in.
 

chris arena

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I feel your pain! I have been teaching since 2000. (NSI Modern Arnis).
Just going into a setting of forgetting everything you think you know. and just being a student again is very relaxing. Tai' Chi is a great escape. Be warned however. You will rediscover what ever form that you have been teaching. Here is an example of how it morphs into the classic Modern Arnis empty hand Anyo 1. Note that there is absolutely no modification of the original Modern Arnis form. It is exact with the professor's 1985 video tape and it was developed to help karate type students blend into Modern Arnis.
It is a two part video. Basically, I can find Modern Arnis technique multiply in all of Professor Presas's 5 Anyo's and apply all of them in the Yang Long Form.
Needless to say, it will change how you think and how you move!
Note: you have to find an instructor that can show martial play!
 
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Tez3

Tez3

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I'm still debating whether to go, I phoned the instructor and he's as miserable as sin! He said he supposed I could try it, he was very unwelcoming. When I was speaking to him he was walking along the street, I could hear the clock chimes, he said he was a fulltime instructor and didn't really want to turn anyone away but wouldn't give me any information as to cost, times etc. he then said he was going into the bank and I lost the signal. he did say I could go along and see for myself but he sounded so miserable I don't know whether to or not. It may be just his telephone manner but I admit I'm bitterly disappointed.
 

grydth

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I agree with you. Been there, didn't do that.

A few of us were looking to get some advanced training from a local instructor. While unquestionably qualified, he could have been your guy's sifu for Miserableness training..... and a bit of a god complex as well.

We came to the conclusion that the negative aspects of dealing with this person outweighed any training benefits we might get.

Anyone who won't talk openly about classes and costs... well, that's a red flag in any field.

Still, I do think Tai Chi/Qi Gong would be a wonderful complement to your harder style training. I hope you will look into another school.
 

JadecloudAlchemist

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Tez I am not sure of British phone etiquette however I can only speak from my experiences. I have spoken to teachers who were screaming at me on the phone with directions to there place only to have them apologize when I met them in person.

It really depends on your gut feeling maybe he was in a rush,busy who knows I have had people call me and I had to tell them can't talk now will call you back sounds rude but it was the truth.

I am sure there are other Taiji teachers in the area maybe this one is not a good one maybe he is testing you.
 

East Winds

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John Ding's lineage and reputation are impecable. Maybe you just caught him at a bad time. Go visit. He teaches Yang style from the Yang Shou Zhong - Ip Tai Tak lineage and teaches the martial aspect of the art. By the way I have no connection with John or his school.

Very best wishes
 
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