Beginner Hurdles with Tai Chi

darangal

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I picked up the idea to practice Tai Chi when the third season of the Karate Kid hit Netflix, I felt a need to engage in a discipline and attempt to improve the symbiotic relationship between my spirit and my body. I started roughly when the New Year did and I hope to have a small amount of knowledge and experience accumulated by mid May or early June of this year.

I am learning Tai Chi through a book "Tai Chi for beginners and the 24 Forms" and generic youtube videos for beginners. I practice 15-20 minutes at a time typically 5-6 days a week.

I am basing my relatively short practice times by the directions presented in this book. I am concerned that these directions are for older folks, I'm in my twenties I wonder, "Should I be pushing myself harder?".

Tai Chi as I understand it is an internal martial art and therefore should be approached differently from the martial arts popular in western culture. I am working on my Qi, visualizing energetic ingestion and channeling into my Dan Tian. I am also attempting to incorporate tai chi principles of relaxed movement, upright posture, and "song" into my daily routine as a do my job. I tend to focus on the relaxed movement and upright posture more often because trying to incorporate my understanding of "song" with my nonexistent skillset requires more attention than I can spare at work and maintain any semblance of composure. I find the movements awkward particularly the steps, upper body movement isn't too confusing and becomes easier as I practice more.

If you began practicing Tai Chi several months or years ago I have some questions for you.

What have you experienced throughout your practice?
What stumbling blocks did you encounter early on?
What resources did you have to help you learn?
What checkpoints or accomplishments did you achieve as a result of your discipline?
 

ernst

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After some tai chi lessons, i wondered why we always started to move right, and i was thinking to move left.
 

jobo

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I picked up the idea to practice Tai Chi when the third season of the Karate Kid hit Netflix, I felt a need to engage in a discipline and attempt to improve the symbiotic relationship between my spirit and my body. I started roughly when the New Year did and I hope to have a small amount of knowledge and experience accumulated by mid May or early June of this year.

I am learning Tai Chi through a book "Tai Chi for beginners and the 24 Forms" and generic youtube videos for beginners. I practice 15-20 minutes at a time typically 5-6 days a week.

I am basing my relatively short practice times by the directions presented in this book. I am concerned that these directions are for older folks, I'm in my twenties I wonder, "Should I be pushing myself harder?".

Tai Chi as I understand it is an internal martial art and therefore should be approached differently from the martial arts popular in western culture. I am working on my Qi, visualizing energetic ingestion and channeling into my Dan Tian. I am also attempting to incorporate tai chi principles of relaxed movement, upright posture, and "song" into my daily routine as a do my job. I tend to focus on the relaxed movement and upright posture more often because trying to incorporate my understanding of "song" with my nonexistent skillset requires more attention than I can spare at work and maintain any semblance of composure. I find the movements awkward particularly the steps, upper body movement isn't too confusing and becomes easier as I practice more.

If you began practicing Tai Chi several months or years ago I have some questions for you.

What have you experienced throughout your practice?
What stumbling blocks did you encounter early on?
What resources did you have to help you learn?
What checkpoints or accomplishments did you achieve as a result of your discipline?
i did tc for a,short while, before doing katate as i wanted to hit things, but il give you a little of my thoughts on it

as moving mediation, it has considerable mind and body benifits, i found the slow controled movements to be more physically taxing than jumping about and it definetly builds the mind /muscle conection

as a means of fighting/ defending your self it is possibly not the most efficient way of getting there, but there are lots of people that insist its a fighting art if trained as such

but your not going to learn fighting from a book, no matter which art you choose

if your enjoying it and seeing the health benefits, then keep with it
.if its not physically demanding enough, throw in some aditional exercise, slow motion press ups are a killer
 

Xue Sheng

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I picked up the idea to practice Tai Chi when the third season of the Karate Kid hit Netflix, I felt a need to engage in a discipline and attempt to improve the symbiotic relationship between my spirit and my body. I started roughly when the New Year did and I hope to have a small amount of knowledge and experience accumulated by mid May or early June of this year.

I am learning Tai Chi through a book "Tai Chi for beginners and the 24 Forms" and generic youtube videos for beginners. I practice 15-20 minutes at a time typically 5-6 days a week.

I am basing my relatively short practice times by the directions presented in this book. I am concerned that these directions are for older folks, I'm in my twenties I wonder, "Should I be pushing myself harder?".

Tai Chi as I understand it is an internal martial art and therefore should be approached differently from the martial arts popular in western culture. I am working on my Qi, visualizing energetic ingestion and channeling into my Dan Tian. I am also attempting to incorporate tai chi principles of relaxed movement, upright posture, and "song" into my daily routine as a do my job. I tend to focus on the relaxed movement and upright posture more often because trying to incorporate my understanding of "song" with my nonexistent skillset requires more attention than I can spare at work and maintain any semblance of composure. I find the movements awkward particularly the steps, upper body movement isn't too confusing and becomes easier as I practice more.

If you began practicing Tai Chi several months or years ago I have some questions for you.

- Best if you find a teacher. beyond that

- Don't rush it, learn the form first, get comfortable with the form and then deal with the rest, you can't do it all at once. Taijiquan is not a quick study, Don't worry a bout Qi, breathing or anything else. Just learn the form and go from there. Basically it takes patiences

- If you are going with books and videos I recommend going with Liang Shouyu, not Paul Lam

- Karate kid is a movie and I have been doing traditional taijiquan for almost 30 years (24 form is not traditional, but it is the first form I ever learned) and I have never looked at it as a way to "improve the symbiotic relationship between my spirit and my body." It is a martial art, however most do not train it as such. It does teach "body unity" and Yi Qi Li is important which is basically, mind moves energy, energy move muscle. Learn to understand the body first, and the connections, and go from there

- I have seen a lot of Karate and TKD folks try to learn taijiquan and the biggest issues they all have are patiences and relaxation . They tend to be very stiff.

What have you experienced throughout your practice?

Everything from anger and frustration to amazing insights

What stumbling blocks did you encounter early on?

Mostly, trying to rush things and thinking I know more about what I need to learn than my teacher did

What resources did you have to help you learn?

A main teacher, multiple other teachers I have trained with and books

What checkpoints or accomplishments did you achieve as a result of your discipline?

I did better when I gave up checkpoints and focusing on accomplishments.
 
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JowGaWolf

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and attempt to improve the symbiotic relationship between my spirit and my body.
My thoughts on this is to 1st train tai chi as a fighting system and let the spiritual stuff develop on it's own.

If you really want to achieve what you stat here, then you can't go straight to the spiritual stuff. The spiritual stuff is developed through the non-spiritual stuff. Think of it like this. In life the way our spirit develops is by going through the non-spiritual things in life. Then we use that experience to help us to decide how we should be spiritually.

Tai Chi is like that. It's difficult to learn how to feel spiritual energy move through the body, when you lack the ability to feel physical energy move through the body. The connection that you are trying to make is an Advanced Step and requires you to learn and experience some other things before you can get to that level.

A lot of people think it's the first step and because of that, they end up creating more imbalance.
 

JowGaWolf

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I am concerned that these directions are for older folks, I'm in my twenties I wonder, "Should I be pushing myself harder?".
Tai Chi is a slow process. You learn from moving slowly. It takes a lot of patience. If it's easy for you then you are probably moving too fast. If it's still easy for you then you are probably not paying attention to how your muscles are responding and how the weight shifts through your body. You are also probably not in a relaxed state. It's possible that you are more relaxed than normal, but that's not good enough. You have to be relaxed where you are almost limp and the only muscles that are working are those that are supporting what needs to be supported. You also have sync your movement with your breathing. Don't sync your breathing with your movement. Let your breathing dictate how fast you move. If you need to move slower then learn how to breath slower without stress.

If you are learning Tai Chi that is for older people then you should find Tai Chi as a martial art so that you can get the full benefits from it. Then it will get harder.
 

JowGaWolf

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If you began practicing Tai Chi several months or years ago I have some questions for you.

What have you experienced throughout your practice?
What stumbling blocks did you encounter early on?
What resources did you have to help you learn?
What checkpoints or accomplishments did you achieve as a result of your discipline?
Tai Chi overall has been good for me. I still do it on and off and will be getting back to it in a few days as part of my rehab after a car accident.
In the past it has heal /fixed some physical issue that I had for years. It also make my Jow Ga Kung Fu better.

My stumbling blocks were mainly around relaxation. I always remind myself that when I think I'm relaxed, then I'm probably not and I need to try to relax more. Then when I do this, I discover that I can relax even more. It always takes me multiple tries to be relaxed and stay relaxed. Breathing and moving the body at the same time is also challenging. Moving everything at the same time (including breathing) is easier to do when moving fast, but is really difficult when moving slowly. The slower you go the more difficult it is.

I learned Tai Chi through my Kung Fu school so we trained it as a martial arts for fighting. I believe this is the only way to learn as Tai Chi for health will often fail to mention really important aspects of Tai Chi that's needed in order to get the best Health results out of Tai Chi.

Checkpoints and accomplishments. It got rid of my neck pain that I had for more than 25 years. It made my core stronger and I became better at Jow Ga Kung Fu. It increased my ability to sense the slightest weight adjustment in my opponent. It helps me to be more relaxed during the day. I use it when I feel myself stressed.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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I'm in my twenties ...
My Taiji teacher won't teach any student who is under 30 years old.

When you are young, you need to stretch your body. Taiji "hollow chest" is not suitable for young people.


Taiji-hollow-chest.jpg


To avoid one day you will need to correct your posture, you should not get into "hollow chest" posture when you are still young.

posture-correction.jpg


To move your shoulders back is better than to move your shoulders forward.

 
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Kung Fu Wang

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Taiji 怨豢 - Hollow chest and bend back

- Loose your shoulder.
- Move shoulders forward.
- Your back is bending like a curve.

Even old people should not develop this kind of posture.


Taiji-hollow-chest-1.gif
 
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_Simon_

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My thoughts on this is to 1st train tai chi as a fighting system and let the spiritual stuff develop on it's own.

If you really want to achieve what you stat here, then you can't go straight to the spiritual stuff. The spiritual stuff is developed through the non-spiritual stuff. Think of it like this. In life the way our spirit develops is by going through the non-spiritual things in life. Then we use that experience to help us to decide how we should be spiritually.

Tai Chi is like that. It's difficult to learn how to feel spiritual energy move through the body, when you lack the ability to feel physical energy move through the body. The connection that you are trying to make is an Advanced Step and requires you to learn and experience some other things before you can get to that level.

A lot of people think it's the first step and because of that, they end up creating more imbalance.
I actually really like that, great thoughts :)
 

ernst

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was still missing the discipline to move slow, and the insight !
Last time i flipped into a kung fu move, bowed and was ashmed to go back -_-
 

mograph

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Learning the concept and physical sensation of "song," pronounced "soong," is hard. (or feng song, pronounced "fung soong.")It's usually translated as "relaxed," but we Western types think of that as "limp," which co nfuses us: how can we be limp yet stand, much less fight?

Apparently, the character represents the idea of hair which was bound up, is now loosened. There is now space between the hairs, and they can move freely, yet they move in harmony.

It's more like being calm, yet alert. No part of the body is tense. The effort of standing (or whatever) is distributed so evenly through the body that it feels effortless, because each part is doing very little. Imagine how you feel when you're doing something that's second nature to you, and you have a bit of an idea.

(Naturally, you need to be stable, because if you're not stable, you will have excess tension. Being feng song means that you are stable/sunk enough to be rooted, but alert enough to move lightly when necessary.)

Here's an article, but there are probably plenty on feng song. What Does Song Mean in Tai Chi? Balanced Life Tai Chi
 

Buka

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What I've always found most fascinating about Tai Chi is how quickly class goes by. It's like fffffsp - and hour and a half has gone by. You'd swear it was twenty minutes.

Still can't figure out why that is.
 

Flying Crane

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What I've always found most fascinating about Tai Chi is how quickly class goes by. It's like fffffsp - and hour and a half has gone by. You'd swear it was twenty minutes.

Still can't figure out why that is.
Because you are moving so slowly you go into a weird time-warp where time actually speeds up. Apparently you have reached a high level already.
 

Buka

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Because you are moving so slowly you go into a weird time-warp where time actually speeds up. Apparently you have reached a high level already.

I wish. You know what else I find interesting? I can watch videos of Tai Chi, without getting up and practicing along, and it relaxes me. Really relaxes me.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Do you realize that very few Taiji people are interested in the following subjects.

Why?

- sparring/wrestling,
- partner drill,
- tools in toolbox,
- fighting strategy,
- kick/punch/throw combo,
- footwork,
- speed/power generation training,
- grip strength development,
- function strength development,
- heavy bag training,
- leg stretching,
- ...
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Do you realize that very few Taiji people are interested in the following subjects.

Why?

- sparring/wrestling,
- partner drill,
- tools in toolbox,
- fighting strategy,
- kick/punch/throw combo,
- footwork,
- speed/power generation training,
- grip strength development,
- function strength development,
- heavy bag training,
- leg stretching,
- ...
Because those people aren't taking up tai chi to learn to fight. Those that do have the goal of learning to fight, will be interested in those subjects.
 

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