Shequan, Tai Chi & Systema

NikiMandra

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Hello everyone, I’m new to the forum and to martial arts. I’m 32 years old with a yoga background and am coming to martial arts for personal development more than sport or competition. This is not to say that I only care about the spiritual and health benefits without actually wanting to learn a practical fighting style, but I am personally more interested in arts that focus on fluidity like the ones mentioned above, as compared to MMA or Karate per say. Basically I’m a nimble and skinny guy who realized he wants a more dynamic and “martial” way of life than the one offered by the yoga community and practice, especially with what yoga has become in the west.
Because of my body type, these are the arts I feel would take most advantage of my personal strengths and are most in line with my goals, but I also am not trying to “snake” my way around hard work and am well aware the specialization in snake style comes way down the road in one’s kung fu journey.

My original plan was:
1. Begin with a 4/5 year program in “golden shield qigong” and have that as my “base of operations” and primary commitment as I explore the different martial arts schools in my city
2. At the same time take Tai Chi & Systema classes at another school but mostly just to learn some of the basics. (I figured tai chi would be good since I’ve read it is an evolution of snake style and am interested in systema for its practicality in self defense)
3. Begin Shaolin training once I feel the qigong training has got me up to a sufficient level of energy and endurance. (I would think about a year later)

But, reading around the forum I came across a comment along the lines of “if you practice a hard art and later supplement it with a soft one it can have many benefits, but if you practice a soft art and later compliment it with a hard one, it can be detrimental.”

So these are my questions:
Does anybody have any thoughts on which would be the best way for me to go about this? Would it be better to avoid tai chi for the time being and start with qigong and kung fu soon after and then later explore tai chi and systema once my training reaches the softer aspects of movement? What should I focus on in my training now to one day create the optimal conditions to make it possible for me to learn an effective snake style?

I apologize if this should have been posted in beginners corner.
Thank you for your time,
Domenico Monetti
 
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Xue Sheng

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Try different schools in your area and see what fits you

As for the progression, if you want a shaolin style....why not just start with Shaolin. Also, been in Taijiquan for 30 years and I have never found any legitimate verifiable connection to anything called snake style or a snake form. And if you want taijiquan, it is a martial art, you just have to find the right school, but admittedly that is very hard to find tese days
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I'm of the same mind as Xue. If you want to train an art, train that art. You don't need to be "Ready" to train it, with very few exceptions, and the teachers should know how to get a beginner started with it. Only thing that's difficult if you're interested in practicality is a lot of Tai Chi and wushu based schools won't teach the arts from a martial perspective.
 
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NikiMandra

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Made a mistake. How do you delete a comment?🤔
 
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NikiMandra

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Try different schools in your area and see what fits you

As for the progression, if you want a shaolin style....why not just start with Shaolin. Also, been in Taijiquan for 30 years and I have never found any legitimate verifiable connection to anything called snake style or a snake form. And if you want taijiquan, it is a martial art, you just have to find the right school, but admittedly that is very hard to find tese days
I'm of the same mind as Xue. If you want to train an art, train that art. You don't need to be "Ready" to train it, with very few exceptions, and the teachers should know how to get a beginner started with it. Only thing that's difficult if you're interested in practicality is a lot of Tai Chi and wushu based schools won't teach the arts from a martial perspective.
Thanks for the replies. I am actually more interested in shaolin and though that qigong training would be good and complementary since I would imagine a lot of schools these days don’t put as much emphasis on internal training as I would like. Would it be wrong/overwhelming/detrimental to study kung fu/qigong and focus on mastering that, and take some tai chi classes for moving meditation and systema to pick up a few self defense tricks?
 

Xue Sheng

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Thanks for the replies. I am actually more interested in shaolin and though that qigong training would be good and complementary since I would imagine a lot of schools these days don’t put as much emphasis on internal training as I would like. Would it be wrong/overwhelming/detrimental to study kung fu/qigong and focus on mastering that, and take some tai chi classes for moving meditation and systema to pick up a few self defense tricks?

Starting all at the same time, IMO is a bit much and, again IMO, you will not learn any of them. Qigong with Shaolin not necessary, but it will not hurt.
 
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