Discussion in 'Tai Chi' started by msh, Jul 6, 2012.
can anyone out there please tell me what a typical tai chi lesson consists of
It varies widely. A lot of Taiji today is practised primarily for health reasons, and as a result has lost it's martial 'sting'. It's still possible to build a foundation of good body movement from such classes, but it's difficult (if not impossible) to learn how to defend yourself from them.
There are, however, some things that will ALWAYS be present. Qi gong (generally as a warm up, in my experience for 20 mins or so), Forms (which form depends on which lineage you're studying, but they are more similar than they are different for the most part), and push hands. Unless you're at a school that emphasises combat readiness, this will likely only ever be practised slowly and unrealistically (not that there's anything wrong with that... tuishou has to be practised that way at first to develop good fundamental skills, but within a few years, if you want to fight, you should be experimenting with more freestyle and fuller contact drills).
Can I ask: why do you want to study Tai Chi? We can probably give you some decent advice on what to look for in a school once we know what your goals are...
thanks for your reply white tiger..i was just curious.i am 49 this year and things are starting to ache more than they used to..i currently study ju jitsu and iaido . was looking for something a little less demanding possibly.having said that i dont have any intention of giving up ju jitsu or iaido.had a hard session last night and everything was aching afterwards.feeling my age i think.have always been interested in tai chi and was wondering what it entailed.you answered it well.thanks buddy.
Hi msh, after years of ju jitsu, karate, kick boxing and vale tudo to name but a few. I decided to take it easy for a while and joined my local Tai Chi club, Qi gong as white tiger pointed out is always used as a warm up / cool down exercise. The club i trained with concentrated more on breathing and mediation within the technique. I found the Tai Chi itself to be very demanding yet relaxing, contradiction i know! Demanding i think because my body wanted to do the techniques fast and hard, but my mind was trying to do them slow gentle and flowing. In conclusion i enjoyed tai chi and found it very rewarding, also if you train something slow the muscle memory is there and you will be able to do it fast if need be.
Tai Chi is the number one martial art in the world in terms of popularity and number of persons doing this art. I`ve done a few classes before and it is very calming on the mind and body.
thanks lads.much appreciated.youve certainly got me thinking.will certainly re read your answers tomorow.thanks for taking the time to answer...H
I studied Taiji first and after a while of doing everything so slowly my reaction speed increased so much. now i study TKD and use the same slow ideas when doing it and my technique and control has improved because of it. it makes doing hard styles easier and relaxing while still being very demanding. when i studies taiji we also started with Qi gong then went into the form then sometimes into push hands and martial applications towards the end (i was the only student interested in the martial arts involved at the time)
Tai chi class yes do do alot of chi building exercises, but the biggest issue is structure, you learn how to stand, how to switch sides, how to walk, how to run. the basic rules of thumb about your postures: chest, shoulders, where your knee should point, and how to raise your ankels, and set your hips for qua. the proper way to place your mouth, and tounge, the way your head should suspend to move your neck. all these things are taught in tai chi because it helps your golden bell, these things keep you from haveing problems with training like MSH is. we spent all that time learning how to do these things so we dont have bad joints and spinal fractures from striking, and hitting the ground. It is never too late to learn how to move something properly in your body, and the long term benifits could be great. I blew out my knee when i was 18 and had orthoscopic surgury on it, I took up tai chi so i could learn how to use my leg again. because: I could no longer skateboard, or do anything realy without pain in the joint. The longer i Practiced the stronger the leg became, Now im a appliance delivery guy and do full leg bends and such while moveing refregerators!! So if you have something in your body that is not working right, If you chose the tai chi route, I would Say treat it the same as double weightedness examine the stance, or the part of the body that is causeing you problems.
Is it not done slow so you can get the engery movements with it? from what i've seen with others doing it ( i am not at that level yet) start of slow with the first few forms then once the engery and movements are right its stepped up to a more realistic speed. I don't believe its something you could learn fast straight up anyways because every little position of your body has to be in the right place and thats only achievable (at least when you are learning it) doing it slow.
i've found with tai chi because we start learning it after the hard form of kung fu that its extremely hard to retrain the body for the slow and soft style.
what people have said about it being relaxing and that is true.. calms the body and mind.. but to much at a time when your learning it (at least for me) is extremely hard on the brain. it is good fun though
You've pretty much hit it square on the head. Since Taijiquan is painfully anal about details you have to go slowly in order to integrate all the multiple factors - otherwise you'll "outrun your mind", as my Sifu used to say.
Later, once the mind comprehends the principles and the body memorizes them you can speed up.
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