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The Ultimate Tai Chi Chaun Thread

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I started this out with some levity not really understanding fully what the membership had gone through before.

Soooo . . . This should be a legitmate area for discussion of Tai Chi and its merits to health, happiness and all sports.

I started practicing Fu Style Tai Chi Chuan about 7 months ago but have practiced just about everyday since I began this journey.

I am not yet an infant though I have studied Mixed Martial arts for some 40 plus years.

There is a tremendous gap between "External" and "Internal" (T'chi) Martial arts. I will not endeavor at this time to explain that difference. Suffice it to say it is like one of the posts (which in hind sight was one of the most insightful) where this quote comes from.

Quote:
Inquiring minds want to know what couture the snazzy emperor will be wearing (or not!) this year. -Nolo
Then another post came up saying "Only his belt, can't you see it?"

That kinda of says it all. If you take out "This year" as Tai Chi has been developed and praticed for 5,000 the answer is right in front of you, all the time, but only though practice will you find it.

Enough said, sorry for the prank. I am going to tie a ribbon around the waist steering thread as well along the same line. The answer to tie this up came from another member's post where he says he is going to take what's been presented on to the snow. The answers ARE there, its up to the seeker to find (not trying to be too inscrutible here : )
post #2 of 28
I'll be the first to say... Oh no...
Who says history doesnt repeat itself...
Have fun ; )
Later
GREG
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
I'll be the first to say... Oh no...
Who says history doesnt repeat itself...
Have fun ; )
Later
GREG
Better here than over there, right? Who knows, maybe something will come of it - no I'm sure something will come of it
post #4 of 28

just curious

Respectfully and at the risk of getting hammered....(but don't bother cause I won't reply....)

-Didn't many of us spend most of July fighting this battle....? Nearly 300 posts I recall over multiple threads.
-Didn't it all come to a polite resolution after many called for the banning of TCS?
-Hasn't TCS been a polite respectful member of the forum since the battle was put to rest? Wasn't that exactly what we hoped for?

Why then would this new member want to stir up that fight again? Further, wouldn't admin be wise to take this thread down before it flames.....???

My .02

Out not playing......
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hrstrat57
Respectfully and at the risk of getting hammered....(but don't bother cause I won't reply....)

-Didn't many of us spend most of July fighting this battle....? Nearly 300 posts I recall over multiple threads.
-Didn't it all come to a polite resolution after many called for the banning of TCS?
-Hasn't TCS been a polite respectful member of the forum since the battle was put to rest? Wasn't that exactly what we hoped for?

Why then would this new member want to stir up that fight again? Further, wouldn't admin be wise to take this thread down before it flames.....???

My .02

Out not playing......
Wasn't serous about starting a fight kids, I was just joking around. Just trying to move Tai Chi specific discussions to its own thread. Its just a little humor, that's all.
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Dranow
Wasn't serous about starting a fight kids, I was just joking around. Just trying to move Tai Chi specific discussions to its own thread. Its just a little humor, that's all.
OK, that's fair. Might I suggest you edit your initial post to take out the "throw down" aspects of it ? An appropiate venue for a taichi discussion might be welcome...IMO your humor won't be, the TCS affair got pretty heated....lotsa passionate folks here. I would hate to see it flame up again after a peaceful resolution.

regards

hrstrat57
post #7 of 28
Gary, they lust for fight, they beg for it, and you of all people should know that...having been on the receiving end of an introductory (ritual) mugging.....they are like mad dogs lapping away at Merry Pranksters' Electric Kool Aid Acid....
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mainiac
Gary, they lust for fight, they beg for it, and you of all people should know that...having been on the receiving end of an introductory mugging.....they are like mad dogs lapping away at Merry Pranksters' Electric Kool Aide Acid....
Yeah, I know, I'm changing the tone of this right now - sorry guys!
post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 

Go back to #1 and start over

I fixed the introduction from levity to inscrutable
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 

How to start with Tai Chi

There has been a lot of discussion about Tai Chi in the fitness world for many, many years. Only in recent years has its popularity seemed to reach out to a wider audience. Tai Chi is one of the few mind/body conditioning systems that one can continue into the very, very autumn years.

I started my journey by reading this document

How to Practice Tai Chi properly

Picking the style, lineage of the style you wish to practice, to me, would be the next logical choice.

I'll try to get Tommy up here to keep this going
post #11 of 28

two grains of salt ...

Ultimate Tai Chi .... ?

Kinda' like an "Ultimate watch the paint dry" contest!

Sorry, as an ex Kung Fu and (primarily) Shotokan type .... I gotta start the fur flying.
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
That's fair. I fought in the orient in real blood fests in the '70's, Kempo, Joe Louis, Ed Parker where my teachers and then a little nasty war and the streets.

I am pure EXTERNAL. UFC Mixed Martial arts is what I'd be doing today but for the neck. I love to roll 'n tumble as well as stand up and strike.

So, like you Yuki, it was something I thought was real pussified, until I started doing it. Now I believe my left jab, right cross and uppercut will do more damage. It will be harder to shoot in on me and get me off balance (and keep one's teeth on the way in).

The two can be blended, really.

Oh yeah, one more thing. I am trying to put off an imminent surgery on L4/L5, I've got to have a break having had major surgeries 2 out of the last 3 years. If not for Tai Chi, I'd never make through this upcoming season and I've gots to be there, I've gots to be there. T'chi will give me a chance to get through this next season, then to the knife.

If you are old like me, whatever it takes, baby!
post #13 of 28

bah humbug! ..

No, at fifty ... er .. mid/late 50's, with some medical issues, I can understand that.

I have thought about Tai Chi but the only exposure I've had is the "holistic health" types at work, who do it on the lawn at lunch. They look pretty clueless and for that matter so do the "instructors".

Finding the right teacher is 97% of the battle. Soon, I'll start the go-sit-watch quest.
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki
No, at fifty ... er .. mid/late 50's, with some medical issues, I can understand that.

I have thought about Tai Chi but the only exposure I've had is the "holistic health" types at work, who do it on the lawn at lunch. They look pretty clueless and for that matter so do the "instructors".

Finding the right teacher is 97% of the battle. Soon, I'll start the go-sit-watch quest.
Ah Men!
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 

DanTien

Anybody understand the concept of Dan Tien (Don Ten)?
post #16 of 28

no

So what is dan tien?
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki
So what is dan tien?
I'm glad you asked. I have no idea Just kidding, I have a notion but can't get at it right now. Will work on that but suffice it to say I believe it is critical for good skiing.

RicB, you don't want to chime on this - What's the deal man? I've been waiting ever so patiently for you to get over here.
post #18 of 28
Strictly speaking is a point roughly located about 2 inches below your navel and 2 inches inside your body. Truly there are three Dan tien, the lower (the one we're speaking about, which is the seat of the jing, the middle, positioned at the hart level, where the chi concentrates and the upper, in the head, where the spiritual energy resides, the schen. In shortIt is one of the three points where the Chi concentrates
The lower Dan tien, could be roughly paralleled to the centrer of mass of a body.
I'm not too inside it, having been a taji student for only three years and then forced to suspend it (hope to start again this fall). So, anyone who has a better explanation, or correctinos, is welcome.
post #19 of 28

you say tomato, I say to__ ?

Sounds like hara .... Japanese "core" or center of mass in the "stomach" area.

You have to be very careful with these terms. If you confuse Dan Tien with "dim-mak" (spelling), people around you could start dropping like flys!
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by hrstrat57
An appropiate venue for a taichi discussion might be welcome...IMO your humor won't be, the TCS affair got pretty heated....lotsa passionate folks here. I would hate to see it flame up again after a peaceful resolution.

regards

hrstrat57
Although I put him on my ignore list, his posts (TCS's) have been polite and respectful since(note to TCS: I have taken you off the ignore list), I've found Gary's postings to have the same amount of politeness and respectfulness.
post #21 of 28
Thread Starter 

Dan Tien, the inscrutable force inside you

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobody
Strictly speaking is a point roughly located about 2 inches below your navel and 2 inches inside your body. Truly there are three Dan tien, the lower (the one we're speaking about, which is the seat of the jing, the middle, positioned at the hart level, where the chi concentrates and the upper, in the head, where the spiritual energy resides, the schen. In shortIt is one of the three points where the Chi concentrates
The lower Dan tien, could be roughly paralleled to the centrer of mass of a body.
I'm not too inside it, having been a taji student for only three years and then forced to suspend it (hope to start again this fall). So, anyone who has a better explanation, or correctinos, is welcome.
Well you ain't nobody, pretty cool! And yes I was referring to the area contained somewhere in the pelvis. To put very layman terms to how I perceive Dan Tien (Don Ten) is like this.

Imagine if you had a small sun or planet sitting in the cradle of your pelvis. This "Body" has its own weight and gravity. Every part of your body can rotate around this heavy and dense object as do the planets rotate around the sun. I get the sense that if one learns to harness Dan Tien they can have heavy hands in a golf swing, incredible racket speed in a tennis server or swing, pack a heckuva punch or make incredibly strong and stable ski turns (whether racing, skiing off piste or cruising on groomers).

How's that for a westerner's POV? Woa!

I'm glad ya'all have found my posts to be polite, I always strive to be a positive part of any community.
post #22 of 28

sounds like ...

Sounds like "hara" to me everything (the most basic) the most basic punch has it's pelvic origins. I can remember watching a knock out by Clay/Ali and just jumping out of my chair because of the beautiful hip rotation behind the punch.

Goes quite well with the PSIA "centered" stuff too. They may not be the same word but .... as long as the trains arrive at the same station ... ?

To find it ... play a game ....

"Lift your tail little tiger" !

See if you can do this ...
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 

A beginner at Tai Chi

I am posting these sequences as a resource of the "Waist Steering Revisted" thread by BioWolf.

I have only been praciting Fu Style Tai Chi for 6 months, I'm neither soft or fluid.

Here are some pictures of weight transfer, bias and rudimentary waist skills.

Sequence 1

Sequence 2

Sequence 3

Sequence 4

Sequence 5

Sequence 6

Again, my background is Mixed Martial arts with an emphasis Kenpo. I am an absolute grasshopper in my journey with Fu Style Tai Chi

Thanks to ImageShack for Free Image Hosting
post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 

Fostering Qi (Chi)

THE PROPER METHOD IN A NUTSHELL

To understand why BaGwaChang is an internal martial art, one must understand the concept of chi or vital breath. There are many internal styles of martial arts in which the practitioner should train daily on the conjuring of chi. But first let us begin with clarifying the concept of chi, and how you, the student, can cultivate it. Very few founders of external martial art systems recognized the importance of honing the nervous system to enhance chi flow for hardy health, and its utilization for self-defence purposes. Today, therefore, many instructors of martial art systems dismiss chi development and its benefits as esoteric folly.

Chi is developed by meditation in conjunction with deep breathing, often referred to as lower level (or spiritual) breathing. The mind then directs the chi, using the nervous system as its pathways. When the student begins this process of chi cultivation, he/she should meditate in a quiet or soundless, well-lit locality (preferably a naturally bright place) with absolutely no disturbances. An empty white room is ideal. He must clear the mind and relax, reflecting nothing except concentrating on slackening the muscles, calming and then controlling the breathing.

To attain this meditative state, one must let go of the material world. The more you let go, the more your subconscious mind will attune to the magnetic might or life force which emanates from the earth and penetrates every living and nonliving substance. By emptying yourself, the nervous structure will become a replenished receptor of this enormous electromagnetic energy. One must recapture the consciousness of childhood: innocent, immaculate, virtuous; and rediscover the way a child breathes. Without this type of rebirth, to try will only result in futility.

To begin this rebirth, the BaGwa practitioner uses the quiet standing posture, or standing comfortably with the feet separated shoulder width apart. It is vitally essential to have the spine straight: legs/back/head flawlessly aligned for the chi to circulate correctly. One should parallel a puppet suspended on its strands. When the body is relaxed, free from all tension, and the mind emptied, proceed by lying flat on your back to continue the meditation. Be aware only of your breathing. Never force your breath: inhale/exhale soothingly and spontaneously. If the novice has difficulty pacifying his breathing, the subsequent gasping gesticulation or method will help ameliorate the obstacle: breathe very high in your chest, and during the next inhalation/exhalation, breathe from the lower stomach area. Finally, on the third respiration, inhale calmly, imagining the air being drawn down through a constricted column into the groin region. Inhale through the mouth and nose, whilst tending the tongue to the top of the mouth.Exhale smoothly in the same manner, inverting the flow of air. By repeating this Taoist routine several times, the breathing process will become more composed and controlled. Remember: empty your mind of thought and release the tensions of your body. Only when this is attained can you open the first heavenly gate to higher consciousness. Concentrate only on the breathing with your subconscious mind. Eventually, through several weeks of daily morning and/or evening practice, your breathing will sink below the navel. When you can easily expand and contract the Tan Tien or Tanden, the often unused muscles located approximately three inches below the navel, you have accomplished the first important step. This low level breathing process is what produces the chi, and like an oven, it generates heat---hence, its often obvious mention to starting the fire.

During inhalation, the tanden contracts; during exhalation, it expands. This is the basis of Taoist breathing; (the Buddhist method of meditative breathing is essentially the same, except that the expansion and contraction of the tanden is reversed while breathing). The tanden also serves as a pump to move the chi throughout the body, via the nervous route, with the mind manipulating/maneuvering it.

The mind then directs the vital breath through a narrow passage into the groin area. Never use force to attain this step, or failure will prevail. When this stage is accomplished and practiced for at least eight weeks, one then moves into a Shuang Pan, or Full Lotus sitting posture: legs crossed, with the palms facing up and resting on the thighs so as to continue in the cultivation and willed movement of the chi throughout the human nervous system---which includes the brain.

The student then continues creating, pumping and guiding the chi from the tanden/groin area into the tailbone. When this is reached, the next step is to guide the chi or electrical energy up along the spine to the cavity (acupuncture point) directly behind the heart. From here the chi is willed to the next cavity located at the base of the neck. The above three cavities along the spine are commonly called The Three Gates in Eastern Meditation.

After the chi passes through the base of the skull, it continues over the crown of the head, down the middle of the face, and along the chest and then back to the tanden. This cycle then repeats. One complete revolution of the chi around this path is done during one respiration. Later, after a few years of diligent practice, this cycle may be achieved with one-half breath: either an inhalation or an exhalation, or simply willed with the mind without respiring, radiating around the body to be used as a protective buffer. The chi circulation transfers through these thirteen obstacles or gates of heavenly palaces. In Taoism, the body is perceived as a temple of the Great Ultimate force (Holy Spirit in Christian belief) with gates or acupuncture points and nerve centers leading to the obtainment of improved health and awareness; power and immortality (In Chinese cultural belief, immortality means to eminently enhance the quality of one's life and extend one's existence). For most people, these gates are primarily partially blocked nerve centers, which may be honed to become unblocked, so that these nerves become a refined receptor of the circulation of chi (or sexual/spiritual energy).

A master of the martial arts from Toronto, Canada, Bill Hind, once told me, "...to cultivate chi, you must first free yourself. Go to a park and sit. Clear your mind, make peace and find yourself. When you have done this, only then will you renew your oneness with the natural forces of the universe, and begin to build this spiritual energy or chi...."

Gates of heavenly palaces



  1. Tan Tien or tanden, the muscles located three inches below the navel.
  2. Hai Di or groin area. For the female it is called the Kuan Yuan or Ovarian Palace, and for the male it is called the Jing Gung or Sperm Palace.
  3. Hui Yin, the bony muscle area between the groin and anus.
  4. Yang Yu Wei Mo, the tailbone.
  5. Jar Chi, the vertebra on the spine directly behind the heart.
  6. Chun Bei, the large vertebra on the spine at the base of the neck.
  7. Yu Chen, the base of the skull.
  8. Ni Wan, the crown of the head.
  9. Ying Tang, the pineal gland located in the middle of the forehead just between the eyebrows, and is often referred to as The Third Eye.
  10. Tzu Chiao, the bridge of the nose.
  11. Hsuan Chi, the center of the breast bones.
  12. Shuan Chung, the center of the chest in front of the heart.
  13. Chung Gung or Central Palace, the sternum.


When this chi circulation can easily be maintained with all gates open when practicing BaGwa movements, the practitioner has accomplished small heavenly circulation (or small cyclic breathing). A person possessing this esoteric skill or divine gift is called a master or a chi gung master. Spiritual energy or chi will eventually enter the legs, arms and hands, then permeate the bones and surround the entire body. When this is achieved, the state is called grand heavenly circulation or grand ultimate circulation. The mind and nervous system (the brain and mind are part of the nervous system) is honed so that it is sharper, and responds intrinsically without conscious thought nor hesitation. The chi surrounding the body is also used as a protective buffer from blows, and assists in the sensitivity required to manipulate the attacker's moves. This amplitude of chi circulation creates a colossal charge and a sharpened command for the martial artist. One who has evoked this elevated eminence or Elysium is often referred to as a grandmaster or a chi gung grandmaster.

Before meditation one should avoid:
  • smoking, drugs and alcohol

  • eating and retaining bodily wastes (constipation)
  • concupiscence, coition & that nasty, nightly succuba 1 day before/after
  • tight clothing (this will hinder chi flow)
  • hellishly foul or stale air


One should have plenty of rest and clear the body of impurities before beginning. Meditating in a flower garden supplies the practitioner with an abundance of clean oxygen. Facing in an easterly direction during dawn, and/or facing a body of water such as a waterfall are also preferable. Wear loose, warm clothing---it is better to be a little too warm than chilled when practicing.

From 8Plam
post #25 of 28
...and don't forget to sideslip around the bunny hill like a dork.
post #26 of 28
Thread Starter 

Chi, Pee and Bunny Slopes

Quote:
Originally Posted by irul&ublo
...and don't forget to sideslip around the bunny hill like a dork.
I hear that fostering Chi really empowers one's dorkiness or Bosousness Also if you've figured out our family moto you will see that it is in direct conflict with the fostering of chi (in other words, boy am I in trouble with the universe : )
post #27 of 28
Gary Dranow,

Although some of the concepts you describe are pure fantasy in the physical world, I can see that Tai Chi is a fancy form of meditation & breathing. One cannot deny the benefits of meditation, so I can see how Tai Chi can help in general.

But using Tai Chi to improve your skiing (or tennis game for that matter) is a bit much. It is a little like using yoga to improve your skiing. Granted, it won't hurt. It may add a new angle to an experienced skier, but it will do little for a struggling intermediate whose last concern should be about breathing.
post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomB
Gary Dranow,

Although some of the concepts you describe are pure fantasy in the physical world, I can see that Tai Chi is a fancy form of meditation & breathing. One cannot deny the benefits of meditation, so I can see how Tai Chi can help in general.

But using Tai Chi to improve your skiing (or tennis game for that matter) is a bit much. It is a little like using yoga to improve your skiing. Granted, it won't hurt. It may add a new angle to an experienced skier, but it will do little for a struggling intermediate whose last concern should be about breathing.
We must agree to disagree. Have you read the Waist Steering thread? The principles we take to skiing are far more than the breathing exercises I posted here. I have no idea what Chi is, I've been an external martial artist for 40 plus years (no kidding). I don't meditate and take drugs everyday to deal with my broken spine. But I started practicing Tai Chi after tearing my MCL in Slalom practice last January and having DNF'd in more than half my starts. My record of finishes from that point forward is only attributed to the body awareness and balance I started acquiring from Tai Chi practice and is a matter of public record (finishing my last 18 runs in a row). My understanding of "Waist Skills" has only developed from my practice of Tai Chi.

It is exactly what helped my skiing that will help any intermediate if properly coached.

We must agree to disagree

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