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Judodad_karateson
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Joined: 27 May 2015
Posts: 222

Styles: judo, boxing, Karate

PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:14 am    Post subject: The Skeptics Tai Chi Reply with quote

Hey guys! I don't often talk about this aspect of myself, but I am a hardcore atheist skeptic. I don't believe the chi, and I think anything useful chi offers can be explained via sports medicine and sports psychology.

I don't say this to start an argument or to offend anyone who does, I say this because to want to do Tai Chi. I've never done a Chinese Martial art, but I want to try, and Tai Chi is so far removed from the arts I'm use to (karate, judo, and boxing) that I really think I'd enjoy the change of pace in my training (plus it just look cool).

My question is, can I get the full enjoyment from such an art with my stubborn, skeptical world view? How vital is the belief in chi to mastering Tai Chi? I can visualize and I've got a great imagination, but I doubt I will ever fully believe it. Should I look into something else? Will Tai Chi be lost on a skeptic like me?

Extra info, the styles offered at my local Kung Fu school are Yang Empty Hand, Chen Style (cannon fist) Empty Hand and Traditional Yang Style Walking Stick Tai Chi Chu'an.
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14183
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try it, you might like it!! Better yet, taste it to see if it's any good!! Experience it, and allow it to develop on its own naturally. Now, what I've just said, covers a wide plethora of subjects, and not just chi and the like.

Not everything in the MA is either bad or good; it's up to the practitioner to decide on their own. That decision requires some thoughtful research to see if one likes it or if it's any good or if it'll develop on its own naturally; don't force it!!



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Alan Armstrong
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Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2016


PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Learning Tai Chi Chuan, was one of the most rewarding periods, in my many years of learning and practicing martial arts.

Really understanding and applying yinyang (is just a way to explain the known universe in simple terms) these principles can help us in many aspects in our lives, including martial arts.

Chi is just another word for energy, it is broad ancient chinese view point for understanding, how to use, recognize and store (vital) energy effectively, for health and longevity; also being aware of flowing and stagnant energy in our surroundings.

Sports medicine and psychology is all Greek to me. Although chi is a way to understand Chinese wisdom.
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vantheman
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Joined: 18 Apr 2012
Posts: 249

Styles: Chinese Kempo Karate, Brazilian Jujitsu

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you truly believe that all chi is some form of anatomical psychometric function, just think of the chi ideology as a metaphor or narrative of sorts that just does an extremely good job at explaining the science behind it. In a sense (and this risks entering a philosophical debate beyond the original scope of this post) if science is a numerical-scientific approach to how Tai Chi works, try to think of the Chi explanation to be a mystic/Eastern Asian philosophy on how it works. Ultimately, its just two different ways or languages of describing the same phenomenon. At least, that is how I feel about the matter. The body can only move a certain number of ways. Different styles can train and explain and philosophize it differently, but in the end, the human body functions the same whether you can it "flowing chi" or "relaxed muscle movement." (N. B. I'm aware flowing chi and relaxed muscles aren't synonymous per say, nonetheless, I feel it demonstrates the point I'm attempting to make).

In short, Tai Chi and science are different doors to the same house. The body moves the same whether you use scientific or chi-based explanations/descriptions.

In any case, I wish you well in your Tai Chi adventures!
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Last edited by vantheman on Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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Judodad_karateson
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Joined: 27 May 2015
Posts: 222

Styles: judo, boxing, Karate

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the tips, guys. Based on what you have said, I definitely think I'm going to enjoy learned the 8 gates and all that. It wil be very different from the arts I know (as you can see under my name on the left)The instructor seems to understand what I was looking for. He asked if I looked in to his Southern Mantis class (Not trying to sell me, just making sure I had the right class for me) I told him I've had I fill of standing in line and kicking when I was in karate. Not that there isn't more for me to learn, but I want another type of MA. I'm 30, I want to branch out and explore things I've never tried before.

Anyways, the class is tomorrow. He said no uniform required. Should be interesting... what should I expect the class structure to be like? I picture it being a lot like yoga but a kata instead of a pose.
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DWx
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6100
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Judodad_karateson wrote:
Thanks for the tips, guys. Based on what you have said, I definitely think I'm going to enjoy learned the 8 gates and all that. It wil be very different from the arts I know (as you can see under my name on the left)The instructor seems to understand what I was looking for. He asked if I looked in to his Southern Mantis class (Not trying to sell me, just making sure I had the right class for me) I told him I've had I fill of standing in line and kicking when I was in karate. Not that there isn't more for me to learn, but I want another type of MA. I'm 30, I want to branch out and explore things I've never tried before.

Anyways, the class is tomorrow. He said no uniform required. Should be interesting... what should I expect the class structure to be like? I picture it being a lot like yoga but a kata instead of a pose.

Great Let us know how it goes

I can't speak for other classes and I only studied for a short time (2 years) but our class was structured as follows:

- Basics and Qigong exercises as a warm up
- Detailed look at individual postures or maybe some push hands exercises (pair work)
- Practice of the 24 form
- Free practice

All in our classes were around 2 hours long.
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Alan Armstrong
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Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2016


PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck with your new class.

It was 20 years ago when learning Tai Chi; still today I appreciate all that I had learned. The bonus material while learning Tai Chi was being introduced to chi kung.

My (chi kung) specialty is rejuvenation. I can fool people to think, that I'm 20 years younger than I really am; ironic how it was 20 years ago when I learned about it!
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Judodad_karateson
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Joined: 27 May 2015
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Styles: judo, boxing, Karate

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DWx wrote:
Judodad_karateson wrote:
Thanks for the tips, guys. Based on what you have said, I definitely think I'm going to enjoy learned the 8 gates and all that. It wil be very different from the arts I know (as you can see under my name on the left)The instructor seems to understand what I was looking for. He asked if I looked in to his Southern Mantis class (Not trying to sell me, just making sure I had the right class for me) I told him I've had I fill of standing in line and kicking when I was in karate. Not that there isn't more for me to learn, but I want another type of MA. I'm 30, I want to branch out and explore things I've never tried before.

Anyways, the class is tomorrow. He said no uniform required. Should be interesting... what should I expect the class structure to be like? I picture it being a lot like yoga but a kata instead of a pose.

Great Let us know how it goes

I can't speak for other classes and I only studied for a short time (2 years) but our class was structured as follows:

- Basics and Qigong exercises as a warm up
- Detailed look at individual postures or maybe some push hands exercises (pair work)
- Practice of the 24 form
- Free practice

All in our classes were around 2 hours long.


What does "free practice" consist of?
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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
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Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2016


PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Judodad_karateson wrote:
Thanks for the tips, guys. Based on what you have said, I definitely think I'm going to enjoy learned the 8 gates and all that. It wil be very different from the arts I know (as you can see under my name on the left)The instructor seems to understand what I was looking for. He asked if I looked in to his Southern Mantis class (Not trying to sell me, just making sure I had the right class for me) I told him I've had I fill of standing in line and kicking when I was in karate. Not that there isn't more for me to learn, but I want another type of MA. I'm 30, I want to branch out and explore things I've never tried before.

Anyways, the class is tomorrow. He said no uniform required. Should be interesting... what should I expect the class structure to be like? I picture it being a lot like yoga but a kata instead of a pose.
How is the Tai Chi working out?

Pung = bounce

Gee = press

Lou = pull

Ann = push

These are the four virtues on how to use Tai Chi effectively.

With practice these four can be effectively used in other styles also.
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JusticeZero
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Joined: 02 Apr 2005
Posts: 2166
Location: AK
Styles: Capoeira Angola

PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of taiji teachers are just bad, because they believe the wrong parts of what they are taught. Taiji has problems, but it works as advertised because.. Well..

Back in the 1800s, there was a geologist who was studying geography and found evidence that the continents move over time. He collected all sorts of evidence and put together a book detailing how continents move over time, what to look for, how it affects geology, and so on. But the question was,
"But how do the continents move?"
"Well, maybe <insert goofball improbable silly idea of why a continent might drift around here>?"

As a result, he was sneered at and his results discounted.
But continents DO move, just not for the silly reason he suggested.

Taiji form and methodology demands relaxed movement, highly developed structure and balance, and uses a lot of nervous system hacking to develop those aspects quickly. The nervous system hacks involve a lot of visualization exercises and the like to make people more aware of their balance, core body function, structure, etc. as well as how to move with minimal adversarial muscle tension.

People look at the way that the exercises are described, and start believing that they are Doctor Strange, and completely lose the actual point because it is not well explained on account of there not having been a good language to describe it way back when.
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