Hot answers tagged

14

Chen style Taiji comes first, historically speaking. From that came at least two variations of Yang style. Wu style derived from Yang style. Wu (Hao) derived from Yang and Chen style. You can find more details of the actual lineages on the web. Personally, if you're just interested in the "health" aspects of Taiji, then any of them will do just fine. All ...


11

It depends on context, skill and time spent training. If they just start training they're a student 学生(xué'shēng), when they become an official disciple they'll be called 徒弟(tú'dì). Then when they become an instructor/teacher they'll be called 老师(lǎo'shī). When they take on disciples of their own they'll be 师父(shī'fu) and when their skill is widely ...


9

You're probably wrong about not being able to find Tai Chi. You probably just don't know where to look. Google is a skill ;) Make sure your google-fu is strong. Tai Chi is a very popular martial art and it is taught in a lot of places. Check your local gym or fitness club. Don't try learning Tai Chi from the internet. There are too many subtleties....


9

This may be new information to you, or it might be something you already understand. Taiji is done slowly for a very good reason. It's not for meditation, although many Taiji schools teach it that way. The real reason it's done slowly is because you're trying to move your body in a very special way that requires your brain to concentrate on many variables at ...


9

Are you doing Taiji entirely for meditation, relaxation, and chi-kung? If so, go ahead and do it with your eyes closed. Or better yet, do it sitting down on the floor while just "thinking" of how the movement should feel. You'll make more progress at your intended purpose that way. If, however, your purpose for learning Taiji is at least partially for ...


8

First off, the Chen village invented push hands, so what you see there is the way it is supposed to be played. I've pushed with some guys from Chen village, and real push hands is a lot closer to a combination of judo and sumo. Why do people have such a hard time accepting this? I suspect because its actually hard, and its a lot easier to spend your life ...


8

Tai chi can be best described as "mediation in motion." It is more slow-moving than tae kwon do and focuses more on internal energy development whereas tae kwon do is more external. However, that does not mean that tai chi itself will not provide a workout for you. It may not be as strenuous or physically demanding as tae kwon do, but you will see some ...


8

Virtually all of the martial arts use the hands in some way. Even Taekwondo, which uses mostly kicks during sparring, will use the hands to block and punch. Whereas, grappling arts use the hands to grab onto the gi or wrists or whatever. It's not uncommon in Brazilian Jiujitsu or Judo to sprain your pinky and ring fingers due to the fact that your grip ...


7

I do not think it is necessary to seek out and translate primary sources for breathing. My understanding is that taiji, bagua, and xing yi share Daoist qi gong breathing; guidance from any of these sources should be in agreement. The Root of Chinese Qigong by Yang Jwing-Ming uses alternate words (p124) to describe breathing: In the first stage of ...


6

First we might want to define 'root'. 'Root' is simply the ability to resist a push. This is most often done in "internal arts" as a 'relaxed' manner and paired with the not loosing of one's balance when/if the other quickly withdraws their pushing force. The Tai Chi Classics (TCC) say "Rooted in the feet" to express the idea that the feet are the base, ...


6

Chris Chi asserts that seven stars refers to seven points of the body – head, shoulder, elbow, hand, hip, knee, foot – each can be used to deflect or strike. Alas, Chris Chi doesn't provide a graphic, and the seven star stance in my tai chi form is quite unlike the seven star mantis stance shown if I google for seven star stance. (Attempts to include ...


6

Part of this really depends on where you are learning, how often the classes are, how big the class is, and the curriculum and structure of the class. Given that you haven't mentioned what style of tai chi you are learning, the movements/forms, and what your instructor or class format is like, I can only draw so many conclusions. For instance, if your class ...


6

In general, you should be inhaling when raising the arms and exhaling when lowering them. This is taken from the 18 Lohan set which is where the 8 Pieces of Brocade was taken from. When inhaling when raising the arms, you are gathering the chi, when exhaling while lowering, you are sinking the chi to the build the root in the stance, then you have a solid ...


5

I've studied Yang style Tai Chi for two years. There are some very simple applications for Single Whip: In the images above, the guy is facing forwards, imagine if the attacker was coming from behind. You start in Wu Chi and when they try to punch the back of your head, you step backwards into single whip, using the whip hand to very subtly deflect the ...


5

Chinese martial arts are generally known for assigning flowery names to it's various postures, techniques and excercises. While quite often the names are similar across styles and lineages, their actual meaning is subject to the particular style, lineage or school. From this web site (I could not find more authoritative web reference at the moment): The ...


5

I used to teach tai chi before my family came along. The one thing nobody else has said is speak to your teacher. Tell them you enjoy the movement more than the stretching and ask why there's been less of the movement. Assume they did it for a reason. Problem is that until you have a certain number of people who can help keep beginners busy it's ...


5

Don't worry about trying to match the breath to the movement. If you try to control the breath to the movement to soon, it is easy to hyperventilate which could cause dizziness, or other problems. Breathe naturally, and over time the breath will naturally adjust to the movements.


5

You should not try to match your instructor's breathing rate. This would be like trying to lift the same weight as your weightlifting instructor; it does not make sense to do this because your instructor's body is different from yours. The general advice for basic breathing exercises is to make your breathing relaxed, continuous, deep, and even. Pay ...


5

It is complicated in Chinese, and often depends on who is referring to whom, and what dialect is being used. In Japan, the term "-ka" is added (and in Korean "-in") to denote a "practitioner of". One equivalent in Chinese would be "jia", as in "Kung Fu-jia" or "Wushu-jia". The same character in Chinese for "jia" (家) is used in Japanese "ka", so I suspect ...


5

There are several good answers here. I'll only add that there are specific names practitoners call other practitioners depending on relationship. Very commonly utilized are the terms: Si Hing ( 師兄) Elder kung fu brother Si Jie (師姐) Elder kung fu sister because all schools have longer-term, more advanced students who help teach the newer students. ...


5

Yes it is possible; it is relatively easy to find video of people doing it. I am not a health professional and I would not presume to give health advice, but I am an aging practitioner with knee issues and I share your concern over the posture. Squatting on that right knee can be challenging. As I said, nothing below is medical advice; I'm merely ...


4

If you're sedentary in a new city and looking for exercise, the best school to join is whichever one actually moves around vigorously that you will enjoy and stick with. Whether it's Tae Kwon Do, tai chi, yoga, lifting weights, or soccer doesn't particularly matter. Whether or not you sweat matters. Whether you like it and keep going matters. However, it's ...


4

Permit me to reinforce what Matt Chan states. Style (tae kwon do or tai chi) (in my opinion) ought to be a tertiary selector. I believe that I'm not alone in stating that long term success/happiness in martial arts derives first from the instructor, second from the classmates and only third from the art. You may want to read one of my prior prolixities ...


4

I found in "Tai Chi Postures & Internal Power Enhancement Taijiquan Shi" by Xu Yu-Sheng another explanation (page 107): The seven stars [the seven joints of the upper torso] unite as one, ant the intent of KUA forms within. Qi resides and settles below; the seven above rise without effort to embrace complete roundness. That means that the seven are ...


4

I practice traditional japanese karate. I broke my middle finger and had to have surgery. I still practice. I practice with another karateka who is missing his entire left arm and another karateka who is missing a hand. In traditional Okinawa karate-do, having a missing or non working limb makes no difference to the practitioner. PS. My friend who is ...


4

The style matters less than who is teaching it. The same style can be taught very differently by different people. I would look for location first: your dojo/gym/training place should be within easy travel distance of where you are. I would say less than an hour's drive (both ways) but that might vary depending on how much you generally travel. Secondly, ...


4

No. There is no evidence that chi does anything, let alone going as far as creating an actual weapon.


4

Slow down the movements if you're practicing alone. Adjust the breath to the movements if you're doing applications or partner exercises. In the beginning it is better not to worry about the synchronization between breath and the movements, it is better to just breathe naturally. After a while you are taught the logic that links the movements to the ...


4

Taiji (Tai Chi) can be very effective for fighting. Historically speaking, taiji masters like Yang Luchan were among the most skilled fighters in China. In his time, taiji was known for fighting, and not for health benefits. However, it is necessary to understand how taiji has changed in the years since this time. In the 20th century, China experienced a ...


4

Ma bu and gong bu are the most basic stances, and I'm sure every other martial art has them. Ma bu gets referred to as horse stance alot here. Gong bu is basically a standard attack stance. Pu bu is a bit less basic, but is great for flexibility and balance. Being able to switch between those three will create good hip flexibility and will allow you to do ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible