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15

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 ...


9

Every individual muscle fiber cannot contract for long without being damaged. Therefore, in any static posture or exertion of strength over a significant period of time, muscle fibers within muscle bundles and muscle bundles within muscles coordinate with each other to do the job in turns, as it were. This is normal and the reason why we can exert much more ...


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

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

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

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

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

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 ...


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

Joints This one is easy. Yes, your martial arts instruction should cover joints extensively. This includes things like the use of joints, the training of joints, striking with joints, striking at joints, the protection of joints, and health maintenance of joints. But this is not something I would call theory; there is very little abstraction when talking ...


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

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

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 ...


4

Adding on to Wigwam's answer, other options are 武者 (wǔ zhě) 武人(wǔ rén) 功夫者 (gōng fū zhě) 功夫达人(gōng fū dá rén) Although the last one translates to something like "Kung fu expert", I've heard it used as a respectful term for just practicioners of kung fu in general and it's probably the one I am most familiar with. And for Tai Ji Quan specifically, I'd use ...


4

As in all Tai Chi postures, the knees should point in the direction of the toes. As the angle between the feet can vary from 90° to 135° in this posture, the knees should be very open. Only like this can you achieve a stable posture. If the knees are pointing inward, not only will your posture not be stable, you'll overly strain your knee joints. Why do ...


4

You really do not really need to choose a different style of martial art for gaining martial effectiveness. What you generally need is a different way to practice Taijiquan. The big mistake is that most people unfamiliar with Taijiquan blindly believe half-truths, lies and fairytales of those practitioners of Taijiquan who have not either due to lack of ...


4

That movement is essentially a mix of a flying arm bar and a spinning arm bar with a bit of extra spinning added in to make it look more cinematic.


3

It all depends in what your intention is. Like the classic text says inhaling gathers chi and exhaling projects chi. Now if you' re practising you want to gather chi to yourself, so you breathe out when pushing down. In healing or in combat however you want to project your chi into something or someone else outside of your body. That's when your breathing ...


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