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15 votes
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What are the functional differences between the five main T'ai Chi styles?

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 ...
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11 votes
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How do you call a practitioner of Tai Chi Chuan (or Kung Fu in general)?

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 ...
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11 votes
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What is happening physiologically when the whole body violently shakes during standing qigong?

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 ...
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9 votes
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How long should the Tai Chi basic 24 form take?

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....
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9 votes
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Practicing a form with closed eyes

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 ...
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8 votes
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Down a hand, looking for new martial art

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 ...
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7 votes

Cheng Man-Ch'ing advises that breath should be: Fine, Long, Calm, and Slow. What does this mean?

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 ...
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  • 13.7k
6 votes

What does it mean to "uproot" someone in tai chi?

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 ...
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5 votes

What is "seven star"?

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 ...
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  • 1,417
5 votes

Should I speed up my breathing or slow down my tai chi?

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. ...
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5 votes
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How effective is Tai Chi as a martial art in street fights?

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 ...
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5 votes
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Should I follow the class or instructor's breathing rate during Tai Chi breathing exercises?

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 ...
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5 votes
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Is it common and expected that shifus give theory classes about stuff like TCM, meridians and joints?

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 ...
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  • 13.7k
5 votes

How do you call a practitioner of Tai Chi Chuan (or Kung Fu in general)?

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". ...
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  • 3,886
5 votes

How do you call a practitioner of Tai Chi Chuan (or Kung Fu in general)?

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 ( ...
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  • 2,991
5 votes

Snake Creeps Down

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 ...
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  • 3,465
4 votes

Down a hand, looking for new martial art

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 ...
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  • 188
4 votes

What is "seven star"?

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 ...
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4 votes
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Best martial art for a late bloomer

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 ...
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4 votes

Chi as a weapon?

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

Should I speed up my breathing or slow down my tai chi?

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 ...
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4 votes
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What are basic kung fu stances?

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 ...
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  • 796
4 votes

How do you call a practitioner of Tai Chi Chuan (or Kung Fu in general)?

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 ...
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4 votes

Snake Creeps Down

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 ...
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4 votes

Meditative yet effective martial art

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 ...
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  • 1,417
4 votes
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What is the technical name for this movement performed by Master Wong in Birth of the Dragon?

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.
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4 votes

What elements of a typical Tai Chi curriculum are useful for fighting or combat sports?

You're not alone. Many Taiji (also spelled T'ai Chi) practitioners are not interested in the esoteric, mystical topics that often come along for the ride. They want practical, real skill that can be ...
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3 votes

Yang tai chi breathing (when to inhale/exhale)

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 ...
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  • 31
3 votes

Yang tai chi breathing (when to inhale/exhale)

Try doing this: Every time your arms/body extend/expand, exhale. and every time your arms/body contracts, inhale. Then try this: Every time your arms/body extend/expand, inhale. and Every time your ...
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3 votes

What does it mean to "uproot" someone in tai chi?

Having a root means being able to redirect any incoming force into the ground. In Tai Chi, learning to root yourself is a very important part of the training. The method is not to just lower the ...
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