Nice to meet you

Nice to meet you

Postby Paw » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:12 pm

Hello, my name is Chris,

First let me share a little bit about what has brought me here, in short, when i was 14 or so i wanted to learn some type of martial arts, i felt it would have been a hobby that would end up becoming a better me, unfortunately i was unable to see what was about to happen- my father left my mother when i was 10, he staged unemployed and never paid child support, the opportunity to do many things i wanted to do- at the time i had a high interest in Taekwondo (TKD), when i was 16 i kept this goal to join a local Black Belt school in town (little did i know at the time it was different than Tawkwondo) I had to begin working full time and drop out of school because my mother's fibromyalgia and arthritis got extremely bad to the point she couldn't move without feeling sick, i owned up to the responsibilities and during this time i was still a teenager and my childhood felt as if it flew out the window.

When i was 19 i met a girl and we only dated about 3 months before we got married, by now i have almost forgotten about any martial arts. A few years later i had a baby girl who is now 2 and i have renown my interest in martial arts, but not for the same reason you may think. I purchased my very first Sony PlayStation 3 System not to long ago and with i was given a game for the system called "Dead or Alive 5". The guy at the store told me i would enjoy it and i really did! Fate? or..

After playing this game for awhile i began to notice the styles are all their own, TKD, Karate, Aikido, Jitsu? (Is that a legitimate one?) and then the one i have really been caught by "Tai Chi Quan" used by the in-game character Lei Fang, the reason this has resparked my interest is because according to some research this company hired professional artists to motion capture, furthermore Lei Fang was very difficult for me because she was the only one i could not "button mash" and win- i read about Tai Chi in general and when i saw it is a highly defensive stance i changed my process and began using holds or counter attacks and she is almost untouchable!

Now i have several reasons for being interested in this style, health being one of them, i need more reasons to eat better and i bought the game console to relieve stress, while it does ok as a pass time i'm hoping Tai Chi can help me relax. My wife has also tilted her head in interest in Tai Chi, we are both very open to asian culture in general, mostly japanese but none of them strike us as unusual.

Most importantly i would like to tunnel my Tai Chi interest using this game as my foundation of motivation. What i am hoping can be answered is, what is the style of Tai Chi Quan Lei Fang has been motion captured in?
Take a look at this video and keep in mind that this is a command training video so her initial offensive attacks are actually rather useless unless the other player is already vulnerable, when you see the green commands at the top with an "H" in them is when i personally start to see her "Style", and i know alot it is very stylized for the sake of it being entertaining but there is still some sort of style here, thank you for taking the time to read my introduction.

-I cannot post URL's, if you type in youtube and after(dot)com put /watch?v=nLptaVgWaWg it should give you her motion captures.
Nice to meet you.
Paw
 
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Re: Nice to meet you

Postby Audi » Tue Mar 12, 2013 3:16 am

Hi Chris,

Welcome to the board.

Forms of different Tai Chi Styles and the training regimens are often quite distinctive, but Tai Chi in actual usage is not necessarily so different. At least in my case, I recognize various Tai Chi applications toward the end of the video, like Press, Elbow, and Shoulder Strike; however, I do not recognize any particular style.

Take care,
Audi
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Re: Nice to meet you

Postby Sugelanren » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:13 am

Hey Chris.

First, is the video you want us to watch titled "Lei Fang Command Training - Exercise Newbie"?

I know it is, but i just wanted to be sure.

I'm in no way an expert, but i am a gamer (PC), so we share an intrest in that respect (I'm Huckleberryhound on steam).

From what i saw, this character is not fighting with a Taijiquan style. If i were you, i'd youtube search some actual Taiji players and see what they're about. Getting your style info from a Japanese Tekken styled game is like getting your Military training from Mass Effect 3, or your Sword style from WOW.

Go to youtube and search
Yang style Tai chi (or Yang style taijiquan)
Chen style Tai chi
Wu style Tai chi
Sun style Tai chi
Cheng man Ching style Tai Chi
Hao Style Tai chi

Get your impressions of the styles from real practitioners, not a video game.

One other thing. I'm a novice Taijiquan player. There are many people who will post here who dwarf me in their experience and skill. My only advice to you is find out what you want in a martial art, take time to find a good teacher...and stick with it. Taiji is not for everyone. It takes dedication, and years of practice. You will have to give up parts of what you've already learned in order to take on board the concept of the soft overcoming the hard. But it is worth it. One day i will be able to give you more advice, but for now - from a novice to a prospective novice - if you want to Play taijiquan, here's my advice.

Try to find a good teacher.
Try to practice every day
Lots of Qigong.
Have fun.

Peace out...Sean.
Sugelanren
 
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Re: Nice to meet you

Postby Paw » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:24 am

Audi wrote:Hi Chris,

Welcome to the board.

Forms of different Tai Chi Styles and the training regimens are often quite distinctive, but Tai Chi in actual usage is not necessarily so different. At least in my case, I recognize various Tai Chi applications toward the end of the video, like Press, Elbow, and Shoulder Strike; however, I do not recognize any particular style.

Take care,
Audi


Thanks very much! I have done more research, Tai chi is a focus on Health, Relaxation and Self Defense. If i had to place these in any specific order i would say 1.Self Defense 2. Health 3. Relaxation, i own a wall full of guns that i'd like to think i don't feel like i would need. My health is on the slim side, i eat pretty much whatever i like, i am 6'0" about 150 with a mild cut build and i drink Tea, Water and Coffee, No soda drinks. I keep a cell phone app of what i eat to try consuming almost 3000 calories a day to gain more weight as i am pretty thin even to myself.

With that said i am rather tall and the Chen style has piqued my interested as of this moment because it is a low stance in terms of defensive, as an observation this gives me a slight advantage to this style because the wingspan in my lags that i could accomplish will root me farther, while also being challenging which i love.

Just from my view if i had to pick a style for Lei Fang there i would place her in Chen, the throw off is her arms have a wide range. If i am incorrect in anything please let me know, i only learn from knowing my mistakes.
Nice to meet you.
Paw
 
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Location: North Carolina

Re: Nice to meet you

Postby Paw » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:31 am

Sugelanren wrote:Hey Chris.

First, is the video you want us to watch titled "Lei Fang Command Training - Exercise Newbie"?

I know it is, but i just wanted to be sure.

I'm in no way an expert, but i am a gamer (PC), so we share an intrest in that respect (I'm Huckleberryhound on steam).

From what i saw, this character is not fighting with a Taijiquan style. If i were you, i'd youtube search some actual Taiji players and see what they're about. Getting your style info from a Japanese Tekken styled game is like getting your Military training from Mass Effect 3, or your Sword style from WOW.

Go to youtube and search
Yang style Tai chi (or Yang style taijiquan)
Chen style Tai chi
Wu style Tai chi
Sun style Tai chi
Cheng man Ching style Tai Chi
Hao Style Tai chi

Get your impressions of the styles from real practitioners, not a video game.

One other thing. I'm a novice Taijiquan player. There are many people who will post here who dwarf me in their experience and skill. My only advice to you is find out what you want in a martial art, take time to find a good teacher...and stick with it. Taiji is not for everyone. It takes dedication, and years of practice. You will have to give up parts of what you've already learned in order to take on board the concept of the soft overcoming the hard. But it is worth it. One day i will be able to give you more advice, but for now - from a novice to a prospective novice - if you want to Play taijiquan, here's my advice.

Try to find a good teacher.
Try to practice every day
Lots of Qigong.
Have fun.

Peace out...Sean.


Thanks Sean, i figured it may be a bit stretched and more for visuals in the game, which i stated, and i completly understand what you mean, i do not play First Person Shooter games because as a person who owns high caliber rifles i feel they are an insult and in no way a replica of the real thing.

Thank you also for the search tips! my last post was before i read yours and i did favorite a couple of videos that i enjoyed. i have one of a girl displaying her art and another of a self defense style of someone sparring, i will link it here.

(The girl) - Iwould also love to know the name of the song in the video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3kxI4NE ... 5lcJBO_ItA

The spar
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNoDu68D1rg

Now the reason i searched for "Tai Chi vs" was to see or get a feel of how it is used, but i am getting ahead of myself i know, i have really no idea where to begin.
Nice to meet you.
Paw
 
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Location: North Carolina

Re: Nice to meet you

Postby Sugelanren » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:52 am

If you liked the girl, you'll love this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MOOs1GIxmQ

This definitely has a Chen style feel to it.


One of my favourite videos is this one, this guy is Cheng man Ching. I like his attitude on Tai Chi.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xF6Px5K59I

I'm subbed to this guy, but he hasn't posted a video in a while. Taijiman777 (yang style)
The video is about a time where he did a demo with an MMA practitioner.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDIb9TWy-7

I've chosen Yang Style as my chosen style (as is obvious from me posting here). I've found a great teacher, and i am enjoying my training and practice. It's hard letting go of the external martial arts training i've been used to in the past, but i 'm slowly getting it.


Good Luck with your search.
Sugelanren
 
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Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:19 pm

Re: Nice to meet you

Postby DPasek » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:00 pm

Hi Chris,

It may be nice that you obtained an interest in Taijiquan from your gaming passion, but I do not think that what is shown is very representative of this art. For gaming (or TV or movies...) you want the martial arts depicted to be flashy, exiting and entertaining. In general, Taijiquan is not flashy. Even the opening pose depicted in the motion capture video would probably not be considered anything that someone practicing Taijiquan would do.

While she may be doing a combination of various Chinese Gongfu (Kung Fu) styles, perhaps including Taijiquan, she is almost certainly not doing exclusively Taijiquan. What led you to think that she was doing Taijiquan? If the designers or marketers for the game state that she is doing Taijiquan, then...

I suspect that the game designers are actually using various flashier Chinese gongfu styles but perhaps are calling it Taijiquan (T’ai Chi) because they may think that more westerners may be familiar with that terminology than they would be with either the generic term ‘gungfu’ or whatever actual styles that Lei Fang is doing. Or perhaps they wanted to use a martial art that has a more ‘yin’ or feminine image attached to it due to the character being female. Or perhaps there was no real thought behind it, merely going along with popularity in a manner similar to Chinese martial arts movies from the 1970s that sometimes used ‘ninja’ in the titles despite not having anything to do with Japanese ninjitsu but rather merely cashing in on the ‘ninja craze’ and its popularity. More accurate probably would have been to call it ‘Chinese gongfu’ or possibly ‘Shaolin’ although I have not studied shaolin styles and would not be able to tell you if this was what she was actually doing.

The interactive Taijiquan that both you and Sugelanren posted are more recognizable as Taijiquan in action (though there are additionally also strikes, locks, kicks, etc.).

Of the various styles of Taijiquan, Chen style does tend to be the flashiest, and perhaps that is what draws your interest in it. However, the performance videos shown are flashier than Taijiquan would be in application (and for practitioners not interested in performance competitions). In performance you may want to demonstrate your extreme flexibility, balance, power, etc, but it is my understanding that for health, and even for martial application, a practitioner would not go more than about 70% of their maximum. For performance it is different; a performer may want to elevate themselves in the eyes of the judges by demonstrating what they can do at the extremes. Thus in performances you may see extremely high kicks, jumping kicks that land crouched low in one leg stances, etc but why would someone, for example, want to land in such an extreme posture when in an actual fight??

Even though I love Taijiquan and would typically encourage anyone interested in it, I should probably recommend that you also look into videos that show various styles of Chinese gongfu (including Shaolin styles). One of them may be more to your tastes. However, if you like Taijiquan for its quality of movements, the philosophy behind the art, etc, then I would encourage you to find a good teacher that you can get an introduction to the art of Taijiquan from (the quality of teacher would probably be more important than whichever specific style that they teach).

Wishing you the best,
Dan
DPasek
 
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Re: Nice to meet you

Postby Paw » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:18 pm

DPasek wrote:Hi Chris,

It may be nice that you obtained an interest in Taijiquan from your gaming passion, but I do not think that what is shown is very representative of this art. For gaming (or TV or movies...) you want the martial arts depicted to be flashy, exiting and entertaining. In general, Taijiquan is not flashy. Even the opening pose depicted in the motion capture video would probably not be considered anything that someone practicing Taijiquan would do.

While she may be doing a combination of various Chinese Gongfu (Kung Fu) styles, perhaps including Taijiquan, she is almost certainly not doing exclusively Taijiquan. What led you to think that she was doing Taijiquan? If the designers or marketers for the game state that she is doing Taijiquan, then...

I suspect that the game designers are actually using various flashier Chinese gongfu styles but perhaps are calling it Taijiquan (T’ai Chi) because they may think that more westerners may be familiar with that terminology than they would be with either the generic term ‘gungfu’ or whatever actual styles that Lei Fang is doing. Or perhaps they wanted to use a martial art that has a more ‘yin’ or feminine image attached to it due to the character being female. Or perhaps there was no real thought behind it, merely going along with popularity in a manner similar to Chinese martial arts movies from the 1970s that sometimes used ‘ninja’ in the titles despite not having anything to do with Japanese ninjitsu but rather merely cashing in on the ‘ninja craze’ and its popularity. More accurate probably would have been to call it ‘Chinese gongfu’ or possibly ‘Shaolin’ although I have not studied shaolin styles and would not be able to tell you if this was what she was actually doing.

The interactive Taijiquan that both you and Sugelanren posted are more recognizable as Taijiquan in action (though there are additionally also strikes, locks, kicks, etc.).

Of the various styles of Taijiquan, Chen style does tend to be the flashiest, and perhaps that is what draws your interest in it. However, the performance videos shown are flashier than Taijiquan would be in application (and for practitioners not interested in performance competitions). In performance you may want to demonstrate your extreme flexibility, balance, power, etc, but it is my understanding that for health, and even for martial application, a practitioner would not go more than about 70% of their maximum. For performance it is different; a performer may want to elevate themselves in the eyes of the judges by demonstrating what they can do at the extremes. Thus in performances you may see extremely high kicks, jumping kicks that land crouched low in one leg stances, etc but why would someone, for example, want to land in such an extreme posture when in an actual fight??

Even though I love Taijiquan and would typically encourage anyone interested in it, I should probably recommend that you also look into videos that show various styles of Chinese gongfu (including Shaolin styles). One of them may be more to your tastes. However, if you like Taijiquan for its quality of movements, the philosophy behind the art, etc, then I would encourage you to find a good teacher that you can get an introduction to the art of Taijiquan from (the quality of teacher would probably be more important than whichever specific style that they teach).

Wishing you the best,
Dan


Great information Dan!

Here is what i know based on internet findings such as wiki's.
Lei Fang
Leifang (レイファン, Reifan) is a college student and T'ai Chi Quan prodigy from the Dead or Alive series, who made her debut in the first Dead or Alive. She is one of the first females to appear in the series, alongside Kasumi and Tina Armstrong.
Throughout the series, she seeks to fight Jann Lee, who is thought to have saved her life at one stage in her past, to prove herself to him that she too is a strong individual. However, Leifang has lost to Jann Lee in every tournament.

The motion capture girl was this one
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlRfET0c0Pw

So i got the idea that she is performing some type of Tai Chi from these sources, "Tai Chi Quan" which originally i thought Quan was the style. I'm sorry for the bother, it's alla learning experience and the more i see it the less i care about it being flashy, it is turning out to be as you put it, the cultural art of it is fascinating.

Finding a place that teaches Tai Chi around me is not as easy as you'd imagine. Across the street are a Taekwondo and Karate place which are different owners. The only Tai Chi even remotely close to me is; http://www.lotustemplemassage.com/services/tai-chi/ and judging a book by it's cover this looks low on the quality scale, which probably isn't fair, but i really have no idea either.

I live in Knightdale, North Carolina and driving in Raleigh is a bit of a nightmare, but not impossible. If it means anything the teacher's name is Grandmaster Chen Zheng Lei
Nice to meet you.
Paw
 
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Location: North Carolina

Re: Nice to meet you

Postby DPasek » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:09 pm

Hi Chris,

While I am unfamiliar with Lotus Temple Massage or their Taijiquan instruction, I have taken several workshops from Chen Zhenglei and thought that he was very good (he is considered to be one of the four ‘Buddha attendant warriors’ of his generation of Chen Taijiquan, and he is a Chen family descendant). Note however that Chen lives in China and only gives workshops in the USA, so I have no idea of the level of ability of the local students that may have learned from him (you would NOT be learning directly from Chen Zhenglei).

It also happens that I live in the Triangle region of NC. I live in Pittsboro and work at UNC in Chapel Hill. Unfortunately for you I live a rather reclusive life in the woods of Chatham County, so I do not socialize enough to know Taijiquan schools in Raleigh (or elsewhere close to you). A possibility if you could manage the drive would be to study with Dr. Jay Dunbar (http://www.magictortoise.com/) who is a long time teacher and practitioner of Chen style (as well as Wu/Hao style), although a quick look at his class schedule does not show any current class offerings in Chen style Taijiquan (you could get a good foundational understanding from his TAIJIQUAN: SILK REELING & TAIJI SPHERE class taught in Durham and which probably emphasizes Chen style silk reeling exercises):

Image

I do not teach forms classes as there are numerous options for learning Taijiquan in the area (e.g. the Magic Tortoise school), but I have started offering an Interactive Taijiquan class in Pittsboro (the options for regular practice of interactive Taijiquan is much more limited than for forms instruction): http://www.dojolocator.com/EntwinedDragonsTaijiquan/ http://www.thejoyofmovementcm.com/classes.html.
While it is best to have some background in Taijiquan forms prior to studying Taijiquan push-hands and other interactive work, I do not require prior training to join the class. While my personal practice emphasizes Chen and Yang styles of Taijiquan, my class is intended to be non style specific and thus I am not specifically teaching Chen style.

Another possibility, if you want to get an introduction to this art, would be to attend an upcoming workshop at Duke University on Sat. April 27. It is being taught by Jesse Tsao (http://www.taichihealthways.com/) who I believe is a student of Chen Zhenglei and is considered to be a 12th generation direct-line lineage holder of Chen style Taijiquan. If you are interested, email me and I can pass along the workshop flier to you. He will be teaching simple qigong for the first hour and a half and then "Tai Chi Symbol Tracing Hands & Applications" for the remainder of the 10 AM to 5 PM workshop.

By the way, quan merely means ‘fist’ and is used to indicate a martial art, thus in this case a martial art based on the Taiji diagram and philosophy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taijitu.
DPasek
 
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Location: Pittsboro, NC USA


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