Suggestions on How to Practice?

Suggestions on How to Practice?

Postby quin76 » Fri Feb 09, 2001 9:42 pm

Tai chi chuan, though definitely for health and longevity, also is a martial art. Thus implying self-defense. I have just begun my 103 training, and in practicing, I am wondering how to apply my practice to self-defense? The slow, smooth movements are essential to the form (right and left ward off), so how do I practice so that in a physical confrontation I know what to do without getting into the opening stance, and doing the movements prior to the actual 'warding' off? Just curious. Quin
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Postby Michael » Sat Feb 10, 2001 3:45 pm

After learning the set I would suggest single movement training. This is the old way of training in taiji Chuan for combat. Here you practice a single movement, right and left versions in a long string identifying the energies and the paths that are inherent in each move and how they are used. You can also practice up to three moves (forms) strung together as many of the techniques can depend upon each other. But also to practice the transitions and the techniques therein. I hope that this is some help.
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Postby quin76 » Mon Feb 12, 2001 4:25 am

Thank you. Any help is a great starting point, and I now have a little idea of how to proceed. Though, any more insight would be greatly appreciated.
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Postby DavidJ » Tue Feb 13, 2001 11:31 pm

If you think of Tai Chi as a language, then you are learning to say something with your body. If your bones are consonants, your joints are vowels; if you bones are nouns your joints are verbs.

In learning how the forms change from one to another, you are learning sentences; your response to any defensive situation can be as varied and creative as any verbal comeback.

Over time, your facility with words increases, as does your vocabulary. Your knowledge can increase, as can you ability to express yourself.

Once you learned to walk, and you wanted to walk to the store, you just did it. And then everytime you did it was different; on the walk to the store you paid attention to the weather, the people around, the traffic etcetera. You planned roughly what route you'd take, but you dealt with what came up.
Didn't you?

With Tai Chi, as you learn to move you also pay attention to how your body feels, to the environment that you are in, to where you're going, to where you want to go. Over time your movements can become more sure-footed, your body stronger.

Practice, become eloquent.


[This message has been edited by DavidJ (edited 02-23-2001).]
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Postby Steve » Thu Feb 15, 2001 8:52 pm

I like the language reference. In music, we have a saying:

"You don't really speak a language until you stop translating it in your head before speaking."

Thus, if combat is like a conversation, learning "stock phrases" out of a tourist's language guide will clearly be ineffective for any but the most basic discussion ("Where is the toilet?" "Can I buy this shirt?" "How far is the airport?"). It is not YOUR LANGUAGE until your responses become natural and you are able to flow freely with the conversation.

Eloquence, therefore, means making no mistakes in the course of your sentence structure. Pauses for translation (like "Um...") are the split seconds when you get hit.
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Postby nik79 » Fri Mar 02, 2001 5:20 am

these are good analogies. i would have never thought of it like that. but it makes perfect sense.

like second nature ..
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Postby Yongnian_matt » Fri Mar 02, 2001 10:15 pm

There have only been a 1 or 2 taiji teachers that I have met along the path that taught taiji stepping forward, back and side ways every class after warm ups, then progess to using your hands.

After that they will use brush knee and part horses mane as the forward basic with hand.

after that your legs are really strong and stable plus you put extra time into some basic essential movements that are excellent for self defense. A fight comes down to knowing a few moves really well.

repulse monkey for backwards training and wave hands like clouds for ide ways stepping.
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