Taichichuan on soft sand of the beach.

Taichichuan on soft sand of the beach.

Postby ProfFilipe » Tue Nov 20, 2007 9:46 am

I leave very near to the beach and I would like to know wether there are any inconveniences in practicing taichichuan on the soft sand of the beach.
thanks, Filipe
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Postby Bob Ashmore » Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:19 pm

I practice in the sand every chance I get.
The only inconvenience I've run into is that the sand gets into the darndest places... ;-)
Other than that, it seems to help me build good balance as the sand shifts quite a bit.
Bob Ashmore
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Postby mrnaples » Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:50 am

hello one and all. I have not been here in years ..
so, all of u should welcome me back! Image))

<Does anybody practice the Taichi barehand form with weights around the wrist, let us say, about 0.5kg or 1kg or more? I mean, using weights like ankle weights, but around the wrist; I don't know the name in english. Is that a good practice? Is that bad? Thanks,

hello Filipe,

their is nothing wrong doing the form with weights....

just as there is nothing wrong, with working out with weights
some folk may be too weak or some folk want to get stronger, it's all good!

but there's always a but! Image)))

remember to balance or should i say (counter balance) your training...
weight training ( with form or not) tends to make your center/chi rise.....up... up.... up.....
not so tai chi-ish.. ...

so then u need to bring it back down...and do twice as much tai chi things as you did before! Image)))

so you see, filipe, there's always too much work in tai chi chuan.

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Postby Steveg219 » Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:15 am

I like working in sand but it might not be best to do it all the time. I personally like to vary surfaces and I will work on a wood floor, cement outdoors, in the dirt outdoors and on uneven terrain just to challenge myself and vary the practise with new challenges and variations...
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Postby JerryKarin » Wed Nov 21, 2007 5:12 am

This is probably just my own private quirk, but I don't actually like doing taiji in public places much any more. After all these years I'm bored with the questions ("Is that taekwando?") and with the whole ripple in the flow created by appearing in front of Joe Q. Public doing taiji. This encounter summons up ego and emotions in me and in Joe which (for me at least) distract from the practice. I heartily applaud those who bring taiji to the public's notice, and I am sure that helps spread the sport. Somehow, however, I don't find that to be satisfying as practice. I like performing it behind walls or fences in courtyards. I like the constrained irregularity of flagstones. I find taiji on dry and loose sand well away from the ocean to be difficult and unpleasant. Near the water on packed sand is good, but not if there are many people passing by.
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Postby mrnaples » Wed Nov 21, 2007 5:15 am

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Postby Bob Ashmore » Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:29 pm

I have done the form on Ft. Lauderdale beach during the tourist season. Sometimes it's fun, sometimes it's very annoying.
It really depends on the crowd.
However, I do see your point.
What sometimes ends up happening is some monkey steps right up to you mid form, stops you cold and asks "Are you part of that Falun Gong thing or something?".
Occaissonaly though you meet some interested people who wait for you to finish your form then ask intelligent questions.
Sometimes it works out quite while, like the time in Ft. Lauderdale when I was approached, after my form, by a student of the Chen family school in Hollywood, FL and we had a very good discussion on Tai Chi.

Again, the people around you will influence the mood. But it has been as good of an exprience as a bad one for me practicing on beaches.
Bob Ashmore
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Postby Audi » Sun Nov 25, 2007 1:40 pm

Hi ProfFilipe,

I personally like practicing in the sand by the beach as a change, but would not want to do it as a regular practice. I find that the sand bunches up under the soles of my feet, which gives an interesting challange to those muscles, but which can also complicate many stances, pivots, and spins. The unevenness of the terrain can also break me out of certain ruts, but can also make me concentrate too much on external things.

People do the Tai Chi form for different reasons. Depending on your reason, you may need a different answer that matches your practice goals.

I, myself, do form to discover and develop certain internal principles. Some external variation helps me triangulate on those internal principles. Too much variation, however, distracts me, diverting my attention from the internal to the external.

I think that most people go through periods where Tai Chi seems increasingly simple and other periods where it seems increasingly complex. Depending on which "phase" you are in, you may also need a different answer. It may also vary depending on what you find to be simple and what you find to be complex.

If you find your practice at the moment to be relatively simple, I think the challenge of practicing in sand may be quite welcome. The additional challenge can add interesting complexity and raise the level of your skills.

In general, I would urge people to practice in a way that is fun and convenient. Once those requirements are met, I would steer people toward a quiet, smooth-surfaced area. In such cirtcumstances, the form will speak most clearly and consistently.

Take care,
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Postby Louis Swaim » Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:44 pm


I would not recommend the beach as a regular place for form practice, but I wouldn’t avoid it either. The added challenge of a shifting surface can be a very good way to test and develop concentration and balance. Also, the experience of practicing one’s form in a beautiful and/or unfamiliar environment can be exhilarating. Back in the ‘70s, shortly after I had learned the entire Yang form, I had occasion to practice my form at Dillon Beach, on Tamales Bay in California, which faces the northern tip of Point Reyes. As I began my form, I noticed a veil of mist edging across the bay from the hills of Point Reyes. Just as I was finishing, the mist was had reached the spot on the beach where I was practicing, and was surrounding my legs. It was a lovely experience, and I’ve had many more on beaches or in mountain wilderness.

My usual place for my daily practice is my backyard deck. It was originally built by the prior owners of my house, and because it was poorly designed, its foundation began to rot away a few years ago. Because of the time and expense involved in repairing or replacing it, I had deferred doing anything about it. Finally, it rapidly deteriorated to the point that the surface had become uneven and unstable. My brother-in-law offered to help me rebuild it. We discovered pretty quickly that it was really beyond repair. So, with some stouthearted help from my daughter and my sister, we tore it down and rebuilt it from scratch in two days. This one is done right, with pressure treated joists, and 2 X 6 redwood decking, attached with deck screws, not nails. I treat the wood with a linseed oil based sealant. It’s what I would call an ideal practice surface. Having a dependably even surface is very important for developing your footwork and stance.

Like Jerry, I tend to avoid practicing in public places where I may attract attention. I’ve never thought of taijiquan as a performance art. Even in my backyard, I can’t always avoid the curious stares of neighborhood cats, and for quite a while there was a hummingbird that used to perch on a branch in the pear tree and watch me almost every afternoon while I practiced.

Say, someone should begin a new thread about interesting places we have practiced in—both regular practice venues as well as the odd hotel room or parking lot. I’m sure we all have lots of interesting stories.

Take care,

[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 11-26-2007).]
Louis Swaim
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