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Tai Chi and Move Frequently Slowly

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  • Tai Chi and Move Frequently Slowly

    Hi All,
    Just getting started with PBF and was wondering if anyone out there is using Tai Chi practice for the move slowly part of PBF. I practice a style called Chen style tai chi and it uses lower stances and slightly more vigorous movements. I definitely get my heart rate up beyond 55% of max (though not beyond 65% of max). I'd like to kill two birds with one stone if possible. Just wanted to see if others have tried with any success to incorporate Tai Chi into PBF.
    OptionJedi Journal

  • #2
    If you enjoy that then continue on. You get the mental relaxation as part of it.

    I have been walking for the first time as a form of exercise and I just love it. I am the go hard kind of guy so this has been a good lesson. I am practicing a bit if meditation as well so you get them both.

    Try walking too it is better than you think. I like to vary the grades a lot but never pushing just walking.

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    • #3
      I have not been doing it but am planning to start (again -- I did it for a while to try to encourage my mom (RIP) but got out of the habit later).

      To me it seems perfectly primal -- clears the head, builds muscle strength and flexibility, relieves stress.
      "If man made it, don't eat it." ..Jack LaLanne
      "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are.
      If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." ..Richard Feynman

      beachrat's new primal journal

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      • #4
        Chen style is a great thing to do. I've never met anyone else (outside of China) who practices that! Awesome. It's definitely a great "move slowly/frequently" activity.

        It's not good quality, but this is the exact thing I used to train in China: YouTube - Taiji - Chen Style

        Is that what you're doing, OptionJedi?
        August 2010: 207 lb, 37" waist, 25+% BF | Currently: 177 lb, 33" waist, ~15% BF

        I have a new site up and will soon be blogging at The Wayward Mind. (My journal is semi-retired at this point)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Patrick View Post
          Chen style is a great thing to do. I've never met anyone else (outside of China) who practices that! Awesome. It's definitely a great "move slowly/frequently" activity.

          It's not good quality, but this is the exact thing I used to train in China: YouTube - Taiji - Chen Style

          Is that what you're doing, OptionJedi?
          Yes, this is what I am doing. I am located in the San Francisco Bay Area and my Tai Chi (more correctly known as Taiji) master teaches Chen style more as a martial art than as just a movement practice. Thus, the stances are much lower (like the video you linked to) but the moves are also done quite powerfully as each one has a combat application. It's actually closer to a slower form of doing kung fu forms. So in addition to the benefits to the joints, it builds power in the legs with the low stances, and helps with memory with the complexity of the moves and coordination. I remember reading in the PBF eBook that Mark said it was more about the movement. Well, there's alot of damn movement

          I think people hear Taiji and they think of slow, graceful, but gentle movements focusing on breathing. That's actually more Qi Gong practice. Authentic Taiji instruction, especially Chen Taiji, is based on the concept that these are martial arts. Technically known as internal martial arts where the energy generated for combat applications is generated internally rather than through muscle alone. However, the training to do that is quite demanding physically.

          Given the diversity of the people on this board and their backgrounds, just wanting to see if others have blazed the trail before me.

          Patrick, are you a student of Chen Taiji?
          OptionJedi Journal

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          • #6
            I was in a taiji class until about a year ago when they changed the class night making it more difficult for me to attend. I got kind of lazy, but have started up again on my own. I studied for 10 years. We just did the modern yang styles along with the Dong Yue created by Professor Men. Started to learn a Chen form, but stopped before I learned much of it. It takes me a long time to learn a form.

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            • #7
              Tai Chi is awesome and worth pursuing. It also offers quite a bit of variation, and is mentally great. All of those martial arts are the antithesis though of what Marks suggestions look like prima facie: you are literally doing the same movement 1000s of time until you have it perfected. Id think this is alright nevertheless as long as you take the time to do some other stuff as well just to mix things up.
              http://thorfalk.wordpress.com

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              • #8
                Preaching to the choir.

                Originally posted by OptionJedi View Post
                Patrick, are you a student of Chen Taiji?
                Yes, I was back in '06-'07. I was taught by a really interesting/strange man in Tangshan, Hebei. At 65 (looking 40), he was a ridiculously wealthy businessman, even by any North American standards; a tai ji quan master (but never "master" -- only ever "teacher") taught by a really old member of the Chen family itself, I think; and a well-known calligrapher. Despite his wealth, he taught outside his small calligraphy shop, and would teach anyone. Anyway, I won't repeat the anecdotes here, but if you're interested, I wrote about 'em at the time on my long-defunct blog: Here, here and here. (The links to the photos won't work because I didn't renew the Pro upgrade on Flickr and those particular ones are buried way back.)

                Anyway, I loved it, but there's nothing like that in Ottawa or nearby. Vancouver might have someone who teaches lao jia (old frame) Chen tai ji quan. Xin jia (a very very low to the ground, flourishing style) seems to be most commonly practiced, though.

                Do you do any tui shou (push-hands)?

                edit: Ha! Forgot about this picture:
                Last edited by Patrick; 03-16-2011, 05:55 AM.
                August 2010: 207 lb, 37" waist, 25+% BF | Currently: 177 lb, 33" waist, ~15% BF

                I have a new site up and will soon be blogging at The Wayward Mind. (My journal is semi-retired at this point)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Patrick View Post

                  Do you do any tui shou (push-hands)?

                  edit: Ha! Forgot about this picture:
                  [/URL]
                  I never cared much for push hands. I always seemed to end up with a partner who was worse than I was and we didn't do it enough. It wasn't so bad if I had a good partner. Occasionally I would end up partnered with this really tall guy. I felt like I was doing push hands with a tree.

                  My shifu “Kevin” Zhen Kang Sun is from the Sun family and in addition to the Yang forms also taught Sun and Chen style. He also teaches northern Shaolin, Xing Yi and Ba Gua. The school starting suffering when his day job started taking all his time. I kind of miss it, but when he moved the school and the class night changed I just stopped going. I've thought of finding something closer to home, but I just can't see myself going to another school.

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                  • #10
                    I am not doing push hands yet. I am only about one third the way through the old form (75 movements total). It's funny, the other day I asked my taiji master what comes next after I learn the whole form. His answer was: "then you learn how to do it the right way." I guess there are also weapons forms ahead and "cannon fist" forms using fa jin (a way of generating a tremendous amount of force with seemingly little physical effort). I've only been doing this for about 4 months (yes, that means it may take me a year to learn one form).

                    My plan is to use taiji mostly for the move slowly days but still do the lift heavy things essential movements and the sprint days starting on a stationary bicycle (I don't like running and it hurts my knees). While wearing a heart rate monitor, I see that taiji actually gets my heart rate up to the zone PBF suggests so I think that is the main criteria to get the benefits for PBF.

                    Patrick, have you heard of this guy in Ottawa?
                    Kee Hong (Master Instructor)

                    Don't know if he's any good.

                    Here's a link to my master's website in case anyone is interested in the San Francisco peninsula area:
                    Traditional Chen Taiji (Tai-Chi & Qigong classes)
                    OptionJedi Journal

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by OptionJedi View Post
                      Patrick, have you heard of this guy in Ottawa?
                      Kee Hong (Master Instructor)

                      Don't know if he's any good.
                      He's excellent, actually. I've met and trained with Kee a bit. He's the best tai ji quan instructor/practitioner in Ottawa for sure. Sadly, though, my schedule is a bit erratic, as is his. He also does a modified version of Chen, which isn't a bad thing necessarily, but I think we usually identify "the right way" with the first way we learn something, so I think I need to abandon the idea of finding the same thing I had and go with the closest/next best thing.
                      August 2010: 207 lb, 37" waist, 25+% BF | Currently: 177 lb, 33" waist, ~15% BF

                      I have a new site up and will soon be blogging at The Wayward Mind. (My journal is semi-retired at this point)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I really miss my kung fu class. Did a little hungar, but loved northern Xiaolin. I did just a little Tai Chi when I was very pregnant, but didn't really get into it. A different style might make a difference.

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                        • #13
                          Reviving this old thread to say that I had stopped doing taiji for a while in lieu of more walking, but really got to miss the meditative, centering aspects of it. So I checked my pulse at the end of the 8-minute Yang Short Form, and it was about 100, which is just right for that slow movement target (I'm 48, so maybe it wouldn't be quite enough for the youngsters, on the other hand they might hold a lower, more strenuous stance). I'm encouraging everyone who's thinking of taiji (tai chi) to go for it--it is a GREAT stress-reducer. And here's my dirty little secret: I learned from the DVD "Tai Chi For Health" by Terence Dunn. I have a Qi gong master here, but no tai chi instructor. If you can find an instructor (and can afford it), that's the best way, like everyone says, but if you can't, don't let it stop you.
                          Last edited by Tom B-D; 09-04-2012, 10:28 AM.

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