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Tai Chi anyone?

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  • Tai Chi anyone?

    Who here has any experience in this? I've never done it, but have dabbled in martial arts a bit. I'm kinda looking for a restorative exercise thats new. I've done yoga and its alright too. Just may be looking to branch out and try something a bit different. If you have tried it would you recommend any books or videos? Doubt there is a local studio in my area. Thanks!

    BTW was looking for a jiu jitsu place and couldnt find anybody doing that nearby either. I like my extra space/land but damn does it make finding stuff like this difficult sometimes.

  • #2
    Take a look at Beachbody's version called Tai Cheng. (Cheng, for the instructor). It gets very good reviews.
    High Weight: 225
    Weight at start of Primal: 189
    Current Weight: 174
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    Primal Start Date: 11/26/2012


    • #3
      Thanks for the feedback eagle. I'm renting a couple from of vids to check them out through kindle right now. Also having a look at the philosophy and history. Yeah, I geek out on stuff for a while when I get into it.


      • #4
        My wife goes to a Tai Chi class every week. It's good for balance and general health. I went a few times years ago and found it useful. I should go again but I just haven't got the cash as I'm retired and still paying off the mortgage and etc.

        One thing I still use when necessary is energy gathering. Preferably in a quiet place, stand with feet about shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent and hands dangling by the sides. Face straight ahead, look to the front and try to make it all out of focus and not think of anything at all. Breath nice and naturally. After a short while, if you're doing it right, your hands will move of their own volition upwards a bit until the forearms are parallel to the ground. There is no effort involved and the hands end up 9" to 1' ish apart. Then after a few moments they'll start to get warm. That's apparently when you are gathering energy. I have found that after five minutes like this, I am revitalised.

        Once the mortgage is paid off, I will take it up again. Along with buying grass fed meat and more organic fruit & vegetables.
        Why use a sledge hammer to crack a nut when a steam roller is even more effective, and, is fun to drive.


        • #5
          I live in the boonies, too, so I feel your pain on that one. Best thing I can find for a martial arts school around here is your standard Tae Kwon Do. Fun, but not as useful as some other martial arts. Still, I "dabble" in it, too.

          Tai Chi is a little too "align your energy" for me. I prefer a workout that makes me sweat, not makes me calm. That said, I have tried it through a couple of DVDs. The name of the instructor escapes me right now, but they were a series. Tai Chi for Beginners. Tai Chi for the Morning. Tai Chi for the Evening. Stuff like that. I thought they were okay and pretty good instruction for a beginner like myself, but I got too impatient to really finish them.
          Female, 40 yrs old, 5', 120 lbs (post-pregnancy)
          Went Primal January 2, 2012!

          Paleo Cooking for Cavekids cookbook


          • #6
            I don't have any comments on Tai Chi, but are you sure there's no Jiu Jitsu nearby? New academies pop up every day. If you want, PM me your location and I'll see if I know anyone who knows anyone who knows anyone.
            The Champagne of Beards


            • #7
              Tai Chi is a wonderful "exercise"! I use that term loosely because, like the primal movement, the practice tai chi is more of a lifestyle habit that brings greater benefits the longer you practice. I practice and teach tai chi and see it as compatible with the primal lifestyle. You can get a cardio workout without the stress to your body. You don't even need to believe in "qi" to feel the benefits of improved energy. For balance and coordination, it can't be beat, imho.

              While I don't know what would be best for just starting out, The Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan organization in Seattle has their forms on DVD. John Alton in Virginia has an interesting Qi Gong video that would be good for beginner and intermediate levels of qi gong practice called "Reflective Exercise," a program used to improved the performance of the University of Virginia's swim team athletes (I think his website is Unified Fitness). Books, there are a many. It's best to go to a book store and see what resonates with you. The "Simplified 24 Form" is a popular, generic sequence that is most often taught. You can find this on YouTube.

              Good Luck!


              • #8
                Tai Chi is amazing. Prior to a trip to India I found out about a teacher there who claimed that Tai Chi healed a chronic back injury he had. I had a knee injury at the time that was getting worse the more (bikram) Yoga I did, so I figured it'd be interesting to try. Literally after three classes, I realised my knee didn't hurt anymore. And it never came back. THat was three years ago.

                I think it has such good medicinal benefits cos it helps you realign your body, though possibly any martial art would do that. Tai Chi is just a slowed down version so maybe easier to start with. A friend of mine who's a camera man does Tai Chi cos' it helps him stand for hours on end without getting tired or unstable.

                You can learn from DVDs and books sure, but keep your eye out for a visiting Tai Chi teacher who does a weekend workshop or some sorts. There's nothing like a few classes with a good teacher to get you in the zone.
                "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

                In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

                - Ray Peat


                • #9
                  Slow movement Tai Chi has also been shown to develop bone strength. While in Taiwan I took classes in the (I think) Yang style of Tai Chi and definitely recommend it. I've not done it since returning to the states, and have forgotten most of the forms. I'll have to check out the Yang DVD's. Thanks, Big Mo.


                  • #10
                    Whats your local? You'd be surprised as to what's around for martial arts as long as you don't limit yourself to a single style. When I first started looking I was dead-set on traditional kung-fu. but there was nothing nearby, but now I take Krav maga and couldnt be happier!


                    • #11
                      For Jui Jitsu the Gracie Combatives DVD's are fantastic if you have a dedicated training partner. My training partner is an Army level 4 combatives intructor and a MMA fighter and we are working through the Gracie program together and he learns new things every time we train. Rolling with him sucks{he is 6' 5" at about 230) and he kicks my ass twice a week. Great practice though.


                      • #12
                        I am too perfidious by nature to believe claims from instructors, especially paid ones, about my limbs moving by themselves...isn't like 80% of the population susceptible to placebos and psychocomatic sensations? Isn't it likely that some old-ass chinese men just had a bunch of idiots hero-worshipping them?

                        That being said I used to do tai chi and loved it. Once I put my brother through the kitchen wall with an excellent tai-chi learned stepping trip, as he was choking me.
                        "Ah, those endless forests, and their horror-haunted gloom! For what eternities have I wandered through them, a timid, hunted creature, starting at the least sound, frightened of my own shadow, keyed-up, ever alert and vigilant, ready on the instant to dash away in mad flight for my life. For I was the prey of all manner of fierce life that dwelt in the forest, and it was in ecstasies of fear that I fled before the hunting monsters."

                        Jack london, "Before Adam"


                        • #13
                          Tai Chi is so low impact it barely qualifies as exercise. I think it would be more conducive to just meditation.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Wulf View Post
                            Tai Chi is so low impact it barely qualifies as exercise. I think it would be more conducive to just meditation.
                            Looking for active rest and moving meditation. I've been doing the eight simple qigong movements twice a day for the past couple weeks rather than finding an instructor or buying any DVDs. I like it. 5-10 minutes of gentle motion with breath. Fits what I was looking for quite well. I'm a little too competitive.... that was my problem with yoga. As soon as I found out there were more advanced poses thats all I cared about.... moving to the next level. Anyhow, glad to see so many responses!

                            Haven't given up on jujitsu either. Found out there is a class at a nearby YMCA that I might get into. They even have a "competitive jujitsu" one.... oh yeah!