Hi Newbie question

Discussion in 'Tai chi' started by SB1970, Oct 28, 2007.

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  1. SB1970

    SB1970 Valued Member

    Hi all
    Thinking of taken chen style with these guys in Reading in the UK,anybody know anything about them?- www.ciaa.org.uk
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2007
  2. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    Personally, I'd always advise anyone starting Taiji to find out when (or if) they'll be getting on to combat training and exactly what it will consist of.
  3. cheesypeas

    cheesypeas Moved on

    Hi, I agree with jkzorya.

    Find out exactly what they teach, and when. A lot of schools teach 'health' Taiji only. To be worthwhile, you should be taught partnerwork and martial applications from early on as well as forms. It is not uncommon to teach partnerwork from the first lesson, which I firmly believe is an excellent way to start.

    All schools of any worth offer a free 'taster' class. Ask if they do...go and see what they teach...talk to the teachers and students.
  4. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    The organisation appears to be signatory to a national body. That means there is some standard approach, which could be good.

    With regards to "combat application", in the end it depends largely on your expectations and what you want out of taiji, whether or not you pursue the martial context, IMO.
    The body needs to move and empirical evidence suggests that taiji inspired movement appears to be beneficial to the mind-body paradigm. For example, my 90 y.o. father in law practicies taiji for health reason only, and not to aspire to defend himself.

  5. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    If this is your first fighting style then I wouldn't recommend it. I would spend a year or two in a percurssive style first. Your chances of finding a martial tai chi club who will give you those foundation skills to fight effectively is extremely remote.
    If you already have those skills and want broaden your fighting base then fine. Just remember forms aren't fighting despite what some maniacs will tell you.

    The Bear.
  6. bealtine

    bealtine Valued Member

    I've never heard the term percussive style before...what does it refer to?
    Karate, kempo kind of styles?

    Unless of course it's the fighting set :) but I think the point is well made. Unless the school teaches the forms in a martial way of course but that is so rare.
    We had a Tai Chi "teacher" come to our school once and she started to give out to us for doing TC as a martial art as far as she was concerned TC was some kind of health dance (or something). We listened politely, showed her the meaning of some of the forms (as we understood them). She just ranted on and on ...yawn...eventually he had to ask her to leave...
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2007
  7. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    yes, boxing, muay thai, essentially the striking arts. Without knowledge of effective and accurate striking you cannot make Tai Chi work.

    The Bear.
  8. unfetteredmind

    unfetteredmind Valued Member

    I don't know anything about them but I like alot of what they say on their site. However, it's impossible to know if they can walk their talk without training with them.
    I recommend that you have a clear idea of what you want to train before going along to a class so that you can more easily decide whether they will offer what you want. Many here want a very strong focus on the martial aspects of the art but that may not be your primary motivation. Make sure you make your decision based on your requirements, not those of others.
  9. unfetteredmind

    unfetteredmind Valued Member

    Whether or not Taiji can be made to "work" all depends on what your training goal is. If it enables you to meet your goals (whatever they are) then it can reasonably be said to work. However, even if martial ability is your goal I find this statement a bit dubious. In my opinion, Taiji works in a fundamentally different way to the arts mentioned so training them will do little for your Taiji. In fact they may hinder you as your training effort will be split and you will probably need to "unlearn" some of what you learn in these other arts to progress in Taiji.
  10. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    I couldn't agree more, though it is possible to train such things within a Tai Chi syllabus (most just don't, because they are obsessed with movement flow which is irrelevant if it isn't made up of effective and powerful individual movements). I think forms are tremendously over-rated and almost worthless for combat on their own.
  11. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    I think this is just a myth. From my experience it is the form fanatics that need to be reprogrammed before they can actually hit anything. I do not think it is possible to practice a form correctly unless the practitioner knows the combat usage. And whole body connected power should be the goal of any style - I don't think the majority of Taiji schools are any more successful in training this than other martial styles and are usually less so because no powerful movement is practiced at all.

    Edit - sorry to sound negative, but I'm a bit tired of the age old Taiji propaganda. Taiji as a style is NOT turning out thousands upon thousands of accomplished fighters (despite millions of practitioners), so it's rationale is failing. Other styles might not turn out lots of experts either, but take a random cross section of 200 Taiji people, 200 Muai Thai fighters and 200 Karatekas, all with 5 years experience, or 10 or 20 years experience and make them fight each other. I am sure Taiji would not win many fights - that is the top and bottom of it - because a lot of Taiji schools are out of touch with reality. Not all, but a great many. I think the standard Taiji mythology is dangerous because it leaves people unable to defend themselves in a way that even clumsy individual Karatekas are not.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2007
  12. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    What goal is there other than martial efficacy for a "martial" art?
    Look flowing as you get your ass kicked.

    The Bear.
  13. unfetteredmind

    unfetteredmind Valued Member

    Other possible goals include improved mental and physical health and spiritual development. Just as someone may take up boxing in order to be able to beat people up, someone else may take it up to lose weight and get fit. Things can have more than a single function, especially those things we consider arts.
    As for
    Better to "look flowing as you kick ****". :)
  14. whoflungdat

    whoflungdat Valued Member

    Hard Style

    To take up another Martial Art in order to learn to strike before learning Tai Chi is wasting your time. If the School you choose does not teach these fundamentals find a better school (Sorry, but good luck on that one.)
    Also proficient Tai Chi practitioners do not strike in the same way as a Kick boxer or a Karate practitioner does.
  15. unfetteredmind

    unfetteredmind Valued Member

    I agree to a point. However, I don't think it's necessary to know every application of every move and to have drilled each extensively in order to train the form meaningfully.

    Whole body connected power is exactly what the form trains so if "no powerful movement is practiced" it means that the forms are being trained incorrectly.
    I agree with what you say about the fighting ability of many Taiji practitioners but not your conclusion that the rationale of Taiji is failing. Taiji, for whatever reason, probably attracts many more people who just aren't very interested in learning to fight than other fighting systems. Also, Taiji is a difficult art to learn and for most people interested in learning to fight, getting competent quickly is more important than getting expert over a long time. Taiji doesn't really give this quick competence and trying to make it do so compromises its unique qualities and makes it much the same as any other art, only less effective as it was not designed to be practiced in this way whereas those other arts were.
  16. whoflungdat

    whoflungdat Valued Member

    I agree with what your saying, the form teaches so much more than fighting application. It teaches fundamental skills, co -ordination, balance, connectivity and rooting.
  17. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    So do the forms, katas or jurus of any other martial style - Taiji is not unique.
  18. fatb0y

    fatb0y Valued Member

    Form does not teach fighting application, partner work and application drills teach fighting application - which you can then carry into your form.
  19. Shadowdh

    Shadowdh Seeker of Knowledge

    I dont fully agree with this... I believe this is a "Taiji myth"... Taiji in and of itself is not that difficult to learn... even when compared to other arts... it just takes practice... lots of it, just like any other art, sport or thing you want to get good at... I also think that too often people get too wound up in the philosophical side of things which hinders their progress... jmho...
  20. whoflungdat

    whoflungdat Valued Member

    Sorry I don't agree with this, I came from a Kung Fu back ground and many of the guys I train with have done other Martial Arts, including Kick Boxing, Nijitsu and Karate. They all find it hard especially, being Sung, being centered and learning Fa-jing, which is just the beginning.
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