How to pick a style and how many should you study at once?

Discussion in 'Internal Martial Arts' started by TiachiJ, Nov 2, 2003.

  1. TiachiJ

    TiachiJ New Member

    I been wanting to get into Internal Martial Acts. What should one consider when picking one? I do want to do it for health, but I used to dable a little in martial arts, so I am very interested in the martial side. I am in my 30's, so so knees. Should that be a consideration. Now, if I start to study, should I just concentrate on one, then when I get to a certain level, start another? How should I approach that. I am a little on the busy side. I could probably take one Tai Chi class, one Ba gau, and one Xing-I class a week, one each, but would I get anywhere? Any advice would be appreiciated.
  2. nzric

    nzric on lookout for bad guys

    Ok, this is a pretty controversial topic at the moment in this forum. Put it this way:

    Tai chi is the best one to start with. Wherever you go, you'll have to learn basic movements and qigong for the first few months anyway, so it's best to get a bit of tai chi grounding. I'd recommend Yang style but then I'm biased. Chen style might not be too good for you because of the low stance, but then that's probably more at the advanced levels.

    Ba gua is great for internal health - you should get a taste of that whether or not you stay with it. Hsing I I don't know about, but from what I do know, it's pretty martial so you might want to stick with the tai chi/ba gua. If you take it further I'd really recommend you choose one and stick with it (but I know there'll be some posts soon that will disagree with me).
  3. zun

    zun New Member

    I'd generally agree with Nzric - though would say you should go for Old-Yang style, but similarly I'm being biased. :)

    Okay, this is very important. You can only get the full health benefits of Tai chi only if you do the martial arts/combat application of Tai chi.

    The health benefits from Tai chi are a consequence of the martial arts side.

    With you so-so knees, make sure your knees, when bent are not pushed out beyond your toes. As doing this, means the weight is supported entirely by your knees. Otherwise, you'll be fine.

  4. nzric

    nzric on lookout for bad guys

    very true. Whether or not you're interested in the martial side, it's important to learn the most common applications because then you can visualise the right way to perform the movements.

    Doesn't matter which one you start with, just maintain the principles of focusing on your dantien, sinking your body/chi into your legs, breathing from your stomach (important!), moving from the waist/hips and keeping your back straight (whether or not it's vertical depends on the style).
  5. Kat

    Kat Valued Member

    I would proablly go to whatever you have in your area and check them out first.Talk to the instructor get an idea as to what his persaonality and training emphasis is about and even try a few classses.I think to start with at least its better to put yourself in a group of people that you at least get on with.Latter as you develope an undderstanding of what you want you can always swap styles,ussually within classses there are people with experience within other IMA so you can acquire more contacts.
  6. zun

    zun New Member

    Just discussing this with friends today.

    Anyone can teach tai chi. Literally anyone. You don't even need to know the form.

    Make sure you find a good teacher, with a good lineage, if possible, and you can't go wrong.
  7. Kinjiro Tsukasa

    Kinjiro Tsukasa I'm hungry; got troll? Supporter

    I have bad knees and do Yang style Tai Chi. Lots of good points already made here; I'll add one -- whenever your knees are bent, be sure that the knee itself is pointing in the same direction as your toes (of the same leg). This requires some flexibility in the hips which you may not have at first, so you need to monitor your leg positions carefully and be aware of which way your knees are pointing. I agree with the importance of learning the martial applications of the postures. Try to find a teacher who will cover these; not all do.
  8. Terry Matthes

    Terry Matthes New Member

    You don't always have the luxury of being able to take an art that is suggested. Your best bet would be to see what is avaliable around your area and go to check out some classes. You can usually attend a class or two for free to see if you like it or not. Each style can change slightly from teacher to teacher and school to school so don't always go off of what you hear or read. Go see for yourself :D
  9. zun

    zun New Member

    As Terry says, check out some clubs. I had the luxury that the first Muay Thai gym I went to, was the best in the area.

    However, with the Tai Chi wasn't so lucky. I went to three different clubs.

    1st TC club. Taught Health aspect. I was the youngest one in the club by about 30 to 60 years! Not for me - dropped it.

    2nd. Eventhough I did like the teacher very much, discovered it was a McDojo!!

    3rd. Real deal. Instructor is also a chinese doctor, acupuncture and herbal doctor.

    So hunt around for what you fancy. Just be picky in the quality of teaching.
  10. Reiki

    Reiki Ki is everything!

    I am lucky! :D

    My martial arts club teaches both mixed martial arts and the internal arts - Reiki and qi gong!

    We also do a lot of BJJ style grappling and are affiliated to Dillman, also do a lot of weapons work and small circle JJ.

    Its a nice balanced mix and I'm happy to have found such a great club.

    Check out what's on offer in your area, if it feels right then try a few classes..... I would try to select a MA that gives a good balance of activities. Ditto for whatever you select as your internal art. Good luck!
  11. iamno

    iamno New Member

    NYC is the perfect place for Yang Tai-Chi. Think Cheng Man Ching! A lot of his students should be around but check them out cuz everyone wants to be associated with CMC. Dont worry about the knees, the pain in mine stopped completely within a year. Stick to one style for at least 3 years although they are all classed as "internal" they couldnt be any more different in their execution.

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