Learning Tai Chi

Discussion in 'Tai chi' started by ki4jgt, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    You can probably pick up the sequence of a form, get to know what a b c looks like but you will miss a bomb load.

    I'm new to Tai Chi, I've practiced other arts for years, and I don't do much practice at home yet because I know how much of a pain it can be to kick a bad habit you've drilled.
  2. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Post as often as you want. it's a discussion forum, and we can all learn stuff from each other.

    I would strongly advise you to join a class if you want to learn Taiji. You won't look like an 'uncoordinated boob', you'll just look like a beginner, which is only natural! We all had to be complete beginners once. (In my case several times, but I don't mind starting something from scratch. To me it's quite fun having a 'blank canvas' to start from.)

    The best that a dvd can do is to act as a memory-jogger if you get stuck on part of a form that you have already covered in class, but are having difficulty remembering. But only a teacher can actually teach you - even for just the forms.
  3. Ventguy

    Ventguy Valued Member

    A: I am interested in Tai Chi and am using a DVD to learn some basics
    B: Don't do it. You need a teacher
    A: I know that but that is just financially possible right now
    B: Get a teacher
    A: Maybe you missed the part where I said I plan to but can't now
    B: Just burn your DVD and wait till you can
    A: But I am getting some benefits now and willing to relearn stuff if I need to when I get to class
    B: Well stop it and get a teacher.
    A: I was hoping more experienced people here could offer some advice.
    B: Unless you do exactly what we say, you might as well not come here
    A: But I was responding to a thread started by someone who was in the same boat as me.
    B: Doesn't matter. Get a teacher

    Yeah I can see where that would be frustrating. :)
  4. Ventguy

    Ventguy Valued Member


    Thank you for an answer that was honest and still respectful. As I have said, I am hoping to be able to go to classes in the new year.
  5. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    I appreciate you may see it like that but the above is a little disingenuous to be honest. I don't think I've seen a legitimate enquiry be brushed off on MAP.

    Just because someone doesn't like the answers they get that doesn't invalidate those answers.

    The above still revolves around your wish to carry on doing what you are doing and having some reluctance to admit that you could be wrong.

    That's what a lot of these threads stem from, ego. A person won't listen.
  6. Ventguy

    Ventguy Valued Member

    I have never said I intent to keep on on my own indefinitely. I did say I am trying to find a way to take classes in the new year.

    Even those classes (at least the ones I have looked at) are more Tai Chi for Health at my local community centre. I am sure most of you will disagree with that and say I am just waving my arms around in some eastern way.

    I went back to the beginning of this thread a saw the OP being called stupid (Can't fix stupid was the quote I believe) and a lot of other negatives, so people can't deny there was some disrespectful things said.

    I think a lot of assumptions are being made here. People are assuming I don't want a teacher. Not true.
    People have said I will keep going with the DVD alone. Also not true.

    As for the teacher on the DVD, I checked him out as far as possible but still it is only as much as a beginner could.

    I would like to ask that we just drop this thread.

    I get it - find a teacher.
    I get it - The DVD cannot be your only teacher but can be a good reminder tool
    I don't get disrespect and I want to end this before it gets really out of hand.
  7. Ventguy

    Ventguy Valued Member

    By the way, if I was disrespectful to any one, even with my attempt at humour in one post, I am truly sorry.

    I do want to learn and I do want to be part of the community.
  8. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    I don't want to labour the point, but I think it might be worth re-iterated what I said before about there only being one type of Taiji. Even if your reason for doing it purely for better health and you have no interest in the martial applications of Taiji, the fact is that it is a martial art and if it isn't learned properly then you probably won't get any more health benefits than if you were actually 'waving your arms about in some eastern way'.

    I suspect that there are a lot of charlatans teaching a watered-down version of Taiji as a sort of trendy 'new age' health fad, so be critical in your choice of teacher. Try to find someone with an authentic lineage if at all possible.
  9. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Yes me, I'm very offended!

    You disgrace yourself, your teacher and amazon's DVD section.

    Go stand in the corner.

  10. jorvik

    jorvik Valued Member

    Yang jwing ming has some good books and dvds you can learn from, and he also used to have tai chi holidays were you could learn tai chi for a couple of weeks....and he does the proper fighting style
  11. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    He was stupid - not knowing is one thing; having people who DO know give you advice and then teling them they are wrong IS stupid.
  12. Ventguy

    Ventguy Valued Member

    Technically if I am using a DVD, I have no teacher so HA! :p
  13. Ventguy

    Ventguy Valued Member

    For any who care, I have been learning from Dr. Paul Lam from Australia.

    BTW - I would be interested in learning some fighting applications too and I know I won't get that from a DVD.
  14. jorvik

    jorvik Valued Member

    you can actually learn loads from DVD's, The people who say you can't usually have a vested interest in saying that. Although I have trained with and under loads of instructors, I do find that just practice on my own, shadow boxing,setting up combinations etc works really well.
    Back in the 80's I trained briefly with a kickboxer, who was the Englsih champion who was self taught, so don't knock it.
    Actually Mushashi, the greatest swordsman in Japan was self taught.........and if you read the legends of Tai Chi, you will find that the founder of Yang style secretly watched Chen style practitioners and copied them.so don't knock self study:D
  15. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    What interest would that be?

    That's practice and not training per se. It's what you are supposed to do when away from your teacher.

    Only be having the outside perspective of someone more knowledgable than you can you make efficient progress in the art.

    You can throw punches all day on your own but that won't help you spotting when you are telegraphing.

    Out of interest who was that?

    No he wasn't.

    Also "greatest swordsman" is hyperbolism.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2012
  16. Madao13

    Madao13 Valued Member

    Is there a japanese samurai with bigger reputation or record of duels than Musashi?
    I ask out of interest, because few years ago I was very interested in him and also read his book " The 5 rings". From the brief search that I did back then, I learned a few other names that were referred as sword saints, some of them from noteable schools as well, like Shinkage ryu, but I understood that even them weren't as famous or popular as Musashi.
    I know that fame doesn't have to be proportionate with ability though.
    Anyway, do you have anything to share about this subject?
    I would appreciate any information that could sooth a little my big curiosity:p.
  17. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Yagyu Munenori was rather accomplished. Don't get me wrong I'm certainly not knocking him, one look at my signature should tell you that, but a lot about Musashi got spurred on after the works of Eiji Yoshikawa.

    He probably is the most famous swordsman but how do you quantify how great he was when there were so many others over the years.

    See my comments about Eiji Yoshikawa.

    Again don't get me wrong I'm not saying he wasn't skilled just that he was one amongst a number.

    I find he is far more inspiring when seen as a man rather than as some legendary all conquering figure.

    Miyamoto Musashi: His Life and Writings by Kenji Tokitsu is probably a good place to start.

    ps check out some of his art work.
  18. jorvik

    jorvik Valued Member

    The kickboxers name was Steve Taberner. Musashi killed his first opponent when he was 13, so I don't imagine he had that much learning behind him...and as he says in GoRinnosho "All things with no master"

    People who teach for a living have a vested interest in telling you that you can't learn withoutr a teacher.
    Now I can't really say that I didn't have teachers but what I will say is that I have learnt a lot more just training on my own, and it is a lot more common than you might imagine..all these tales about Chinese watching animals fight and then developeing their own style is basically saying what I'm saying.usually I find that people don't put enough physical training into what they do, enough anger/spirit or focus....they are the things that you need to learn and very often you can't because your teacher wants to plahy the alpha male. Just training on your own , not needing a teacher will very often make you better than training under some sensei who wants you to kowtow to him all the time.

    However this is missing the original content of what I said ................with Dr.Yang you can learn from his dvd's then gop to him for a couple of weeks a year and he will help you understand
  19. jorvik

    jorvik Valued Member

    Are you referring to the book "Musashi" by Yoshikawa? I think that was only written fairly recently.I would agree that Musashi wasn't necessarily the best, certainly not to my mind, he was a dangerous dirty psychopath by all accounts..........
  20. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    You can learn how to imitate the outer shapes. That'll be about it.

    Yes, I have a vested interest in promoting the standards of genuine Taijiquan. As such, I am generally against people 'learning' from DVD's (although they can be a great aid alongside study with an actual teacher).

    How have you tested that it works well?
    How you sparred against people from other styles, who will really test what you are doing?

    Yang LuChan was already a skilled martial artist, so had a solid founding in martial principles.
    He then (supposedly) watched the senior Chen family members practicing and refined his skill further. He was then accepted as a disciple and taught 'hands-on' by the Chen family. So he didn't just learn on his own. He had a background, he did the equivilant of watching a dvd, and then he got hands on instruction to fill out his knowledge.

Share This Page