Discussion in 'Tai chi' started by cheesypeas, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. cheesypeas

    cheesypeas Moved on

    Hi All,

    Does anyone else here practice their frames/forms Left Side?

    If so...

    When did do start learning left?
    Were you taught it or were you left to teach it to yourself?
    What differences do you percieve between right and left?
    What value would you put on left practice?
    Is it necessary to learn it?
  2. unfetteredmind

    unfetteredmind Valued Member

    Not any more but I used to with a form I no longer practice. It was a reasonably interesting thing to do but I don't think it is necessary. I started learning the mirror form about one year after I completed the original version (and was taught it). I think there is a danger of bogging down my practice with too many forms.
  3. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    We train everything on both sides and consider it more important than learning lots of things on one side. But here I'm talking about individual techniques or short technique sequences, whether trained with or without contact, as we do very little by way of long linked sequences. We think that the fact that it is quite difficult to reverse a specific ingrained long movement sequence shows why it is important to do it on both sides.

    That said, if we do do a longer solo sequence, I often tell the students to practice it on the other side when they get home as I'd rather they really got it on one side in the class than just half getting it on both. So it all kind of depends on them and how much time we've got (and a bit on what sort of mood I'm in, but I never said that.)
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2007
  4. tpyeon

    tpyeon Valued Member

    in my first ever forms competition many years ago... i was so nervous i did the form the mirror image way and it was easy until i realised i was doing it. and totally froze. funny considering i had never actually tried to do that before.

    i don't think it's needed for most people to train the whole form the other way around. the point of the form is to achieve whole body feeling and basic physical conditioning. a long form correctly studied does that.

    when you look to apply those feelings and ideas you do it in pushing hands. which are practiced every which way.

    but for fun, why not?
  5. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    My teacher said he will only teach one side. I asked why. He said something to the effect that (a) "The ancients were wise men. Who am I to disagree with them?" And (b) western boxers learn only one side, too.

    The 2nd reason made sense to me. :)
  6. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    I learn both right and left sided.
    I feel it is important for training the whole body equally (range of motion in the joints, correct allignment in postures for applications, etc).

    I think to learn (or only be taught) one sided is robbing you of a vital part of your training.

  7. Cuchulain4

    Cuchulain4 Valued Member

    This seems strange to me. The forms don't have a set stance like orthadox or south paw so both left and right are used in the form any way, and a lot of movements are repeated on both sides.
  8. Taoquan

    Taoquan Valued Member

    We actually incorporate both left and right into our forms. For the most part it is not at all uncommon to see a single whip done on the right, then you switch and it is done of the left. It makes the form much longer, but then training in the left is not as necessary.

    Though, I would have to say no matter how you train it left and right must be trained and you must understand the difference between your left and right. For example, in general, I find that the left for me is much weaker overall, but for pinpoint strikes it is more accurate. Where as the right, is stronger, but less accurate. I personally feel this is important to know and practice.
  9. Puzzled Dragon

    Puzzled Dragon Valued Member

    In the long yang-style form most movements are done both sides. There are some movements however, even though occuring repeatedly, always done to the same side.

    I've heard there are reasons to not do these reversed - Cheng Man Ching had apparently advised against it. The reasoning was, as far as I understood, that the body is asymmetrical. The liver is always on the right side, the heart on the left etc. and likewise some movements, related to some meridians, are beneficial only on the side they are done in the form.

    Now, that's only what I have gathered from what I've heard - perhaps somebody here is able and willing to expound on this matter?

    We don't learn the form left. Nor backwards, from end to beginning. Some do try to on their own, at home. I also did and though I can do an individual movement to either side of course, I find it another thing to work out the choreography the left way. Usually I found myself back in the usual routine, though in an odd direction, sooner or later. :cry:
  10. steve Rowe

    steve Rowe Valued Member

    It's important to do all the techniques on both sides. I was taught that the first section of the Yang form is frequently practiced both ways and the entire form 'when the energy needs refreshing'.
  11. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    One of my Cheng line teachers decided we should do it both ways.We were all folks who had been around for awhile, so although we used to practice it together on both sides,we weren't where we needed to be taught it lefty,just do it and work on it.Never turned my other hand forms around.Always wanted to learn saber left handed, tho'.

    The idea, which I'm sure most of us have heard, of the form being only taught on one side as the body is asymmetrical, is a bit of a laugh. Most Chinese hand forms are notoriously right handed.And aren't turned around.But the apps were/are practiced on both sides.So Single Whip in application will work on either side, meridians really being of no consequence.Cheng and Yang,C-f both advocated Post standing in Whip on both sides,btw.

    Wanna see how asymmetrical TC makes your body?Try doing Snake Creeps Down on the L side if you've only been doing the other side for a few years.Don't care how flexible you are,how much stretching you do.It won't feel as good/comfortable.

    Wang,Yen-nien was a student of Cheng's other teacher,Chiang,Ch'ing-ling.His form is the long form,practiced once non stop on both sides = one form.

    Is it necessary to turn it?I dunno. tho' I personally agree w/Bailu's sentiments.But it is necessary to practice function on both sides.

    aiki-did your instructor only teach apps on the same side as the form?If so, I guess the western boxing comparison would hold true for him,(too bad for you,though).If not, then his viewpoint makes no sense.

    Side note-Only in weapons work do most systems not practice apps equally on both sides.For practical reasons.

    Hi Steve!-sorry about the knees,man.Hope the new ones work up to par for you.
  12. steve Rowe

    steve Rowe Valued Member

    Hi EM - I'm gettin' there it's a good one to two years rehab for full TC abilities, but I'm a good 7 months in...

    Practicing individual postures on both sides though :D
  13. Jaae

    Jaae Valued Member

    Hi Steve,

    Glad your recuperation process is proceeding well !!! As someone is years younger than you......... ;) Now might be the time for an in depth feature , article, post from yourself about the vagaries of training into errrrr middle age, the injuries we've accrued over the years, ( Arrgh, me too.........lots and still adding...... ), the aspects of physiology and mentality and the effectiveness of the training, the subtle changes we need to make,( Whatever style ), that comes with the over half a life time of training !?

    Thanks Jaae.
  14. steve Rowe

    steve Rowe Valued Member

    Hi Jaae
    That's a good idea, I've been working on the importance of fascia in the body and how it is in layers and all connected from the feet to the head all over over the body. How important it is for the layers to to 'glide' over each other and how stiffness, tension and adhesion in any part of the body affects the rest. Our qigong and taji systematically eases the movement of the fascia and this understanding has helped me immensely.

    When I get time I will write something about training, injury and rehab, because there is soooo much that the medical world can learn from us.
  15. steve Rowe

    steve Rowe Valued Member

    ....also another reason for balancing your training.... this is from Mosbys soft tissue book:

  16. unfetteredmind

    unfetteredmind Valued Member

    I don't see the relevance of this to practising mirror forms.
  17. sparrow

    sparrow Chirp!

    Practice to right and left would presumably balance out the whole of the fascial system. The habitual patterns of everyday life cause many postural imbalances throughout the muscles, joints, skeleton and fascia etc. Tai Chi is an excellent way of putting this right - as is Alexander technique and Hellerwork. A symetrical form would maximise this - having said that, I personally do not practice to left and right. I do practice Ashtanga Yoga, which really brings to light any r/l differences in flexiblity and suppleness.

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