Li/Lee tai chi (yes another one :P)

Discussion in 'Tai chi' started by Hatamoto, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. Hatamoto

    Hatamoto Beardy Man Kenobi Supporter


    So, I don't give a toss about lineage or authenticity - as long as it does what it says on the tin (I had to explain that to an American the other day and felt extremely odd and lame for adopting such an unexciting national idiosyncracy) I'm a happy panda.

    Which is the issue. I don't know enough about tai chi to know whether the Li/Lee style "works." By that I don't mean martially (I think anything, even taekwondo (xD tongue in cheek joshing of course) can be made to work martially), but on a physiological level, does it strengthen and stretch and condition and tone and all the other bumf, as promised by everything these days?

    Here's the short set for those unfamiliar with the style, I'd appreciate your thoughts. (I say thoughts, I mean reassurance that I'm not wasting my time and money for getting back into it lol)

    [ame=""]Lee Style Tai Chi form: the first 50 moves - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame=""]Dan Lee tai chi short set take two.wmv - YouTube[/ame]

    Posting a video of someone else doing it, far as I know the only other vid on youtube of it, and (an old video of) myself for the sake of comparison.

    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012
  2. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    If it is Li RuDong style taijiquan, then it is directly related to Yang style founder Yang Luchan.

    Not to familiar with Li RuDong style myself, so don't know if this is it.

    As it stands, it looks alright :) Keep at it and see if you get any benefits from it.
  3. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    I did a short introductory 'course' Lee style briefly about twenty or so years ago. It was my first encounter with Taiji and I liked it, although the teacher started to get on my nerves fairly quickly.

    When that finished I went to the 'regular' class, but a number of things didn't sit well with me, so I stopped going, then I discovered the Wu style and everthing clicked into place.

    I'm not saying that Lee style is no good, simply that I had a disappointing experience. Of course it may just have been that particular teacher, but the whole set-up was a bit of a McDojo. And a bit cult-like in some ways - not pleasant at all. And I didn't see much form work going on, just gimmicks, so I didn't see myself learning much very quickly.
  4. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    It's not that Li style DB. It's the Chee Soo (Lee) style found in the UK. And to answer the OP, sure, why not?

    It's not so much the form (choreography & postures), but how it's practiced that will determine those kind of benefits.

    On another note, not in regards to this family system - which I think is a rather good Chinese Martial system in terms of content (though I have no real good idea how it is generally taught), but speaking in general you might want to re think your view of lineage.

    It's not about whether any given individual can fight or not, or whether something has any value to it or not. It's about a certain type of quality control and whether something is what it says it is. Is something what it says it is on that tin..

    Would you learn Gracie ju jutsu from someone who had no learning or contact from any Gracie or affiliate ? What about Aikido from someone who had never learnt from an actual bona fide aikido instructor ?

    When you say lineage doesn't matter, you're basically saying "hey, it's ok if my teacher learnt taiji from the back of a cereal packet".

    Would you want to learn this Lee family system from some one with no connection of learning whatsoever back to Chee Soo who introduced it here?

    So whilst many people say "lineage doesn't matter to me", I think you'll find that most people do want something that is what it is supposed to be (and sold as that). And judging by your question here - something that DOES what it's supposed to do.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  5. Hatamoto

    Hatamoto Beardy Man Kenobi Supporter

    Regarding lineage, I see where you're coming from, but what I mean is, I don't care if a system dates back 20 years or 2000, as long as it works. I learned the 24 form from youtube, for example, so while I "teach" it to my mother, it's only the most shallow of understandings, mostly to get her moving and used to coordinating her body better (she recently gave herself a hernia from turning her upper body with a load of heavy shopping in her hand :s) because THAT much, I understand (only because I've previously done the Yang movements, mind, I'm not basing that on seeing it on youtube.) I just wanted to get in before someone pointed out that the Lee style has only been around for 50 odd years or whatever and isn't a proper tai chi style, coz I didn't wanna spark a debate by bringing it up :)

    Johnno, would you mind telling me some stuff that didn't sit right with you? There's stuff that doesn't sit right with me too, such as the chi stuff, but it's the only tai chi class I can realistically get to that isn't the Taoist Tai Chi organisation, and I want to learn the martial side of it as well, which I won't get from TTC. But I'm curious, if you don't mind. Feel free to PM me about it, since I don't want to slag off any instructors or the Lee style family arts :)
  6. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    It's OK, I'm not going to slag anyone off - I couldn't even slander the teacher properly because after all these years I can't remember his name! My observations are purely based on my experience of one teacher, so I'm not making any assumptions about the style as a whole.

    The teacher I knew had a very jokey, light-hearted approach to things. Which may have suited some people, but I found it a bit too flippant. Calling the form a 'dance' I found a bit offputting. I know it's just a name, but he didn't seem to take anything seriously.

    At the regular class there were a lot of assistants. They were very earnest young chaps in t-shirts with the 'club' details on them. They seemed to hang on the teachers every word, to a degree which seemed to go beyond respectful and felt slightly creepy.

    There seemed to be a name for every single stance, but they didn't bear any resemblance to the names used in other styles. There was even a 'drunken' stance, which involved lying down on the floor. Since that had no bearing on the form, it seemed a bit odd to have a name for it. It made me wonder if the teacher was just having a laugh at the new pupils' expense.

    Then there was a paired excercise in which one person had to stand stock still with their eyes closed while their partner stroked their arms. I think it was supposed to be something to do with chi, but it just felt a bit creepy. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy stroking a young lady's arms as much as the next pervert, but it all seemed very silly to me.

    Probably the clincher for me was another excercise in which we had to move forward into one particular stance facing a partner, who was supposed to 'feel our chi'. When it was my turn I didn't feel any chi, but I did feel a bit stupid.

    That's about all I can remember. If anything else does come flooding back in one of my lucid moments, I'll let you know.
  7. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    They actually do-(for some reason)- have more than the usual amount of names for stances,I've got the original edition of Chee Soo's book.No "drunken" stance in that book tho'.
  8. robertmap

    robertmap Valued Member

    Hi All,

    Just found:
    "The form we teach is purely a health art, based on the principles of Chinese medicine and it has been in existence for over three thousand years"

    Hmmmm - 3000 years - YAWN !!!!

    I trained for a short while (6 week introductory course - I think) with Chee Soo when he taught at Seymour Hall baths in London in his Kung Fu style and with someone (Maybe Rachael Marfleet ?????) In Lee style Tai Chi in Luton at evening classes - I think - and that would have been for 8 or 10 weeks...

    Lee style is fine - if that's what you like - just like Yang or Chen or ... style is fine if that's what you like too...

    Sadly, there are still too many Tai Chi practitioners who waste their time on 'seeking the answer' rather than realising the answer is (If you tell anyone this secret, Ninja's will come and get you) ... PRACTICE :)
  9. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Chee Soo, that takes me back. Although I never trained with him, his style was the first I did. Must have been 30 years ago.
    What did you think of him robert?
  10. robertmap

    robertmap Valued Member

    Hi Simon,

    He was Chinese - that was akin to being Superman - I mean Chinese people ALL know KUNG FU right.... (Well it may have seemed a bit like that to me way back then)...

    SIDE NOTE - When I met my wife (I was about 21 or 22) who is Chinese - I was genuinely surprised that neither she nor any of her family knew Kung Fu - One of her brothers had done TKD and that was it :)

    Anyway Chee Soo - He was nice and a good teacher - however there was one thing he did (at least in one class - maybe in more than one????) that put me off the whole deal... You stood a few inches away from a wall - - facing away from it - with your eyes closed - he would come round and wave his hand across your face (without touching) and your legs were meant to go weak - mine didn't and even at age late teens or 20 something??? - I knew that it was 'wrong' - I always wanted (and still want) to feel the magic... But it's always been the Emperor's New Clothes with me as the little boy... SIGH...
  11. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    I recall training under one of his black belts. he had a bodybuilder do some press ups and claimed to be able to take his chi away thus rendering him weak.

    Even as a newby back then I knew it was rubbish.
  12. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    There does seem mto be a common theme emerging here, of rather suspicious claims regarding their ability to do magic tricks with chi.
  13. Chuangzu

    Chuangzu New Member

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2016
  14. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    Well, I'm glad that, after 4 years, you have resurrected this thread.
  15. EmptyHandGuy

    EmptyHandGuy Valued Member

  16. Chuangzu

    Chuangzu New Member

  17. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    Unimpressive.But in fairness perhaps they were beginners.

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