Tai Chi effects after practise?

Discussion in 'Tai chi' started by Martial-Shania, Sep 22, 2019.

  1. Martial-Shania

    Martial-Shania New Member

    I recently saw a Chinese Tai Chi master somewhere in a video who stated that: Tai Chi Chuan is not for relaxation. And that the many people who promote it as such are wrong. He said: when we want to relax only we could better sit on a couch and watch a movie with popcorn. haha

    So are the effects for an overall wellbeing and health through the practise? What about selfdefense?

    He aimed at the fact that taijiquan practise is to play between tension and relaxation with no stop in movement.

    What are your thoughts?
  2. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    I think I would need to know what he means by relaxation.

    Some people find doing TCC - or other martial arts - a way to relax from the stresses of work or home. That is true when anyone escapes into any hobby. In that way, it IS relaxing. I find punching a bag or stick fighting, and CLF fast forms "relaxing" by that definition, even though I am active.

    But if he is talking about being too limp or physically relaxed, I personally agree. My GM calls TCC that is too limp Tofu TCC. Along a similar note, my school talks about TCC movement not being too stiff NOR too relaxed. That there should be some energy in your limbs, My school makes a pasta comparison and says you should strive for al dente, not too stiff, not too limp. (Yeah, my instructors talk about food a lot! :p) If you look at video's of my school, you will see that we don't do the super relaxed limp, retreating thing found in a lot of TCC videos. It isn't our approach to the art. A lot of how we achieve this has to do with intention and extension, rather than thinking of tightening up

    In advanced practice, doing Fajing, there is certainly an interplay between tension and relaxation, although I think the word tension isn't the best word. But there are moments where you do put more into your movement, then go back to a more relaxed state. But it still shouldn't be super tight movement even then. But there is a momentary tensing up, then going back. Just at the right moment in the movement. I think Chen style delves into Fajing a lot earlier in your practice than we do in my school in Yang style practice? Fajing is only taught at advanced levels in my school.

    Also true in push hands play, there are moments and interplay of types of movement. Tsai or plucking energy comes to mind.

    Also, my GM dislikes when people say TCC is moving meditation. He says "you want to go meditate, go meditate!" Which he does every day BTW in his Qi Gong practice.

    Anyways, I just woke up and haven't had much coffee yet. So I hope this is as clear as it seems right now to me? Sometimes, I am not the best at explaining things.
    Xue Sheng likes this.
  3. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    Well, my Shigong, I am told, use to always say Taijiquan is for health. However you much also understand that he was including in that staying healthy if attacked.

    Relaxed in Taijiquan is referred to as "sung" also can be thought of as cotton covered steel. The idea is to be relaxed so you are not interfering with the transfer of energy, such as with applications in Fajin. Think of it as voltage traveling with little resistance (Ohms) or water flowing through a large pipe. If you are not relaxed, if you have tight muscles, you interfere with energy transfer from the root, to where you want it to go.
  4. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    He is right in that the word Westerners often choose as a descriptor for tai chi practice is a poor choice - it only tells one half of the story, and perhaps not even that well. Western language tends to be more category based; what I mean is it's much more oriented to This vs. That thinking.

    By using imagary the Chinese character for "Song" as it originally pertains to Martial Neigong depicts a Pine Tree laden with Snow. This in comparison attempts to offer both sides of this story, at the same time. The two main components are structural integrity ('postural strength' through connectivity and allignment or Tensegrity if you like) together with Elasticity.

    A lot of folks these days in IMA and by extension TCC conflate this all the time with Peng. That is wrong; they just don't really get the proper meaning and implication of Song (or Peng for that matter). They wouldn't need Peng to basically equate to the same thing, if they did.

    So, you end up with silly sayings like "Peng is tai chi and tai chi is Peng.. "
    Another unfounded and unsupported bit of tai chi mythos masquerading as a truth.
    These folks, don't really appreciate the difference, or really understand it perhaps.

    "Peng" in the broader IMA, is not necessarily the one and same "Peng" refered to in all TCC schools.

    And no, you don't need to always train with kicking ass in mind or end goal to develop and have Song in your body and use it in any physical movement and or activity, you just need better and smarter teaching/ teachers - in my humble opinion.

    Yep, I went there :D
  5. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    My teacher had both a hard boxing teacher and a tie chi teacher. over the decades I have done some tie chi (southern wu) along with the hard boxing. One of the best bits of advice my teacher gave to me, came from his teacher.

    when practising tie chi one may experience "gross manifestations of chi" this can be anything from a sense of oneness with the body to feeling high as a kite. what ever the sensation the idea is not to chase or follow it. Acknowledge a sensation as it arrives and get on with doing what you are doing. the sensation will stay or it will go. it dosent mater.
  6. Botta Dritta

    Botta Dritta Valued Member

    For my part I only ever found relaxation which is why I Frequently went back to Tai Chi, as I am of quite highly strung nervous disposition, especially if I don't get enough exercise (or have too much coffee!)

    That being said there were a handful of times Both in Chen and Yang style where I had some pleasant physiological effects that I havn't experience in any other physical exercises. Namely that even after a hard day's work and feeling really tired after a session of Tai Chi, I would feel amazingly refreshed, similar to the sensation of a good nights sleep or deep REM. Like wide awake. I'm not talking about endorphins running through the system after exercise: this was different.

    Only a handful of times though, certainly not every time I practiced over the years. I kind of always wanted to recapture that feeling but it was always elusive, but definitely down to something to do with Tai Chi practice. I'm too much of a skeptic to believe in Chi or any kind of oriental vitalism, I give a more likely credit with controlled Breathing Oxygen Intake, and focused attention re-calibration in the Brain's right arcuate fasciculus, but while I dispute the cause the effect was undeniable.

    But elusive...
  7. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    "I kind of always wanted to recapture that feeling but it was always elusive,"

    I often find with mindfulness that if I attempt to follow a sensation it actually pushes it away - like grabbing at passing bubbles.
  8. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    It’s a great meditation method(vehicle)you can even vary the methods used. Basically however it gets you out of your head. I tried an ‘embodied emotion’ meditation on an app recently and though not moving through physical motions; it was essentially the same basic (meditation) mechanism used: by putting attention in the body: you get ‘out’ of your head. Relaxed mind and relaxed body. Buzzy energetic feelings happen too of course.

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