Tempted to Try Tai Chi.

Discussion in 'Tai chi' started by Kframe, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. Kframe

    Kframe Valued Member

    Hey guys. I am tempted to try this Tai Chi place in the next City over. I have no idea if it is a good place or not, as I am not familiar with the style. It has the curriculum posted on the first page.

    The Changing Dragon - Authentic Classes in Tai Chi, Meditation and More

    I have always been curious about Taichi, and am of open mind. I just don't want to waste my time on something that is not real Taichi. Thanks guys.
  2. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Can't comment on the school, but definitely go to the class.

    You'll be surprised just how hard it is just to remain still.

    Tai Chi takes a lot of commitment before you really get the rewards, but the rewards are worth it.
    Kframe and Dan Bian like this.
  3. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    Two questions

    What style do they teach?
    Where did there teacher learn it?

    Not that lineage means it is a good school, but it goes a long way as it applies to knowing what they might actually teach as taijiquan
    Kframe likes this.
  4. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    I found it on a link on a page, it is Chang Taijiquan, if this is that case I believe it is heavy on Shuaijiao applications.
    Kframe likes this.
  5. Kframe

    Kframe Valued Member

    Sorry for not replying sooner, my writing project eats up a lot of my attention. I found on their FB page, that the founder of the club is the late Robert Sbarge.
    Regarding style, I found a link to a brochure that says the same thing, Change style.

    Found this in the brochure.

    " is this style of Tai Chi that is taught at The Changing Dragon. Most people are more interested in the health benefits than the martial applications of Tai Chi, but an understanding of the martial aspects gives focus and energy to the gentle moves of the Tai Chi form."

    I think I will take them up on the free class. I was wondering what are some questions I should ask?
  6. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    I agree with Simon 's comments. I get a lot out of learning tai chi. It's useful to know what style the school teaches as they are quite different. Somebody else on this forum may be able to say more, but I have seen styles describedusing 4 main types - yang, chen, sun and wu. I started learning tai chi from my kung fu instructor and do yang style. It might be good to ask about the extent to which they embed training on applications. Is it something that is mentioned in passing in teaching forms or do they work on the applications as part of the training. This might help you to think about whether the school is for you. The school also teaches qi gong, which I have found to be very beneficial and useful exercises to do on my own.
    Kframe likes this.
  7. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    It's hard to tell from the few videos that they have posted - their forms look ok (not great, definately not terrible), there are photos of them practicing various applications, though it looks very compliant (of course, we may not get to see every aspect of their training from a few promotional pictures) - over all, I'd say it's definately worth a few lessons there to see how you find it "hands on".

    Regarding Tai Chi in general;
    Your personal goals can determine what kind of class would be best for you; are you looking for health/relaxation, or self defence/fighting skill? The former being much easier to find a class for than the latter.
    The martial art of 'tai chi chuan' is based on the daoist principle of 'tai chi' (infinate/ultimate - "infinite" has no boundaries, whereas "ultimate" is a defined thing eg "the ultimate mass of something). Tai Chi is made up of Yin and Yang, but is more about how the two forces both oppose and compliment each other.
    What does this mean in terms of looking for a good class?
    A good tai chi class will have both Yin aspects (qigong, meditation, foundation exercise) and Yang aspects (pushing hands, applications, sparring), but both aspects will be present in everything that you do. So, for instance, if you are learning how to move from one stance to another, in your mind, you should be aware of the martial principles behind 'why' a movement is done in a certain way; what strengths and weaknesses there are in alternatives - but you should also be integrating your "soft" work; releasing tension, focusing the mind, making sure the body is aligned correctly as so on...
    It should not be a case of, "first, we will do some qigong, then we'll do some form, then we'll do..."
    The first thing you learn in a lesson should feed directly into anything else you learn in the same, and subsequent, lessons - whether you be looking for martial or spiritual practice.

    This doesn't mean that you have to take part in full-contact sparring if your looking for a gentle way to unwind - but you should be rounding out your meditative exercise with some form of pushing hands, which will help you to understand the principles of your solo practice, in context.

    Just my .2p :)
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  8. aaradia

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

    Eh, try it out. Make sure they are teaching the martial applications, like other said. It sounds like they do focus on that, from the quote you posted. Should be some non- compliant push hands in the mix IMO.

    The quote talks about energy and focus by knowing the martial applications, but there is also this. To get the full health benefits, you need to be lined up properly and have things like proper extension. Understanding the martial part helps this too.

    Where did others find video clips? I saw pictures, but no video links. :confused:

    I never heard of that style of TCC. So I can't help you there.

    I do have to say that I am not at all impressed by the pictures of the classes. Isn't horrible, but not great either. Stances in two lines, super high stances, the way some hands are (not) lined up with the body. These are foundational things I am taught. But I might be viewing with the bias of my style and this style is different. Also, the pictures I saw seem to be senior classes, so there might be health limitations affecting those pictures. Also, sometimes the images aren't representational, even though intended to be. I can think of a clip from my school where some of the people in the background are not looking so great and doing things the way we are taught. I think they didn't care as it was just supposed to be a blurry background for the person talking?

    Try it out. Let us know how it goes.:)
    Kframe likes this.
  9. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    @aaradia - re: videos

    On the website, on the right hand side there is a link to "photo gallery" which takes you to a flickr account - the videos I saw were on there. :)
    aaradia likes this.
  10. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    That particular school does not look like they're turning out headhunters but they do list freefighting- "Free Sanshou-"in their curriculum. Find out how often that goes on.And what level of intensity it can be. Anyway,it's the TC from YouKnowWho's teacher,so there is a chance that there's instruction in realistic training.

    I gotta say,after seeing watching some push hands vids from various groups of this system I understand now why Mr. W doesn't "get" t'ui shou. Pretty poor.Like,I'm looking at teachers who seem to lack some of the elementary mechanics.Or TC power.

    But anyway,check it out.I would.Ya never know. They might impart more than just an "understanding" of function.
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  11. Kframe

    Kframe Valued Member

    Thanks for the reply. Can you clarify for me? Who is Mr. W? You mentioned videos from others in this system being poor. Is this a fly by night system that I should avoid?

    I will set up a free class and talk to them. I get the notion that most of the students there are of the older, senior variety. I am honestly not sure what to expect. What should be my red flags, things that if I see them or hear them, I should run for the hills?
  12. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    Oop,sorry.Mr. W is how I refer to/address YouKnowWho,his last name begins w/a "W".

    Mr. W.'s teacher was the late Ch'ang, Tung-sheng.If you've never heard of him he was a great Shuai jiao exponent who no one....."bothered". If ya ketch ma drift.

    He developed his TC from a base of Yang system with the main app emphasis,not surprisingly, on throws and the like. Not a fly by night,but in the vids I saw of push hands... sorry but I fail to see good TC push hands mechanics or power in the ones I saw. [/QUOTE]

    Best thing to do when checking out a TC group is don't expect anything. Many teachers don't have much,but you can walk into a club totally populated by "health nuts" and middle-aged housekeepers and discover the teacher has some real goods-if ya want 'em.

    Probably for you the only red flags would be if they just don't have anything to impart to you function wise.Only you can find that out.And hey,maybe you'll find whatever they teach to be useful/enjoyable to you.

    Let us know.Good hunting!

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