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Tai Chi classes?
Old 02-18-2020, 09:07 AM   #1
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Tai Chi classes?

In a recent thread about regular exercise (https://www.early-retirement.org/for...it-101937.html) several people mentioned Tai Chi.

For those taking Tai Chi, are you:
  1. Doing it on your own (Youtube or videos?)
  2. Takng a class at gym or YMCA?
  3. Taking a class at a martial arts studio?

And is the Tai Chi you are doing more:
  1. Meditative and movement?
  2. Movement / standing yoga for the most part?
  3. The martial arts variety of Tai Chi?

Just curious what is meant when sometbody says they do Tai Chi. I remember walking around a lake last summer and a handful of people were doing something that looked similar (or maybe was) Tai Chi. A very friendly looking gentleman motioned for me to join. There was a language barrier and we'd just finished walking around the lake and had plans after, but I wish I would have taken the time to try it and / or figure out who they were (they had a banner) to follow up on later.
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Old 02-18-2020, 10:09 AM   #2
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As a finishing touch to my one hour JuJutsu workout I do the Chinese National Short form. It is a nice wind down.
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:27 AM   #3
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DW and I did classes for a year with the Taoist Tai Chi Society. It helped with her balance issues as she has a degenerative neurological condition.

We eventually stopped because we had progressed to the more advanced classes and it was all becoming a little to new age and culty for us. Lots of "feel the energy" and chanting stuff. She's to pragmatic for that and I'm just a reformed hillbilly farm guy.

That said it was great exercise (especially for balance, mobility and limberness) and the stuff we didn't like probably was just due to that one group (maybe ?)

She does yoga now and achieves some of the same benefit.
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Old 02-18-2020, 01:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunny View Post
In a recent thread about regular exercise (https://www.early-retirement.org/for...it-101937.html) several people mentioned Tai Chi.

For those taking Tai Chi, are you:
  1. Doing it on your own (Youtube or videos?)
  2. Takng a class at gym or YMCA?
  3. Taking a class at a martial arts studio?

And is the Tai Chi you are doing more:
  1. Meditative and movement?
  2. Movement / standing yoga for the most part?
  3. The martial arts variety of Tai Chi?

Just curious what is meant when sometbody says they do Tai Chi. I remember walking around a lake last summer and a handful of people were doing something that looked similar (or maybe was) Tai Chi. A very friendly looking gentleman motioned for me to join. There was a language barrier and we'd just finished walking around the lake and had plans after, but I wish I would have taken the time to try it and / or figure out who they were (they had a banner) to follow up on later.
I would totally join a class to learn it. It’s not something you can learn on your own, you need an instructor to watch you and provide need correction/guidance.

I enjoyed it very much, and look forward to doing it again someday when a group is available.

I’m pretty busy with yoga at the moment.
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Old 02-19-2020, 08:49 AM   #5
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My wife enjoys yoga but for some reason it hasn’t ever appealed to me. Part of it is just getting down on the floor which I have a mental block on, not a physical one for some odd reason. I think that is part of what is appealing about Tai Chi, looking Ike a standing version of yoga. I know they offer chair yoga, but I think that is likely more for people who can’t physically get down and back up off of the floor.

I know the meditative aspect of Koogie’s post wouldn’t be for me either. But still may be trying a class if we can find one.
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Old 02-19-2020, 11:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunny View Post
In a recent thread about regular exercise (https://www.early-retirement.org/for...it-101937.html) several people mentioned Tai Chi.

For those taking Tai Chi, are you:
  1. Doing it on your own (Youtube or videos?) Bad idea. You need someone who is trained in the importance of the subtly nuances of the movements.
  2. Takng a class at gym or YMCA? Ditto
  3. Taking a class at a martial arts studio? Just because it is a martial arts studio does NOT mean they are properly trained to teach Tai Chi. You also need to check a few instructors before committing to learning the proper forms.

And is the Tai Chi you are doing more:
  1. Meditative and movement? I only agreed to teach for those wanting to improve their health.
  2. Movement / standing yoga for the most part? Tai Chi involves movement. However, there are other practices like Qigong that can be stationary.
  3. The martial arts variety of Tai Chi? Not the pursuit I would recommend to most people.

Just curious what is meant when sometbody says they do Tai Chi. I remember walking around a lake last summer and a handful of people were doing something that looked similar (or maybe was) Tai Chi. A very friendly looking gentleman motioned for me to join. There was a language barrier and we'd just finished walking around the lake and had plans after, but I wish I would have taken the time to try it and / or figure out who they were (they had a banner) to follow up on later.

I taught Tai Chi for 16 years with constant practice and instruction from a highly respected taoist master. I also spent quite a bit of time working with people having a variety of medical issues. I would not even show how certain movement could be used for fighting. If you are looking to improve your balance, strength, flexibility, peace of mind, meditation and relaxation then choose your teacher carefully. Try a few out. You should be able to quickly tell if they are interested in helping you or if they are another kind of used car salesman. Too many people learn a basic form and think they can teach. All too often they create more medical issues than improving health.


Cheers!
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Old 02-19-2020, 12:25 PM   #7
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IMHO, find any form of "exercise", that you enjoy and keep it up. Include "social", to keep it from getting boring.
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Old 02-19-2020, 03:54 PM   #8
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tai_chi

Above is Wikipedia on Tai chi.

My class is a Wu style. Master Alfred Huang was our teacher until he passed away last year at the age of 97. An amazing man who was imprisoned for almost 20 years during the Cultural revolution, he vowed to stay alive and live long enough to see the pendulum swing. He wrote a definitive translation of the I Ching and a book on Tai Chi (seemed overwhelming at first - Standing in Stillness had 23 separate instructions). Actually had a very dry, cutting and funny sense of humor. One of his students has taken over.

She said our Wu style is more internal, emphasizing joint flexibility, balance and breathing. They talk about feeling the flow of “Qi” as we do our movements. Stilling the mind with your breathing, after you learn the steps, the whole set of movements is a kind of meditation.

A friend of mine who is about 75 now and still plays to a 3 handicap in golf, said Tai chi allows a good way to age.
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Old 03-02-2020, 09:57 AM   #9
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If you are by a Kaiser, they offer free weekly tai chi classes to anyone in the community. You don't have to be a member.


I prefer qi gong, which is related, but a little less choreographed in strict sequences (most people find tai chi much more difficult---and I actually think qi gong is more effective since there are infinite varieties of exercise, as opposed to tai chi having, for example, 24 forms.


No shortage of free qi gong/tai chi videos on YouTube. Many are fairly short and you have to piece several together to work out for 30 to 60 minutes. I like this couple:


https://youtu.be/9yhPwJH3e6w


I take online qi gong classes with Lee Holden, a noted expert in the field. He teaches live classes in California (an hour long) and then posts them online (about 8 to 12 each month) for $39. They help so much with balance, flexibility, and stress. https://www.holdenqigong.com/
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Old 03-02-2020, 10:28 AM   #10
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I take Tai Chi and Qigong at my gym; I also do both chair and mat yoga there. The two are very, very different. I love the Tai Chi and the yoga is good but I don't love it. I think Tai Chi and Qigong help my balance and core strength as well as being meditative and helping my brain (learning the forms). I supplement the TC with YouTube to learn the moves and their order for 8 form, 16 form, etc. since the instructor never says a word during class. He does give instruction after class but it's subtle (arms do yin/yang motion for certain moves, point knee..., don't rush certain steps. hold your arms..). Recently we've talked about Qigong moves especially to support your immune system.
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Old 03-02-2020, 10:57 AM   #11
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If you are by a Kaiser, they offer free weekly tai chi classes to anyone in the community. You don't have to be a member

You got me excited until I looked up my Kaiser facility, and it doesn't offer the classes. It seems to be in the major cities in my region.
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Old 03-02-2020, 12:44 PM   #12
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We took one class and enjoyed it. We planned to go back but by evening my back was out and my husband’s knees were killing him. We were surprised because the movement is so slow. I don’t like yoga at all.
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Old 03-02-2020, 01:39 PM   #13
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We took one class and enjoyed it. We planned to go back but by evening my back was out and my husband’s knees were killing him. We were surprised because the movement is so slow. I don’t like yoga at all.
Ref your statement about yoga. Its like college, its the teacher not the class. And there are many styles of class. If anyone is reading this, please don't be deterred from trying yoga. Some styles are aerobic, some you lie in the floor and long hold stretches. Some are combination. Etc etc Yoga truly #can# be for everyone. I've seen the really elderly, infirm, pregnant, endurance athletes and everyone in between gain something from yoga. And when you do it next to a battlefield amputee and watch them find balance on their metal leg its a true gut check.
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Old 03-02-2020, 01:48 PM   #14
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I just started tai chi at the YMCA a month ago. I love it. Our instructor discusses footwear and injury prevention. We are doing Chen form and Fan form.
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Old 03-02-2020, 02:01 PM   #15
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I started taking TC @ my CCRC about 6 months ago. I now attend classes 2x/week. I do it to increase my balance and get in touch with my overall health. I say that I am selfish and I do it for me. I also do it for DW who would be my caregiver if/when my life begins to falter. I now also take yoga class 2x/week. I have all the time in the world. I'm retired, ya know.
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Old 03-02-2020, 02:09 PM   #16
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I tried 3 different places with different teachers. Each time I stuck it out for 6 weeks hoping to like it. Just because I don’t doesn’t mean anything for others. Ironically we loved Tai chi but physically it didn’t work.
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