Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by ultracool » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:04 pm

Hagbard wrote:Mick,

Magic Tortoise is just fine for your purposes, I took some classes with Lao Ma when I was in Raleigh. One of my homies still studies with him, or did last time I spoke with him a year or so ago.
A good recommendation like this is just what you need Mick.

JMO, the white crane qigong wasn't anything I want to do. I gave away my DVD of it.

Also, there is "crane qigong" which is different from white crane. Don't confuse the two.
Last edited by ultracool on Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by ultracool » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:07 pm

Token Hetero wrote:I think I'm more confused than when I posted the question initially. Should I start with just one thing, such as the Eight Pieces of Brocade, or should I integrate it with FC's recommended Simplified Tai Chi Chuan? Likewise, add in the Way of Energy?
If so, how would you recommend that it all be pieced together? A little standing practice, like Mick does, daily? And then maybe twice weekly sessions of the qigong and tai chi each, done on different days?
Plan A: Get a recommended instructor and do what he says

Plan B: Get some simple videos and DON'T QUIT. Figuring out how to set the bar low so you don't quit is critical if you ask me. Standing works, but you need a little bit of instruction. 5 minutes of standing is the goal. There is an article by Blarg in the nuggets section.
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by ultracool » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:10 pm

I defer to Fat Cat and cqc10 on the historical-practical-martial etc.
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by ultracool » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:13 pm

cqc10 wrote:Mak is right in his clarification.

Martial Tai Chi form practice may look very similar to qiqong-focused tai chi, but it's not. The big difference is that many alignment issues MUST be followed in the martial approach because failure to do so will result in getting thrown or hit. The intent is also different. The form is mastered, but its only one small piece of the whole development path that goes from movement, to push-hands, to free-sparring. (roughly that's the progression)

You can feel good doing tai chi and have it very wrong 'martially'.

A friend of mine spent 2 years doing tai chi and recently when we spent time together I had to break the news to him that he had very bad problems in terms of martial carry over. These are objective and demonstrable issues that can be revealed.

Bagua has the same sort of problems. Someone can hold the animal postures and walk the circle and even do a palm change and have it feel good. (from a qiqong perspective) Usually, however, the good feelings mask limb and body placement problems that rob you of your ability to express power.

Martially practiced IMA has the benefit of imparting fantastic structural soundness and greater qiqong-benefit than qiqong-focused IMA. The person who doesn't care about fighting but cares very much about their health would do well do learn the movements 'martially' in order to maximize the health benefit.
cqc10:

Can you be a good IMA without good qigong abilities?

I'm not saying you are wrong, I just want to increase my understanding.
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by ultracool » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:23 pm

another thing:

Hindu wrestler calthentics were really critical in the beginning for me. My hips, back, and spine were pretty tight.

There are many complementary IGX knowleges for qigong. Use the KB as a flexibility gadget etc.
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by Mickey O'neil » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:30 pm

cqc10 wrote:Mak is right in his clarification.

Martial Tai Chi form practice may look very similar to qiqong-focused tai chi, but it's not. The big difference is that many alignment issues MUST be followed in the martial approach because failure to do so will result in getting thrown or hit. The intent is also different. The form is mastered, but its only one small piece of the whole development path that goes from movement, to push-hands, to free-sparring. (roughly that's the progression)

You can feel good doing tai chi and have it very wrong 'martially'.

A friend of mine spent 2 years doing tai chi and recently when we spent time together I had to break the news to him that he had very bad problems in terms of martial carry over. These are objective and demonstrable issues that can be revealed.

Bagua has the same sort of problems. Someone can hold the animal postures and walk the circle and even do a palm change and have it feel good. (from a qiqong perspective) Usually, however, the good feelings mask limb and body placement problems that rob you of your ability to express power.

Martially practiced IMA has the benefit of imparting fantastic structural soundness and greater qiqong-benefit than qiqong-focused IMA. The person who doesn't care about fighting but cares very much about their health would do well do learn the movements 'martially' in order to maximize the health benefit.

This should NOT confuse the issue for people here wanting basic qiqong. The basics are very good and well worth the time investment. Just do it. Don't worry about whether its 'as' good as something else. Doing basic qiqong regularly is a thousand times better than none at all, and doing proper IMA as described above adds a measure of extra benefit. Find something you can stick to and just do it.
How do you move from basic to martial qigong? After I get a few lessons on standing and move into some sort of moving (5AF, Little Nine Heaven, some type of tai chi?) when and how do I approach or "make it" martial? Would this be the bagua (pa kua) I was asking you about cqc10?

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by GoDogGo! » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:17 pm

ultracool wrote:
GoDogGo! wrote:
Anyway, Brocades question for Ultracool or whoever wants to answer: when you expand your Brocades practice, are you just doing more reps of each of the 8?
I haven't done this. There are some instructions for the internal part that you might look at or get training in.
By "expand" I meant moving from 20 min to 40, but your answer about the toe raises settled it. I need to look at the YMAA book and see what it says. Which book is it? He has a bunch.
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by Mickey O'neil » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:34 pm

GoDogGo! wrote: I need to look at the YMAA book and see what it says. Which book is it? He has a bunch.
Probably 1 of the 3 you loaned me. :)

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by LG Elf Ftr/Wizard 7/17 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:36 pm

cqc10 wrote:
Token Hetero wrote:I think I'm more confused than when I posted the question initially. Should I start with just one thing, such as the Eight Pieces of Brocade, or should I integrate it with FC's recommended Simplified Tai Chi Chuan? Likewise, add in the Way of Energy?
If so, how would you recommend that it all be pieced together? A little standing practice, like Mick does, daily? And then maybe twice weekly sessions of the qigong and tai chi each, done on different days?
What is your goal? What problem are you trying to solve?
At age 41, I still prefer to lift weights to maintain/increase my strength. I do have some flexibility problems and recent injury issues recently, so I've realized that I need to do more than just continue lifting.
I've looked at yoga and found it interesting. I'm considering chinese IMA for similar reasons. Mainly for flexibility/mobility and health reasons.
It seems to me that qigong and its more martial relations provide increased biomechanical abilities and likely improve health via biofeedback techniques. These are both very worthwhile goals, as one ages, and I'm willing to put in the work to improve myself physically/mentally in this fashion. I don't care much for mysticism and I'm very willing to do things with a martial intent.
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by ultracool » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:37 pm

GDG:

It's his eight pieces of silk brocade book.

http://www.ymaa.com/publishing/books/qi ... ple_qigong

He actually doesn't have much for "internal" instruction in his book. I do know there are other sources that will make it as complicated and and internal as you could ever want it to be.

The simplicity of this book compared to the complexity of his other books is quite interesting.
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by Mickey O'neil » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:43 pm

ultracool wrote:GDG:

It's his eight pieces of silk brocade book.

http://www.ymaa.com/publishing/books/qi ... ple_qigong

He actually doesn't have much for "internal" instruction in his book. I do know there are other sources that will make it as complicated and and internal as you could ever want it to be.

The simplicity of this book compared to the complexity of his other books is quite interesting.
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by Bedlam 0-0-0 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:46 pm

Let me play devil’s advocate here. I think that the complexities in internal martial arts are over emphasized in the beginning. I feel that too many internal martial artists worry so much about perfect alignments and all the words they have read in books that they have very little ability to allow their bodies to teach them. If a guy learns the basic ideas of say beng chuan or any punch and then starts to hit a bag, the bag will teach them where they are losing power (energy). A student has to be smart enough to find the other three corners when given one. On that note, I don’t buy into the camp that says “if you do (insert internal martial art movement here) incorrectly you will mess up your qi or you will get sick.” That sort of thinking gets people’s minds stuck in fear because they don’t want to mess up. Messing up (and eventually correcting it) is the main part of learning. As cqc10 stated one can have problems in structure and still get health benefits. Don’t overthink this stuff. It is more productive to find something that you like and do it. Some IMA peeps tend to over analyze and try to think their way into their body learning something. Mistakes will work themselves out through training and in the crucible of resistance if that is available. I’m just saying that some internal artists put the cart before the horse. (Not directed to you cqc10—you seem to really know your stuff and must have a great teacher). Complexity should be built on the foundation of the simple. I would say that many of the fighter’s/wrestlers etc I have met and observed understand kinesthetically much of what IMA is trying to get at. IMA has lots of productive solo practices though.

Fat Cat’s clarification is great. Being clear about what one wants out of their training is crucial. If one focuses on the martial side they will also get the health benefits. If one focuses solely on the health side they will get the health benefits. A includes B, but B is exclusive of A.

Thanks for this great thread. Lots of great info.

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by cqc10 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:20 pm

ultracool wrote:Can you be a good IMA without good qigong abilities?

I'm not saying you are wrong, I just want to increase my understanding.
I'm not saying that. Sorry for the confusion.

-No qiqong is bad
-Basic, health-oriented qiqong is much better than none.
-Proper, martially-oriented IMA is a more powerful than regular qiqong. (there is greater precision in the body, and greater precision in the intent, and thus a greater affect upon health)

Hopefully I cleared things up. I"m short on time and not reviewing my post that well before clicking submit. 8^)

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by cqc10 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:23 pm

Mickey O'neil wrote:How do you move from basic to martial qigong? After I get a few lessons on standing and move into some sort of moving (5AF, Little Nine Heaven, some type of tai chi?) when and how do I approach or "make it" martial? Would this be the bagua (pa kua) I was asking you about cqc10?
Hard to answer. If you are just interested in qiqong for health, just do what you like. If you want to do IMA, then find a great teacher and do what he says. Your tai chi, bagua, xingyi, yiquan practice will contribute all the qiqong you'll want when you are on the proper path of qiqong and martial progression.

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by ultracool » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:31 pm

cqc10

Thanks for the response. I know you are busy, so please always respond when it's convenient for you.
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by cqc10 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:32 pm

Token Hetero wrote:At age 41, I still prefer to lift weights to maintain/increase my strength. I do have some flexibility problems and recent injury issues recently, so I've realized that I need to do more than just continue lifting.
I've looked at yoga and found it interesting. I'm considering chinese IMA for similar reasons. Mainly for flexibility/mobility and health reasons.
It seems to me that qigong and its more martial relations provide increased biomechanical abilities and likely improve health via biofeedback techniques. These are both very worthwhile goals, as one ages, and I'm willing to put in the work to improve myself physically/mentally in this fashion. I don't care much for mysticism and I'm very willing to do things with a martial intent.
Gotcha -

Start with the basic qiqong recommendations and then find a good teacher.

*Qiqong, for now, will teach good breathing, relaxation, and biofeedback.
*If you can find a good teacher, then you can continue with the 'Martial' art that is heavy on qiqong.

As I've said before here, I want to be able to express power and that's different than simply being strong enough to move a weight. I want flexibility, strength-in-motion, balance, coordination, joint health, etc.

IMO, nothing seems to optimize the body's ability to function better than properly taught CMA/IMA. I have several aches and pains that linger in my body from past years, but I move better now than I did when I was 20. (I'm 34 now) I can hit harder, and I can hit faster. My skill is better. I can keep getting better too, and that's the great thing. I have a long way to go, but when the journey does so much for your body's function now, its well worth the effort.

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by ultracool » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:33 pm

The yoga, IMA, and qigong discussions on IGX are just excellent.
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by cqc10 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:36 pm

Bedlam 1946 wrote:Let me play devil’s advocate here. I think that the complexities in internal martial arts are over emphasized in the beginning. I feel that too many internal martial artists worry so much about perfect alignments and all the words they have read in books that they have very little ability to allow their bodies to teach them. If a guy learns the basic ideas of say beng chuan or any punch and then starts to hit a bag, the bag will teach them where they are losing power (energy). A student has to be smart enough to find the other three corners when given one. On that note, I don’t buy into the camp that says “if you do (insert internal martial art movement here) incorrectly you will mess up your qi or you will get sick.” That sort of thinking gets people’s minds stuck in fear because they don’t want to mess up. Messing up (and eventually correcting it) is the main part of learning. As cqc10 stated one can have problems in structure and still get health benefits. Don’t overthink this stuff. It is more productive to find something that you like and do it. Some IMA peeps tend to over analyze and try to think their way into their body learning something. Mistakes will work themselves out through training and in the crucible of resistance if that is available. I’m just saying that some internal artists put the cart before the horse. (Not directed to you cqc10—you seem to really know your stuff and must have a great teacher). Complexity should be built on the foundation of the simple. I would say that many of the fighter’s/wrestlers etc I have met and observed understand kinesthetically much of what IMA is trying to get at. IMA has lots of productive solo practices though.

Fat Cat’s clarification is great. Being clear about what one wants out of their training is crucial. If one focuses on the martial side they will also get the health benefits. If one focuses solely on the health side they will get the health benefits. A includes B, but B is exclusive of A.

Thanks for this great thread. Lots of great info.
I very much agree.

There is a ton of complexity in IMA, but its all built upon simple foundations that can incrementally improved upon. If you build incrementally, you don't get overwhelmed as easily because you are taking some basics and fixing it up, then tweaking that a little more, and repeating that as you grow in your art.

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by cqc10 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:37 pm

ultracool wrote:cqc10

Thanks for the response. I know you are busy, so please always respond when it's convenient for you.
No problem ... I really do want to answer helpfully if I can, although time constraints sometimes limit what I can type.

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by Fat Cat » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:38 pm

ultracool wrote:I defer to Fat Cat and cqc10 on the historical-practical-martial etc.
Naw man. I am a dilettante at CMA. Jiujitsu is the only art which I make any claim to.
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by cqc10 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:38 pm

Note to self:

Never post something in an IMA-related thread and then go to a lunch meeting.

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by Mickey O'neil » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:42 pm

cqc10 wrote:If you want to do IMA, then find a great teacher and do what he says. Your tai chi, bagua, xingyi, yiquan practice will contribute all the qiqong you'll want when you are on the proper path of qiqong and martial progression.
This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you once again cqc10.

Mickey

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by Mickey O'neil » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:46 pm

cqc10 wrote:I want to be able to express power
I want to be able to express power in somebody's motherfuckin' face! j/k

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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by ultracool » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:47 pm

Fat Cat wrote:
ultracool wrote:I defer to Fat Cat and cqc10 on the historical-practical-martial etc.
Naw man. I am a dilettante at CMA. Jiujitsu is the only art which I make any claim to.
What I mean is you are very good at the CMA-anthropological.

---

It's hard to get a clean, practical understanding of this stuff.
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Re: Qigong/Tai Chi for Regular Guys

Post by cqc10 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:48 pm

Fat Cat has an encyclopedic knowledge of martial histories, styles, etc.

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