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#387697 - 03/20/08 12:39 PM weights and tai chi
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
OK, the situation is I'm fat, overweight and unfit due to a lapse (ok, a long lapse) in serious training. As I can only train sporadically, my TC hasn't got very far. I have, however, found a local fitness gym where I can attempt to get back to something resembling "slightly fitter".

Never having done a weights regime I decided to take both the cardio and weights option. Now I'm not pumping huge mounts, just a basic hours work out... 20 mins cardio, several sets of reps on the machines (curls, lifts, etc... between 20-30kgs) and another 30 mins cardio (OK, it can be more but that's the basic).

The thing is my Sifu commented that weights, curls, crunches etc are not really the most beneficial type of training for the TC.

Any comments?
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#387698 - 03/20/08 01:01 PM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: trevek]
ttruscott Offline
Annoying ex-Member who tries to advertise on every post

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 31
Loc: BC Canada
Weight training for strength is counter to real tai chi methods of producing power but whether you care or not would depend on your reason for training tai chi.

If your tai chi is for flexibility and general fitness and health then weight training won't matter. But if you are really trying to understand the dynamics of how to produce internal (joint based) power rather than external (muscle based) power, it will slow you down.
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#387699 - 03/20/08 05:37 PM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: ttruscott]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
So even minimal weight training, crunches etc aren't a good idea? My puzzlement is that if I was doing a heavy lifting job (like I used to) would that affect it too?


Edited by trevek (03/20/08 05:38 PM)
_________________________
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

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#387700 - 03/20/08 07:45 PM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: trevek]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Definitely not... at least not initially. A weight training regime that focuses on muscle group isolation is the worst thing you can do. The mechanics are diametrically opposed to internal training.

There are many ways to get fit and develop overall body strength without using weights. Check out "bodyweight culture" and "Paul Zaichek".

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#387701 - 03/20/08 08:19 PM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: trevek]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
weights themselves aren't counter-productive, it's what you do with the weights that determines where the gains are.


Medicine Ball Exercises
Qigong Ball, Taijiquan Ball, Exercise Balls, Qigong Sphere

http://www.egreenway.com/taichichuan/medball.htm

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#387702 - 03/20/08 08:29 PM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: trevek]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Trevek,
sorry to be blunt, but simply "working out" isn't going to solve your problem. You need some lifestyle changes and diet if you're overweight. That's how you got that way in the first place, and simply working out with weights and then going to the food trough for a fill-up won't change your weight or body structure very much.

I don't know how old you are, but when I was in my 40's, I lost about 30 pounds by a combination of dieting and exercise. I went on the "diabetes association" exchange diet, and worked out in karate, judo and jujutsu for 3 hours 4 nights a week... and got back down to my "fighting weight".

If all you do is diet, you'll lose weight for a while, but you'll have "creep" where you wander off the reservation a bit and those calories will add up again. If all you do is exercise, you'll get "in shape", but you'll be replacing all the calories you burn getting that way and nothing much will change... except you'll get irritated that you don't seem to be gaining any ground.... been there, done that.

Seriously, you need some help in more than one area of life, and it takes both dedication and discipline to make it work. My poor wife dieted all her life, and occasionally, I could get her to exercise... and she would make gains toward losing weight, and then the "creep" would start... where she "fell off the wagon" and started snacking on cookies, etc. that brought the weight back. It takes more than one solution to make it work... and you have to learn to schedule your "binges" so you work off the extra calories.

My wife read and tried almost every diet on the planet earth, but she never committed to the other side of the equation. That's why she was never successful at losing weight.

I'm in the process of changing my workout schedule to a more intense level, and checking the cabinets and freezer to see what I need to change there to get into better shape myself, so I'm not just bloviating at you about this. I know what it takes, and I've done it before, so while I know the formula, it's a matter of how much deprivation you're willing to endure to "have the body you want".

Good luck at it... if you need encouragement, send us emails and we'll pump you back up to keep you on the right path.

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#387703 - 03/21/08 01:14 AM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: wristtwister]
ButterflyPalm Offline
Enigma

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Malaysia
Moderate weight training would not do any damage to your TC, but whether it will get the blubber off is another matter; in fact many TC masters have done some hard MA before coming to TC and in my own experience once your chi begins to flow, all the old hardness just dissolves away and my movements actually look "feminine"

The danger of heavy weight training is that once you stop, you get more blubber than what you started with.

However you can try to kill two birds by tensing your whole body slightly on all out-ward/out-breath
movements, and since you are doing Chen style, this will in time increase your jin power as well.
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#387704 - 03/21/08 06:36 AM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: ButterflyPalm]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
Ah, some excellent words. Thanks guys... I knew I was right to ask.

So, the main problems is isolation of muscles... I see. That makes sense. Thanks eyrie.

wristtwister: Never worry about being blunt with me; blunt is good. I understand and agree about the lifestyle chganges. It was, as you say, that which got me in this situation. Before getting married and moving here to work as a teacher I was involved in theatre and was moving and singing a lot, which gives a lot of exercise. I was also walking everywhere... and eating like a horse (at least a horse that eats a lot of meat and cheese). Fine while I was active, but the lifestyle change meant I was training less and sitting more. It got worse when we got a car (at least I was walking to the bus-stop).

Lonliness of the long-distance trainer and the clash of club times with work led/lead to me suddenly realising I have done nothing physical for a while. Binges in exercise and binges in eating are/have been common, especially with Polish religious holidays.

Anyway, I was talking with some of the girls at the school and they do aerobics etc. They asked me why i didn't do anything like that and I said it was due to the times i worked. One of the girls mentioned that there was a new gym near where I lived and, having a few hours in the morning, it seemed a better way to spend the morning than sitting infront of the internet (like I'm doing now!).

So, 3-4 times a week I'm doing cardio (bicycles, treadmill etc) and basic weights. Also returning to my stretching (naughty boy that I am!). The main thing about it all is that it is a start at re-establishing some kind of physical discipline in my life/routine.The food situation is gradual, declaring a diet doesn't work... so, fruit at work instead of bars of chocolate (sob sob!), more cereal or breakfast instead of cheese salad rolls etc. Less Coke, beer, etc.

MA-wise, I've been trying to train as regulary as i can but it doesn't help having a job/boss which disregards my needs timewise. Hence I might start a club and then my hours change... or, as happened last year, I started training in TKD again (and capoeirra) and then developed back/neck problems and was advised against it. Age (I'm 41) and neglect means I've had to reassess what it is adviseable to do and to train in.

Intense isn't a good idea with my character anymore, as "intense" tends to translate into "binge".

Main problem with the Chen is that I have to have individual classes with my Sifu and we haven't been able to make them regular, due to our own timetables and me working in UK during the summer. As it is, I'm still learning the old-form and haven't done any application in any great amount.

I'm little more than an aging hippy, these days, but plodding on with the TC (and using FA.com) is the last thread I have with MA at the moment and stops me just throwing my hands up in the air and saying "To hell with it! Install the cable TV and open the fridge".

It just seems that whenever I mange to start doing something then something else pops up to negate it. (Oh no, I'm heading into Rikki Lake territory with this post!).

Butterfly, feminine is good. I aimed at a lot of that with my theatre work. I also have contact with dancers, and it is interesting to watch how much power some of these kids have.

Thanks again guys, hope I haven't bored you all.
_________________________
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

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#387705 - 03/21/08 06:37 AM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: trevek]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
Funny thing, my Sifu had a knee injury last year and when he resumed training he had put on some weight. He commented that at last he was the right shape for doing TC.

Hmmm, just looked at Ed's link and recall my wife's uncle has a medicine ball in the garage...

Butterfly; thanks for the advice. I have just had a startling idea (for a teacher, I amaze myself)... maybe I could ask my Sifu about such exercises (duh!).

Thanks guys.


Edited by trevek (03/21/08 06:52 AM)
_________________________
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

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#387706 - 03/21/08 02:54 PM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: trevek]
JAMJTX Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/01/02
Posts: 585
Loc: Fort Wayne, IN
I'm sure someone better qualified will be answering most of your "weight training" questions.

I will tell you that Taichi will not really help you lose weight, gain muscular strength or really get in shape at all. You will reap many benefits but you do need to do some weight training and perhaps even an aerobic exercise.

If you want the weight training to benefit your taichi and martial arts in general, train for strength and endurance - not for bulking up. You don't want to lose flexibility and range of motion.

Talk about these goals and how to achieve them with your weight trainer. I've seen some good responses from CORD with regards to weight training. If he does not chime in here, PM him and ask him to join in.

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#387707 - 03/21/08 03:19 PM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: JAMJTX]
ttruscott Offline
Annoying ex-Member who tries to advertise on every post

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 31
Loc: BC Canada
As one old hippy to another, I've gotten great gains from Chen Taiji and

with the South Beach Diet.
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#387708 - 03/22/08 05:14 PM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: JAMJTX]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
Thanks again, guys. Hard to talk to the weight-trainer as I don't think he speaks English at all (and I certainly can't talk technical in Polish).

I'm not really into diets (but thanks anyway) as, at the moment, I am not fully in control of what food I eat... (don't ask me to explain that!). Suufice to say, I eat what's put in front of me and have little choice if I want a quiet life!
_________________________
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

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#387709 - 03/22/08 05:51 PM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: trevek]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
OK here goes.

It is impossible for a joint to generate power. A joint is a a point of articulation between two or more bones. Hinge, modified hinge and ball and socket. A joint only articulates voluntarily with a muscular contraction. The agonistic muscles shorten, 'pulling' from one bone to another via connective tissue. Accompanying anatgonistic muscles lengthen and relax to allow the articulation.

If joints could move without this basic truth, then ailments like MS, conditions like sciatica and drop foot amongst others would cease to exist. Also, the mere attachment of a prosthetic limb to an amputated limb would be enough to create articulation.

You can change the semantics to suit your training all you like. You call it 'hara' I call it the core, but the biomechanics and muscle involvement remain constant no matter what side of the dojo you bow on.

Weight training when done appropriately can help every and any activity. If you look at any, and i mean ANY physical persuit, those involved use resistance training as part of their performance conditioning.

strength and power are the clay, your skill specific training is the sculpting process.

Those who spend all their time gathering clay, and sculpt as an afterthought, never have the end result they could have.

Those who sculpt from limited resources, run short of materials and find their creation inhibited.

Strength training for MA is nothing more than a supplemental activity that should be used in moderation, with a focus on efficiency and performance. This then leaves time and energy to devote to your true interest- your art.

Many lose sight of this and become conflicted bodybuilders, leading to frustration and cries of 'weights make you slow', and 'weights inhibit your flexibility' etc etc.

True strength training and focus on hip, core and power, will not, in any way, disadvantage your MA training, be it internal, external or transcendental.

Ashe Higgs would probably be the best person to address this question as he has modified and incroporated mainstream resistance conditioning into his eastern based power generation philosphies. He has combined the internal with the external, embracing possibility, not negating it through slavish dogma. I have a lot of respect for his methodology, and I hope he finds this thread.


Edited by Cord (03/22/08 06:38 PM)
_________________________
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http://cord.mybrute.com

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#387710 - 03/22/08 11:23 PM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: trevek]
Zach_Zinn Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
I've seen guys doing bagua with bricks balanced on their hands in books, and other such things. This kind of strength training is maybe different from western weightlifting, but it's still weight training of some sort.

I know Xingyi and Bagua sometimes use methods like this, is there nothing similar in Taiji?

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#387711 - 03/23/08 10:49 AM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: trevek]
jude33 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1539
Quote:


The thing is my Sifu commented that weights, curls, crunches etc are not really the most beneficial type of training for the TC.

Any comments?




My thougth and my rants.

Weight training. A slim built guy with a vice like grip by the looks of his forearms.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlZhS4WWlFc&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejIyjIwtHjY&NR=1

I think this guy does tai chi??

I see Okinanwans at 79 years old still fit training hard , part of their routine is weight training.


Regards losing fat. I find sprint training to be the best.
But like anything else it has to be worked up to.
I can eat beef and lose the fat in a matter of days, but I think it is a case of getting a persons fat levels down first, but that takes time and slower workouts.

P.s a healthy diet would be great. I eat what I want within reason and just burn it off.

Ice cream
Beef
veg, mash, micro wave meals, bread,
sometimes fish and chips though its got to be done in veg oil.
Coffee
diat coke

I am getting hungry again!!!

Jude


Edited by jude33 (03/23/08 11:14 AM)

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#387712 - 03/23/08 09:16 PM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: jude33]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
@Cord - good post!

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#387713 - 03/24/08 02:57 PM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: JAMJTX]
ttruscott Offline
Annoying ex-Member who tries to advertise on every post

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 31
Loc: BC Canada
truscott, you have been informed repeatedly that these links are against forum rules, as they are advertising.

No more or you will be banned.


Edited by Cord (03/25/08 12:13 AM)
_________________________
"Fear, not compassion, restrains the wicked."

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#387714 - 04/05/08 09:57 PM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: Zach_Zinn]
retsamdloneknurd Offline
Member

Registered: 02/01/08
Posts: 33
just a few thoughts. some tai chi masters advocate hopping out of bed in the morning and beginning practice right away. it really does set up your day well and for me the time usually goes very quickly. sip green tea to keep hydrated and regulate your blood sugar. hunger sometimes comes with lethargy so the exercise and green tea are an excellent combo. i have heard a chinese saying ' brown rice make skinny and fat people both right weight' you can lose a lot fairly quickly on a brown rice fast but it tends to clear out toxins at an alarming rate. to do that safely you might invest in an enema bag! eat some sea weed for minerals and such if you try it. walk! if you have a chen form you can lose weight with it. you have to do it a lot. try to do a certain number a day. repeat single moves a hundred times or so fast and slow.
if you eat anything with any sugar you will be hungry again very soon. eating sugar in the morning be it cereal or with coffee etc. will set up a pattern of consumption for the day. good luck brother.

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#387715 - 04/05/08 10:44 PM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: retsamdloneknurd]
ButterflyPalm Offline
Enigma

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Malaysia
Quote:

...some tai chi masters advocate hopping out of bed in the morning and beginning practice right away.




This reminds me of the time when I was below 10 when I was told to NOT urinate in the morning and to get the water out through sweat instead. LOL. Perhaps that accounts for my patience. You never knew as the reasons were never told and it might have nothing to do with MA training at all but to train self-control and discipline especially in children.
_________________________
I'll rather be happy than right, anytime.

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#387716 - 04/06/08 07:24 AM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: ButterflyPalm]
retsamdloneknurd Offline
Member

Registered: 02/01/08
Posts: 33
you are right. we are all children. what is martial art training but self control and discipline?

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#387717 - 04/07/08 09:11 AM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: ButterflyPalm]
Tashigae Offline
Mister Bendy

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 690
Loc: Samarobriva, Gallia
Quote:

This reminds me of the time when I was below 10 when I was told to NOT urinate in the morning and to get the water out through sweat instead. LOL. Perhaps that accounts for my patience. You never knew as the reasons were never told and it might have nothing to do with MA training at all but to train self-control and discipline especially in children.




Additionally, it might be a way to force the body to retain some potentially profitable elements contained in the urine itself. Most Asian cultures not only do not regard urination as a way for the body to get rid of toxins and other unwanted elements, but even consider it as a potential risk to leak some good things (I assume that like most bodily fluids, it's thought to contain some of the individual's "vital energy"). Some particular types of urine were even considered as extremely valuable medecine in old China, and I believe consumption of one's own urine is still a medicinal practice in India and a few other Asian countries. I also heard that a yak's fermented urine was Tibet's most common medecine.


Just a thought... I might very well be completely off the mark here.
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#387718 - 04/07/08 09:19 AM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: Tashigae]
ButterflyPalm Offline
Enigma

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Malaysia
Quote:

I might very well be completely off the mark here.




_________________________
I'll rather be happy than right, anytime.

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#387719 - 04/07/08 09:50 AM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: ButterflyPalm]
Tashigae Offline
Mister Bendy

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 690
Loc: Samarobriva, Gallia
Quote:

Quote:

I might very well be completely off the mark here.








OK... Guess I was indeed.
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#387720 - 04/07/08 11:44 AM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: Tashigae]
Tashigae Offline
Mister Bendy

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 690
Loc: Samarobriva, Gallia
Silly me! Your knowledge of western culture is clearly too vast and too precise for you to be Malaysian... So I guess you were still in a perfectly occidental environment when you were ten years old. And here I was looking for explanations in Asian traditional doctrines...
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#387721 - 04/07/08 04:16 PM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: Tashigae]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
The toxins within urine cannot be 'filtered' out of it and removed via perspiration. All you do is dehydrate, leaving a greater concentation of toxins in a smaller amount of solution, putting massive strain on your renal system.

Passing urine and faeces is natures way of removing toxins from the body of mammals. We may have big brains, but all the crazy ideas we come up with do not negate or bypass our basic animal functions.

Renal failure can be fatal, or lead to a lifetime of dialasis. Go to the toilet when you have to go.
_________________________
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'
http://cord.mybrute.com

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#387722 - 04/08/08 01:54 AM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: Tashigae]
ButterflyPalm Offline
Enigma

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Malaysia
Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

I might very well be completely off the mark here.








OK... Guess I was indeed.





LOL, ....urinate? "...off the mark...?"
I agree it was an off-colored joke.

BTW, I have been 100% Malaysian since before or after the age of 10.
_________________________
I'll rather be happy than right, anytime.

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#387723 - 04/08/08 05:40 AM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: ButterflyPalm]
Tashigae Offline
Mister Bendy

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 690
Loc: Samarobriva, Gallia
Quote:

LOL, ....urinate? "...off the mark...?"
I agree it was an off-colored joke.



Got the joke at last. Sorry I had to make you explain it, everyone knows this will ruin even the funniest ones; but I'm clearly a lot slower to understand them when using English.

Quote:

BTW, I have been 100% Malaysian since before or after the age of 10.



Damn! Wrong again! Oh well, at least I contributed to uncover one more little piece of information on this forum's favourite enigma...
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#387724 - 04/08/08 03:09 PM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: Cord]
Tashigae Offline
Mister Bendy

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 690
Loc: Samarobriva, Gallia
Quote:

The toxins within urine cannot be 'filtered' out of it and removed via perspiration. All you do is dehydrate, leaving a greater concentation of toxins in a smaller amount of solution, putting massive strain on your renal system.

Passing urine and faeces is natures way of removing toxins from the body of mammals. We may have big brains, but all the crazy ideas we come up with do not negate or bypass our basic animal functions.

Renal failure can be fatal, or lead to a lifetime of dialasis. Go to the toilet when you have to go.



Indeed, but can you really induce renal failure merely by concentrating your toxins too much through intense workout? I really doubt it. As for "holding on" when your body suggests you go... In that case, the concerned toxins are already in the bladder, and therefore should no longer be the kidneys' buisness, no matter how much you concentrate them from there. Unless of course you decide too consume your own urine afterwards, which I assume would indeed put quite a bit of strain on your kidneys. And yet, I'm pretty sure urine (human or animal) was used by a number of traditional Asian medecines as a remedy (for what, I'm not sure). Chinese friends have confirmed that a virgin man's urine was considered a highly valuable medecine in old China. No idea about the theory behind that practice though.

Quote:

BTW, I have been 100% Malaysian since before or after the age of 10.



In that case, I feel the need to explain a bit further the reasons why I mistook you for a Westerner. When I said "your knowledge of Western culture is clearly too vast and too precise for you to be Malaysian", I by no means intended to suggest that Malaysians are an ignorant lot. It's just that through my experience with my rather numerous Asian friends, I've come to notice that the areas covered by the knowledge of a learned European and that of a learned Asian differ greatly. Many cultural points that are basic knowledge in China are ignored even by the most erudite Westerners, and vice-versa.
As far as I'm concerned, the degree of Western erudition you have displayed on FA.com over the years is mighty uncanny for an Asian (even one versed in Western culture) , hence my mistake. Please don't take any offense...
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#387725 - 04/09/08 03:23 AM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: Tashigae]
ButterflyPalm Offline
Enigma

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Malaysia
Quote:

Please don't take any offense...




Being the cautious person that I am and just to be sure I was being complimented by a Frenchman who claims to sometimes think in Chinese and apparently writes often in English, I looked up "erudition" and found, to my continuing education in the English language, that it meant "profound scholarly knowledge" which I find is just a touch over the top
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#387726 - 04/11/08 05:37 PM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: ButterflyPalm]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
Funnily enough I was once taught a particular grammar point in English by my Chinese-Malaysian flatmate who was extrmly frustrated that the Brits in the house couldn't speak proper English!
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#387727 - 04/12/08 02:10 AM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: trevek]
ButterflyPalm Offline
Enigma

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Malaysia
Ahhh....you speak 'proper English', we speak 'the Queen's English'

Yea, the greatest British export is, not fish & chips, but the English language, which of course allows one to read "fish & chips"
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I'll rather be happy than right, anytime.

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#387728 - 04/12/08 03:16 AM Re: weights and tai chi [Re: trevek]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
You're correct. My colleague here in Poland pointed out to me that if you consider how much money is spent on producing ELT books etc, Cambridge exams and conning gullible foreigners to come to British summer schools to 'meet real native speakrs' (who don't speak standard English) then it does make a tidy sum.

If I wait a while all the TC terminology will be standard in English and I won't have to struggle with Chinese!
_________________________
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

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