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#423843 - 12/01/09 04:26 PM Yang Style Tai Chi
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
I recently purchesed a book and video on yang style Tai Chi, as Ive always been curious about it and was told that it can be benificial for asthma. After reading the book, there is a large emphasis on breathing technique and so I wanted to know if any of you practice this or another style of Tai Chi and if the benefits are truly there. So far Ive noticed no difference other than relaxation and a little bit of lightheadedness/hyperventilation.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#423844 - 12/01/09 05:43 PM Re: Yang Style Tai Chi [Re: Chen Zen]
puffadder Offline
Member

Registered: 04/29/07
Posts: 250
Loc: UK
If you are breathing more efficiently ie slower, deeper breaths using the diaphragm and breathing deeper down then the lightheadedness will be due to the extra oxygen going to the brain. It will soon go as you get used to it. As to the benefits being there the answer is an unqualified yes. I don't think there is any other single thing you can do to improve your general health more than learning to breathe better. Remember every cell in your body needs oxygen and the more there is available, the more effective every part of you will be. You will feel more relaxed - as you already do and yet have more energy and vitality in your life. Keep at it and I hope the asthma starts improving soon.

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#423846 - 12/01/09 05:54 PM Re: Yang Style Tai Chi [Re: puffadder]
WhiteDragon11 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/02/07
Posts: 1165
Loc: Florida, United States
Controlling your breathing is crucial in developing internal energy, which is key to t'ai chi. Being able to focus your chi on your dan tien, which is right below the navel, will help you develop power and balance. By inhaling and focusing your breathing to your dan tien, you can lower your center of balance, and increase your balance which is important in studying t'ai chi. There are many other reasons for learning how to breathe properly. If you can control your breathing, you can learn how to focus your energy on one specific location. By doing this, you can add power or chi to your strikes.

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#423851 - 12/02/09 05:47 AM Re: Yang Style Tai Chi [Re: Chen Zen]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2572
Honestly Chen, Tai Chis is the most complicated thing I have ever had to learn. Ever! I think a teacher is a must to get any serious benefit for it. It can take decades to fully understand it.

Look in to Qi Gong as well. It offers a lot of health benefits too (felt them for myself) and is generally easier to learn than Taiji.
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#423853 - 12/02/09 09:39 AM Re: Yang Style Tai Chi [Re: Prizewriter]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Thanks for the responses. Ive heard of Qigong though I never spent time with "Internal" arts before now. And I agree, the Tai Chi is quiet complicated, with the different meridians, and junction points and so forth, but as I said it has been relaxing and I plan to continue with it, hopefully with instruction soon. As for Qigong, and I may be totally wrong here, but doesnt that have to do with herbal medicine and accupuncture points?
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#423864 - 12/02/09 03:58 PM Re: Yang Style Tai Chi [Re: Chen Zen]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2572
Hi Chen

Good move re getting instruction. Most of us (especially on here) spend a lot of time and resources on learning how to deal with external threats (whether they happen to us or not) little realizing that over the course of our lifetime we are our own worst enemy. For the vast majority of people YOU are going to be the person that does yourself most harm! No one else! So its worth making the time to take care of yourself.

This is a core idea in many traditional Chinese systems:

i) Build health
ii) Develop fitness
iii) Learn how to fight

Its a pretty good order of things IMO. No point in doing 3 if you aren't taking care of 1 & 2 first.

You are a bit off with Qi Gong though. Like the term Kung Fu, Qi Gong has covers a vast range of (mostly healing) practices. Most are designed to improve health and vitality, some are even used to develop martial ability (some Qi Gong sets, like Shaolin Ba Duan Jin are a pre-cursor to Iron Body training).

Qi Gong can involve accupressure, but most commonly it is a set of movement/breathing/postural exercises to develop the body. If you imagine a cross between yoga and Tai Chi (though that isn't what Qi gong is!) you will get an idea of what it looks like.

Better yet, here are some popular Qi Gong sets:

Ba Duan Jin (this isn't the Shaolin version though!):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71MN9sX-tWs

Wudang 5 Animals:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5FMhYvxvPY

Most Qi Gong looks like the above. As I said, it is easier to learn that Tai Chi for most people.

I practiced Ba Duan Jin, which is primarily designed to help with the lungs and kidneys. I feel a lot better from doing it, and my inhalation/exhalation capacity has greatly increased (even though I was doing a lot of running, Qi Gong has brought it on another level!).

Many Taiji/CMA teachers usually know some sort of Qi Gong (see my point re the order of study in CMA). So you should be able to find someone to show you. If not, let me know, I'm sure I can track down someone!
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#423876 - 12/03/09 09:21 AM Re: Yang Style Tai Chi [Re: Prizewriter]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
In our school we practice the Yang family qi gong set and all of our exercises directly relate to the isolation of body skills that are then pieced together into form and push hands. Throughout every exercise we work through the 'core' which makes up the 'internal system' in our style of taiji. My Sifu Steve wrote a blog post about softening the core which is utilised in every one of our exercises. Here is the post:

http://themartialarchive.com/steve-rowes-blog/soften-the-core

The skill of softening and pumping the core, IMHO is one of the fundamental components both the health and martial skills of tai chi. Through our qi gong we learn to hold the body in soft yet strong posture. It removes the excess tension and teaches how to get down into our feet. It also allows us to engage the soft tissues properly which I discussed briefly in a recent blog post:

http://themartialarchive.com/gavin-kings-blog/drawing-the-five-bows
_________________________
Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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#423951 - 12/08/09 01:43 PM Re: Yang Style Tai Chi [Re: Gavin]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Thank you all, very much. Ive been busy with my working and writing (FA to Present The Chen Zen Method, coming soon!) so I havent had much time here. I just moved to a new area, Gainesville Florida, and I will be looking around here for a new gym as well as looking into Qi Gong. I appreciate your time and effort guys. Chen
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#423964 - 12/09/09 04:17 AM Re: Yang Style Tai Chi [Re: Chen Zen]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2572
Good articles Gav, thanks for sharing!

Chen, a couple of Qi Gong teachers in that area (under Florida):

http://www.qigonginstitute.org/listing/directory.php
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#423989 - 12/10/09 10:51 AM Re: Yang Style Tai Chi [Re: Prizewriter]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Thanks alot. What does it mean if they are highlighted yellow
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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