I really need to create an image for my Road Tai Chi posts. This one came up in a Google photo search and will have to do…
Yesterday I made the three-hour trek for another Tai Chi lesson. I’ll spare you the breakdown of class structure and just hit the high points.
- Spent more time that I would have liked on this. New Sifu says it may be more important than the actual Tai Chi. We shall see. Regardless, I’m keeping the cup empty for now.
- 24 step form: New Sifu backed me up and told me to not go beyond brush knee. Just a ton of corrections: tensing up, going too fast like a TKD or karate kata, stances, hand positions, etc., etc.
- Wants me to video myself and compare to his video. On my list and eventually plan to. We are buying a new camera for a mutual holiday present so I won’t have that in place until January.
- Commencing stance as a double arm block/push.
- I asked about it as a grab defense/step back and dump attacker (video I featured). He knows about it and demonstrated that too.
- Wild horse as trip counter to punch.
- Crane spreads wings as double arm attack counter and as arm/knee strike counter.
- At this point I am fairly certain that I could make wild horse work and the commencing stance applications, too. It might not be tai chi pretty but I could use them under the right circumstances. The rest is a muddle.
Single push hands:
- A very basic lesson at the end — maybe 5 or 10 minutes. Going to try to practice this with Mrs. Patterson. (video comparison in at end)
- I asked many but this was the interesting one. I asked if New Sifu thought Tai Chi was an effective martial art for self-defense. Honest answer: “In my opinion, no. It would not be my first choice.” He went on to say it’s a great supplement that can expand your martial horizons, but you need to have some serious experience in another art before you can tease anything out of it.
- His example here was the grab defense from the commencing stance. When you actually start it you do so at a very fast pace. If you would try it at the tai chi pace, with no experience in anything else, you’d be toast. He said to make it work you need some experience in a fast-paced hard art (e.g. Xing Yi, etc.) but also need the soft part of tai chi (dissolving center and sinking, etc.).
- Tai chi is not exactly aerobic. The owners of our local SuperFit also teach a selection of classes including cardio kick and kettle bells. I’m stuck at 193 and am seriously considering trying one or two of these classes each week. People at the gym tell me they are pretty intense.
Here’s a video from the late Earl Montague:
Pretty much captures the lesson!
Until the January road trip…