Saturday, 24 January 2015

Tai Chi and Weight Training

For as long as I can remember there has been a debate about the pros and cons of training with weights if you are a Tai Chi practitioner.

Some say it impacts negatively on your Tai Chi, others that it helps. When I first began Tai Chi at John Kells' place in London, I used to train regularly on a multi gym. I stopped  for a while when a senior student told me it would not be good for my " Chi ". I resumed because I enjoy the positive energy gained by lifting weights.

My then Teacher, John Kells, had a number of weight training machines in a basement room. He used to practise with a focus on cross energy. He was building a dynamic connection between opposite foot and hand.

Examples of this were bench pressing and lat pulldowns. For the bench press machine he would have his feet on the bench and push one foot down whilst focusing on the opposite hand as he pushed the bar up.

When performing the lat pulldown he would pull with one hand, the body moving diagonally down towards the opposite foot. The other hand was on the bar as an assist only.

To begin with the movements were small and short, gradually getting bigger over time. I asked him why he trained with weights. He said that he started to develop power by using a heavy iron bar to do his sword form and then the penny dropped!

He also had a Tunturi exercise bike. If you want to fight with Tai Chi, then you need to train like a fighter. He said you had to be able to take a blow. It was no good being weak.

It was interesting, then, to come across the following article by David Gaffney on his Chen style blog about strength training in Taijiquan - which supports the need for a good physical condition and strength in order to develop.

For myself I now use mostly dumbbells and very light weighted gloves by Golds Gym. As I age stretching has also become more important. I would welcome any comments positively addressing weight training with regards to internal martial arts and methods used.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Tai Chi course at the Secret Space-Hertford

A taste of Tai Chi...
Christian our Tai Chi teacher is starting another 6-week course on 2nd February 2015, at 18.15 - 19.15.
The sessions will cover tai chi exercises and postures, Qigong and partner work. It is an ideal introduction for anyone wanting to explore and gain an understanding of Tai Chi.
Book online
or call 01992 50314101992 503141.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Practise Tip - Brush Knee and Push

As you shift weight forwards for the Brush Knee and Push posture, pay attention to the following connections:

1) The inside of the shoulder well connects diagonally to the opposite hip.

2) The elbow connects to the opposite knee.

3) The wrist connects to the opposite ankle.

4) The hand connects to the opposite foot.