T Nation

Tai Chi

Is that non combat, soft, looks like real slow, funny dancing type of Tai Chi good for athletics or even bodybuilding in anyway? Also, is it really as relaxing as it’s cracked up to be? Come on now won’t ya hey, any experiences would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Jack Mesloli

I’ve never done Tai Chi but I’d started doing Jui Jitsu and it’s a killer. It’s a grappling based art so when you’re wrestling someone on the ground you’re using every available muscle you’ve got to get them off you/move position etc. It’s great for cardio, after each spar i’m just lying on the ground trying to catch my breath. Give it a shot, there is probably a school near you.

ive tried Tai chi and saw useful
for cardiovascular applications.
For bodybuilding and bulking up
i recommend trying Qi Gung. which
is know as Chinese Energy Exercises.
this is faster paced and more likely to be
what you need. Boris

Its good for relaxation, conentration/mental focus and helps develop fluidity. In the gym, it could help in recovery, and also keep the body loose, which would help your flexibility and range of movement. As a bodybuilder it could help you in your posing routines.By staying relaxed yet focused, you could easily make the transitions from pose to pose, your routine would be smooth and effortless.

Tai Chi can rule…or it can suck. Only about 1/10th of the teachers I’ve seen teach it properly. Practiced properly, it teaches balance, coordination, improved range of movement, focus, and I’d say really improves your muscle control (that’s sort of under coordination, I guess). However, the way most people teach it, it’s only good for maybe relaxation and balance. Tai Chi is a martial art, and to really take advantage of its ability to improve your athletic performance, you should take it from a teacher who has this goal in mind. Your best bet would be to find a teacher of Chen Tai Chi, because I’ve found that style has most of its martial lineage intact with most teachers. As an example, Bolo Yeung, that hyooge chinese guy who was in Enter the Dragon, Bloodsport, and Double Impact, uses Tai Chi as his main martial art.

Of course, if you really want to be able to fight efficiently in the least amount of time, brazilian jiu jitsu, catch wrestling, or sombo/samoz, mixed with some quality boxing training, is a much better choice.

sombo/samoz ? This is a martial art that I haven´t heard of before ? Orgin ?

Once I am done with competitive bodybuilding and done with beating myself up with Karate/kickboxing, and want to do somethin a little more “introspective” - you can believe I will be doing QiGong. In Portland there is a QiGong Master from China, who is also a former World Champion in Wushu. And that’s where I’ll go.

Don't let the "slow-mo" moves fool you: it is certainly difficult to master. And worth it if you're looking for balance in your mental and physical being.

I am from China and Tai Chi is very common there. I have an Auntie who teaches Tai Chi there. I was interested in learning it a while ago (but never really got around to it). I was told that it was relatively easy to learn (the beginner forms anyway) and could my learnt by following a good instruction video or VCD. Look around for some good instructional videos. Also, despite the fact that it is practiced very slowly, Tai Chi is supposed to be an effective combat style. The style is somewhat defensive, concentrating on controlling your opponent’s attacks and using them against him/her.

Anybody who studies tai chi for the purpose of self defense is a fucking moron. Good luck in a street fight!

sambo (or sombo) is a Russian form of sport/combative grappling, like Judo. It is a distillation of many different forms of wrestling from slavic and ex-USSR countries, focusing on arm and leg locks as the primary finisher. Samoz (which is an acronym but I forget the russian phrase for which it stands) is a combative system developed in the USSR, also from native slavic combative boxing & grappling styles. It has both civilian and military forms. Hard to find a teacher, but it’s very interesting…teaches a very natural and flexible way of moving standing or on the ground, which I can attest with even a little exposure can improve your game in other fighting styles. And I have to agree with the above poster, regarding tai chi…not that it isn’t effective when someone knows what they’re doing, but only because 95% of teachers can’t even begin to teach proper martial applications. Plus, it’s a long-term investment. If you take it, take it because it’s enjoyable, helps you relax, and helps you focus your strength, don’t take it because you plan on fighting Frank Shamrock or something :slight_smile:

My brother-in-law (Jim) has been studying tai chi for about 15 years now. He states that tai chi is the best thing that has ever happened to him. He taught my wife just the very basics and really uses a lot of leg strength, mental strength, and balance. There is a stage in tai chi, which is very advanced, where you use a sword. I do not know the exact details, but this stage maintains a lot of strength with the whole body. Another great form is called qui gong. His wife (Heather) was suffering from Lyme’s disease for a few years. While Jim was studying tai chi, he came across qui gong and told his Heather about it. She started qui gong about four years ago and she has tuned around 100% from her Lyme’s disease. I hope this helps.

Its my understanding that Lyme’s disease is a cyclical disease which is not very well understood. It can lie dormant, then flare up all of a sudden only to disappear later on. I wish your relative all the best but most likely this affliction will come and go for the rest of her life, regardless of whether she practices tai chi or exercises. :frowning:
My ex-best friend is from Nantucket and he has it, which is why I know these facts-Lyme disease concentration is highest on the shores of New England and the shores of Great lakes states

Sonny~ Thank you for your wishes for my sister-in-law. I know there is no “cure” for Lyme’s Disease, but she just feels so much better after practicing qui gong. It is amazing…before, she was so sick looking and didn’t want to do anything, now she looks and feels like a whole new person. She is the type of person that won’t let anything get in her way. I send my best wishes to your friend. Take care.

Tnx for the answer.
It was the spelling which confused me, here in Sweden we spell it sambo (or Combat-sambo) so I wasn´t sure if it were the russian stile or something else.