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Anyone doing Tai Chi?

I just had my first Tai Chi (Chih) class last night, and, as the old joke goes, "boy are my arms tired!"

It turns out to be much, much more difficult than I expected.  Like anything else, I suppose, it looks easy when a master is doing it, but less so when it's you that's doing the flailing around (like ATL programming).

Even so, about three times (in a hour), my body sort of "got it".  My mind would be thinking, "Now *what* was it that comes next??", and I'd realize that my arms were doing the next thing, all on their own.

I'd love to hear others' experiences...

Spaghetti Rustler
Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Its not Tai Chi but I've gotten back into Tae Kwon Do and my legs are all kinds of sore.  I'm not surprised that Tai Chi is making you hurt (in a good way) - that's how you know its worth it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

I do taekwondo three times a week and kickbox regularly.
You'll be amazed how quickly your muscles tone up and you can cope with this sort of exercise. You'll soon reach the stage where you only have mild muscle tiredness the next day even after a very hard session.

I remember after my first ever kickboxing session - I could barely walk up stairs for three days for the aching legs and had difficulty putting a shirt on because I couldn't lift my arms! Now I train twice a day!

This is also excellent for people with tiredness problems - a bit of exercise at lunchtime is just what I need to get the blood pumping and see me through the afternoon.

Thursday, April 17, 2003


I also do Tai-chi and have shared your experience of 'body gets it even though the mind forgot'.  I once missed three lessons (I'd only been doing it a few weeks) and despaired of remembering what I'd previously covered.  However, come the lesson my body seemed to take over and it all fell nicely into place :0)

Actually, part of this is in the nature of the Tai-Chi - the movements are aimed to work with your natural body mechanics so therefore sometimes the body will fall naturally into place.

I've found Tai-chi to be very good for relaxation, my ashtma and for my somewhat lacking coordination.  Oddly enough, even though it never seems that difficult, it also seems to be stopping me piling on the pounds.

I've also been fortunate enough to watch my instructor demonstrate the self-defence side.  Let's just say it's rather effective :0)

If Tai-Chi interests you, you may also want to learn about Taoism.  Much of Tai-chi's philosophy follows the principle of this Chinese philosophy.  I recommend,

"The Tao of Pooh" by Benajamin Hoff

Have fun,

Thursday, April 17, 2003

A friend of mine taught Tai Chi at work (and other places). I took his classes for about six weeks, but stopped because I found it messed up my running.  That was probably because you were also expected to practice a half hour each day - not just attend the classes.  My legs couldn't handle doing both TaiChi and running every other day.

I noticed that all of the folks who had taken his classes got a lot out of it, still highly recommend it, but after two years or so only practice it now and then.


Eric Moore
Thursday, April 17, 2003

*grin* sounds like skiing. If I let my body do the thinking I end up doing great parallel turns, until the point when I think "Hey, good style!" and end up with one ski going one way and the other going another.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Reminds me of the story about the squirrel that stopped a millipede in the forest and said, "You know, I've always wondered about which leg you move forward FIRST when you start to walk."  After that, the millipede was never able to take another step.

J. D. Trollinger
Thursday, April 17, 2003

I've been taking Tai Chi classes for about two years, and you're right--it's much more demanding than it looks. My balance and flexibility have improved greatly. My instructor also makes a point of including the fighting applications of this form as part of the class. I had no idea when I began that there were so many styles and forms. I hope your school includes the Tai Chi weapons forms--they are awesome. I've learned the basic straight-sword form, and it's quite a workout: the movements are faster, and hefting 40 inches of steel around makes you sweat. Right now, I'm learning a 42-posture form that includes sequences from four different styles, and I plan to move on to the broad sword form in a few months. And one of the things I like best about it is that its a beltless form of martial art--no pressure to progress from white to brown to black belt, just an emphasis on doing the best you can as you learn.

A. Mullig
Thursday, April 17, 2003

Sherlock -

Actually I've been reading about Taoism for some time now (loved "The Tao of Pooh"!); it's the one religion that really "speaks to me".  (Anything that begins, "If you can talk about it, that ain't it!", appeals to the mystic in me.  Too much quantuum mechanics as a youth.)

In fact, a few years ago, I tried to find a Taoist (church? temple?) in my area, and was disheartened not to find any.  And apparently modern Taoism is quite different from the classical version: I read somewhere that over the centuries it has "degenerated into ancestor worship", or words to that effect.  I wonder if that's true... it would be great to find a Taoist group...

Spaghetti Rustler
Thursday, April 17, 2003

Just to really wander off-topic:  From what I've read of Taoism, it isn't a religion.  It's more of a viewpoint or perspective.  (This is one of the reasons why it flourished in extremely religious Asian countries, because it could co-habit with established religions.)  Would someone care to comment on this?

This is one of the reasons I think that Taoism fits well into software development, too; it's a perspective, which allows it to offer opinions on development without proscribing certain practices.

Brent P. Newhall
Thursday, April 17, 2003

the philosophical part of taoism stresses preserving yourself by skillful adaptation to circumstances, and avoiding unnecessary risks. that sounds directly applicable to being a software developer.

the other philosophical part emphasizes nature, and the spontaneity of natural things. dunno if that applies to software. most of what i do seems pretty unrelated to the trees and streams... hey...waitaminute...

the more religious part gets into the idea that conceptual thought cannot grasp the "deepest true reality" i.e. the religious part is all about mysticism. you can only realize the truth by directly experiencing it yourself. i suppose this could relate to the fact that i usually can't conceptualize what my program is truly supposed to do until I use it myself. or something.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

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