Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

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Tai-chi - fabulous way to grow old gracefully, or bonkers, post-hippy wish-wash?

Never heard of it...
2
20%
Might try it - but too busy cycling!
0
No votes
Tried it a couple of times but didn't feel any benefit.
1
10%
Use it regularly as I find it really helps me.
5
50%
Interested, as it sounds like it could sit alongside the cycling I already do.
2
20%
 
Total votes: 10

Tangled Metal
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby Tangled Metal » 17 Sep 2020, 12:14am

One of the full day training sessions my ju jitsu dojo ran had one of the many guest instructors who was a real expert in many disciplines. Whilst it was common for ju jitsu instructors to know karate, judo or aikido. This guy knew a few more including tai chi Chuan. An interesting guy. British but an instructor in multiple Japanese fighting styles and the tai chi from China. That was his evening job. His day job was Chinese medicine, acupuncture, acupressure and other aspects of Chinese culture/medicine. He certainly knew how to help dead legs through massage of pressure points.

There's a lot to be said for knowing more about the culture behind tai chi. However did that affect the benefits? Unlikely but it's probably a sign of quality in your instructor. Unfortunately near us there is only the gym hand waving style of Tai chi instruction. Btw I'm as critical of certain local martial arts companies local to us? They teach in schools and to kids but even my modest ju-jitsu training could tell the instructors at my kid's class weren't up to being instructors. The ju-jitsu version of hand wavers I reckon. He only did his one free trial class it was so bad. It's possibly why I'm so critical of Tai chi instructors.

francovendee
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby francovendee » 17 Sep 2020, 8:01am

bogmyrtle wrote:
francovendee wrote:Heard of it, seen it done. No thanks, it's not my thing.

I might have thought that until I tried it and found the benefits

I have to fancy something before trying it, even food!

mumbojumbo
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby mumbojumbo » 18 Sep 2020, 12:07pm

We had some Chinese neighbours who did it.I wonder if the process of preparation,and attending and travelling to and fro are helpful in themselves,by breaking routine,meeting new people etc have benefits rather than the slow mo break-dancing we see so often.Its not for me-dont want to grow old gracefully talking about pre-decimal currency,jobs for life et.c

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simonineaston
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby simonineaston » 18 Sep 2020, 12:16pm

mumbojumbo wrote:I wonder if the process of preparation and attending and travelling to and fro are helpful in themselves,by breaking routine, meeting new people etc have benefits rather than the slow mo break-dancing we see so often.
I agree. The whole package is probably good for you in loads of ways that aren't immediately obvious.
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

Jdsk
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby Jdsk » 18 Sep 2020, 12:35pm

simonineaston wrote:
mumbojumbo wrote:I wonder if the process of preparation and attending and travelling to and fro are helpful in themselves,by breaking routine, meeting new people etc have benefits rather than the slow mo break-dancing we see so often.
I agree. The whole package is probably good for you in loads of ways that aren't immediately obvious.

Yes. Isolation is very bad for your health.

Jonathan

Carlton green
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby Carlton green » 18 Sep 2020, 7:24pm

Jdsk wrote:
simonineaston wrote:
mumbojumbo wrote:I wonder if the process of preparation and attending and travelling to and fro are helpful in themselves,by breaking routine, meeting new people etc have benefits rather than the slow mo break-dancing we see so often.
I agree. The whole package is probably good for you in loads of ways that aren't immediately obvious.

Yes. Isolation is very bad for your health.

Jonathan


Plus one. I would expand and clarify that to say that (IMHO) isolation can be, and I believe typically is, bad for your physical health and bad for your mental health. Of course some people thrive on periods of self imposed isolation, so it isn’t a black and white situation.

Social contact is a wonderful thing and part of the reason why members post here. Whilst I wouldn’t particularly welcome a Tai Chi class being little more than an arm waving event such classes still do have useful purposes if ones that have some links to but relatively little overlap with traditionally taught classical Tai Chi. Whatever, take what benefit you can from the activity - probably quite a lot of benefit - and label it as you will. I believe that the therapeutic aspects of Tai Chi (in any of its various forms) are little understood, rarely recognised and infrequently acknowledged.

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DaveP
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby DaveP » 20 Sep 2020, 12:35am

I'd go along with that. Maintaining the effort to get out and interact with others is crucial to your wellbeing once you have escaped / survived the discipline of going to work. Having said that, Tai chi has been quite a trendy thing and there are an awful lot of apallingly inept Tai Chi "teachers" out there.
My own initial interest was inspired by those clips of aged Chinese ladies demonstrating remarkable degrees of flexibility - If I have to get old, I thought, that's a better style than most - not a Zimmer frame in sight. But even that, apparently is a debased form of the discipline.
It started out as a way to help the peasantry resist assault and oppression. The idea was that if the body is used to maximum advantage then you will be able to strike harder than an untrained fighter and you will be more able to absorb blows and resist being pushed about. All good stuff. It developed into a healthy exercise system because it someone realised that this training also reduced bad backs and joint problems. Students learn a sequence of movements, executed slowly because, unless you are training for imminent combat ,the value lies in accuracy rather than speed or power. Once the basic sequence is learnt, ongoing study amounts to doing it better, with an underlying assumption that perfection is unattainable.
I've been practicing for nearly ten years. Is my body a deadly weapon? I'd love to say yes :D but, well I've learnt a lot about posture and relaxation and I've become much more sensitive to what my muscles are doing when I'm not paying attention... And as arthritis bites I do find it useful and wish I'd come across it earlier.
Seen through a window, I suppose a lesson can look like a bunch of weirdos waving their arms about but I generally come out tired, with throbbing legs. If you're doing it right your legs will work...and work. If you can find a teacher who demonstrates more concern for the health of your knees than for making precisely the "right shapes" with your body then you could be in luck, but real experts are quite thin on the ground.
Trying to retain enough fitness to grow old disgracefully... That hasn't changed!

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Morzedec
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby Morzedec » 20 Sep 2020, 11:57am

It's a con.

Designed for those who think that, by waving their arms around gently for five minutes, it will make them fitter - it won't.

Just a psychological cop-out (oo, just look at me, exercising ...).

Correct food, gentle walking, less television, and a realisation of what being stupid means will have far more effect. It's as bad as the adverts on television where they deliberately use overweight female models to extract money from other fatties. Yes, FAT - no excuses, you made yourself like that, so who can you blame but yourself?

There has never been any alternative to a positive attitude and hard work.

Happy days (from a contented, fit, active, and un-connable cyclist)
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Jdsk
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby Jdsk » 20 Sep 2020, 12:02pm

Morzedec wrote:It's a con.

Designed for those who think that, by waving their arms around gently for five minutes, it will make them fitter - it won't.

Just a psychological cop-out (oo, just look at me, exercising ...).

Correct food, gentle walking, less television, and a realisation of what being stupid means will have far more effect.

It's probably good for both physical and mental health, but the quality of studies is very poor. And for company, as discussed above.

Why set diet and walking against Tai chi? They're not exclusive.

Jonathan
Last edited by Jdsk on 20 Sep 2020, 6:28pm, edited 1 time in total.

merseymouth
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby merseymouth » 20 Sep 2020, 12:47pm

Yo all, Freeze Frame Calisthenics, bit like your video has locked up!
Add a sword and it looks like the Seven Samurai :lol: .
Why no option in the poll for "You're having a laugh"? Maybe it should be combined with that Fung Shui stuff???
I'll stick to Number 52 with fried rice! MM

Carlton green
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby Carlton green » 20 Sep 2020, 2:58pm

Morzedec wrote:It's a con.

Designed for those who think that, by waving their arms around gently for five minutes, it will make them fitter - it won't.

Just a psychological cop-out (oo, just look at me, exercising ...).

Correct food, gentle walking, less television, and a realisation of what being stupid means will have far more effect. It's as bad as the adverts on television where they deliberately use overweight female models to extract money from other fatties. Yes, FAT - no excuses, you made yourself like that, so who can you blame but yourself?

There has never been any alternative to a positive attitude and hard work.

Happy days (from a contented, fit, active, and un-connable cyclist)


That’s quite a condemnation. I wonder if you have actually done any Tai Chi and if so then for how long and who with? As someone who did Tai Chi for several years I saw many people reap benefits from it. A con? Well I suspect that like many other recreational exercise classes Tai Chi teaching can be misused - I changed my Teacher once to avoid such seeming misuse - but if you select your Teacher with care then it is far from a con. That’s just my experience, having actually done it.

francovendee
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby francovendee » 20 Sep 2020, 5:13pm

Do you really have to try it to confirm it's a lot of old tosh?

millimole
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby millimole » 20 Sep 2020, 6:24pm

francovendee wrote:Do you really have to try it to confirm it's a lot of old tosh?
It's his / her opinion, perfectly entitled to it.
We both think it's a wrong opinion. Lots of reasons have been put out to make the case otherwise - but 'to confirm its a load of old tosh' is asking to prove a negative - can't be done.
Lots of folk hold unsustainable opinions, that's their problem.
Leicester; Riding my Hetchins since 1971; Audaxing on my Dawes; Riding to work on a Decathlon Hoprider

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Navara
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby Navara » 21 Sep 2020, 11:26am

Morzedec wrote:It's a con.
Designed for those who think that, by waving their arms around gently for five minutes, it will make them fitter - it won't.
Just a psychological cop-out (oo, just look at me, exercising ...).

Did you come to this conclusion from practicing Tai Chi or have you just written it off from observations?

Vorpal
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Re: Tai-chi as a tool for growing old

Postby Vorpal » 21 Sep 2020, 11:59am

What is Tai Chi conning anyone out of?

I practiced Tai Chi for years, and have recently considered taking it up again. It is good for your health and body in the same ways that yoga, pilates, and other gentle exercise is. It helps flexibility, muscle tone, and core strength.

It likely won't do much for cycling fitness, although it might help some folks sit their saddle a little less like a sack of potatoes. That doesn't make it deserving of condemnation.

If you want to do that some other way, or not all, then don't.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom