View Full Version : Water Tai Chi, real Tai Chi?
12-13-2004, 04:08 PM
This thread grows out of the other section. It is said that water Tai Chi is not real Tai Chi due to lack of rooting and stable stance. Movements need to be slightly modified but not by that much. The difference between substantial and insubstantial, one of the main principles in TCC, is not very obvious.
However, I have trained my elastic Chen punches in the water which gave me the right feeling of elasticity and springing. Numerous students in Germany are experiencing Tai Chi in the hot thermal water pools.
You need to experience this, it gives a real cloud 9 feeling, even for me who doesn't suffer arthritis. A posh art deco palace with numerous paintings, formally only eligible to Emperor Wilhelm, is transferred into a full-scale arthritis hospital. Formerly it was already well-known that water and exercise could help arthritis.
Nowadays single postures of Yang style are taught in this hospital with thanks to the likes of Volker Jung. Next year I would like to introduce Paul's TCA. Don't be mistaken, it's not a hotel but a real hospital, fully medically staffed and equipped. The health insurance stopped financing due to lack of funds
Most of the arthritis hospitals in this area are built on top of a sulfuric thermal hot water source.
12-13-2004, 08:21 PM
someone tried to start that ("Water T'ai Chi") a few years back but it didn't catch on and fizzled and died it's inevitable death;t'ai chi principles tend to go out the window when you're up to your ... in water;as you said,it's impossible to find a root or be "sung".
the best you could hope for might be some upper body qigong;i read about a water style kung fu once but it had nothing to do with actually being in the water.
t'ai chi is often referred to as "swimming on land" and some masters encourage you to treat the air as if it had the substance and weight of water;i wanted to try this so i got into a pool and began grasp sparrow's tail;i found the resistance to be much lighter than i had expected.
12-14-2004, 11:51 AM
There is a book by Peter Kean Choy that has a section about water (or aqua)tai chi.
Part of the form includes being completly under the water, so I decided against it.
There are people who enjoy exercising in water, and a friend swears by aqua aerobics.
Can't say alot as I don't know much about it.
12-14-2004, 04:20 PM
Originally posted by Shark
[often referred to as "swimming on land" and some masters encourage you to treat the air as if it had the substance and weight of water
i wanted to try this so i got into a pool and began grasp sparrow's tail;i found the resistance to be much lighter than i had expected. [/B]
My master said about moving against thick air and Paul once said that you need to move against resistance.
I train on top of Shelley beach Head, this is an area with extreme strong winds. Sydney in general can experience winds that are so strong that once it blew my dining table with every single plate on it a few ft out of the dining room on the 1st floor, pass the terrace into the garden on ground level. The surface is not completely even, it is more unforgiving but it reminds you of being sung, well-balanced, differentiate insubstantial and substantial, being focused and jing all the time.
When I stand on one leg, perform heel/toe kicks, the wind is so strong that i can't stop wabbling. I need to focus with stronger intention(yi), visualize a thread pulling me taller and keeping me upright as though attached to the ceiling(heaven.....?), visualize my leg being substantial and no wind can knock me down. Deep abdominal breathing can make you do movements you wouldn't think you would ever be able to.
12-15-2004, 06:02 AM
Whatever its merits, Water Tai Chi will never experience the popularity of more traditional approaches because it is so much easier to do traditional Tai Chi anywhere, anytime without pools, swimwear, or the need to dry off afterwards (unless you practice in the rain or great heat). That said, I've rehabilitated a broken hip, and practicing Tai Chi in water would have been great once the incision could stand the moisture. I have friends who are awaiting, or have just had, knee replacements which derailed their Tai Chi, and practicing as Soraya describes sounds excellent.
As to the merits of practicing in water, it certainly is different, and makes me aware of things in a different way than regular practice; my focus is more "internal" after a few minutes because bumps or holes in the ground don't distract. This of course only applies to pool practice.
Shark mentioned "Water" style Wushu. I know of several (I don't practice these), like Liu He Ba Fa, but the term "water style" refers to something similar to the Tai Chi concept of overcoming the hard with the soft. Bill
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