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Anyone into strength training?

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Oh, I know about breath holding from when I am doing my bench presses. That exercise requires breath control.

 

You probably have to do the reverse breathing for that....!!!

 

Breath control is where Chi Kung gives one the experience. One learns to inhale as much oxygen as the possible and hold as long as possible by breathing deep, slow and long. It is the most basic fundamental breathing method in Chi Kung. Hopefully, we are going some place with the understanding of the UMB(the Ultimate Method of Breathing).

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Xing yi and Taiji quan training:

1) weight - 12 kg

2) weight - 4 kg

 

1)2014-03-03-20.03.53.jpg

 

2014-03-03-20.26.37.jpg

 

2)

2014-03-03-20.23.40.jpg

Hi Vitalii, this looks interesting.

Are you holding those kettlebells in statical positions and postures or are you moving with them? No vids?

Edited by Michael Sternbach

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Hi Vitalii, this looks interesting.

Are you holding those kettlebells in statical positions and postures or are you moving with them? No vids?

 

Both variations :)

I do not have weight training video.

 

Weight training is a part of traditional Taiji and Xingyi in my school.

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You probably have to do the reverse breathing for that....!!!

 

Breath control is where Chi Kung gives one the experience. One learns to inhale as much oxygen as the possible and hold as long as possible by breathing deep, slow and long. It is the most basic fundamental breathing method in Chi Kung. Hopefully, we are going some place with the understanding of the UMB(the Ultimate Method of Breathing).

oxygen uptake is great and all, but "as much as possible" requires additional energy of its own regard and also limits just by that very fact. its why most breath hold stuffz go "inhale 2/3rds and..."

 

when I do leg press it is all about the dantien, legs just do their job. lower while inhaling 2/3rds, pulse and away the sled goes.

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Weight training is a part of traditional Taiji and Xingyi in my school.

Interesting... I never before heard of Yang stylists doing weight training unless they were practising some external style as well. I'm not sure about Xingyi.

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Interesting... I never before heard of Yang stylists doing weight training

 

but they exist :)

 

About strength training in Taijiquan:

 

"David Gaffney (co-author of the excellent Chen Style Taijiquan) has an article on chen tai chi strength training (PDF) that mentions methods such as stone lifting, pole shaking, the taiji bang (short stick), taiji ball (akin to a medicine ball), and training with intentionally heavy weapons:

 

"While it may come as a surprise to many, strength training is not a new phenomenon in Taijiquan. In the past, it represented one aspect of an all-encompassing training process. In Chenjiagou, within the garden where 14th Generation Chen clan member Chen Changxin is said to have taught Yang Luchan, founder of Yang style Taijiquan, can still be found an eighty kilogram stone weight that they are said to have regularly trained with. Traditional strength training methods such as pole shaking and practicing with heavy weapons continue to be used up until today.

...

Lifting heavy stones is done as a means to training the waist and lower body. Chen Ziquiang explains "the strength training method is highly specialized. You are not training to develop 'stupid strength' (brute or localised strength). This is training strength in the waist. Your hand strength is like the hook you use when you are towing a car. You have to remember that your hand is the hook. Your strength is coming from the waist and how you push into the ground, combining the strength of the car and the rope. The hook is only the implement that connects the two. So when you lift the big rock, it is the strength of the legs and waist...".

 

 

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I believe that the weight training is not for beginners. It has to be for someone who has the Jin developed in the body already.

@ Daeluin, it seems that way but the grind machine for grain has a different design. With the size of the ball, I don't think it was made for an ordinary person. The ball shown in the last video is a special design for Tai Ji weight training.

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Haha, surely it is as you say! I was merely thinking that if some grain were poured in there it would definitely be ground up!

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My work as a carpenter and stone mason gives me a lot of weight to deal with so I come at the queston of the post from a keen interest in how to get the energetic body to help out whenever possible. I would make the rocks levitate after a hard look if I could. Something else is required.

One thing about very hard work that is important to remember is how it functions as a line of credit. The body has an incredible capacity to defer cost. My exploration of where I am at is a lot like settling up. Paying off the debt while finding out what lentils taste like.

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On 7/31/2014 at 11:32 AM, ChiDragon said:

If one does Chi Kung correctly, then, that is strength training without weights.

 

On 8/1/2014 at 3:52 PM, Michael Sternbach said:

Personally, I find reasonable weight training to be a good supplement to my Taiji training. Surely, it's a little heavier on the physical side but I don't think it's detrimental to my Chi. Overall fitness will actually enhance your Chi.

 

On 8/1/2014 at 4:48 PM, silent thunder said:

I find strength training to be very conducive to spiritual growth.

Having a strong healthy, flexible body is advantageous, even necessary for some work.

The condition of the body has pervasive and intense affects on my mind.

 

Balance in all things though... the over worked, puffy and inflexible bodies make much of the work, far more difficult.

 

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On 30/08/2019 at 11:25 PM, Starjumper said:

 

 

 

 

I agree with all these things - strength and fitness are good - and are required for decent taiji skill.

 

The issue is how you gain that strength. Weight training or extreme bodyweight training will invariably create a (pretty low) glass ceiling when it comes to building what’s called ‘internal’ power. There’s nothing mystical or moral about it - it’s just a rather mechanical thing.

 

Developing internal power from Qigong or the internal martial arts will make you very strong physically! I remember my elderly teacher picking up and repositioning a life size stone statue in his courtyard like it was nothing. Just a couple of days before I saw 4 workmen carrying it in using a make shift pallet, straps and thick bamboo handles to shift it.

 

So you certainly do develop physical strength - it’s just not all in the muscles.

Edited by freeform
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1 hour ago, freeform said:

So you certainly do develop physical strength - it’s just not all in the muscles.

 

It may be more a question of how you use your muscles. 

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3 hours ago, Michael Sternbach said:

 

It may be more a question of how you use your muscles. 

 

To some extent yes. At the very beginning of the internal arts you start by learning to separate your muscle fibres. 

 

Some fibres are used for movement and some for holding a posture. Everyone’s fibres are all intertwined - meaning you fire all the fibres regardless whether you’re moving or staying still.

 

So we learn to stand and only engage the stabilising muscle fibres whilst releasing and relaxing the movement fibres. Once you’ve got some separation you train your stabilising muscles by standing more. At first they are weak - so standing is hard and painful. But this gets easier.

 

Once you've separated muscle fibres and strengthened your deep stabilising muscles, you stop working with muscles, and start to move into a certain aspect of your fascia network.

 

With specific release of tension and absorption of your awareness into these fascial tissues you hold a number of postures and do some simple movements that develop specific lines of connection through your body.

 

Over time these tissues start to connect together, and your whole body starts to feel like it’s elastic on the inside. You can feel all these stretchy connections inside and every part of your body starts to feel linked. At this stage a subtle adjustment in your hands is felt all over your body - physically.

 

You slightly stretch your fingers and you feel all these lines sliding and stretching under the skin - moving from your hand, through the forearm, through the shoulder, connecting through the torso and all the way down to your feet. This is a physical feeling.

 

This is is where standing starts to feel like sitting into a rubbery hammock inside your body. When you touch hands with someone with this inner development, they feel like you’re pushing a rubber ball against the floor - very strong, grounded but stretchy/springy.

 

once this is all there, you can start to move yourself by manipulating these tissues - rather than muscles. You release your mind and your weight and relaxation down through your body to your feet and you feel this wave of elasticity automatically travel back up through your body and out to your hand. If your hand happens to be touching another person, they almost feel nothing, but they get pushed back and fall or hop backwards. This is just the start of ‘internal power’.

 

None of this is possible if you engage your muscles (other than the stabilising muscles).

 

It takes decades to retrain your habitual patterns from engaging your muscles to using the soft tissues - particularly under the pressure of sparing. Incidentally that’s why taiji is so good for meditators - it teaches you to habitually let go and release in response to adversity. 

 

So if you then go and train your muscles with weightlifting, you simply undo all that work both in terms of re-engaging the old movement patterns you’re trying to get rid of - but also in a more mechanical and physiological way too - because you simply can’t use this network of fascia when your muscles are engaged - big bulging muscles means you have resting ‘tone’ in the muscle, and you can’t use your soft tissues.

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19 minutes ago, freeform said:

 

To some extent yes. At the very beginning of the internal arts you start by learning to separate your muscle fibres. 

 

Some fibres are used for movement and some for holding a posture. Everyone’s fibres are all intertwined - meaning you fire all the fibres regardless whether you’re moving or staying still.

 

So we learn to stand and only engage the stabilising muscle fibres whilst releasing and relaxing the movement fibres. Once you’ve got some separation you train your stabilising muscles by standing more. At first they are weak - so standing is hard and painful. But this gets easier.

 

Once you've separated muscle fibres and strengthened your deep stabilising muscles, you stop working with muscles, and start to move into a certain aspect of your fascia network.

 

With specific release of tension and absorption of your awareness into these fascial tissues you hold a number of postures and do some simple movements that develop specific lines of connection through your body.

 

Over time these tissues start to connect together, and your whole body starts to feel like it’s elastic on the inside. You can feel all these stretchy connections inside and every part of your body starts to feel linked. At this stage a subtle adjustment in your hands is felt all over your body - physically.

 

You slightly stretch your fingers and you feel all these lines sliding and stretching under the skin - moving from your hand, through the forearm, through the shoulder, connecting through the torso and all the way down to your feet. This is a physical feeling.

 

This is is where standing starts to feel like sitting into a rubbery hammock inside your body. When you touch hands with someone with this inner development, they feel like you’re pushing a rubber ball against the floor - very strong, grounded but stretchy/springy.

 

once this is all there, you can start to move yourself by manipulating these tissues - rather than muscles. You release your mind and your weight and relaxation down through your body to your feet and you feel this wave of elasticity automatically travel back up through your body and out to your hand. If your hand happens to be touching another person, they almost feel nothing, but they get pushed back and fall or hop backwards. This is just the start of ‘internal power’.

 

None of this is possible if you engage your muscles (other than the stabilising muscles).

 

It takes decades to retrain your habitual patterns from engaging your muscles to using the soft tissues - particularly under the pressure of sparing. Incidentally that’s why taiji is so good for meditators - it teaches you to habitually let go and release in response to adversity. 

 

So if you then go and train your muscles with weightlifting, you simply undo all that work both in terms of re-engaging the old movement patterns you’re trying to get rid of - but also in a more mechanical and physiological way too - because you simply can’t use this network of fascia when your muscles are engaged - big bulging muscles means you have resting ‘tone’ in the muscle, and you can’t use your soft tissues.

 

While we don’t lift weights in our school for Yi Quan because our instructor and students all reported that it is useless for power after a certain point, it hasn’t been an issue so long as someone does more Zhan Zhuang to redistribute the power evenly in the muscles. But because the body is already rewired in our school’s system, generally weightlifting is a waste of time because it’s too easy to do when the whole body is doing a curl or a bench press rather than separate muscles doing those exercises individually.

 

Those who understand this will get what I’m talking about because lifting that huge statue isn’t a big deal after one develops linking in the body, as at that point rooting and grounding both become distinct.

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1 hour ago, Earl Grey said:

 

While we don’t lift weights in our school for Yi Quan because our instructor and students all reported that it is useless for power after a certain point, it hasn’t been an issue so long as someone does more Zhan Zhuang to redistribute the power evenly in the muscles. But because the body is already rewired in our school’s system, generally weightlifting is a waste of time because it’s too easy to do when the whole body is doing a curl or a bench press rather than separate muscles doing those exercises individually.

 

Those who understand this will get what I’m talking about because lifting that huge statue isn’t a big deal after one develops linking in the body, as at that point rooting and grounding both become distinct.

 

I agree that connectivity is key in the generation of 'internal power'. It is not that the so-called external martial arts are totally ignorant of this, it's just that the internal arts take a more refined and sophisticated approach towards it. 

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5 minutes ago, Michael Sternbach said:

the internal arts take a more refined and sophisticated approach towards it.

 

A limitation is that many teachers claim to have it but don’t and the few who do are often ridiculed until someone touches hands with them.

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8 hours ago, Michael Sternbach said:

 

I agree that connectivity is key in the generation of 'internal power'. It is not that the so-called external martial arts are totally ignorant of this, it's just that the internal arts take a more refined and sophisticated approach towards it. 

 

What you’re referring to is connecting the body in muscular chains. That’s why you see most serious martial artists do complex movements for their strength training - rather than isolated lifts.

 

The internal arts aren’t that.

 

This is what is used for the internal arts:

 

Although after working for years on building specific lines of these tissues, things would look very different inside an internal arts practitioner (denser collection of fibres, and specific patterns of organisation of fibres developed throughout the body).

Edited by freeform
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25 minutes ago, freeform said:

 

What you’re referring to is connecting the body in muscular chains. That’s why you see most serious martial artists do complex movements for their strength training - rather than isolated lifts.

 

The internal arts aren’t that.

 

This is what is used for the internal arts:

 

Although after working for years on building specific lines of these tissues, things would look very different inside an internal arts practitioner (denser collection of fibres, and specific patterns of organisation of fibres developed throughout the body).

 

I do not know if it’s just semantics for him but I only would know if I touch hands with someone if they have linking rather than muscle chains.

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5 minutes ago, Earl Grey said:

I only would know if I touch hands with someone if they have linking rather than muscle chains

 

Yeah these conversations are tricky because true ‘internal’ stuff is so weird, unbelievable and counterintuitive, that it need to be felt to be understood. But touching hands with someone skilled is incontrovertible.

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4 minutes ago, freeform said:

 

Yeah these conversations are tricky because true ‘internal’ stuff is so weird, unbelievable and counterintuitive, that it need to be felt to be understood. But touching hands with someone skilled is incontrovertible.

 

Well, sir, based on your knowledge, I’d love to touch hands with you since you definitely know what you’re talking about.

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14 minutes ago, Earl Grey said:

 

Well, sir, based on your knowledge, I’d love to touch hands with you since you definitely know what you’re talking about.

 

I’m not skilled at any internal martial arts unfortunately (just not enough time to train!). But when I have touched hands with experienced taiji players they can usually feel the connectedness and sunk quality that’s developed with my Qigong and Neigong practice - it’s almost the same body as a taiji body - just in taiji legs are generally opened much earlier, and in Qigong, the Dantien is created much earlier

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4 hours ago, freeform said:

 

I’m not skilled at any internal martial arts unfortunately (just not enough time to train!). But when I have touched hands with experienced taiji players they can usually feel the connectedness and sunk quality that’s developed with my Qigong and Neigong practice - it’s almost the same body as a taiji body - just in taiji legs are generally opened much earlier, and in Qigong, the Dantien is created much earlier

 

One thing my teacher told me is to touch hands with multiple people once one knows the foundation of all basic touch hands forms--we can do it with Taijiquan, Baguazhang, and Wing Chung practitioners as we learned their forms, which allows us to go into free flow easily since there's a tendency to default to one's own style of tuishou. 

 

"Good" or "bad" students are still good because it improves the database of one's experiences, and with your understanding it's still good since we'd both exchange parts of our database from the experience, and only serious students will understand this statement and why it helps increase power for both practitioners.

Edited by Earl Grey
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There's a little something you guys are missing, but it's understandable, being so rare after all; but here are the hints: not needing muscular strength, takes twenty years to 'get it', and the pushee doesn't really feel like they got pushed, it's more like they "got seduced into flying through the air", and that is a quote.

 

This points to what i call Jedi methods, to be specific, pushing people without touching.  To do this, with or without touching, requires a certain type of body and mind conditioning, and it can appear spontaneously without the 'pusher' being aware of it.  In other words, they are using the Jedi method combined with the physical push.  The reason that they come up with all those silly explanations is because they don't really know they are doing it that way and/or they don't want the 'unbelievers' to know about it.

 

Fajin is similar but different = ) 

Edited by Starjumper

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