Hugh Morris

Seeking Advice

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Hi, I posted this in my welcome post but wonder if this post and request for input would do better in this forum:


I live about 50 miles from Kansas City and would like to learn Sun Style Tai Chi. I was introduced to the style through Paul Lam's Tai Chi for Arthritis. I originally purchased TCA1 and then TCA2 and then his Sun Style 73 forms. 


The 73 forms has been collecting dust since I got it quite some time ago - pretty much unused.


A couple months ago, I decided that I wanted to start doing qigong - looking both for stretching and relaxation. I followed Dr. Binkun Hu's Creating Flexibility Through Qigong which I enjoyed for a couple of weeks. I decided that I wanted to do a long form like Wild Goose Qigong but don't have enough room to do so in my house. So I decided to look back into Tai Chi.


I live 50 miles from Kansas City and there is a teacher out there who teaches his own version of Wu style and from what I can tell, there are a couple teachers out there who do Chen. I think they're is probably a CMC teacher out there as well. I don't see anyone who teaches Sun Style, which is the I've that I really want to learn - because if all the Qigong it has. But even if there was a teacher in KC, 50 miles each way seems like a lot to drive each week for a class that might only last am hour or hour and a half.


Fwiw, I'm not really crazy about Wu or Yang forms - at least not the external appearance of the forms. Chen looks really interesting but I wonder how well I'd be able to learn it at my size. 5'10" 340 lbs (newly signed up for weight watchers).


So I have been looking for some quality video instruction for the Sun Style long form and have only come across a video made by Jesse Tsao. I haven't been able to watch a demonstration of the entire form, but he utilizes a jump kick in the form which I'm pretty certain isn't normally part of the form. The other couple parts of the form that I see him so do look really nice and flowy, but I really want to make sure I'm learning the legitimate form. I could read books to supplement instruction on the internal aspects of the art.


And, I still have Paul Lam's 73 forms that I could work on for now, buy I'm a little worried that leaning the competition form now from someone who doesn't work with the martial aspect at all that I know of, might hinder me when I'm able to start training the long form eventually.


Thoughts or suggestions?




PS, I have been waking up 30 minutes earlier than normal for me the last few weeks to do some qigong. (Wake 2:30 am, take dog outside, shower, qigong, breakfast, drive to work, work at 5am, work 10 hours (pretty active and tiring), come home, walk dog, dinner, relax, bed by 6:30pm.  


I'd really like to do tai chi in the am and also do some sitting meditation in the evening (tired after work and would prefer to wind down instead of reenergize). I have a touch of previous experience with mindfulness of breathing as taught by Thanissaro Bikkhu and find that enjoyable but also wonder if any recommendations for a style that would be complimentary to study of Tai Chi? 


Thank you.




In reflecting on what U really like about Sun and Chem styles:


Sun: Agile steps

Chen: Silk reeling


Are there any lesser known styles that incorporate the two together?

Edited by Hugh Morris
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<I don't do tai chi, but I do like simple.  In my opinion 13 > 72, at least until you've gotten alot of experience.   I like chi gung forms that are simpler then 13!  Like Michael Winn's Fundamentals and Pan Gu..  


Course, we're all different and finding a good teacher who lives close regardless of style is always a blessing.   Many great teachers will give a student a short piece of a long form, and that's it for many a moon. 

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Just a few thoughts...


If at all possible, I`d go for an in-person class over a video.  Tai chi is a very subtle art.  It`s been awhile, but I remember my old tai chi teacher making subtle adjustments to my posture and all of a sudden the feeling of energy would just open up.  That`s the kind of kinesthetic learning you just can`t get from video.


Also, don`t let your weight hold you back.  There might be some things you can`t do but that`s true for everyone.  If you get quality instruction and practice, you`re sure to get better.

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14 hours ago, Hugh Morris said:

Is there a particular resource you would recommend for studying the 13 postures and 13 principals?


Thank you.

What Liminal is saying is of course true.  A good in person class is better.  But, if that is lacking, go to youtube and search for 13 postures.  Get a feeling for what you are seeing in common and then try several until you get a good fit. Now, what I am giving you below may seem like a little much at first but, it will start helping you over time.


Good Hunting--moment



by Unknown Author 


The Thirteen Postures should not be taken lightly; 
the source of the postures is in the waist.

Be mindful of the interchange between insubstantial and substantial; 
The ch'i circulates throughout the body without hindrance.

Be still, 
when touched by the opponent, 
be tranquil and move in stillness; 
changes caused by my opponent fill him with wonder.

Study the function of each posture carefully and with deliberation; 
to achieve the goal is very easy.

Pay attention to the waist at all times; 
completely relax the abdomen 
and the ch'i rises up.

When the tailbone is centered and straight, 
the shen [spirit of vitality] goes through to the headtop.

To make the whole body light and agile 
suspend the headtop.

Carefully study.

Extension and contraction, opening and closing, should be natural.

To enter the door and be shown the way, 
you must be orally taught. 
Practice should be uninterrupted, 
and technique achieved by self study.

Speaking of the body and its function, what is the standard?

The I [mind-intent] and ch'i are king, 
and the bones and muscles are the court.



8 Gates and 5 directions8 Gates and 5 directions




Edited by moment
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