escott

Don't Do Knee Circles

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Posted (edited)

This makes sense to me. She says that the knee is a hinged joint and is only made to go back and forth. Making the knee go any other direction is, "what we do to the opponent."

 

 

I've watched several of Sifu Loretta Wollering's videos. I'm thinking of signing up for her online Tai chi course for $7 per month. Has anyone had any experience with her teaching?

Edited by escott
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That's interesting what she says there. I do 30 knee rotations each way just before my stand and so I watched the video carefully. Should I now give them up? Not yet.

 

Firstly, one of the problems she mentioned was that after having done the rotations, the student then damage their knees by twisting it too much in the form. It is therefore an incorrect practice of the form that causes the problem, not the warm up exercise.

 

Secondly, with all of my joint rotations, I can actually feel them become freer by doing the exercise.

 

It has given me something to think about though - and that is I've heard somewhere that if you do knee rotations, you should not take the knees beyond the toes, which maintains a very small circle. I have to admit, I do rotate them just beyond this point. Maybe I'll reduce the size of the circle...

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You can learn a lot by watching animals "exercise" !!!!   I never seen them do knee rotations.

Knees like the neck are a weak / stressed point in the body.

If you do neck rotations same with knee rotations ... do less than you want to do !!!   That's a good rule of thumb.

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You can increase freedom of movement in a joint two ways : by stretching muscles and stretching ligaments.

Stretching muscles/tendons is a good thing : it increases flexibility while keeping the joint protected from dislocation by ligaments. You stretch them by increasing the amplitude your already-existing movements. Muscle works is associated with more or less pain and soreness.

Stretching ligament is mostly painless and happens when you force a joint to move a non-natural way. After some time, they loosen. The problem is that your joint is no longer protected from dislocation, and that when a ligament is stretch it stays that way. You better have some strong muscles around to protect the joint.

 

I would be most careful around the knee. There is nothing to gain by being able to flex it sideways.

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I trust her. Part of her back story - she had a knee injury when she started doing Tai Chi. Here is another video on how to treat knee pain. I tried her methods and they have helped relieve my pain.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Depth of stance, length of hold in the stance and position of support are all key and are relative.  I don't always hold my stances at the same depth, or for the same set length of time each round.  As the body dictates, I respond to conditions as they are now, not to some rigid predefined ideal.

 

Master Zhou rotates the knees gently as have I after studying under him for the last eight years to great benefit.

 

Depends on the individual situation and shifting conditions if a particular practice is beneficial in the now however.  As with any practice, it should in my experience not be a wooden/metal, inflexible path that is trodden daily the same way in the same rhythms no matter what is occuring... listen to the body and respond accordingly in what and how practice is approached.

Edited by silent thunder
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