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Catrin
11-12-2016, 09:20 AM
As I've done so many times before, my ever decreasing ability to do traditional Kettlebell competition style workouts (and even the fitness styles) beyond simple swing intervals, I've found another activity. I can still do simple KB workouts (and do), but my destroyed shoulders and neck really limits how far I can take it. The damage is related more to an arthritic hot mess in one shoulder, and the torn tendons in the other shoulder is more related to impingement caused by the lack of that shoulder fusing properly, but of course the competition work did not help.

So today I experimented with something else that I can add to my hiking and kettlebell swings :cool:

As it turns out there is a local Catholic priest who has been studying T'aiChi Ch'uan for most of his adult life with a master in China (they both travel back and forth and he comes to Indianapolis every spring for a workshop). He also teaches it twice a month for free, and I finally made it. Even with all my broken bits, I found my balance better than I thought. Also, outside of some slight numbness in one movement, there was NO discomfort or pain or...anything.

He has just moved his class from a beginners form to a more advanced - but it was still easy to follow as he knows how to demonstrate and break it down. We also only covered a couple of movements in the time we spent on the form. I like it, and as there are no weights or other equipment involved, I think it will be far more difficult for me to over-do - I just need to really focus on proper form but that is with everything.

Pax
11-12-2016, 09:34 AM
I've done Tai Chi and it was wonderful, very fluid and yet still focused.

Crankin
11-12-2016, 09:57 AM
Sounds perfect!

Catrin
11-12-2016, 01:01 PM
Part of life is to learn to make lemonade, but I've been interested in this since I gave up Taikwondo in 1999 (when I screwed up my right knee the first time). It will be interesting to see how this works for me, crossing my fingers and toes!

emily_in_nc
11-12-2016, 02:23 PM
That's great, Catrin!

DH and I took a Tai Chi class decades ago and did not like it, but it's been so long, I can only vaguely remember why. I think it's because at that time we were young (me 20s, him 30s) and preferred faster, higher impact forms of exercise. We didn't have a lot of physical limitations to work around, and Tai Chi was just too slow and "boring" at that time. I felt the same about yoga then too, and I love it now, so I think our feelings about it were just a function of our ages at the time. I suspect I'd like it if I tried it now! I remember my father-in-law taking a class in it in his 60s and really enjoying it.

I hope this turns out to be a good activity for you. Keep us posted!

Catrin
11-12-2016, 04:06 PM
I hope it works, and Fr Guy is teaching us one of the older styles which also is one of original fighting forms. I do like the level of focus that it is already apparent will be required and the symbology behind everything. Very large class, at least in comparison with my KB classes. There were about 20 of us with many ages represented.

rebeccaC
11-12-2016, 11:28 PM
glad you found a good class!!!!!

Catrin
11-13-2016, 05:39 AM
glad you found a good class!!!!!

Thankfully, as it's the ONLY class I've been able to find :eek:

shootingstar
11-13-2016, 07:50 AM
To my understanding there are different forms of T'ai Chi. I did take 1 course many years ago...to me, it was memorizing all the movements which I couldn't be bothered. My hang-up.
Different schools of t'ai chi for different purposes/injuries: http://www.taichi.ca/about-what-is-tai-chi-taiji-quan-qi-gong-push-hands-yang-chen-wu-sun-hao-mississuaga-brampton-maple-vaughan-etobicoke-toronto/the-5-family-styles-of-tai-chi-taiji-quan-qi-gong-yang-chen-wu-sun-hao/ Perhaps read their instructors' backgrounds also on how tai chi helped them.
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=tai+chi+different+styles&view=detail&mid=BF74C2500FFAAF7198EDBF74C2500FFAAF7198ED&FORM=VIRE Only gives a few movements for 5 different types of tai chi.

I practice 2-3 pre-tai chi warm-up exercises (but I don't practice tai chi)..it's intermingled with simple yoga and other stretching exercises. 1 of the exercises is like a half bird pose and I cross over down towards the floor, diagonally on each side several times. Just after my concussion, I couldn't do it. But could after 3 months .. Same for the simple tree yoga pose.

Our body balance is very important and safe stretching..

Catrin
11-13-2016, 12:17 PM
Hi Shooting Star - thanks for the link. I had an idea on the main styles but it's nice seeing them summarized as they did the link you provided. I've been wanting to do this for years but there aren't many options in central Indiana.

Is the Chen style best for me? Not if I were actually approaching it from a martial arts perspective, but I'm not. Most of his class members are older, and from what he said yesterday, they just spent a couple of YEARS on a beginner's form from another style. I was struck yesterday about how none of the moments were contraindicated for me and had no ramifications that I can tell. Prior to the class he demonstrated the entire form he just started teaching the class and it was just so beautiful and flowing. There were a couple of movements in it that I may not be able to do - but if I wind up strengthening the right places before we get there that could change.

As this class is my only option south of Chicago, I hope it works out for me. Interestingly enough, a good percentage of the warmup exercises were very much like that we used in our competition kettlebell training - but our KB coach used to teach T'ai Chi as well so that may not be a coincidence.

shootingstar
11-14-2016, 01:19 PM
I don't know much else. But useful to read some links, where Chen appears to kinder because of smaller movements. Best to look at positions...which you are.

rebeccaC
11-14-2016, 10:02 PM
Balance, focus and flow ftw!! :) Tai Chi, like some exercise movements that I do, can also help in using our bodies to invoke better-feeling moods. Exploring physical and emotional connections can help in how we physically feel too.

My methods of exercise help me in paying attention to what I’m feeling both emotionally and physically. With that I can get to an awareness of then noticing when tension emerges so I can understand what prompted it easier…..and feelings I like to notice and explore as when I feel the most secure or calm or grateful.….reasons I encouraged you to try Tai Chi. :) Hoping your Tai Chi journey helps you in some of the same ways if that’s what you want….and maybe even finding kindred friends.

If Father Guy is a Jesuit, they have an archived history of interest in tai chi going back to the 16th century.

Catrin
11-15-2016, 02:14 PM
Thanks for your thoughts Rebecca, and for initially suggesting this. I don't know if Fr. Guy is a Jesuit or not, but am thankful he opens his parish class to all comers - even those of us who aren't Catholic. There are at least 2 from my church who attends his class. He also teaches Taikwondo to the youth in the parish school. Well rounded!

I do look forward to learning more about Tai Chi!

shootingstar
11-15-2016, 05:49 PM
Thanks for your thoughts Rebecca, and for initially suggesting this. I don't know if Fr. Guy is a Jesuit or not, but am thankful he opens his parish class to all comers - even those of us who aren't Catholic. There are at least 2 from my church who attends his class. He also teaches Taikwondo to the youth in the parish school. Well rounded!

I do look forward to learning more about Tai Chi!

In looking at the 5 different tai chi styles and given your injuries- to choose yang style. Explosive movements that are sudden might not be great right now until your body is used to certain movements.
Best wishes, Catrin.

Tai chi is not intended to hurt opponents...the whole approach is to deflect/push away someone's fist, ec. at you ....or is deflect negative energy that is physically coming towards you, in addition to the mental focus/relaxation. It would be very in keeping with Fr. Guy perspective of the world.

Catrin
11-15-2016, 06:01 PM
Thanks Shootingstar - I do appreciate your comments and advice and am finding them quite helpful. As there is only one class I can find - I have to go with that one as I don't think this is something one can learn properly from a video. Fr Guy IS teaching a Chen form right now, but that isn't all he is teaching, he is pulling the warmup from other styles. I will proceed cautiously and avoid those movements I know would be bad for me. Thankfully, I DO have a good idea what will hurt me.

Hopefully my positive experience will continue, but I was really struck by his focus on both flowing movements and proper form. There was an interesting discussion on how to deflect an opponent's movement (and some interesting examples), and also how this can be also used to deflect negative energy - just as you said. Very interesting and I can already tell that it requires the level of focus that I need/prefer.

Catrin
12-26-2016, 02:51 PM
Thanks have changed since this discussion in early November. My concussion forced me to slow down with no exercise for a bit, which enabled me to do further research. While the Chen Old Form style being taught in the free class I mentioned earlier is spectacular - Sun style is better for me in both my age and my various broken bits. I've found a highly rated set of DVD's by Dr Paul Lam who focuses in Tai Chi for health rather than more of a martial arts focus - and also have found a local class taught by several women accredited by and who teach the same modified Sun style from Dr Lam.

I find his teaching style quite good, he breaks movements down to their smallest parts and goes over them multiple times - both front and back. He also has other intermediate and advanced non-modified DVD series of different styles (including Chen and Yang) and has a very kind and gentle manner on the DVDs. I'm mentioning it in case others might be interested. I'm working through the "Tai Chi for Arthritis" series (slightly modified Sun style), he does have a "Tai Chi for Beginners" (Yang style).

On a side note, Dr Lam's history is interesting. He wound up trapped in China due to politics (originally from Vietnam), survived a plague, and was finally allowed to go to family in Australia. He has had arthritis since his teens - which is what put him on this path. Highly recommended by both the CDC and the Arthritis Foundation.

I'm finding it most enjoyable and, at least at MY level, I can work on it every day without having to worry about over-doing things. I only do one actual lesson a week, and keep going over the same material that week to really instill it in my muscle memory. It's amazing how difficult it can be to do quite basic movements properly, slowly, and smoothly all at the same time :cool: I know I will go back to the beginning when I start the once-a-week class in mid-January - but that's ok. No doubt I will need some correction at that point. They will teach the exact same form that I'm currently learning on my own.

Crankin
12-26-2016, 04:37 PM
Sounds wonderful, Catrin. Now you have my interest up.

Catrin
12-26-2016, 05:27 PM
Sounds wonderful, Catrin. Now you have my interest up.

Here is a direct link to his Tai Chi for Arthritis (http://us.taichiproductions.com/dvds/arthritis/)series (there is a 35% discount until 12/31 for ALL DVDs, coupon code required but it's right there in the product description.) He has another site (http://taichiforhealthinstitute.org/) that focuses on related information, finding certified instructors, workshops (only 1 workshop per year in the US and Australia). Code only applies to actual DVD purchases, not the downloadable version. This is why I bought both Arthritis DVDs along with the intermediate 73 Sun Form DVD so I have something more challenging to move to once I've the first set of lessons down. Learning Tai Chi well, any style, isn't a fast process - which I like very much.

Amazon doesn't have the sales available through Dr Lam's TaiChi Productions site - and you can't even purchase his video lessons through Amazon, only the DVDs. How often is it more cost effective to NOT go through Amazon? I'm actually glad to see this as I prefer direct purchases if I can afford it whenever possible.

emily_in_nc
12-27-2016, 12:31 PM
So glad it is working out for you, Catrin. You've really been through a lot trying to find exercise styles that you can do with your various issues, and your persistence has paid off.

Enjoy!

Catrin
12-27-2016, 12:56 PM
So glad it is working out for you, Catrin. You've really been through a lot trying to find exercise styles that you can do with your various issues, and your persistence has paid off.

Enjoy!

Thanks Emily - and I hope that continues -there aren't many options left! There is also QiGong, similar but different. I will eventually add that to my practice, though Sun style does include some of that. One of the more interesting things about Sun Style is this. It's newish (created by a Tai Chi master in the early 20th century by taking elements from other styles - but that isn't the most interesting part. He was the first to defy tradition and teach Tai Chi to women - which was apparently almost unheard of at that time. I'm sure it happened prior to that but not as a matter of normal practice.

Catrin
01-23-2017, 02:02 PM
It's been going well....AND I realized today that it's been a few weeks since I've been dizzy from orthostatic blood pressure! It's been happening for years and...suddenly...soon after starting Tai Chi it's stopped. Perhaps a coincidence, perhaps not. I will take it either way!

Catrin
03-16-2017, 05:28 PM
Still enjoying TaiChi, usually 6 days out of 7. My body seems to really like it - though one movement tweaks my shoulder with the torn biceps tendon and rotator cuff tear (yeah yeah, I know, eventually it will need repairing but not yet). It's really only one move that does this and I'm figuring out how to modify it so I can do the movement without pain - I can't blame Tai Chi for that, after all the shoulder HAS been torn for some time. As they say, visualization serves an important role in this as well so I utilize that as well. I am very glad that I chose to learn Sun style, it really does seem to be the style best suited to start with when there are various physical...issues. It's known for having the most upright position out of the main styles, among other things.

emily_in_nc
03-17-2017, 02:19 PM
So great to heat that you're enjoying the Tai Chi, and nothing wrong with modifying a movement to avoid pain. People do this in yoga all the time as well.

Catrin
03-17-2017, 04:22 PM
So great to heat that you're enjoying the Tai Chi, and nothing wrong with modifying a movement to avoid pain. People do this in yoga all the time as well.

It's actually close to a miracle that I am choosing to do this before I do further damage to the shoulder. MODIFY? MEEEEE????? Noooooooo :p :rolleyes:

Right now I'm trying to figure out just what it is about the movement that pisses my biceps tendon off. I think it's either an angle I need to change as I turn 180 degrees with my feet while my arms are doing various things, or I should be further around in the turn before my right arm does something. I THINK I have it about worked out, taking the night off tonight to allow my shoulder to rest from last night and will put in a nice long practice session tomorrow.

Pax
03-17-2017, 06:34 PM
I can't get over how moving an appendage a couple of degrees can lessen or stop pain. After all my surgeries I've really gotten the hang of it, so now it's the first thing I attempt when I feel pain.

Catrin
03-17-2017, 06:42 PM
Agreed. With a longtitudly split biceps tendon that subluxes it's about figuring out which part of the movement makes it sublux - which causes the pain. It isn't bad, am used to it, but of course its better to modify. All in all the Taichi DOES make everything feel much better, just this one little movement needs adjusting.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

Pax
03-18-2017, 04:46 AM
Agreed. With a longtitudly split biceps tendon that subluxes it's about figuring out which part of the movement makes it sublux - which causes the pain. It isn't bad, am used to it, but of course its better to modify. All in all the Taichi DOES make everything feel much better, just this one little movement needs adjusting.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

It really is an awesome form of exercise, wish the class here was still going on. There are others but taught by someone who appears to have watched a video as their form of teacher training.

I will try the sunrise taichi on the beach when get back to FL, seems like the perfect setting.

Catrin
03-18-2017, 07:51 AM
I've learned mainly from an awesome DVD series (Dr Paul Lam's TaiChi for Arthritis 1 & 2). I did take a class on the first part when I was almost through the series but observed that I had already learned the form properly from the DVD. I am not ordinarily a fan of instructional DVDs, but Dr Lam is an exception. There is a reason why the CDC and both American and Australian Arthritis Foundations support and recommend his programs. I would have continued with the class for the next part but I seemed to be the only student who really wanted to do the second, more advanced part. I wasn't about to pay another $70 to learn Part 1 which I can almost do with my eyes closed (literally).

Of course, it probably helps that he is a medical doctor, and has had arthritis since his teens. He has certainly overcome a lot (including a famine in China when his family went there from Vietnam back in the day). I swear, it's like he can see what I'm doing when I follow his DVD for my weekly new lesson and knows when I need a tip on posture or focus. Here is a link to all of his DVDs if any are interested (http://us.taichiproductions.com/dvds/). If you can't find a local instructor, this is a fine alternative. I already have the intermediate Sun 73 DVD, eventually will start working on that form.

The advantage of Sun style (which the Arthritis series is), especially for those with arthritis - is it has the most upright stances than both Yang and Chen, with quick stepping and flowing movements AND it has incorporated quite lot of QiGong. The creator of Sun Style was an older General and martial arts master - I suspect he may have been starting to feel his age :-) Yang is less upright and Chen is a combination of slow and explosive. Once I've learned Sun 73 I will probably add the Yang 24, but that won't be any time soon. There is much in Sun Style to keep me engaged and interested.

Pax
03-18-2017, 08:55 AM
Thanks, Catrin, I'll look into those.