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  1. #11

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Shelton, CT
    Hung Gar
    Thanks for the reply Tarbox. I haven't gotten much one on one correction from the sifu yet but I look forward to becoming more balanced and centered. What does it mean to unlock ones hips?

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Locked as in leg lock or arm lock. Most people lock their knees and hips when they stand up. If you ask them to, they'll unlock their knees, but a lot of people can't unlock their hips and stand up straight at the same time even if you ask.

    This is partly cultural. Most of us have desk jobs, and lean back in our chairs up against the backrest, which pushes our hips forward. When we stand up we do the same thing, and that's what locks it. (Dancers and models sometimes have the opposite problem, where they keep their hips locked backwards instead of forwards, because they want their ass to show.)

    Do you do squats with weights? Compared to the way most people stand, there's a lot of improvement to be had if you just imagine you're about to do a squat. Don't exaggerate and go really low, the goal is to be relaxed.

    Ideally, all of your hip muscles are loose, and you feel all your weight supported by your quads. If you're new to the stance, it's common to feel like you're leaning forward, but snap a picture and you'll see that you're straight.

    Because the body can delude itself as to its own position (the "leaning forward" illusion goes away with time), there's really little substitute for having someone just spend a few minutes with you correcting your stance.

    This is all stuff every athlete has to learn, which is why I'm nodding my head when I read the Josh Waitzkin interview:

    In BJJ, you tend to begin with technique, and through repetition you come to a smooth, efficient, unobstructed body mechanics. In Tai Chi, you begin with body mechanics, get a certain internal feeling over months and years of moving meditative practice, and then you learn the martial application of what you’ve been doing all along.
    This is exactly how I feel about t'ai chi (but was afraid to admit), except that I will admit that most t'ai chi (including my own) never gets to the last step, learning the martial application. Just knowing how to move can be its own reward.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    North America
    Quote Originally Posted by Cullion View Post
    The type of Tai Chi I practice comes from Chen Tin Hung, who was, for a time, a practitioner of Wu Style Tai Chi. His students wrestled and sparred with hard contact and most of them taught their students to do the same.
    Chen Tin Hung I think is the nephew of a disciple of Wu Jianquan. I have a friend from Wales who trained in Dan Docherty's school for a bit. He said it was realistic training.

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