|Exercise is boring (2)|
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Little & often
Rather than train for a lengthy period of time, aim to practice little & often. 20-30 minute increments, with rest breaks in-between is ideal.
Instead of pushing your body hard and putting it under duress, just do a little exercise. Resting will keep your concentration sharp and offset fatigue.
Quality, not quantity
Instead of doing a lot, do less but do it well. Even 10 minutes a day is worth doing... If you are short on time, why not stagger the training across the week or do more on a weekend?
Some people use the jargon term 'active rest'. This isn't actual rest at all. It is an active break; not a rest.
The philosophy of
between-reps breaks consists of doing everything you can to avoid fatigue
instead of seeking it out as you would in body building. Striving for
failure is more appropriate for those working on muscle mass than for those
wanting to increase strength or power.
Cross-training in our
All martial arts require the student to be fit for combat.
Taijiquan students train: core strength, massage, leg stretches, cardio work, yoga, qigong, neigong, form, partnered work, martial sets & drills, combat and weapons.
The training is done carefully, gently - in a controlled manner - without exertion or strain. We aim to improve health and wellbeing through frequent, regular practice using low effort.
Tai chi training involves both solo and partnered work.
Solo training includes qigong exercises, stretching, Taoist Yoga, meditation, self-massage, constructive rest, forms, drills, weapons practice, wallbag, strength building, stamina and endurance work.
Partnered practice can range from posture testing, sensitivity drills, joint manipulation to full blown combat.
Tai chi students work at their own pace. Nothing is forced. There is little repetition and no scope for boredom.
If a student feels bored, it is because they have not committed to regular training and/or looked deeper into the art.
If we didn't tense our muscles, we're in good balance, not interfering with our breathing, and if we're free, tall and expansive in stature, and used a minimum of effort, then we could say we had done the job really well.
More than exercise
In tai chi, much of the work will be performed by the mind. Students must improve their memory, perception, awareness, insights, mindfulness, presence, nervous system, acuity and intelligence.
To perform the art correctly, you must engage your whole being.
18 April 2005
Last updated 15 May 2020