A Kickboxer Discovers Tai Chi

       By: Yoshi Kundagawa
Posted: 2007-02-26 08:36:01
Once in a while, I get really bored with my workouts. You know, after a while it gets to be the same old, same old stuff. It is always weights or cardio machines or the same stuff over and over again. I have worked out for years and sometimes it is nice to have something different to sink your teeth into when you go to the gym. Or it is also nice to have something fun and invigorating to do at home. Something that gets you started off on the right foot in the morning.I recently found something that fits that criteria and it is called Tai Chi. You may have heard of it. It has been around for centuries. Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art but different from regular sparring types of kung fu. Some people may call it a soft style of martial arts and I think they have a point because you can't really whack a guy with Tai Chi. But that doesn't matter because the point of this exercise is to help a person relax and to inner reflect, if you will. How to do Tai Chi correctly and effectively is a simple matter of finding the right instructor.You see, Tai Chi is all about finding the right balance within yourself, your "Chi" or spiritual center. Most people do not do Tai Chi for any martial arts benefit. I know I did not start it for that reason. I did it to have another form of exercise in place of regular boring stuff I was sick of. The thing is, I discovered that it really does help you find peace and improve your balance.Tai Chi is based on using the whole body, even the inner strength of the mind and breath, all together as one unit. Think of it as standing yoga or a combination of that and ballet. Maybe it seems silly for a tough guy like me to say I do something similar to ballet, but I tell you, it is not only relaxing but challenging as well. Some people call it moving meditation. Because that is what you are doing. You are moving your hands and arms and legs together, but you are relaxing your mind at the same time to allow deep meditation.Tai Chi patterns are easy to learn and hard to master. They are very flowing and smooth and develop the internal flow or Chi or your body and soul. It was tough for me at first, doing all those weird poses and repetitive moves, but it got easier and much more fun once I got the hang of it. I knew I had to be bad before I good be good.There are a wide range of videos out there to help you get started and I tried quite a few before I got hooked on one instructor that really blew me away. You have to find someone that knows what they are doing and can really relate to you what Tai Chi is all about.Here is what really struck me...it's something I can do for my health for the rest of my life.Yoshi E. Kundagawa is a freelance journalist. He covers the mixed martial arts industry. For a free report on Tai Chi Qigong Training visit his blog.
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