Tai Chi both sides?

Discussion in 'Tai chi' started by franksv, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. franksv

    franksv Valued Member

    I am interested to hear what your thoughts are on doing your tai chi forms on both sides(whatever style you do).The fellow that is teaching me tc is more of a senoir student than a sifu.He has been doing tc 5 years and has never tried or had an interest in doing it the other direction.As I get closer to attaining the complete yang style short form,I am wondering if I should consider training both left and right?Do any of you folks do this,why or why not?Either way,what are your thoughts on this?

  2. Taiji Butterfly

    Taiji Butterfly Banned Banned

    Definitely do right and left handed to get balance in body and mind plus flexibility when fighting. I started learning left hand side after quite a long period so I would suggest to get your right hand stable first then introduce left hand. Others may disagree, of course.
    I once read Cheng Man Ching saying left handed was a bad idea, but as far as I know most styles encourage doing both sides... :)
  3. EmptyHandGuy

    EmptyHandGuy Valued Member

    So what is this left and right thing? Is this when you do your form again but the opposite way around? If so, what does this add? Sorry if this sounds newbie like, but I am :p
  4. liokault

    liokault Banned Banned

    This adds value because 'most' forms do not equally work both sides of the body.

    As such, if the form is the main part of your practice you will develop one side of your body in a different way to the other.
  5. franksv

    franksv Valued Member

    I am also thinking that practicing the other way/side,not only trains both sides but also doubles your material without having to learn a new form/style.It gives you the same stuff to work on but in a whole new manner.
  6. liokault

    liokault Banned Banned

    Well not really.

    If your just doing the same thing but on the other side your not really doubling your material, at best your filling gaps.

    I see the value in it, but I question the time spent against other things that you could be doing.

    Anyway, shouldn't R Dunn pop up around now and say something obnoxious about how only he and his teacher (but not TCB because he only went to a seminar) know how to do a left hand form, then get the thread locked
  7. cheesypeas

    cheesypeas Moved on

    LOL :D :D

    If ever there was a need for the naughty step to be implimented!! Wot is it? Oh yeah, one minute for every year old you are.....BWAHAHAHAHAHA

    Back on topic.

    When I learnt the short form, my teacher got me to teach myself left side after I had memorised the right side. One I had learnt left side,(which was an absolute nightmare for me to try to do the whole thing on my own) I was urged to practice twice to the left for every one to the right to 'even up' the times overall left and right.

    Sooo, when I started learning the long form with a different teacher, I asked if it was OK it I simultaneously taught myself left side. Yes was the answer, so that is what I did.

    I find there is quite a different feeling between left and right side practice, but as I am still very much a beginner, I expect the difference will lessen in time.

    Unless anyone out there knows differently...I am always open to learning. :love:
  8. piratebrido

    piratebrido internet tough guy

    Hey, even do it backwards in our style!

    Yup, reverse form! It's brain frying stuff, Just about got my left hand form down. Still to do weapons, although I have done spear on the left a few times, I am pish at it.
  9. sparrow

    sparrow Chirp!

    Luckily, my school stopped doing that just after I joined. It would be interesting to try, though.
  10. Richard Dunn

    Richard Dunn Banned Banned

    Do you really believe this will work
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2006
  11. Shaolin Shi

    Shaolin Shi Valued Member

    Even if you don't learn to do the whole form on both sides, there's a lot of value in practicing the postures/techniques individually both left and right.
  12. daftyman

    daftyman A 4oz can of whoop-ass!

    re: Cheng man ching and the left hand form. I believe that he was against it. If the form is thought of as a qigong, then his view was that the body is not internally symetrical, so the form is not symetrical.

    I've used the left hand form for teaching, so that I'm in a mirror, but usually just stick to the right hand form. In the 37 posture form there are enough repeats and variations that nearly every thing is reasonably balanced. The long form even more so.
  13. TaiChiFox

    TaiChiFox New Member

    In our school the other side is recommended after you have a high proficiency in the original orientation. Simply so your body at first understands the principles better.
  14. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    yeah, I say do it both sides from the get go..

    I didn't do this with the first form I learnt, but did it after I'd learnt the whole thing (which took couple of years.), out of my own curiosity - and it helped a lot. I've recently begun learning a differing variation of Yang form and am being instructed to practice both sides equally as I go, am more than happy to follow .
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2006
  15. airweaver

    airweaver Valued Member

    i try it occasionally and can tell the difference when i go back to doing it normally because all the left hand muscles have been exercised- so they can help the normal form be done better.. then go back to left and feel a better effect because i did the right form better..
    and the spring-out motion with the beak hand in single whip is good to do with your left arm, not many postures open the shoulder as effectively as single whip, for me anyway.

    its a better idea simply because it adds to the experience and practise, just like variating the moves eg.. long stance, super-ridiculously long stance, thin stance, small circles (works the forearm more), big circles (works shoulder blades) fast form, crude form (like your drunk) different tempo'd form etc..
    also try attatching those jogging weights to your limbs, or hold a can of beans in each hand to have a clearer definition of where natural momentum ends, and tense/unnatural momentum begins..
  16. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    I can't imagine, it hurts my head just to think about it.

    It's funny I'm pretty sure it crossed my mind for a second the other day and I was like 'don't be silly' :D no kidding!
  17. tcgohan

    tcgohan New Member

    I'm with Geo, just the thought of reverse form made my head spin!

    IME, doing the left side of the form exaggerates problems on the right and issues of muscular tension as well. There is even a qiqong by Mantak Chia that is basically "grasp sparrows tail" three times to the right and three times on the left. Quite fun :D
  18. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    The first person I knew who actually recommended it to his students was one of Cheng's students.If the concern is TC as ch'i gung,there are many cgs done on both sides,and HI and PK pretty much do everything on both sides.As many CMA hand forms are somewhat "one sided" it doesn't seem like a bad practice.Whip,snake down,parry and punch,etc are only done on one side.Of course you can just take them out of the form and practice them on the other side,but it is a "learning experience" to do it to the left,and I think a good practice.See how not quite right Single Whip feels the first few times you do it that way.It can't help but work on alignment,relaxation,etc,and an even greater kinesthetic awareness.

    Cheng's "brother" (thru Chiang,Ch'ing-ling) Wang,Yen-nien, taught a long form which was the long form done on both sides.I had a student from Taiwan who had practiced this seriously for 8 years and had been a very sickly youth.He started when he was about 14 and credited it with his ability within a couple years training to being able to participate in all the "normal" activities he hadn't been able to do before.With all respect to Cheng,and other teachers who have opined the same way he did,I don't feel the ch'i gung rationale holds up.BK Frantzis had teachers (traditional) who advocated such training.

    LK-it doesn't mean you have to spend more overall time in form practice.But you are filling gaps,as you said.
  19. steve Rowe

    steve Rowe Valued Member

    It's said that to do the form on the other side periodically 'refreshes' the chi. With Ma Lee Yang we would do the first section on the other side and with Jim Uglow the whole form.
  20. lieqi fan

    lieqi fan Valued Member

    Left side(s)

    Our syllabus goes: Chen Man Ching Short Form (R. side) and Ta Lu - Yang Cheng Fu Long Form(with 1 JK variation) - John Kells Variation Left Side Long Form - Weapons - The Dance. And we sometimes do CMC L.Side/mirror form for a laugh.

    Our Left side is usually referred to as "The Dark Side"; it is basically the YCF form rearranged with additional postures and variations and is very spirally. Don't ask me where it comes from, only JK knows and he's not available for discussion these days.

    It took me about 2 years to start enjoying the Left Side and I still find it challenging to say the least, but that's the point - to feel like a complete beginner again. Quite often, these days, I'll start on one side and realise i've ended up on the other without knowing how I got there (also the point, I think)

    I've also posted a link to The Dance on my teacher's website on the appropriate thread, so I guess this qualifies as my OO R U?, having lurked in the shadows for a fair while. But that's me really, I prefer to wait and listen :D

    Respect to all you TJQ varients (deviants? :D :D ) out there

    lieqi fan (also very fond of mango)

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