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Karate UnderGround >> anyone here practice IMA

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2/21/08 8:56 PM
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Edited: 21-Feb-08
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 17133
if so what kind? how long? with who?
2/22/08 10:21 PM
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Edited: 22-Feb-08
Member Since: 09/18/2002
Posts: 997
FRAT warning, I'm putting off Homework, so this is detailed. I practiced tai chi as a self-defense system for around a year (though the practice was only once a week, so it was not as intensive as I'd like). I'm not positive of the style, as it was informal training with a family friend, but he learned originally from William C.C. Chen in New York maybe in the 60s or 70s. While I was not a fan of some of the training methods (training the form, which seemed the least productive thing we did, was how we spent most of our time). I was, however, very impressed with the pushing hands practice, which was presented as a continuum that got increasing closer to live sparring the more you progressed. It would start stationary with hands touching, just moving to develope a feel of the movements (energy, in the terms used) of your partner (first just with one hand each, then two, and then flowing between the two). Then, you would gently or not-so-gently try to push the other person over, with the recipeint trying to deflect the momentum off to either side. From here you would start working in feet movement (just backwards and forwards first, then laterally, then free movement), all the while maintaining contact with your partner. The whole time, emphasis was placed on remaining as absolutely relaxed as could be managed, only applying the minimum amount of force required to negate your partner's movements. When we stopped training on a regular basis, we had just started to work on deflecting and blocking punches following a similar progression from simple, in place drilling to more freeform movements. I was very impressed with this aspect of the training from a functional standpoint; I found it useful during stand-up sparring and very useful when i started wrestling(I feel that it helped me improve much more quickly than I would have otherwise). While I found the form training not overly applicable from a combat standpoint, I found it profoundly beneficial for mental and physical health. The emphasis, once we learned the moves, was to preform them as slow as possible (one of my training partners and I took two hours to complete a form that would take only around 10 or 12 when preformed at a fairly normal pace). The strangeness of the mental state it put you in is like nothing I have experienced since; it was the closest I've ever come to a completely empty but totally aware mind. I'm aware of how cliche this sounds, but I felt more a part of the world around me (more in touch with everything and everyone) than I ever had before. The meditative aspect is the only part I still try to practice, though unfortunately I have not put much time into it since we stopped training on a regular basis. In summary, my experience was very good. If you can find someone with any degree of real experience or skill, i would recommend it.
3/3/08 10:20 PM
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Edited: 03-Mar-08
Member Since: 12/22/2007
Posts: 494
I practice Chen taiji and Yin style baguazhang. I was lucky enough to have a teacher who was really focused on usefulness and combat application. We did lots of sparring and push hands, lots and lots of drills and conditioning, and not so much as far as forms. My main teacher in the IMA is a coach under Jason Tsou of Wutan Martial Arts, who was the last closed-door student of Liu Yun Jiao. Jason was a self-defense instructor for the Taiwanese military police and Mass State Police. He also was a shuai jiao studnet of Chang dong Sheng, the Kimura/Kano of shuai jiao Liu Yun Jiao was a legit badass who was in the Chinese army in WWII--he fought the Japanese with small units in basically a prolonged guerrilla warfare campaign. He was also a trainer for the army as well as the martial arts instructor for the president of Taiwan's bodyguards. I did Chen taiji and bagua for about 5 years intensely, got into BJJ/MT, did IMA and MMA/MT/BJJ for a few years, and then eventually dropped the internal stuff. I started again a few months ago and am really enjoying training again. I mainly train, well...because I really enjoy it. It's relaxing, helps fix my old injuries from MT, and gives me a different perspective on the arts.

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