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TMA UnderGround >> Difference btw yoga and tai chi ??


2/7/04 3:34 PM
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FutureProdigy
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Edited: 07-Feb-04
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Im not really familiar with either. I know both are internal related arts (yoga really isn't considered a martial art though whereas tai chi is). Basically im curious about what the two are. Ive looked on google for the last 2 hours and can't seem to find a answer.
2/8/04 1:22 PM
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Shawn C
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Edited: 08-Feb-04
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Yoga is moving meditation. As practiced in America though, it is more a form of exercise. Practioners ideally move through the positions (called "asanas") while maintaining focus on what they are doing. Tai chi (as opposed to the martial art tai chi chuan, or taijiquan) is similar to yoga, in that it is a program designed for health, energy, and focus. Practioners move through the forms in a slow, deliberate manner and focus on developing their chi, or life energy. Yoga originated in India, and Tai chi in China. There are probably tons of books at your local library about both of these disciplines, if you're interested in learning more.
2/8/04 4:56 PM
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RapidAssault
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Edited: 08-Feb-04
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Well Shawn, not quite right. The "Chuan" or "quan" after the word Tai chi doesn't denote that it is martial or not. The word "tai chi" is just a short-hand of "tai chi chuan (taijiquan)." There are, however, various styles of tai chi. Perhaps the "non-martial" style of tai chi you are refering to is the "Yang style," which consists of the practitioner learning only one empty-hand form (consisting of 108 movements).
2/8/04 5:58 PM
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FutureProdigy
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Edited: 08-Feb-04
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so is tai chi taoist and not buddhist... and yoga hindu not buddhist
2/8/04 9:56 PM
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ed2002
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Taiji is not taoist and Yoga is not really hindu. Though people have tried to infer some connections. Taiji originated from the Chen village where it had no significant ties to taoism. All other taiji families can trace their origins back to the Chen style. If anything Chen Taiji has had some influence from older arts such as Xingyi and Shaolin arts. Some names of moves are common between these arts. The fact that it is basically non-martial now is not related to it being Yang or any other family. Just the nature of progress over the last hundred or so years that saw taiji spread more by emphasizing its supposed health benefits. Becoming the "Chinese yoga" so to speak. Yoga came from before hinduism. The term yoga first appeared prior to hinduism in Brahman texts known as Vedas. Brahmanism is a precursor to Hinduism. The Vedas were rituals the Brahman priests followed. These rituals and the philosophies behind them evolved a great deal to form the yoga you see today. Phew. What an effort.
2/8/04 10:26 PM
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Shawn C
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"Well Shawn, not quite right. The 'Chuan' or 'quan' after the word Tai chi doesn't denote that it is martial or not. The word 'tai chi' is just a short-hand of 'tai chi chuan (taijiquan).'" Technically, it doesn't denote a difference, but I believe it's generally accepted that "tai chi chuan" ("chuan" meaning "fist") refers to the martial art, and "tai chi" is the exercise that old Chinese people do in the park or at the YMCA. "There are, however, various styles of tai chi. Perhaps the 'non-martial' style of tai chi you are refering to is the 'Yang style,' which consists of the practitioner learning only one empty-hand form (consisting of 108 movements)." Yes, I believe they do forms from the Yang style, either the 108 movement form or shorter versions.
2/9/04 2:27 AM
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RapidAssault
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Edited: 09-Feb-04
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"Technically, it doesn't denote a difference, but I believe it's generally accepted that "tai chi chuan" ("chuan" meaning "fist") refers to the martial art, and "tai chi" is the exercise that old Chinese people do in the park or at the YMCA." Well, if you want to be technical about that, then sure, why not? Anyways, in regards to the idea of tai chi being associated with taoism (daoism), it is generally accepted that the Chen style is the "original" tai chi system to be developed (and there was no religious connections in the beginning). However, "legend" also tells a different story. Tai chi has been called a "Wu-tang" art (also spelt Wu-dang). For those who don't know what Wu-tang is, it is one of the sacred mountains in China. Wu-tang mountain is sacred to the taoists. There have been records of pilgramages made to Wu-tang mountain. It is said that a monk from Shaolin developed tai chi while in Wu-tang, and that the art of Tai chi was passed down to the Taoist who lived there. But of course, the legend may have been perpetuated over time to give tai chi a bit of "authenticity" (especially if the fame of Shaolin was at its height, then it would be foolish not to claim some sort of lineage to Shaolin).
2/9/04 2:58 AM
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ed2002
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Edited: 09-Feb-04
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"It is said that a monk from Shaolin developed tai chi while in Wu-tang, and that the art of Tai chi was passed down to the Taoist who lived there." Propaganda by Yang style people who did not want to give Chen taiji the credit they deserved. By saying some monk from Wudang brought it to Chen village reduces the shame of Taiji being just a normal MA style from a plain old village. And reduces the amount of importance the village people had on the style. "But of course, the legend may have been perpetuated over time to give tai chi a bit of "authenticity" (especially if the fame of Shaolin was at its height, then it would be foolish not to claim some sort of lineage to Shaolin). " See above. Considering that Chen village is in Henan province where a Shaolin temple existed, why would there be any other reason to convolute the story other than to make it seem like a more supercool art that was NOT originally from Chen village but rather from Wudang temple? A Chen taiji person would be happy to admit that taiji just came from Chen village and drew upon various arts around the area. Also it's an attempt to tie all the internal arts to Taoism. Another fanciful theory.
2/9/04 8:32 AM
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poobear
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this is the taichi: In Taoist philosophy it represents the universe having coalesced into Yin and Yang after the void. The chuan denotes a fist, implying a ighting style. Health-only exponents are just doing chigung, which is really the chinese equivalent to yoga, and not just restricted to TJQ, it's a study in it's own right. TJQ has marial applications in the form - bunkai if you will - but it's not so straightfrorward as there are multiple uses for each movement. re: the Chen village. I remember readnig they had their own style called cannon-fist, and then some guy added wudang fist. It is also true that CMA came in vogue with Taoist intellectuals looking for some way to assuage wounded pride from foreigners walking around like they owned the place. So did the name come after the art? Who knows? Don't really care either. One of the only TJQ MMA guys I know of (green-namer on this forum called shooter) is a Yang stylist... FWIW
2/9/04 1:28 PM
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Willybone
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Lineage aside, I think Yoga places more of an emphasis on flexibility than Tai Chi does. The popular styles also seem to involve more static positioning, too.
2/9/04 5:04 PM
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Stickgrappler
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there is a theory (with CMA at least) and i have not heard of it until recently when my training partner mentioned it when we were talking internal MA the Chinese believe that the heart has only a finite amount of beats and to stress and tax it, would get you close to that finite number, hence, slow internal MA was developed or practiced/preferred cos it is less taxing on the heart. maybe Hillbilly, poobear, SHOOTER, or others will know about this. unfortunately modern day tai chi ch'uan/taijiquan has been watered down into some new age health exercise over here. there is originally supposed to be 13 movements. then it got expanded to 108. now, i believe the chinese gov't has standardized a 24 move and a 48 move for wushu competition.
2/9/04 6:47 PM
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FutureProdigy
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Edited: 09-Feb-04
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1.so buddhism doesn't have claim to any martial arts? 2.out of yoga and tai chi which one is better for a troubled mind per say. I just want a relaxing art i can do to relieve some stress (after reading a article on kundalini im starting to have second thoughts though).
2/9/04 7:44 PM
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ed2002
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"1.so buddhism doesn't have claim to any martial arts?" There are. Even taiji had some influences from the Henan Shaolin temple, as I mentioned before. "2.out of yoga and tai chi which one is better for a troubled mind per say. I just want a relaxing art i can do to relieve some stress (after reading a article on kundalini im starting to have second thoughts though)." Don't do Kundalini yoga then. I do both taiji and yoga. I recommend yoga to most people. Have you considered surfing?
2/9/04 8:12 PM
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FutureProdigy
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"There are. Even taiji had some influences from the Henan Shaolin temple, as I mentioned before. " So were the shoalin buddhist? I always thought kung fu was taoist. Excuse my ignorance if im wrong. I do not know alot on this subject matter which is why im asking here. Isn't it agaisnt buddhism to fight. Is kundalini a type of yoga? I was talking about kundalini as in the a dangerous state that can come from meditiating and yoga. http://www.kundalini.se/eng/engkni_1024.html lol id love to surf if i lived close to the ocean (im in around the toronto area. So all that is around is me poisoned great lakes... i like scuba diving though (i go everytime i vacation) becuase it makes me feel at home with beuatfiul reefs and fishs or ship wrecks.
2/9/04 8:30 PM
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Shawn C
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"Isn't it agaisnt buddhism to fight." It's a last resort, if there are no other options. The important thing is your motivation and not feeling anger towards your attacker. I would recommend yoga, if you can only choose one.
2/9/04 9:48 PM
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ed2002
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"So were the shoalin buddhist?" Yes "I always thought kung fu was taoist." No. "Isn't it agaisnt buddhism to fight." Yeah. It's not too Taoist either. Just about every religion is against fighting. But supposedly in Buddhism as long as you're feeling compassion as you kick the shit out of someone and it's the wisest course of action in relation to everyone concerned, you are doing OK. "Is kundalini a type of yoga? I was talking about kundalini as in the a dangerous state that can come from meditiating and yoga. http://www.kundalini.se/eng/engkni_1024.html" There is a form of yoga called Kundalini yoga. Don't know much about it. I wouldn't say I'm a yogi that's looking through his 3rd eye and can trip the light fantastique. I mainly do it as a stress relieving exercise with some small knowledge of the pranayama involved. There are higher aspects of yoga where you move your kundalini energy through your open chakras, and move your consciousness off the physical plane. I don't get into that sort of stuff. Too wierd for me.
2/9/04 9:50 PM
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ifidieidie
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Edited: 09-Feb-04
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"out of yoga and tai chi which one is better for a troubled mind per say" Future, I used to have a very troubled mind. I started practicing tai chi 12 years ago and honestly believe it changed my life. Every morning, I do about 10 minutes of chi gong and then 20-30 minutes of tai chi. Some days I do another 20-30 minutes in the evening. That really worked wonders for me. I also do a little yoga, but have never really resonated with it. I have friends who do yoga religiously, so I'd say just try both and see which feels better to you. There are different styles of both tai chi and yoga that are quite different from each other. Try several different styles and find one that suits you. "So were the shoalin buddhist? I always thought kung fu was taoist." Shaolin is a buddhist temple. It is where Chinese buddhism began, just over 1500 years ago. Legend has it that an Indian buddhist monk came to China to teach the emperor. He fell out of favor with the emperor and had to take refuge in the mountains at Shaolin. He spent nine years meditating in a cave at the top of Song Shan mountain and when he emerged from his meditation, he had discovered the exercises that later evolved into Shaolin martial arts.
2/10/04 12:26 AM
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RapidAssault
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Edited: 10-Feb-04
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"So were the shoalin [sic] buddhist? I always thought kung fu was taoist." Well, here is where another problem lies between legend and "history." Yes, Shaolin is a Buddhist temple. More specifically, it is the home to Chan Buddhism (which according to legend, is the type of Buddhism that Boddhidharma brought over to China). The 18 lohan fist became a core exercise used to condition the monks for meditation. If you believe the legend to be true, then Shaolin is the first of the Chan Buddhist sect in China. However, the reality is that not every Chan Buddhist in China utilizes anything that resembles martial arts in their practice (not even to "condition" their body). Furthermore, not every Chan Buddhist claims any lineage to Shaolin in any way, shape, or form. [There are those who continues to perpetuate the idea that there was a "Shaolin temple" in every province of China, and the most famous of them is the one located in Fukian province. However, accounts from the locals in Fukian and the records kept in that province would suggest otherwise.] Anyways, as for the idea of kung fu being Taoist, there is some validity in that thought. It is true that concepts or ideas from Taoism have made their way into the martial arts (a number of lines from the Tao Te Ching have become "mottos" or maxims for the martial arts). But then again, so have the ideas of Buddhism and (to some degree) Confucianism. This is not including the ideas of war strategists and generals. Over time, there have been a number of influences on the martial arts (China does have a very long history). But, does this mean that the martial arts are "Buddhist" or "Taoist" (or any other religion) in nature. No. Although a number of religion and sects exist in China, the Chinese are not very "religious." China is considered (and still is) unofficially athiest.
2/10/04 2:25 AM
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ifidieidie
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Edited: 10-Feb-04
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Rapid, I'm not trying to flame you, but I must say that I don't really understand the points you are trying to make. "The 18 lohan fist became a core exercise used to condition the monks for meditation. " I believe the first exercises were the yi jin jing--the muscle and tendon changing classic. "However, the reality is that not every Chan Buddhist in China utilizes anything that resembles martial arts in their practice" I don't believe anyone was asserting that every Buddhist in China does martial arts. In fact, not even every Buddhist at Shaolin does martial arts. "Furthermore, not every Chan Buddhist claims any lineage to Shaolin in any way, shape, or form." I'm not sure what you mean by this comment as to the difference between history and legend. China is a huge country, and there are many different variations of Buddhism. Also, I'm curious where you got your information about the locals and records in Fukien province. If you take the time to clarify, thanks.
2/10/04 2:38 PM
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Naughty Gorilla
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Edited: 10-Feb-04
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Martial arts existed in China long before Buddhism or even Taoism. Wrestling was the oldest known art. Temples like Wudang were the taoist equivalent of Shaolin.
2/10/04 7:29 PM
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RapidAssault
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Edited: 10-Feb-04
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Hey ifidieidie! It was late at night when I wrote that, so many thoughts were coming and going all at once as I tried to write something that made some sort of sense. I believe you are right about the yi jin jing being the first exercises (and perhaps the 18 lohan fist came afterwards). Don't quote me on that though, because it's been a long time since I've had anything to do with CMA, plus I've accumulated a bunch of "useless" information over the years. In regards to the Chan Buddhist spheel, I was merely refering to the legend of Boddhidharma and how he spread Chan in China (via Shaolin). You see, from how the legend is told (at least how it was told to me), Boddhidharma was responsible for introducing Chan Buddhism to China (as well the founder of Shaolin kung fu). At around this time, other forms of Buddhism exist, but they did not believe in the idea of obtaining enlightenment through meditation. Thus, the rest of the legend goes that he meditates in a cave for nine years, blah, blah, blah. The problem then is of which part of the legend would you believe. In my religious studies, the notion of the "martial arts" is greatly downplayed. However, many CMArtists emphasize on the martial aspect. Anyways, let me finish up the rest of my message later. I'm being picked up right now.
2/10/04 8:04 PM
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ed2002
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Edited: 10-Feb-04
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"I'm not sure what you mean by this comment as to the difference between history and legend. China is a huge country, and there are many different variations of Buddhism." Jumping in. Well the inference is that: IF Boddhidharma started Chan Buddhism and the kungfu exercises in China at Shaolin temple, then why don't other sects of Chan Buddhism in China also contain the same exercises OR even claim a lineage back to the Shaolin temple? The legend you mentioned, ifidieidie, doesn't quite fit. Quite a good point RapidAssault raised actually. Getting way off the topic of taiji and yoga though.
2/10/04 9:05 PM
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ifidieidie
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Edited: 10-Feb-04
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OK, interesting points. Thanks for the responses. So are you, ed'02 and Rapid, both suggesting that the legend of Boddhidharma is not true? Funny, I guess that is something that I have always accepted as dogma. I actually have been to the cave where he supposedly meditated. While it is of course impossible to know anything from visiting the cave, and while I don't normally use words like this, I must say that it has a very powerful spiritual aura to it--kind of like ancient Mayan temples or old Gothic churches in Europe. At any rate, this is a good discussion.
2/10/04 9:58 PM
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ed2002
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"So are you, ed'02 and Rapid, both suggesting that the legend of Boddhidharma is not true?" Well no, I am not suggesting that exactly. The point I would make is that the Shaolin temple was not the start of Chan buddhism in China because of the issues mentioned before. OR those exercises did not come from Bodhidharma since other Chan buddhists in China don't know of them. Hope that is clearer.
2/10/04 11:18 PM
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RapidAssault
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Edited: 10-Feb-04
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Thanks ed2002, for taking over while I was "out." That's pretty much what I was getting at. If I may finish off though, what I wanted to allude at is the perception that some martial artists have developed with regards to religion and the martial arts. Now, I too am not suggesting that the legend is false. Also, there is no denying that kung fu is practiced at Shaolin and that Shaolin is a Chan Buddhist temple. I can't speak for anyone here, but I have met several people who have expressed the idea of wanting to become a monk. When I question why they want to become a monk, the notion of enlightenment or self-betterment was not their reason for becoming a monk. They got the strange idea that if they became a Buddhist monk (even a Shaolin monk), then their kung fu would be "unbeatable." I mean, some of these people became Buddhist for all the wrong reasons. Now, this could have arose from taking the legend too seriously (believing in the significance of the martial and religious aspects of the legend). Or, the crap from "Kung Fu: The Legend Continues" could have been a cause of this kind of fantasy. Either way, the events at Shaolin may very well have been an isolated event and probably not as significant as some people have made it to be [although there is no denying that the word "Shaolin" have become a household name that everyone wants to have. The way I see it, "Shaolin" is very much like a brand name of martial arts]. I don't know if I've answered your question or made myself any clearer. But check out Adam Hsu's book "The Sword Polisher's Records." That might help you understand my train of thought. Hsu makes the argument that the idea of the "other" Shaolin temples in China, such as Fukian province, is false. In that book, Hsu also dispells much of the myth surrounding kung fu. [Yeah, it might seem quite biased only to refer to this one book, but I do think it's a book that every martial artist should read. Whether or not you trust his words, the bottom line is, don't believe everything you hear.]

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