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Thread: Taiji Ball

  1. #1
    The Willow Sword Guest

    TAI-CHI (BALL) TRAINING.

    I FIRST LEARNED ABOUT TAICHI BALL TRAINING in one of Dr Yang-Jwing Ming's books. i have been doing the ball training on my own for a few years and i find it to be VERY usefull in push hands and also sticky hands as well. in this months issue of T'ai Chi magazine i stumbled on an article about this training.to my suprise i was doing it exactly like the master was in that article. so i guess i was on the right track,,what i was wondering from all of you is if you do this type of training and what have your experiences been with it: basically you are taking a medicine ball that is about 10 lbs or more and holding it in your hands and then doing your push hand sets or just rolling the ball as you do your tai-chi move ments,,this is a great external exercise but as i have discovered it is
    purely an INTERNAL ONE mostly...
    the only difference is that that I have been holding the ball in my forearms and adhereing to the ball as i do my push hand movements and my taichi move ments. (it is challenging) but very beneficial,in my opinion,
    WHAT ARE YOU ALLS THOUGHTS ON THIS SUBJECT?
    many respects,, willow sword

    Whatever you think i am or want me to be,,, i am.

  2. #2
    Rory Guest

    dont respond hes a shaolin do supporter

    dont respond he takes shaolin do

  3. #3
    count Guest

    Just my personel opinion but...

    I have always felt the the use of the ruler and the use of the ball are not realistic training because they only allow for one specific size and in application the size of the ball is ALWAYS different. Curious what others who use this kind of training think about this though. :) +

    Count

    Kabooom.com

    Chi Kung International

    E

  4. #4
    Kumkuat Guest
    Well, it would be good if you can move correctly. If you just roll the ball around with your arms, then you're not really getting any internal training at all.

  5. #5
    RAF Guest
    When I visited the Xulu Village, near the Chen Village Area, Chen QingZhou demonstrated the use of a ball about the size (a little bigger) of a bowling ball. He also has a book on the exercises but it is written in Chinese. He may have a tape or two.

    Here is his website and you might want to contact his students.

    http://www.nnrs.org/cqzma.htm

  6. #6
    honorisc Guest

    Good but seems not quite Right

    The size of the ball might vary in application; however, training with a middle-enough sized ball allows one to adjust to any range.

    No Organization backs me for comment on Internal Arts nor Kung-Fu, but ten pounds is too heavy to start. Volleyball, soccerball, beachball after empty handed practice first. After a year get to that medicine ball mightbe (medicine ball bowling ball is more for eight year ten year or more practitioners with lighter balls after much empty practice).

    The resistance helps when youve got flow to envelop the resistance (muscles...). Too much resistance seems as though it would hamper, hinder, interferre not niocely with Flow.

    I No_Know

    Very some such,perhaps might have been, likely say some, some not.

  7. #7
    The Willow Sword Guest

    replies

    RORY: :rolleyes:

    COUNT: read ther article in T'AI CHI magazine. tell me what you think of it. :)

    KUMQUAT: It seems that when i do the ball training
    what it helps me to do is to keep my arms in close so that i am not overextending my blocking and defense. becuase i HAVE to keep the ball adhered to my forearms or hands,,the nature of the sticky hand training can be found in the excersise,,as for not getting any internal benefits from it,quite the contrary. i am as relaxed as i can be and i let the ball take me where it wants to go yet i am in control of the movements and can switch direction of the movements if i start to feel imbalanced or the ball starts to slip away,,in any regard the chi is still flowing and i am relaxed as i should be in taichi. :)

    RAF: THANKS i will check it out, i would like to know more since this training is not emphasised at my former school, i think that when i start teaching that i will introduce this training after one year of training students.

    KNOW NO: i have been doing taichi for many years and have been doing the ball training for only a year starting last year around springtime. it seems that a 10lb ball works well with me. i sometimes feel hindered when i am just focusing on the ball itself and my arms(this happens when my arms start to fatigue. when i am working on chi circulation i can go for a long time with it.
    but eventually my mind goes back to the ball and the arms itself,such as the way of yin and yang i guess. as in my reply to KUMQUAT the ball keeps my range of defense where it should be, which in my opinion is close, others will disagree but i do not feel like it hinders my ability to extend. it just keeps my center and my body protected. :)

    thanks for all the replies, any more ideas or those who practice the training would help.
    many respects,,willow sword

    Whatever you think i am or want me to be,,, i am.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
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    Taiji Ball

    I dont play the ball like Taiji but we have the ball in my art, i was wondering what is the main focus of the ball within Taiji Chuan?

    Dr John, Taiji bob anyone?

    What does it do for you regarding strength, health, fighting etc?

    How old is the ball exercise i read that it was developed in the early 1900's is this true?

    Garry

  9. #9

    Me Too...

    I would like to hear this too. I study a style that originated at Wudang and is still practiced there however it is close enough where things like this feel like they may have value to me. So any info would be highly appreciated. Regards!
    We're not gods. Not only are our powers limited, we are sometimes forced to become the devil himself.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
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    1,994
    Greetings..

    Use of the ball as a training aid is quite old, many external styles have a long history of using wooden and stone balls.. personally i have no reliable info on Taiji's history of using the ball for training..

    Benefits are many, it is a great way to enhance our understanding of the mechanics of the "spinal wave", transferring whip-like power upward along the spine and out into the arms and hands.. You can also more easily coordinate reverse abdominal breathing using the ball as a guide (vertical circles moving away from and returning to the body's centerline ). The positions of the hands while holding the ball correctly align the palms for form and application.. I f you are familiar with "flat plate" exercises, then as you advance in the ball training you can replace the plates with the Taiji Ball.. a whole new dynamic of alignment and coordination.. this will lengthen and strengthen the tendon/ligament/muscle relationships.. A very important part of the training is the coordination of the DanTien's movements with the Taiji Ball movement, the counter-balancing and smooth transitions will migrate to your empty-empty hand forms and weapon forms.. Shoulder, arm and low back strength will increase without loss of flexibility or speed, the mechanics of ball control keep the adverse effects of strength training at a minimum..

    Ultimately, the Taiji Ball training is only a step on the journey.. after internalizing the benefits the ball is no longer needed..

    Be well..
    TaiChiBob.. "the teacher that is not also a student is neither"

  11. #11

    Thumbs up

    Thanks for the info!
    We're not gods. Not only are our powers limited, we are sometimes forced to become the devil himself.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
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    45,606

    balls

    I've seen a few taiji ball demos over the years. I've never practiced with one personally, so I can't really speak to the purpose of it, but I imagine that it helps you understand the power of circles. Plus the heavy stone, wood or metal ones are clearly good weight training. I've seen light balls too, two worthy of mention here perhaps.

    One was a wicker taiji ball. It was just a little smaller than a basketball and hollow, more like a wicker frame than anything. The frame allowed the practitioner to do some movements where they could grab the ball with their fingers. The demo looked like a tai chi form with a ball prop. It might have been a non-martial exercise qigong too. I saw the demo but didn't find out that much about it.

    The second one was a large chromed taiji ball. It was the size of a large beach ball. What made this one very interesting to me was that it was used in push hands techniques. Instead of touching each other, the two push hands practitioners would both touch the ball. The ball acted as a medium between them so they had to applied constant stickiness or they would drop the ball. Some used two balls at the same time. Note that this was not free push hands, but pre-choreographed forms. But still, I can imagine how that might help train your sensitivity.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
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    Hi Gene,

    My system uses a ball 2 man exrecise for sensitivity and intent and becomes a stick and follow, footwork game. Its freestyle no pre arranged movements.

    Taiji Bob,

    Do you recondmend yang mins taiji ball video, i am looking for some answers regarding what the ball does regarding chi, yin yang theories, you know any other info i can get?

    Garry

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
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    Oh, and by the way...

    You can see both of those taiji ball demonstrations I mentioned above on my new DVD - Shaolin Trips: The First World Traditional Wushu Festival.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #15
    Taiji Ball in it's most recent incarnation was started by Chen Qingzhou. He uses a 22-35LB steel ball, slightly bigger than a basketball. Other Taiji styles have followed suit with their own interpretation of how to practice with a heavy ball. The Chens uncovered a 70lb stone ball burried in one of the ancestrial gravesites, which is on display in Chen Village. However nobody at the time knew what it was about

    Chen Qingzhou's story is that he recalls as a child seeing his grandfather practice a form acting as if he were holding and rotating a heavy ball. This gave him the idea for the form. His teaching is that once you have practiced many years, you will be able to visualize the ball is your dantian, since all movement should start with dantian, by practicing with a heavy object like this teaches your body effective structure

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