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May 13, 2005



I'm glad you like Tai Chi, but I do Shotokan in karate, and have no problems with it. It is true that many old senseis have joint problems, but so do many old people in general. We do a lot of stretching, and I don't think a Shotokan style focus causes damage to the body. I would like to know where you trained in Shotokan. There is a good instructor in Salem, Vince Nistico. Have you trained with him?
Chris Farrell
Corvallis, Oregon

Also, I seriously doubt that our punches and kicks are easy to block. It may be possible, of course, but karate people learn many techniques and ways to finesse a technique into being effective. There is more than just power, but psychology, timing, and other things.
But Tai Chi is great too. It's great that you are enjoying it.

After reaching the Brown Belt in Shotokan, I stopped Shotokan training and switched to other martial arts forms: kick boxing, tae kwon du, Wushu, and then Tai Chi.

I stopped Shotokan because I couldn't find the philosophy applicable in real life situations.
I stopped kick boxing because it has limitations on how and where you hit - and it lacks much of the spiritual strength of other martial arts.
I stopped tae kwon du because they practically forget they have hands!
I found everything I need in Wushu ... well, almost.
I suddenly discovered Tai Chi, although I didn't have the chance to practice Tai Chi (just a few lessons from a travelling instructor).
Wushu is what you want to learn if you are looking for the fancy movements you see in movies, if you are really concerned about standing a fight in the neighborhood, and if you are looking for a profound philosophy.
However, Tai Chi adds to that an incredible flexibility and health improvement as well as deeper philosophy. Moreover, Tai Chi is almost the only form that you can practice till the day you die (getting so old in age)!

By the way, my martial arts journey has been going for almost 14 years ...


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