Cardio Taiji?

Not the stuff that I’ve seen on DVD but how about another approach? This all came up after I started noticing that doing wushu is bringing back those old knee pains of mine. Back in the days I used to do a lot of TKD and wushu until I started getting really bad knee pains around 18 yrs old. I attribute it to a lot of the jumping as well as TKD air snapping kicks.. but the doctors said it could also be due to myself growing faster than my knees could support me.. who knows.

Anyhoo, this was one of the main reasons why I stopped wushu and decided to take a year break in martial arts. Soon, I just couldn’t stand it anymore and felt that I wanted to do something related to martial arts so I picked up taiji. This was around when I was 19 or so. In this time, I feel that taiji has helped my knees a lot. The closer attention paid to knee alignment and structural integrity has made the pain go away. Also, I think practicing zhanzhuang postures has really made a difference.

Fast forward to present day. I’ve been doing taiji for about 6 years and recently decided to start up wushu again. Been going for a little over a month now and I’m starting to feel the pain in my knees again. I think in the long run, wushu may be detrimental to all the progress I had made before on my knees. I figured it’d be cool just doing some line drills, but the wushu front slap kicks add a bit too much stress on my knees. Also, most of the forms being taught now have A LOT of jumps in them, another thing not so good for my knees.

After a recent class, I brought up that I was doing wushu to my chen teacher to get more of a cardio workout and he mentioned why not do some of the more vigorous chen forms if I’m interested in cardio. I’ve already learned the basis curriculum (zhanzhuang, silk reeling, 19 form, 38 form, laojia yilu) so why not just move on in the curriculum. This sounded like a pretty good idea to me as a lot of the stuff that we work on in privates are related to principles that can be applied to any form and any movement in taiji (zhong ding, song kua, differentiating energies, etc). He then asked me if I’d rather jog or do Pao Chui? Definitely Pao Chui (laojia er lu, cannon fist form)! Hmm.. I had briefly learned part of the choreography for this form before I relocated so it’d be interesting to pick it up again.


About wujimon

taiji, meditation and health
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