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Bartek's picture
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I was wondering if anyone of you guys ever considered adapting the Taiji Ball training for I Liq Chuan, would you consider it a valuable part of body mechanics & conditioning workout and if so, what ILC based tweaks or modifications would you introduce to it (like taking into consideration absorb&project, 3 planes of movement, etc.). Perhaps somebody thinks this kind of training has no use in our system? I would be interested to know your opinions.

I inherited a ball like that (though a wooden one) from my Taiji past and recently rediscovered it among my stuff. I was wondering if it would be useful to incorporate it back into my training in ILC setting...

For those of you, who don't know the Taiji Ball training, here's some glimpse of it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1Iu-iGXlZg

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Ashe Higgs's picture
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i don't know, i think the

i don't know, i think the usual taiji ball stuff that's out there doesn't have a lot of benefit for ILC training.  The link you posted looked like maybe a heavier ball, so maybe it's good for some conditioning, kinda like sand bag type training?

i saw this in the related videos though and i would love to have a set up like this!  it would be great for grinding hand / horizontal power!

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Bartek's picture
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Hi Ashe! Yes, this seems to

Hi Ashe! Yes, this seems to be powerful stuff... however not quite handy to carry around or keep at home Smiling... the thing about the kind of ball from the video I posted is that conditioning is a big, if not bigger part of what the training - it puts much pressure on the whole body while you train what you normally train with more force. In a way it reminds me of kettlebell training. A smaller weigh however makes you able to train for a much longer time. In the case of the video the moves are of course related with Taiji, including center of weigh shifting forth and back, etc. However, I believe this could be adapted to ILC.

I did some experiments with our ILC zhan zhuang using the ball - with 3 planes of movement, steps, 5 qualities etc. - and I must say I quite like it - even the weight of 3,5 kilograms can make one sweat very fast and it seems to exercise well the whole body. When I get some more training like that and consult with Sifu, I will perhaps upload a video of how I do that.

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Qiang's picture
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ball

I've used a tennis ball in training before, though not really for conditioning.  Sifu told me I didn't have enough power to the point of contact and that I needed to work on unifying to the point more.  Not having a regular practice partner at the time required getting creative to get the kinesthetic feedback to train that.  My solution was to pin the tennis ball (or sometimes a basketball) to the wall and play with concave/convex, absorb/probject, open/close, etc. while maintaining the ball pinned directly to the wall and my structure aligned behind the point of contact.  I did the same thing for north and south by pinning the ball to a table surface or the underside of my coffee table.  I found I could play with changing on the point of contact with the tennis ball.  If I was too imprecise, the ball would shoot out from under my wrist and my hand would slam into the table or wall.

I wouldn't say this is a generally useful training aide, but it was helpful for me to do it for a couple of weeks until I got the kinesthetic sense of how to grind at the point of contact.

Ashe Higgs's picture
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Re:

Qiang wrote:

I've used a tennis ball in training before, though not really for conditioning.  Sifu told me I didn't have enough power to the point of contact and that I needed to work on unifying to the point more.  Not having a regular practice partner at the time required getting creative to get the kinesthetic feedback to train that.  My solution was to pin the tennis ball (or sometimes a basketball) to the wall and play with concave/convex, absorb/probject, open/close, etc. while maintaining the ball pinned directly to the wall and my structure aligned behind the point of contact.  I did the same thing for north and south by pinning the ball to a table surface or the underside of my coffee table.  I found I could play with changing on the point of contact with the tennis ball.  If I was too imprecise, the ball would shoot out from under my wrist and my hand would slam into the table or wall.

I wouldn't say this is a generally useful training aide, but it was helpful for me to do it for a couple of weeks until I got the kinesthetic sense of how to grind at the point of contact.

i've tried stuff similar to both the clips below. ultimately i just found them to be too limited and / or just didn't produce the right stress on the body to make a really effective training device and i abandoned them. fortunately i have enough partners now.

 

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Bartek's picture
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Ok, I have my answer now

Ok, I have my answer now after talking to Sifu on his stay in Poland last week. 

According to Sifu, such training has no value for I Liq Chuan, or could even be counterproductive, mainly because it gives an unrealistic point of contact (downward touch in the hands). It might be of use if a cone falls on you from a tree Eye-wink. Otherwise, it's better to focus on 15 basic and on Spinning Hands. While *any* force is a part of the Fullness, until one gets a full awareness in the point of contact and good mindfulness, working with an unrealistic force might bring about new and counterproductive habits in the body. And, on turn when one already has such a level of attainment, the ball training would be out of use again.

As to power training, other forms are preferable, just regular stuff. And, of course, Spinning Hands, as we all know, have themselves a great strengthening effect. 

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