"Dear Mr. Garofalo,
Thank you for your informative blog on Taiqi.
you have any advice to offer, I am writing to seek suggestions on
selecting a Qi Gong style -- a disciple suitable for an out-of-shape
novice in her 30s.
I live in the San Francisco Bay area
and understand basic Chinese, so I've got of options. I am writing to
you because you seem to have familiarity with a wide variety of styles,
and are near enough to perhaps know of options here without having a
The immediate motivators are to
reduce weight, increase energy flow, and improve concentration. I enjoy
breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, swimming, and dancing.
problem is a mental-block against imitating things I don't understand.
I'd prefer a style which is good at explaining itself, well documented,
or for which an exceptional teacher can be recommended.
have taken Tai Qi Quan before,and quickly fell behind the sequence.
Rather than relaxing, I found myself feeling inadequate at the task of
imitating the sequences. Would like to put myself in a different
situation this time.
Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.
Purchase and use good instructional DVDs, videotapes, and books.
These allow you to repeat, review, repeat, study carefully, and get a
sound foundation. You will never fall behind anyone - classmates or
teacher. After you have a solid and comfortable foundation, find a
teacher and group with which to practice and learn more together. Good
books help you learn the history, theory, concepts, and traditions of
the internal martial art. My webpages are filled with good suggestions about resources for many kinds of Qigong (Chi Kung) practices.
2. Wild Goose Qigong has more movement and flow than other styles of Qigong. It might
appeal more to your background and interests in movement arts. There
are many good Wild Goose Qigong teachers in the Bay area, including Dr.
Bingkun Hu; and, there are many good books and instructional media on
the topic. The Eight Section Brocade Qigong and Shibashi Qigong are quite popular. I enjoy Tai Chi medicine ball routines.
3. Sun Style Tai Chi Chuan
has a nice flow and faster pace, and is far less martial than Chen or
Yang styles. There are many good books and instructional media on the
4. The successful long term practice of all Qigong and Taijiquan styles require
concentration, focus, Qi management, relaxation, and some understanding
of Taoist principles.
5. Think "Long Run" learning,
improvement, skill acquisition, and development. Take your time, enjoy
yourself, and do not be frustrated by somebody else's timetable for
6. As for loosing weight: increase walking and eat a little less. I believe strength training and cross training are helpful in loosing body weight.
Knowing how to speak/read/write in Chinese is a wonderful skill you
have, and will open doors to you in your study of the internal martial
arts. However, millions of people learn, practice and benefit from
these arts who only speak English or other languages, and can't even say
"thank you" in Chinese.