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Flowing Tai Chi

by Nicole Dorsey Straff

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I used to avoid the power of kickboxing and boxing because it hurt my aching hips too much. It felt too masculine and tough-feeling on my body. No style of martial arts truly inspired my rhythmic flow like yoga does.

That is, until I took a few classes of profoundly calming, flowing Tai Chi and Taji-Fit with David Dorian Ross and followed up with a Piloxing class and Booty Barre Class in South Pasadena. All of these body-sculpting repetitious workouts unite the fierceness of a fighting workout with the flexibility and grace of the ancient arts.

The above, more modern-day martial arts and Tai Chi classes feel more like Pilates than they do judo. And there are as many different styles of warm-ups as there are differing martial arts philosophies. “Martial arts” loosely refers to combat movements against an imaginary or real opponent, and the specific exercises in a series may vary from country to country, and by style and intensity.

Whether it’s karate or kickboxing—some consider wrestling and even fist-fighting true forms of martial arts—all modes of exercises can benefit by warming up for 5 to 10 minutes before the actual workout, and cooling down at the end with another 5 to 10 minutes of gradual slow-down and, finally, stretching.

Bonus: Most martial arts sessions should loosen your muscles, tendons and joints to help prevent injuries and also minimize muscle soreness afterwards.

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