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Golf - [Excerpt from The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & Qigong]
At an American QiGong Association conference in San Francisco, I had the pleasure to meet a golf coach who had worked with Tiger Woods, and in fact written a book about Tiger’s incredible, almost super-human golf swing. His book theorized that the reason for Tiger’s immense power was that as a young child he had practiced QiGong exercises with his dad. This introduced him to “feeling” his swing in a heightened way, and also taught him to swing from the dan tien at a very young age. You see the results, as Tiger has dominated professional golf for many years of his career. Another reason all children should be learning T’ai Chi and QiGong from kindergarten through university.
In golf, instructors encourage you to “swing with the belly button.” This is another way of saying to swing with the dan tien. Many golfers discover that they can drive the ball much farther after practicing T’ai Chi for only a few months.
Also, T’ai Chi’s relaxed motion allows the limbs to be swung by the dan tien’s motion with no muscle resistance. This in turn allows the entire force of the dan tien’s turning to be projected outward through the hands and club into the ball.
What about your TENNIS game ??
Tennis and Racquetball
The same force used in golf is brought to bear in tennis and racquetball. If you play tennis or racquetball, you will also find an increased sense of control. Sometimes tennis players will describe a sense of slowing down, as if T’ai Chi practice made the game seem a bit slower than before.
Tennis players will also often discover less pressure in the knees after practicing T’ai Chi. Consciously moving from the dan tien can bring less pressure to bear on the knees when coming to an abrupt halt because when the head or upper body leads the movement, the knees must work harder to stop your momentum. T’ai Chi can also give you an off day exercise that is soothing to the joints, but still keeps the mind and body working together at a fine edge. You may be able to have fewer days on the court, while still improving your game, which may save your knees as well.