What Is Tai Chi

Taijiquan (or tai chi) can be many things to many people. For some it is an exercise, for some it is a meditation and others it is a form of self defense. However when you continue to practice and reach a higher level of training, the above reasons lose their importance. At this time, you need to find the real meaning of your practice or you may become satisfied with your training and lose your enthusiasm for the art. You must start to wonder what is the meaning of this meditative martial art? Daoist practitioners use tai chi in their strive to become immortal where many non-religious practitioners used tai chi to gain a peaceful mind and reinvigorate their lives.

What you need to understand is that Taijiquan emphasizes meditation both in your stillness and your movement. Practitioners like a Buddhist priest trains himself in this meditation to be calm and concentrated. In your training, it is possible for you to achieve a sense of peace and centeredness that will allow you to judge things and events in a neutral way without any emotional disturbance. When you can truly calm and clear your mind, the spiritual side will start to open up. You’ll start to see things more deeply. As a practitioner’s skill increases, they may be able to sense a person’s intentions before they are expressed and you become more capable at looking deeply into people and events in a non-martial way, as well. In the past, many martial art masters were considered wise man and were consulted for their insight into the meaning of human life this world and the universe. Because of their training they learn to live in the world without confusion or doubt and find peace and happiness and all of this comes through meditation and continuous pondering.

In your practice and meditation, you need to concentrate your whole attention in order to develop the higher levels of the art. This concentration and dedication will carry over to the rest of your life and the strive for perfection becomes the real meaning of Taijiquan.

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Ready to take your own calisthenic quest?

Grand Opening of the New Location

September 2nd is the scheduled date for the grand opening of the new location. Stop in and meet the trainers, get info on classes, training discounts and get entered in a drawing to win free training. Everyone is welcome to attend!! We hope to see you there! The new address will be 4316 S. Division Kentwood, MI 49548

The Quest for Space!

Quest Fitness is growing! Because of this we are moving from a 300 sq. ft. space to a 1600 sq. ft. space! But, don’t worry we are not going far. We signed the lease and now we have some modifications to do. What does this mean for you? Well, we will have more classes including a new yoga class, another trainer (to be announced soon) more equipment (however, still sticking with the minimalist approach), a changing room, and multiple restrooms. The main focus will still be quality one-on-one personal training. Finally, I have to say this is all possible because of the Quest Fitness members. I look forward to continuing to work with you all and offering more services.

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See my fitness journey.

Internal Martial Arts & Calisthenics

Like a lot of people, I started martial arts training in an external martial art such as Muay Thai, and weight training worked great for excelling in that art. I got stronger and hit harder. Now, there is nothing wrong with external martial arts, I respect each art, but they were not for me and I didn’t realize this until my 20’s.

After a small hiatus, and watching late night Kung Fu movies, I gave Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) a try. The art fascinated me with its flowing movement and hidden power. I had to reverse all of my study, and focus on my internal self. I picked up on the weight training and noticed the weight training actually hindered my movement. In the last few years I dropped the weights and went to calisthenics. My movement, quickly improved. But I didn’t really pay attention to the change.

Recently, I had the opportunity to study with Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming, a Grand Master in Yang Style Taijiquan, and after his lectures and expectations of movements, it clicked! Calisthenics is extremely beneficial to internal martial arts. Let’s look at the meaning of calisthenics, exercise to achieve fitness and grace of movement. In TaijiquanTaijiquan you need to have every part of your body to flow as one, calisthenics teaches full body control. This is a beautiful match to improve your internal martial art performance. I would never say you should give up your weight training if that is what you love to do, just make sure your training matches what your current goal is.

 

See my story here.

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First Full Year

The first year at Quest Fitness has been great! But none of this could have been done without some amazing people helping out! 

First off, I want to thank my supportive wife. Without her help and support this would have never started. She is the one that convinced me to become a trainer.

My friend, Vanessa, was an amazing help! She built the web page and helped to optimize everything about it! She is a huge help to get everything running.

Gerald also deserves a big shout out! He takes time out of his crazy schedule to help me edit all of the articles. He is also one of my Kung Fu brothers, and an instructor in training.

Robert and Marita have also been huge helps in promoting and helping with installing a lot of the hardware in the gym. Robert is working really hard to become a Taijiquan instructor himself!

Finally, I could not have done it without all the great people I train! You all are like family, super supportive and always come in ready to work hard! You are all amazing, and I’m proud of how hard you work to hit those goals!

My fitness journey.

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Breaking Through Plateaus

We all face them at some point in our fitness journey, but there are ways past them. I’ll admit, I have even faced them in both my workouts and my martial art training.
When it comes to weight loss and diet, the focus needs to be on calories in versus calories out. If you have been hitting the workout hard, then you may possibly have to increase your calories and possibly your carb intake just to kick the weight loss back up. Remember, as your metabolism grows so, too, will your fuel needs.

Now for the training plateau. First thing I always suggest is to change your routine. As I have mentioned in the past, your body will adapt to the work within 4-6 weeks. So change will be important. This holds true for weight loss as well as muscle building. Now this doesn’t mean you have to just up the weight or reps. You should try a complete phase change

To go into these subjects further, I would strongly suggest talking to a trainer. They can help you blast past the road blocks and keep you challenged. Remember, if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

See my fitness journey.

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New Experiences

I’m sure I have explained it before and I’m sure I will say it again, but I hate to travel. So, I’m sure you could understand my hesitation when I had to make a trip to Manhattan for my latest certification, Strength Calisthenics Certification (SCC). Now that I did it, I’m so happy I did! Thank you to my wife, Elle, to convincing me to do it. 
I got to see and visit places I only ever saw in movies, met new people, and got to hang out with the calisthenics legend Danny Kavadlo.


At the SCC I picked up so many epic calisthenic techniques to improve my game and the performance of my clients. Even I got a little sore! Worth it! At one point I got called on to demonstrate muscle ups, and even got referred to by one of the SCC coaches as having beastly pull-ups. I want to say that the entire class formed a bit of a brother and sisterhood. I even found another Kung Fu brother.


Over all what I’m trying to say is don’t pass on the possibility for new experiences, whether it be in fitness or any other aspect of your life. If you do, then you will miss an entire world of wonder. If I would have passed on this, I would have missed out one the best training experience I ever had.

See my fitness journey.

Have questions? Contact me.