Taiji and Basketball

by Kelvin Ho on 2010/09/30

I have been playing basketball once a week for about 3 years. Recently, I notice that my basketball skills have improved. I shoot the ball more accurately, I can play defense more efficiently, and at the end of the game, I am not as exhausted as before. When I bump into people, I simply feel myself less fragile.

During the game, I will have thoughts like this: If someone runs right into me while I am standing still, that person will fall down without me moving my legs, and that person won’t know what happen. Have I pushed him or has he just fallen? I know it’s a bit of a dream.

For defense, the opponent will go around the key along the path of an arc to look for an opportunity to go to the hoop or pass the ball to someone closer to the hoop. Since I am on the inside, my arc is actually a lot smaller to block the opponent’s line of sight to the hoop, and I need to move a lot less than the opponent. I used to just chase the opponent around like a monkey, and it wasn’t very efficient, and wouldn’t have these thoughts related to circles.

I attribute this to practicing taiji regularly. I am physically stronger, I am calmer and have a clearer mind in general.

About Kelvin Ho

Kelvin Ho, Master Chen Zhonghua's 97th disciple, is the instructor for Practical Method Toronto. He has been teaching and promoting the Practical Method system in Toronto, Markham, Richmond Hill, Canada since 2011. He has received numerous medals in various Taiji competitions. He is also a vice-president of MartialArts Association Canada. Like his teacher, he feels an obligation to pass this great art onto others. Contact: kelvin.ho@practicalmethod.ca

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Shang Lee September 30, 2010 at 10:37 pm

I’m a basketball player myself, and i fully agree with your assessment on how tai ji helps. Your dream is not be a dream. πŸ™‚


CantonCannon September 30, 2010 at 11:21 pm

Oh, I have a of story to tell in the dance world. In fact, I can’t help but hear the echos of Taiji principles from my voice when I teach dancing. In any case, here is how the story goes:

For those of you who don’t know, I am a Salsa dancer. Arguably, the best that China could offer, and I am proud of that because it is the result of studying SYNCOPATED rhythm found in Latin music, and of course, “moving without moving” found in Chen Style Taiji Practical Method. Conversely, most Chinese dancers (and I use that term loosely) lack the culture to understand syncopated rhythm, let alone finding ways to study it. If you couldn’t even rock your body to the music, never mind “moving without moving”. As a result, the dance floor is rather dangerous because there is simply not many constants that dancers are abiding to; similar to, well, driving in Shenzhen. There is no tacit communication that is found in all good dancers, and good drivers.

I was in HK dancing with this one lady who would grab your hands like you have just stole her purse (and that is another problem with dancers, they grip their partners for balance, which is very bad to begin with, like they would grip the poles on the MTR or a bus); and I found myself in this move where my arm is wrapped my waist so that my elbow is sticking out from my belly, while she is still fighting for balance behind me pulling my arm like she is pulling a rope in a tug o war, and we were (by nature of this move) travelling in different directions. Hence, if I didn’t do anything, I would be trapped by own arm, and pulled down and back. Instinctively, I opened my hand to the tile hand, and lowered. Her hand slipped off, and when I turned back to look at her, I found her on the ground cursing at me. And she did for months afterwards. As much as I was remotely apologetic, I was proud of being able to apply the principles during that split moment.


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