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Testimonial from Terry Robertson
Terry Robertson picture In the past 5 years of my practice in the art of Kung Fu and Tai Chi it has become apparent to me that this training can enhance a person's ability in athletics. I began this martial art endeavor with the knowledge of a lifelong practice, for health and self-defense purposes. Over the course of time I could readily observe how this training would also contribute to other areas of sport, specifically for me in the game of golf. I have been playing golf for over 30 years and played competitively through college and for a short time as a professional thereafter. My teaching experiences in the game of golf, which I admit at times, can be difficult, have kept me searching for alternative methods to enhance a student's performance from a technique and mental edge standpoint. I will attempt to describe some of the foundational principles which interconnect these martial arts with the game of golf.
BALANCE: A fundamental component to the golf swing is balance. Without proper balance the golf swing will be flawed in some manner. In my practice of Kung Fu and Tai Chi my balance has reached levels that did not exist even when I was in my competitive playing days.
CENTEREDNESS: As a part of excellent balance centeredness will be achieved. Through centeredness the ability to perform a more technically precise golf swing can be achieved. In Tai Chi the movements are very slow which allows me the ability to find the center of balance and keep that center over time from movement to movement.
RHYTHM: Many accomplished golfers such as Gary Player have preached the idea of having a smooth rhythm. In Tai Chi and Kung Fu the movements and techniques require good rhythm to perform properly. My golf swing has become much more rhythmically consistent even without the time needed to spend practicing my swing to achieve that elusive rhythm.
COORDINATION: My hand-eye coordination has been good throughout my life but in the precise movements of Kung Fu it has only become better. The slow movements in Tai Chi have also allowed me to observe just how good, or not so good, my hand-eye coordination actually is.
MENTAL FOCUS: In the practice of Tai Chi and Kung Fu one must have a keen mental focus to be able to perform the required techniques. I have seen where my own mental focus has increased by leaps and bounds when I'm on the golf course. I believe that this part of martial arts accomplishment can assist an athlete at any level of competition including the pinnacle of the professional ranks. This mental focus I believe can alleviate the "choking" syndrome often referred to by many professional athletes.
The above areas of the physical and mental benefits of Kung Fu and Tai Chi and how they are related to the golf swing I believe is only a partial list. There are many other areas which this practice has afforded me more physical and mental abilities. I also strongly believe that these benefits not only can be applied to golf but any other sport at any level.