My student is exasperated because I am telling him what seems to be conflicting things to his ears.
I teach all students………..beginners particularly……… one way to ward-off because I want them to understand how to rotate and spiral the arm. In this manner they are able to connect what they learn in Beginning Posture.
However, I also point out that our GM Dong does not do it this way in his video of the long form. So whilst a student may be comfortable hanging on to the beginner’s way of rotating the arm it should not stop him from exploring and learning why GM Dong did it another way. After all, how would the student at present, in the future a teacher, answer to his own student’s query one day in the future about the difference in how we move the arm.
Thus, the beginner’s way is obvious, logical, easy to understand. However, the advanced method seen in GM Dong’s way challenges us to refine our movements without compromising on the principles. Yet if we are afraid to try it we will never move beyond our present limitations.
Without knowing our limitations we will have a hard time moving beyond the parameters of our art and remain trapped forever at this level. To the brave, once a different and more challenging aspect is understood we not only see a different alternative, we effectively experienced a paradigm shift and move onto a different level of mastery.
At every step as we challenge our learning paradigm we effectively learn the rules, bend them, break them and remake them. This is how we can master Tai Chi Chuan.