Singapore Tai Chi Chuan


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The Mind Inside Tai Chi – Review 4

Continuing with the review on 2.3 Qi.

The author wrote that “The first element of mind approach in practicing taijiquan is qi.” I find this very strange. Shouldn’t the first element to using the mind be intention? We always say “no Yi, no Qi” but never “no Qi, no Yi“. I feel that the author has not explained Qi ……click here to continue reading.


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How?

“How did you do it?” – my student asked.

The reader might think my student was asking a question of a secret teaching, secret principle or secret fajing method. But he wasn’t.

During training we had strayed off our usual space and ended up near some round pillars. So there I was explaining how to recover from a push and demonstrating how to train the principle using Step Back Repulse Monkey when I got that question.

He was intrigued by how I knew when to stop stepping back and thus avoided running into the pillar behind me.

This was no big secret. Its just a matter of awareness. Its not always the case that everything in Tai Chi training needs to be a secret this or secret that. Sometimes its just something ordinary perceived as extraordinary by another person who does not understand what is happening. That’s all.

 


To Learn

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Paul has good learning attitude. He is not afraid to think, analyse and try. He even remembers the little things that I mentioned to him.

When you want to learn an art you have to keep your mind and body open to change. Giving excuses like “its old habits” won’t cut it because ultimately no one can change you except yourself. So if you don’t want to master an art this is the best reason to do it.

More often than not students like to sabotage their own learning. Some students think they are very smart and can tell when an art is not what its supposed to be. But the paradox is if they know what an art is then how come they have not mastered it?

So ergo, they don’t really know what they think they know. Thinking that they know is an illusion, a mirage that does nothing except props the ego and boosts self-importance.

My best students are those who allow themselves to learn rather than let their minds and ergo rule their learning. You can see them put in the effort to change. Otherwise, I can teach a form but without doing those tiny, weeny details then a student is not really learning my form but just borrow the sequence to do it their way, the way that didn’t work and didn’t allow them to master the art. How ironic, that they say they want to learn but really they want a pat on the shoulder and a kind word to say that they are doing and getting it.

Paul may be older than me but he has a young mind, has no attitude and open to learning. I am glad that I managed to share a little of what I know and hope that he will master it eventually, come hell or high water. I only wish that some of my students could be like Paul. This is why I consider Paul as a friend rather than a student.

 


200 Buckaroos

Dang. I forgot about this link to a video that my friend sent me.

I remember having a look back then. Not terribly impressed. Maybe its because I already know the method.

Perhaps if I have the cash to spare. But 200 bucks is expensive if you already know this style well or you don’t really know it but curious to find out more. Certainly, from this preview I am not sure if a lot of people will get something out of it.

Firstly, you have to know Mandarin. If you have to rely on the translation then you will be wasting your money.

Secondly, if you buy the video with the intention of learning the form I think it will be difficult because I hate to say it but I saw certain things that are off. I just its just a wee bit but to me off is off. Certainly, not something expected given the write-up.

Thirdly, as I was telling someone the video is boring. Lots and lots of talking. Some might like it. This is how I learned the style too. Lots and lots of informal lecture.

But is this the best way or only way to learn it? Sadly, to say no. Now that I understand the method I can say that its not as difficult to learn and actually master it. Teaching this way might appeal to a niche market of snobs but seriously if we want the art to survive we got to cut through all the words and get to the essence.