Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Chen Ziqiang - showing 100%

Chen Ziqiang - showing 100%
After the big response to a recent post about the pros and cons of simplified forms I found Chen Ziqiang's stance on Taijiquan training/teaching to be illuminating. He has just finished teaching a series of workshops at our school. Participants ranged in age from 14 to 75 with a great mix of backgrounds and abilities - professional Taijiquan and other martial arts teachers, lawyers, labourers, business people, teachers, an artist, some retired homemakers etc... All serious enough to attend the workshops, but obviously having different goals and reasons for training. Some travelled a long distance to be there (coming from Italy, Slovenia, Poland, Slovakia, Ireland...), others were students nervously attending a seminar with one of the Chen family for the first time. How did he deal with this mixed group?
Rt Josh Fishburn - youngest participant!

Simple - "show them 100% of Taijiquan with all its possibilities, then they know what it can be. Then if they apply themselves 100% from their current starting point even if they ultimately only achieve 50 or 60% of this they will still have attained a  worthwhile level of skill". To his way of thinking people should be exposed to Taijiquan with all its content and difficulty. All the low stances, powerful and intricate movements and martial content. Then they themselves can approximate and modify movements that are, at this moment, beyond them. He was adament that if students were shown things in the beginning in too simplified a format (or 30% of Taijiquan as he put it) then they were much less likely to be inspired to stretch themselves to the limit and reach their own true potential.
CTGB Laojia Yilu group