Tuesday 25 September 2012

Words are just words...

Chenjiagou Taijiquan GB's Mary McGregor feeling the correction

During his seminar at our school recently Chen Xiaoxing said that one of his aims is to train students not to be dependant. He would demonstrate a movement and then expect everyone to train themselves. People often like to have the teacher leading them all the time. And if he is not leading then many people soon stop practicing and start to talk instead. Chen Xiaoxing's approach is that if you want to get the skill yourself then talking and just following him is not the way to do it. Don't be so quick to ask questions - "watch carefully and then practice yourself". His brother Chen Xioawang, similarly often says to "practice more and a question may not be a question any more". During one of his workshops Wang Haijun said simply - "beginners ask too many questions"! Of course sometimes we have a real question, but what we are talking about here is the learner who asks question after question, often barely pausing for breath after one question has been answered to ask the next... In The Tao of Zen Ray Grigg put it nicely when he said: "Look in mind to find mind; look in things to find things; look in words to find words. But words chase themselves in circles trying to explain things that are not words". If a teacher corrects your posture then the most appropriate thing to do is to train and try to replicate the corrections he has just made. Unlike the modern "Zumba-world" - with the ever-changing fitness classes as entertainment model; running on treadmills with tv screens and book-holders - progress in Taijiquan is built upon careful study, introspective training and perseverance. As it has always been!!!!
CTGB's Adrian Murray - after seeing then training hard!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent as always. I had an interesting experience recently. I was part of a workshop at my fitness club where the participants got to experience little bits of several methods: Dance, Fitness "Free Moves," Taiji, over a 4 hour period. We, the instructors, rotated over 20 minutes throughout, sharing different aspects of our arts/disciplines. The participants loved it but the common response was "let us do each deeper & longer, not just jump around from one to the other." I think the human being instinctively wants to go deep but the human mind is trained to jump around, stay superficial, ask a bunch of questions. When we are encouraged to go deep within our training - whether it is Taiji or anything - and find it for ourselves, it may be unfamiliar or even uncomfortable at first, but we find it, it is substantial & rewarding.


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