Changing forms...

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Changing forms...

Postby Monsoon » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:20 am

Hi guys, a small question if I may.

I learned the Yang 108 form many years ago (more or less in the general 'standard' kind of way). In the intervening time I have had many adventures and a couple of years ago I realised that my practice had lapsed. So, I took the decision - in the absence of a decent local teacher - to deconstruct what I knew using Dr Yang's books and DVDs on the subject. Eighteen months later and I am quietly satisfied with how this has progressed, and feel that my understanding has really deepened and flowered since those early strivings.

However, now I have found a local teacher who I quite like and whose TJQ springs from the lineage of Yang Cheng Fu via Chen Weiming (who also apprenticed to Sun Lutang).

Although the classes are focussed (at this time of year) on tui shou and not form work, there is time in the lessons for a complete form run through, the teacher says he is happy for me to continue with my current form. This is an unusual situation for me and I wonder if I should make the effort to learn yet another variation of the Yang 108 just to help bring uniformity to the class. Bearing in mind that I am confident enough in my work not to be distracted by what they are doing, though I do not know if that works both ways yet.

What do you think?

Incidentally, I learned quite a bit from the first class despite the differences in outward appearances - which is as it should be, according to principles.
peace and harmony

monsoon
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Re: Changing forms...

Postby Josh Young » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:42 am

I started with instruction in that lineage.
I can't help but encourage you to utilize it.
Form isn't as important as energies, the instructor sounds keen in this regard to me.
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Re: Changing forms...

Postby brer_momonga » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:50 pm

What did you end up choosing to do Monsoon?
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Re: Changing forms...

Postby Monsoon » Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:04 pm

Well, I gave the class a few weeks...

Unfortunately it is not working out as well as anticipated. The teacher is good (in my opinion), and certainly seems to know his stuff in depth. The venue is dismal and often cold.

And then we come to the students, of which there are only three. Having been told that they were long term students I was expecting a certain level of competence. However, the way they move is, at best, limp. There is also a complete lack of any vibes of enthusiasm, or any evidence that they understand the principles of the art.

It is a motivation draining experience having to push hands with them. In China, in the parks, if you get involved with people pushing hands there is an instant level of enjoyment, enthusiasm and vigour. All this was lacking in this group. When I am pushing I attempt to employ proper mechanics and provide a positive and measured force to the opponents centre (so he has something to work with). At the end of my push the opponent just left me hanging and did not push back. Why the hell not? Frustrating.

Form isn't as important as energies, the instructor sounds keen in this regard to me.


He is, and surprisingly, despite being a newcomer to the group, he singles me out often to use as a partner in demonstrating various things. I think this is because I am generally much more positive in my approach than his other students (I would say I was better skilled if it didn't sound immodest, even if it is true).

As a student of taijiquan I consider myself quite diligent in my studies and over the years I have also honed my observational abilities to a very fine degree. I am comfortable with detail. I learned things (that I was already aware of but found the clarification helpful) from the first few classes that the other students clearly haven't yet grasped after several years of study with this teacher, which is worrying in itself.

All told I will knock this one on the head. It's a pity but I trust my instincts on this.

Incidentally, I also attended a class of another instructor who teaches the CMC stuff. He was good too, and it was interesting to observe. Once again though his students were lacklustre and seemingly devoid of any real enthusiasm or sense of applying themselves.
peace and harmony

monsoon
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Re: Changing forms...

Postby Josh Young » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:41 pm

If the students lack skills I too would move on, even from a very skilled teacher, still good students are hard to find.

Taiji also seems to attract a certain type of student who isn't very practical about training, or martial skill. So many of the people I have met want jedi knight like magic powers, I turn away all potential students myself. On occasion I have people ask me to teach, or suggest that I take on some students and I refuse. My former teacher offered to refer potential students to me.

But then I would never accept me as a teacher.

It is ideal that your enthusiasm drives you to seek good training environments.
I very much enjoy training with people who are passionate about taiji and martial arts in general.

I have often though done push-hands with total strangers with an extremely light touch in a deceptive way, sort of imitating the common weak and limp practices one encounters in in so many taiji classes and schools. I prefer getting to know them a little before I show them any of my skill. I learn more that way, especially from people who are good.
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Re: Changing forms...

Postby Monsoon » Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:07 pm

Your last para made me laugh! The students here aren't deceptive in any way, just limp like a wet lettuce. They also anticipate. A lot.

As you know there is a massive difference between just being limp and sung. They don't.

In talking to them I get the impression that they do not practice outside of the lessons. I find this frankly incredible. I am sure that youfind yourself employing moves, stances, energies, and so on throughout your day. Often subconsciously. I know I do, and I cannot imagine not having taiji in my life in general.

Such is life, I guess.
peace and harmony

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Re: Changing forms...

Postby Josh Young » Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:39 pm

Yeah, it is lifestyle.
If you don't practice outside of class... you might as well not go to them.
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