Monday, November 23, 2009

My first formal taiji lesson

My master is Chen Zhonghua,
The way he teaches and his form are different from many other forms I have seen. It is more practical as the name itself suggests. His way is called Chen Style Taiji Practical Method, which he learned from Grandnaster Hong JunSheng. He teaches theory and forms at the same time. Although it will take a long time for me to be able to really fight using taiji, I can understand the possibilities, and he showed a lot of applications.

In his teaching, his taiji to other taiji forms is like Christianity to other religions, meaning that there is really only one true taiji, just like that there is only one true religion.

One of many important things in taiji is to keep the back straight all the time. Keeping the back straight isn't really that easy itself. What I think of it being straight isn't really straight, and that is the first thing I needed to focus on. The new way of keeping the back straight may also help me play better golf as well.

Speaking of golf, there are a lot of similiarlities between golf and taiji

  1. First impression: they are both exercises for elderly. How wrong am I?
  2. They require precision and repetitive motions.
  3. Waist (dan tian) plays an important part.
  4. Back should be staight
  5. The whole body needs to coordinate to perform an action.
  6. Commitment and practice are vital in improving one's skills.
Taiji is definitely something interesting to pursue for a lifetime. My journey has just started.