Sunday, 16 November 2014
In my time as a student of Taiji, I have had the privilege of being trained by highly regarded and highly skilled Masters. Their approaches to what to train their students however are poles apart in some respects. One focused on learning just one form for each discipline i.e. one barehand, one sword etc. The other teaches a range of different forms e.g. Yang style 8 step, 16 step, 24 step etc. This is not a discussion about which is the best. In my view both of them have contributed immensely to my Taiji practice and still do today. There are however "arguments" in the Taiji world as to which is the best way. I would like to put forward some pros and cons for both systems.
Saturday, 1 November 2014
That sounds like an outlandish statement but I read something by Michael Gilman the other week that said just that. I read this to my students before we headed off for coffee and cake at a local cafe and asked for their comments and thoughts. I can't recall specifics but the conversation that took place around the table was incredible and for me very spiritual. So before I give my take on the form not being Taiji can I just say that giving people time to talk about their Taiji has been a really good move. I remember watching a video about a Taiji master and after each session he and his students would go and have tea and talk about what they had been practising and although it is essential to physically practice, it is also essential to analyse and discuss experiences that occur in Taiji. I am loving our conversations just as much as the practice.