Saturday, June 16, 2007

Take Your Time

Hurrying is not going to help. More haste, less speed. It takes time to learn a skill, and taiji is no different. If we expect to see results after one or two years, then why would people spend their whole lives studying taiji and still continue to pursue it?

Living in our modern world, we expect to see instant results. Why wait for the webpage to load? Switch to 10Mbps broadband. We have instant noodles. Why search for a payphone, use a handphone instead. We expect everything to take less time than before. And taiji is no different.

But taiji is different. Just as it takes time to learn calligraphy, time to learn to read, time to learn to swim, it takes time to learn taiji, and time to learn how to apply taiji. Hurrying is not going to help at all. In fact, hurrying may be detrimental to improving at taiji, delaying your learning journey.

The saying goes that it takes 10 years before you can truly call yourself a taiji practitioner. But that was in the past, when people practise day in, day out, seven days a week. Nowadays, if we only practise pushing hands once a week, and only two hours each time, can we even expect to get close in 10 years? If we only practise once a week, then 7 years of work can only truly count as 1 year of practise.

There is no short cut. Practise often, practise hard, and be patient. While a better understanding of taiji principles will help, you still need practise in order to improve. Don't feel disheartened just because you don't think you are improving. You won't see results in one or two years. But give yourself time, and you will find that, with practise, in one or two years time, you will definitely be better than before.

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