Monday, May 16, 2011

Creating Your Own Style (Or Not)

While searching for a suitable taiji class in Japan, I came upon a class where the teacher created his own taiji set, esssentially, his own taiji style. It set me thinking, what is good about creating your own style, and what is good about sticking to what your teacher has taught you.

If Yang Lu-chan did not create his own style, we would not have Yang style taiji today. Similarly for Sun Lu-tang and the other founders of the major taiji styles. Yet, there must be reasons why these major styles have survived for generations, and therefore there must be value in continuing to practise these styles as they were handed down from generation to generation.

I think a style needs to be significantly different in order to set it apart and for there to be benefit in learning it. For example, the Yang style focuses on the soft aspect of taiji, while the Sun style uses a different type of footwork. A style should not be just a gathering of different movements.

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