Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Watching Others

I had a chance to see others (practising at another location under another teacher) practising today. While the details of the routines were slightly different, the principles of taiji are the same and thus, to me, it was still a meaningful learning experience, just by looking.

I saw common mistakes like straightening the joints (elbow mostly, but sometimes the knee too), the arms still continuing to move even after the legs have stopped moving (which means the hands and legs are not linked in their movements), leaning forward, and drooping hands. It was a good reminder for me to watch out for these common mistakes during my own practices.

Also, some of the details in the movements were different. While I do know that different teachers will have slight (sometimes big) differences in how they teach the movements, each movement has a meaning. For example, 山通背 is about throwing the opponent, so when the throw does not get manifested in the practice, it brings me to think, is there a mistake here? In our learning journey, I think we need to be able to challenge authority too. Our teachers are not always right. So when our teachers teach us something that doesn't look right, we need to have the courage to ask and clarify. Blindly following what your teacher teaches does not make you good, it just makes you make the same mistake. I think that's another big lesson that I learnt today watching others.

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