Saturday, January 17, 2015

Learning Different Styles

My teacher, Mr Kwek, teaches three main styles of taiji: Yang, Chen and Sun. I have learnt all three styles from him, and previously wrote about what is good about learning each of these. Yang style provides a very good foundation in the basic principles of taiji, while Chen style is good to learn how to apply taiji. Sun style is good in learning footwork and movement.

But at the end of the day, learning any single one is enough. Just be good in one, because you can get the benefits from being good in one single style. There is no need to learn three styles to be able to use taiji. You just need to put in a lot of time and effort into practising one style.

Then why did I learn three styles?

Because my teacher teaches them. I learnt three styles because I want to be able to help him in his classes. I started out only wanting to learn Chen style, but as I followed him around in his classes, I realise I wasn't of much use, since he teaches other styles that I had not learnt. So while I was trying to help him teach for my own improvement, I couldn't help out at most of the classes.

So when Queen Elizabeth visited Singapore in March 2006, and my teacher's class had to do a taiji performance, I went through a crash course in Yang style taiji so that I could be part of that performance. Good thing I have seen my teacher teach Yang style before and therefore was not totally new to the movements, so I could at least keep up by imitating those around me. But that got me thinking. If I really want to help my teacher, I need to know more, so that I can help more.

That got me started on learning Yang style. And then Sun style.

So while I have learnt to use each style to train a different aspect of taiji, I did not learn the three styles for that purpose. I learnt them so that I can help my teacher.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

14 Hours In A Week

I did 14 hours of taiji over the past week.

That's an average of 2 hours per day.

That's half of what my teacher used to do. He used to practise 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening, every day. That's 28 hours in a week.

If 14 hours a week is tiring, I can only imagine what practising 28 hours a week is like.

I have a long way to go...

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Which Is More Important?

I was asked if practising routine or pushing hands is more important?

My answer is that you need to do both.

"But what is you really need to choose?"

For me, one cannot do without the other.

If you really need to choose... choose to be better at taiji. Put in time and effort to practise both routine and pushing hands.

We all only have 24 hours in a day. It is up to us to decide what we really want, what is more important to us. That is how we then allocate our time.

Allocate time and effort into the things that are important to you. If improving at taiji is important enough, you will find time to do both routine and pushing hands.

Note: Not everyone understands this. Anyway, I just told the person asking, that if she needs to choose, then choose to practise routine. But that's just because I don't think she is at the stage in which she will understand what I actually think.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Tracking My Training For 2015

In a previous post, I have been tracking my training for 2014.

For 2014, I practised:
66 sets of Chen style Old Frame First Routine
112 sets of Yang style 108
109 sets of Sun style
(total 287 sets of taijiquan in a year)

173 sets of Chen style taijijian
149 sets of Yang style taijijian
(total 322 sets of taijijian in a year)

290 sets of Yang style taijidao

At this rate, it will take me more than a lifetime to be able to practise 10,000 sets of any single routine.

For 2015, besides tracking the number of sets, I will also track the number of hours I put into practising taiji.

Practice practice practice!