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.


Spade said...

Hi, there Teck. I am sure I am not the first one who has contacted you, but I am really interested in learning Taiji from Mr. Kwek. I had tried to register myself at the PA website for the pushing hands course but saw that the application was closed. I chose Taiji for the simple reason that I am a total beginner in wushu, and because of my large built, I wish to learn something that has a strong focus towards inner strength and self defense. I have read and studied for some time through videos and texts, and hope to put some time commitment towards learning from a good teacher. Hope you can assist me on this? Thank you!

Teck said...

Mr Kwek teaches pushing hands at Tampines Changkat CC on Sunday evenings, 6pm to 730pm. You can register for classes there.

Alternatively, his new pushing hands class should be starting on 11 Mar at Toa Payoh East CC, 830pm to 10pm.

The current class at Kreta Ayer CC will stop from Mar 15 because Kreta Ayer CC will be undergoing major renovations.

Hope to see you in class!

Spade said...

Thanks much Teck, I will head down to the Tampines CC this Sunday to find out more. Cheers!