Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Tai Chi Musings

(from the blog....
(click image to enlarge)
Form tuition

A few people have said that they particularly enjoy whole-class form tuition. This approach will be used on occasion but is not a sound teaching method as a general rule. Whilst it gives an overall sense of the sequence, it is not detailed enough. And for a new starter it is useless. If you are near the front, you see more, but near the back you are copying the line in front of you. This is Chinese whispers. If you can't see, you turn to look and in so doing, distort the form.

Also, there's the copying... You should never lean on your teacher and use them as a prop - it shows a weakness of character and is a sure sign that you don't really know the sequence. A copier is not necessarily learning.

Classes need to be broken into small groups that address a segment in detail, with one or two people wandering around offering personal corrections (when applicable). Most of your form time should be spent working it through for yourself. That way, it becomes your own form.

Great ultimate?
‘Tai chi chuan’ is sometimes translated to mean ‘Great Ultimate Fist’ and some people claim that this represents the superior status of the art. The term ‘great ultimate’ refers to the yin yang principle rather than fighting prowess.

No martial art can reasonably claim to be superior or inferior to another, and should only be assessed in respect to what the art sets out to do. How effectively does it perform its intended purpose? What are the pros and cons?When all values differ, how can you compare?Tai chi claims to offer health and self defence.

It also is said to be 'easy'. Assess tai chi on this basis.

1 comment:

bill said...

Waaay too literate and cogent to be considered a 'rant'. You'll have to work on that...(g)