Copying movements. When seeing Tai Chi or Qigong for the first time, it appears that all those graceful movements are the result of moving our limbs into the ‘correct’ position. So in order to learn those arts, we attempt to emulate the movements as precisely as possible.
The art of precision. I know this because I spent many years being an exponent of this way of learning as precisely as possible:
Once upon a time…
Approaching the matter. About 8 years ago, I had a student who, having been with me for several years, one day said to me, “You keep on changing it; you used to tell us to do it this way.”
Change. However, a number of things had happened since she had first learnt the move: 1) Her tai chi had reached the point where the basic shapes weren’t enough, so she needed more information, and 2) My own understanding had developed and I had different ways of explaining things from additional perspectives. My student also wanted a finished product that she could bag up and take home, which is exactly how I used to think about tai chi; I had the “there is only one way to do it and this is the correct way” syndrome. …She eventually left.
It’s the connection.
When one part moves… My rather clumsy castle analogy comes down to the fact that, gradually you become more and more aware of how your body is knitting itself together during the movements. The result of this is that you’ve never really finished learning tai chi or qigong because there are always new discoveries to be made.
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