The Art of Asking a Question

by Kelvin Ho on 2020/11/16

How Question Mark Shows Not Sure And Asking

Master Chen Zhonghua always talks about the method of learning.  The interaction of us asking and him answering is part of it. You have probably heard him say before, “Don’t ask that question”, but yet at a different time, he would ask students to ask questions. What kind of questions are indeed proper to ask?  The questions that are on topic, something that does not interrupt or distract the learning of the very subject at the time.  The format of an appropriate question itself should be about HOW, e.g. Could you please show me that move again?

This type of questions allows Master Chen to provide the correct information.

Examples of bad questions:

  1. Is it A or is it B?  Often the answer does not lie within A nor B.
  2. When Master Chen talks about X, someone asks what about Y.  He calls this the Kua Syndrome. Very often people ask about the kua whenever they have an opportunity to ask a question.  Kua is indeed very important, however if all you think about is kua, then you are missing the opportunity to learn other important topics as well.

We are often confused among a question, an assertion, and a discussion.

Master Chen uses our questions to gauge how much we have received the information he has given.  We must not be afraid of asking the wrong question. Learning how to ask a question takes practice. I definitely have my fair share of asking the wrong questions, and not staying on topic. Master Chen would response with a slap on the top of his head, and give a bit of a sigh…, but we should keep at seeking to understand his words and intentions better.

About Kelvin Ho

Kelvin Ho, Master Chen Zhonghua's disciple, is the instructor for Practical Method Toronto. He has been teaching and promoting the Practical Method system in Toronto, Markham, Richmond Hill, Canada since 2011. He has received numerous medals in various Taiji competitions in Greater Toronto Area. He is also a vice-president of MartialArts Association Canada. Like his teacher, he feels an obligation to pass this great art onto others. Contact: kelvin.ho@practicalmethod.ca.

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