In terms of learning of the Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method system, the assumption is that unless you have a special method, you are not learning. You might disagree with this assumption and believe, instead and in the usually way like many others, that you are learning and making progress. You beliefs and conclusions are based on criteria that are not taiji, therefore, they are not valid.
What are the criteria that are invalid?
- I have been studying taiji for a long time (10, 20, 30 or more years).
- My teacher is famous.
- I am part of a famous and proper lineage.
- I know many form and weapons and I can push hands.
- I have won many medals in various competitions.
- My taiji is very smooth and people like it.
- My master said my taiji is of high quality.
Measurement of learning or progress must be based on concrete criteria based on taiji principles such as:
- Having a center.
- Elbow does not point up or sideways.
- In with elbow; .
- The knee does not move sideways.
Whether you are following the principles must be established not by what and how you feel but by a physical standard. Here are two simple methods you can try:
- Try to use a yoga block (you can use something similar) to ensure the knee does not move. http://practicalmethod.com/2011/02/the-new-usage-of-yoga-blocks/
- Video tape yourself every three months to see if your form performance has improved.
These are simple observations, analysis and methods in helping you achieve REAL learning in Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method.