How to know, what to copy?

by Sarah on 2015/10/26

Step two in the learning process (following the observation) is “to copy”. Here on DQS the chinese guys nearly all do the positive circle like Chen Laoshi is doing them in his yilu from 2013. I was used to pull the elbow in as much as possible and changed that, after the observation, that they all are doing it differently. Some days ago, Chen Laoshi corrected my positive circle and I had to pull the elbow far more in.

The question for me is not, if the chinese guys are doing it right or wrong, because the outer appearance is variable uppon your level (as I understand), the question is HOW TO KNOW, WHAT TO COPY?

My conclusion is for now, not to copy anyone, except Chen Laoshi.

The problem is, that it was said, that we also have to learn from each other, but perhaps that is more related to pushand- and drillsituations.

What do you think?

About Sarah

I am learning Taijiquan - Practical Method since 2011.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Allan Belsheim October 26, 2015 at 8:02 pm

It is important to “copy” only what Master Chen has taught and that especially includes the corrections he directly gives you. It is possible that who you observe has a more “open” shoulder so their circles look different as the internal structure is better. Master Chen’s corrections are for what he sees as our deficiencies that need to be corrected. Follow his directions without question as the only possible way to advance in our Taiji.


Hugo Ramiro October 27, 2015 at 8:38 am

Yes, like Allan says, always follow Chen Laoshi’s direct corrections on your person strictly and above all else, and change according to his changing instructions.
It may also be useful to consider, as Allan also stated, that it may not be useful to compare people oneself to students who are at different levels.


charlie wishon October 27, 2015 at 9:04 am

This how we learn from one another. Through correspondence, and correct feedback. And most importantly, follow the principle.


Sarah October 29, 2015 at 5:42 am

After thinking it over and watching the Basis foundations (year 2013), I have to contradict myself. I thought, that perhaps Chen Laoshi would show the circles in another way in this video, which he is not doing. They have the same outer appereance like in his yilu from 2013.

So what I am thinking now is: We can`t even copy Chen Laoshi. His foundations and forms are a goal. That statement goes for beginners and will last for I don`t know how long.

We can only copy, what he is showing us according to our learning level.

(That it is necessary to watch his forms and foundations nevertheless is another question I don`t want to go into in this post.)


Andre October 31, 2015 at 7:14 am

I would say the same thing Sarah, recently i remembered something Chen Laoshi taught me in person back in 2012, and it helped me further fix my form recently.
About your circle, he also showed me the circle with the elbow being pulled back, and if you watch steven chen and others doing Yilu they have the same movement.
I think the thing is that traditionally the circle is done the way you see in the foundations video, and what master chen teaches is a way for us to avoid making more mistakes, while further improving our structure and habits.(the elbow always being behind the hand for instance)
Master Chen has a lot of great ideas when it comes to finding new ways to teach the ‘same’ thing. I think being that type of teacher is one of his great merits, and that’s why learning in person is so important.


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