Your Next Step After A Workshop
HONG KONG CHEN STYLE TAIJI PRACTICAL METHOD 香港陳式太極實用拳法·WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017
I watched master’s videos; it was the one where he demonstrated with Master Michael Calandra to be exact that got me curious. I thought, gosh, there is something very different here. He bounced and dropped people with what seemed to be minimal effort. I sent Master Chen an email asking if I could have a look at his next workshop and he gladly invited me. After driving about forty-five minutes to Langley, I sat and watched, and sure enough, it was the same as what I saw in the videos. The only remaining thing to do is to have a try. I walked up and asked Master Chen if I could push him (in hindsight, that was pretty stupid – the right kind of stupid for learning Practical Method).
It wasn’t like I had trouble with balance, I was already an accomplished dancer and had learned Wing Chun, Cha, and other Taiji. I have no recollection of the move Master countered against a push with all my might, he made me feel like I was standing on a trapdoor and it opened up, and I TUMBLED to the ground like a ton of bricks. No other master had ever made me feel this way despite how “powerful” they might be. If you haven’t experienced this from Master to some degree during the workshop you attended, you must ask yourself why you were there in the first place. Were you there to watch a show, or to confirm your findings in the videos physically?
My mind was made before I could even get up or ask him to show me EXACTLY what had happened, what the technique was. After I dusted myself off, I told Master Chen that I will see him within one year and that I would only want private lessons. Previously, in other Kung Fu classes, there was always one guy, who usually knows the least and created a lot of confusion by going around teaching everyone. Little did I know that Master Chen’s groups are not like that – again, the right kind of stupid. Mainly because Master’s Kung Fu is so far ahead of any of his students’ and Master is the only one capable of demonstrating correctly; and that I would be missing out on all the delicious food the Langley (now Maple Ridge) workshop has to offer.
Within one year, I saved up enough money to start private lessons with Master. Master came once a month from Edmonton to teach the Langley group. After work, (working for MINI meant no weekends for me) I drove about 45 minutes from Yaletown all the way to Langley to pick up Sifu. I watched Master finish off the class while chomping on some of the delicious food and soaked in all the hospitality the Iron Legs Ladies had to dish out; squished Master and his luggage into the MINI; and off we went for dinner before my private class. After the usual bowl of noodles – I had even found a Shangdonese noodle place around my house – it was class time back at my home.
After an hour of tuitions, it was time for rest. Before drifting off to sleep, we talked, and Master told me stories. I particularly enjoyed Master Hong’s stories about his skill and his philosophies on life. The next day, I would drive him to the airport where he would go back to work, and I would go back to MINI Yaletown. We continued this routine for four years until I have finished my
Here is your definitive next step guide:
Start: Set a start date asap with the group who put together a the workshop for you. The workshop was for you to witness and test if what you saw in the videos is real. Gather all the notes and finding you made during the workshop and test them with the coach. If budget is the problem, do private lessons once a couple of months or so while learning from Master’s videos. You can also do drop-ins. Ask the organizer for the 50 Webdollars from practicalmethod.com for having participated in the workshop and used them for videos like these to begin the learning:
If time is a problem, arrange with a coach a convenient time for private lessons.
If time and budget are the problems, save up both time and money and for either private or group classes while learning at least on your own from the above videos.
Learn: Stop the analysis paralysis and get help. You can watch the trailers for another ten years, but without a coach, you will never improve based on your what is preconceived in your . By far, this is the most significant hindrance to learning Practical Method. How many times has Master said to me not to move, and we still moved thinking that we didn’t? Without a coach grabbing you and stopping you from moving, you won’t begin to understand not moving.
Practice: Set out time to do the foundational exercises every week. All you have to do is bring the block, the cord and yourself outside away from your computer and phone; you don’t even need fancy clothes to look cool. Once you are out, I promise you, your body will take over, and it will start doing Yilus and foundational exercises, no matter how much you don’t feel like it. Before long, your practice time will prolong. My best practices are usually the days I feel the least like practicing.
See you guys behind the rubber cord soon!
Trying out the rubber cord at my first workshop