Greetings to all
My name is Niko Papadakis.I have been practicing Chen style Tai Ji Chuan PM since Oct. 2015 .3 1/2 years of consistent practice.
I started with John Dahms & Brennan Toh in Ottawa.From there I began my journey in PM as I attended my first workshop with Chen Shifu. I continue to attend workshops 2-3 times per year.
It is no secret that success is largely for those who hang on the longest. And so there is no difference when it comes to success/progress at any level in the development of PM as transmitted by Chen Zhonghua Shifu.
I want to target those specifically who on occasion have certain thoughts.
-Should I continue?
-It is too difficult.
-I will never be like Shifu.
-Not enough time with Shifu as he is always traveling.
I am sure that many students have had these thoughts pass through their minds.
If one has genuinely been practicing consistently while putting forth effort both physically & mentally then you will for sure have phases of improvement in specific principles.
These phases are short lived. For one soon has the next phase of feeling like a beginner once again.It is these “feelings” that plague us throughout our journey.
I remember Shifu saying to us in one of my earlier workshops that out of X amount of students that he has had the privelege to teach over the years…that there has been quite a few that basically just gave up.
I can assure everyone that to aquire a high level in any skill,one must be singleminded and consistent in their chosen path.
I can also assure you that Chen Shifu never gave up on his commitment to this art that his teacher Hong Junsheng taught him.It is with that quality that allowed him to penetrate to the level we all see and admire today. I think we can all agree that Shifu is a treasure to us all and that he is unique.
What is important to note is that we only have access to Shifu a few times a year. as he travels so much to fulfill his duties to all PM practitioners worldwide.
The downside is that we do not have him always in person.That is why the website can help. Although there is nothing like the real thing…it is much better than nothing at all.
I am sure that Shifu acknowledges and appreciates those who invest in their practice e.g…
-Travelling expenses such as lodgings/ food/ gas/ car or plane etc…
As we know it can add up.But I strongly encourage all who are serious about their practice that they should do their very best.It is well worth it!
-If you have access to training partners ,push hands daily and safely to avoid injury .
-Look at the website daily to review what videos you already have.
-Look for new videos that are posted and choose what you need.
-Look for the next workshop coming near to you and that way you can start saving with ample time.
-Do not rush your progress.
-Stick to the method.
The last Toronto workshop that Kelvin Ho always graciously hosts,is an example to share.
One of theexercises ” Twisting the towell” for me has alway been a little frustrating to execute correctly. But Shifu for the first time asked us to exaggerate the movements even if they were not correct.I must have done the movement over 300 x that morning.But by the time I drove back to Montreal,there was a significant difference in execution.Far from perfect but that “ONE THING’ connected my KUA more to the movement.
Now it is time to once again practice consistently untill next time Shifu is in town.Then of course,he will probably correct that as well.But this is exactly the process of breaking and reasessing,which ultimately moves one forward and improves.
ONE THING AT A TIME & DON’T GIVE UP!