I initially discovered Practical Method a month ago via Youtube videos and I was impressed by the “scientificness” of the explanations regarding how to train our bodies to achieve Taiji movements. I have been practicing Chen style Taiji for roughly two years, but I never had the opportunity to get some in-depth understanding of the mechanics at stake in terms of physics (lines, rotations, revolution, levers etc.). So, after a little week of learning the choregraphy (13 moves) et trying to do the circles, I was on my way to Toulouse for my first immersion in Practical Method Taiji.
The first day was absolutely amazing. As the meetup got a lot of experienced practioners to come from all around Europe, I got the opportunity to exchange with them and to experience the applications of PM on my own body. As a beginner, it was very motivating to see what could be achieved through training. Thanks to the patience of the instructors, I got to try some applications and I was absolutely delighted to be able feel the difference between muscular-applied force and taiji force.
On the second day, I was a bit more focused on remembering all the corrections I got the first day, and tried to train as hard as I could as it was the meetup’s last day. Still, I learned a lot of things too, such as toe-stretching or elbow alignment for instance. I was a bit more tired as my body wasn’t used to train for 8 hours a day, but what I learned was definitely worth every drop of sweat.
As a conclusion, I would say that this meetup went beyond my expectations and that it certainly motivated me to keep on training Chen style Taijiquan Practical Method. It has been an honor to be able to join the Practical Method community, and it already feels like I joined a huge worldwide big family. Most importantly, I would like to thank Pawel for his great teaching pedagogy while initiating us to PM, Massimo for making this meetup in Toulouse even possible, Damian for showing us “fancy and stupid tricks” (his words, not mine) that helped us get a much more concrete experience of Taiji force, Raymond for giving us indications on small but significant details while training, and all the other participants of this meetup for the amazing experience I had, and I hope to see you guys (and others) very soon at the next workshop !
Kevin, from Nantes, France