Those before us

by Niko Papadakis on 2020/06/11

I have recently started re-reading Chen Style Taijiquan Practical method Vol. One: Theory by Hong Junsheng Shi Gong as translated by Chen Zhonghua Shifu. Not cover to cover…just browsing/scannng through while locking on to some points.

As I was doing this I noticed that I was enjoying the book more than in the past.I think one of the reasons is that as one matures in any special skill/art…understanding at a new level is achieved. And so clarity is pleasant.Of course this is an endless path. Otherwise it might not be worth the time & effort needed to aquire the higher levels.

I remember in one of the Ottawa workshops by Chen Shifu something that has stuck in my mind. He told us that he used to take notes as he was learning. But there were some things he could not understand. Yet he would write them down regardless.

Only after 20-25 years the points that were not easily understood then…now “STOOD OUT LIKE A BRIGHT LIGHT.”

This is crucial. The reason being that one must follow the teachers instructions, even if at present it is not obvious the depth of what the concept may be. Just like a good son should listen to his father… even though he does not fully understand.One day he will.

So I decided to re-read the entire book once again.

The difficult areas are when instructions on different actions of individual body parts are explained. If one has no prior or even minimal experience …then some sections are difficult. But what is interesting is that even those sections start to have more clarity if one has enough practice & experience behind them.

This alone is evidence enough that with consistent practice, even the theory begins to be clearer.

It is not enough to just practice physically. We must read about the origins/lineage/terminology etc… to be a more complete Taiji PM student.

I would also like express my deep respect for the previous Shifu’s . Even though I have never met them.

The stories and even if one is sensitive enough…the pictures in the book reveal in my opinion the most important aspect of all…CHARACTER!

I won’t spoil it for those who have yet to read the book by mentioning some of my favorite poems and stories. So I strongly recommend  to those  who don’t have it that they should pick up a copy.

For those who do have it for quite a while, than I suggest that you re-read it on occasion in unison with your daily practice.

Chen Shifu would often say…

” One must have a nail on the wall on which one can hang his picture.”

The “Nail” of previous genuine Chen Taiji quan PM is solid and true.

We should feel privileged and blessed that we all have Chen Shifu in this generation transmitting true Taiji to us.

Who knows what will be in the next generation.

Reading a book 100 times is not the same as reading it 100 & 1 times.

Keep training and cultivating yourselves & be safe.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Brennan Toh June 18, 2020 at 10:05 am

Thanks Niko – I’m still discovering new levels of understanding from lessons that were told to me on Day 1!


Niko Papadakis June 18, 2020 at 2:38 pm

Same here my friend.


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