Recently, I attended a Practical Method seminar with Master Chen, hosted by Ping Wei in Phoenix Arizona. In preparing for the seminar, I “learned” the first thirteen moves ofform so that I could follow along as much as possible. I believe the seminar was supposed to be regarding the first thirteen moves of form and .
The first thing I noticed was that most everyone there already knew most of what was being covered, and that none of the topics were being reviewed/explained as I thought they would be, in a step by step manner. I, being a complete newbie to the system, had a lot of questions in myabout what each move was, how it should be performed, what was the intent behind each move, and so on. I thought that the answers to such questions would help me to really learn and get off to a good start.
However, throughout the seminar, we were told the best way to learn would be to listen and observe as much as possible, and that by doing this, you would have the greatest chance of success. So, my thoughts were to just listen and observe and to focus on a few basic ideas that I could use as I continued my practice. Besides, much of what was said and explained, I had no concept or feeling of what was being done, I couldn’t relate to it. Many of the demonstrations confirmed what I have seen in online videos, and was fun to actually feel them and to watch others experience Tai Chi power.
Some of the concepts I noted were “don’t/no move”, “yin yang separation”, “lines of ??”(not sure), “dot”, and relationships. Master Chen briefly mentioned something about “intention”, but I wasn’t sure if that was important to these concepts. One surprising comment to me was that there were students(?) that became very good, even without lessons, by doing thousands of Yilus. So, for now, I practice my thirteen moves by focusing on maintaining what I’ll call my center, as still/unwavering as possible, so that I have afor my movements. And that while I make my movements, also keep in mind that there should be a feeling of separation between reference points. I believe this separation occurs along varying lines where your movements can expand and contract. The idea is to then be able to apply these concepts to different parts of your body so that you can eventually see/feel all these “dots” and relationships and use them accordingly.
If none of this is understandable, then you get a sense of how I felt going through the seminar. Although I did enjoy it, much of it was confusing. Tai Chi seems to be a complete 180 in terms of how me normally want to move and some ideas may seem simplistic but applying them so difficult.
I’d like to thank Master Chen for sharing his knowledge of Tai Chi, and Ping Wei for hosting the seminar. Thank you to Ping and Ben for helping me with many of the movements, and thanks to those who shared the experience with me.