First Impressions

by MikeLV on 2020/07/23

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 of Yilu form so that I could follow along as much as possible.  I believe the seminar was supposed to be regarding the first thirteen moves of Yilu form and foundations.

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 my head about 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 a reference point for 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.





{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelvin Ho July 24, 2020 at 2:40 am

Going into the first seminar feeling overwhelming and confused is very normal. Things will become clearer with consistent practice, as Practical Method is a very consistent system based on separation of yin and yang.


Chen Zhonghua July 27, 2020 at 11:53 am

My observations:
1. This is truly the impression of a first-time attendee.
2. The review is very accurate. Thanks.
3. Although the author was not taught according to what he would like to be taught and most of the seminar was confusing to him, the content of this review demonstrated that he actually picked up an amazing amount of information.
4. This post is from a post in the to be approved list. When approval was given, it got posted as the date shown above (current date). The content of the post did not have information as to which year the workshop was on. I normally conduct one workshop in the Phoenix area each year and true, I very rarely see someone I didn’t know. So there is no way to know when this workshop was conducted.
5. When I give out information during teaching, I normally make eye contact with each attendee to make sure the person is listening and received the information. This is also true when I teach a hands-on technique. I physically touch each attendee, no matter how long it takes.


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