Conversation with Roy Croucher; private lessons from GM Chen / Sept 17,20

by Doug Gauld on 2020/09/21

– just after Roy’s 2nd private lesson with GM, it was suggested that I record his impressions about his experiences in this learning process
– I’m no journalist so bear with me here
– Roy, a bit out of breath and flushed from his exertions, looked a bit non-plussed about being ‘interviewed’ for the website but he focused on the topic of our conversation and offered the following insights about his recent experiences
– the record that follows is almost all paraphrased from Roy’s words during our back and forth, excepting where I use quotation marks
– I apologize in advance for any misrepresentations of Roy’s ideas I may commit, if I get it wrong just let me know Roy, can always edit later
– he opined that access to GM, in this way, is “a treasure”
– the overall impression I received from Roy is that he was a bit overwhelmed by the hour of instruction he’d survived
– he shared that his sense of the overall process of receiving individualized instruction from GM Chen is that it is amazing and “invaluable”
– we discussed the weird irony of all this opportunity for us to gain irreplaceable individual instruction with GM being based on a worldwide pandemic
– note here I am assuming that is why GM is basing his operations in Edmonton these days, not just due to his family being here or because he just loves Edmonton weather in the fall
– we speculated that this ironic grounding of GM in our city is maybe the best opportunity we will ever have to experience the kind of immersive experience that those who attend the mountain in China take for granted, not limited to actual ‘hands-on’ tutelage (following Covid safety measures we are being mindful of sanitation, social distancing, mask-wearing, etc, etc…)
– we both felt the risk of physical contact with GM during private lessons is significantly mitigated by the fact that our Edmonton group, and visiting students, are a kind ‘social circle’
– any student that can access themselves of the advantages of private lessons with GM while he’s in Edmonton should do so, I think in PM I’ve heard the term ‘Intensive training’ if you do a series of private lessons concentrated over a short time span with one teacher
– he also offered that he regularly watches all of GM’s postings on FB and the PM website and they are “invaluable” to him in his journey towards improvement in this art
– I like Roy’s no-nonsense attitude towards PM, he sees this as a fighting art, no dancer here and I think his new favorite quote from GM is, “If you are not doing it correctly, you are just playing at Taijiquan.”
– Roy’s immediate impressions of his private lesson experience can be summarized by saying it is very humbling to realize that all of our efforts to date, for all GM’s students, are preparation for the next step in our PM journey, only a few of his students have, so far, ‘made the cup their own’
– as we know there are many ways to PM incorrectly, but only one way to do it right; one step at a time, no short-cuts (that could be our new motto, No Short Cuts, har-har)
– Roy seems to be enthused by the challenges that remain as he struggles with making changes to his mind and body in his determined efforts to improve his abilities in PM; keep opening up those shoulders Roy
…learning to live a breath at a time…

About Doug Gauld

took one two day workshop with Master Chen years ago in Victoria...studied with Gord Muir in Victoria for about 5 yrs, during that time was coping with spinal arthritis (ankylosing spondylitis)...have moved back to Edmonton to be closer to family...trying to learn more about has helped with my arthritis and perhaps if I learn it more completely and make my practice better my health will improve more than it has already...

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