When I first heard about the online class meetings with Shifu I was excited because with Covid-19 it felt like we had lost touch, or at least the ability to get to him. Even still, at the back of my mind I had some reservation about how effective these “zoom meetings” would be? After all Shifu teaches us by touch so how was that going to work online! True, there would be the enjoyable stories – but still the workshops packed in so much….
As with many situations in life, all is not what it first seems.
Power One – Shifu
This has to be Shifu’s eyes and experience looking upon us individually. He has had to transcend all the vagaries and restrictions of technology, lighting, home space and numerous other distractions. But by using various props and aids together with careful positioning, the illustrations on each point are very clear, both as to the linear directions and the required bodily movements. Also this focus is on each one of us individually – seems much more concentrated than in the normal workshops.
Power Two – Consistency
No need to mention this one, Shifu has told us numerous times – but still, doing is another matter! The good news is the weekly meetings schedule assists in this repetition and this “hightened practice” is definitely bringing noticeable results, as commented by Shifu. Being able to watch all the other tai chi brothers and sisters, also reminds you that we all make “consistent mistakes”, which apart from being somewhat reassuring – reminds you what to avoid!
Power Three – Way of Practice
Whether the class is or , Shifu has given us many “pearls to practice”, including the various “Levels”. This aspect speaks to me most – “what” to practice and “how” to practice? I have to acknowledge my weakness in that I think too much and don’t “do” enough. However, these “pearls” are often smaller steps in the whole sequence, and with somewhat larger movements seem easier to practice. I can feel them more! I recall that in the workshops Shifu does not have the time to go into this extent of detail due to the amount he covers in those sessions. However these moves, or, more importantly the “don’t moves” are difficult to achieve and need close and constant examination, step by step. This happens in the online class.
The PM team do provide good notes to help remind us after each session, but despite being very comprehensive and clear, seem to miss that vital ingredient of “real flow” that only comes with being there!
To register for online classes: http://practicalmethod.com/2020/09/practical-method-online-class-registration/
Online – with the Power of Three
Thank you Shifu!