Master Choi asked me one time what is the longest time I do the Tai-Chi Long Form. I said between 25 and 35 minutes. He asked me me how many times in that half hour do I do Fist Under Elbow. I said once. He asked how many time did I do Twin Winds Pierce the Ears? I said once. He asked about some other one time postures.
He then said, "How can you make those any good? Even two forms is only two repetitions in an hour."
He went on to say that to master a posture or technique required thousands of repetitions. He told me that he puts 30 minutes on a timer and then does one of the shortest Hsing-Yi form, the 5 Element Change Form. Choi said, " In half an hour I do hundreds of the five fists." He went on to say that at the height of Muhammad Ali's career, Ali did 3-5 THOUSAND left jabs a day!
This is when Master Choi showed me how to do single movement training in Tai-Chi. He said take just one posture or technique, and do it for half an hour. Now at the time, I was a full time teacher and needed to be sharp. For most people, you could take a movement and try 20 times, 50 times, or 100 times if you have the time, energy, and motivation.
Over the covid break, I had lots of time to train. And it hit me one day. If I do a 30 minute solo form, what am I practicing and perfecting? What am I working on for the whole time? What skills am I developing?
So I ask you, what are we training during that time if it's not a single technique or movement? I have my answer, and would love to hear yours, or at least get you thinking and pondering and meditating!
I'll post my answer in a while.
This may be a simplistic answer, but aren’t we training the mind-body connections to be in harmony with the T’ai Chi Chuan principles?ReplyDelete