Raleigh Chinese Martial Arts

A Question on Tai Chi and Kung Fu

by Sifu TW Smith

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One of the most enjoyable parts of training and practice is gain ourselves and to see our students and classmates also gain. When you see the illumanation of understanding being translated to a physical reality, it is wonderful. Over the years I have recorded many questions from the beginner to very experienced, on why to learn, how to learn, why to practice particular pieces regularly, how to make it work, and probably most often 'how can it make me better'? Yet the one of greatest impact to a individual student is; 'where did my kung fu go'?

I am preparing a guidebook with those years of experiences, what students have done, how they changed and improved, and many of their comments and understandings on the other side. We used to hear the entertaining stories of Great Master Mar Sik, who would have his Kung-Fu-Repair-Shop. I was amazed many years ago to see the Repair-Shop at work with Master Chin. People who had spent many years of training, and lots of money learning styles and 'secret kung-fu', yet they found themselves at dead-end, or found that it didn't work when called upon, or worse of all, they couldn't find it. This happens regularly, someone spends their resources in training, one day they test it in a sparring match or more fluid situation, and find themselves frozen or they turned into a boxer because their wing-chun didn't come out or other problems.

They would ask the Master 'can it be fixed', the Master would have them pull the ole clunker in the garage, look under the hood, pull stuff out, streamline the flow, and almost everytime, replace and retrain the mechanism that fire. Training the understanding that all kung-fu must come from within. Get a higher octane fuel to drive your kung fu and then have some faith. The student would look perplexed and troubled as they were given direction to practice non-movement, every day. For some it would take a short year or two to understand, other's longer, yet eventually it would happen that they would realize that all movement starts in non-movement, if you are in chaos at non-movement, then your movement is nothing more than chaos.

Look for the manual coming up.

Categories Posted in Style: Tai Chi
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