Raleigh Chinese Martial Arts

Progressing with our Training

Patience of Progression in Kung Fu

by Sifu TW Smith

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Recently we discussed training progress, and blending into our current responsibilities. Certainly there is no one grand formula for everyone. Actually what worked for me 10 years ago, doesn't work right now, but what does work is just fine.

When the discussion led into the priority for "Health" for example, we gave the example of putting Tai Chi Practice in that train-car. Reaching our health goals through Tai Chi practice. Using Chi Kung to support our health and improve circulation, to cultivate Chi. This was my mind-set over 15 years ago. To also support my health, I would go to the gym, push iron, etc. Sifu Chin continued to demonstrate to us tools to improve ourselves through Tai Chi, but like most youngsters, you do it 30 times, whats next. There was no real soaking in it at the time. Along the way, things changed. I found myself no longer trying to support my health through Tai Chi and Kung Fu, but my want to practice and pursue Chi was my driving force to practice.

I just finished practice this morning at 4:30 am and after a good set of chi kung, zham zhuang and yi chuan work, I worked Old Style Tai Chi Chuan. After several rounds of walking through the form, the focus turned to "grasping the birds tail". That was half hour of work. It occurred to me when I came in that some long time ago, I don't practice for my health; I practice because of the great feeling I get, while and after I practice. The fact that it helps my health is secondary to how I feel when I gain.

This has always been a point Master Chin would effort to teach us, yet we were too busy trying to figure out how to make it work. Now that nearly a couple of decades have passed, some things have sinked in, thank goodness. I encourage my students to come in and practice, no guilt, just practice. If you finish and feel better than when you started that is already a great day of practice, if you make real strides in a pursuit or skill, even better.

When I think about improving my spirit, improving my health, increasing my stamina, or any other component of myself it turns back into the practice of my Tai Chi and Kung Fu. I don't need another frying pan to cook in, I just need to use the one I have already.

Practice Every Day, Miss One, Lose Ten

Categories Posted in Kwoon , Style: Tai Chi
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