Student Notes – Refined Movements

It takes practice to get to the point whereby a student can know and feel his own body.

I think most readers would think that they already know their own body. You know what, that’s not true. You think you know your body and you can control it. But the truth is when pressure is applied you will end up doing what is instinctive, habitual and untrained.

The interesting thing is even if you are told what you are doing wrong it will still be a struggle to not do what any other untrained person would do. This is a case of you may be learning Tai Chi but you are not doing Tai Chi; at least not until you do what is required rather than what is instinctive.

When we practice Tai Chi what we achieve in the form we transfer across to push hands and vice versa. Each respective experience contributes to the growth of the other.

So if your movements in the form is correct then we verify it by testing it with pressure. If the structure is wrong your feet will tell you. Most of the time the problem lies in one area – the waist.

With proper tweaking and retesting a student learns what is correct and applies it back into form practice to make it a habit. Then he gets retested to see if he has learned the principle well. This will take some time but it will work as long as one perseveres.

The problem nowadays is that many expect to learn a craft quickly without putting in the required time. I would say its not impossible to master Tai Chi faster. The question is whether you can put in the time to practice to the point where you experience changes in your body; signs that point to you are getting it. This is why experienced masters know that the real work to master an art comes from the student and not the master.

The nature of refined movements in our Tai Chi is not what most people, even experienced practitioners expect. Much of what we do is counter-intuitive but can be easily verified by the models of physics. So we don’t just take the Tai Chi Classics as the gospel truth; we cross verify it against an external body of knowledge – physics.

For students who want a scientific explanation I recommend them to invest in a good physics textbook, not the cheap, for dummies type but a proper one. It will probably set you back at least US$120 (or more) plus shipping but it will be a good investment and you will just need to buy one instead of having to keep buying different texts on the same topic. Below is an example of a solid physics textbook available from Amazon :-


So want to Master Tai Chi Today? Practice a lot, remember to validate your practice against the Tai Chi Classics and a good physics textbook (of course if you are already a student of the subject then you have an advantage).


Want to learn Tai Chi in Singapore? At Singapore Tai Chi Yang Style lessons covering forms, weaponry, push hands, fajing and applications are offered. Lessons are conducted in English. Send enquiry today at the link here.

1 thought on “Student Notes – Refined Movements

  1. Pingback: Right Ho Professor! | Master Tai Chi Today

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