Student Notes-Effective Learning of Form

Learning a Tai Chi form is not always the easiest thing in the world. You can imitate what your teacher is showing you but many times somehow, somewhere your imitation falls short.

So how do you improve?

This is where learning how to apply the movement comes in.

I know that some of us just don’t want to or care about learning applications. But if you give it a miss you will have a much harder time to improve.

I’ve been working with two students with different background on learning Grasp Sparrow’s Tail. Each presented its own challenge but what they have in common is how to stand properly, how to move the hands, where to position the hands, timing of the movements, etc.

Normally, I would prefer to see students get it right before they try the applications because this is logical. But when they cannot seem to get it right then its time to turn logic on its head and approach the learning from the alternate perspective of diving into the applications before getting a handle on the solo movements.

Interestingly, approaching the learning of form this way has the desired effect. One student even managed to learn how to use Grasp Sparrow’s Tail in Push Hands Game within one lesson. And we are not talking about learning how to do one application here. Instead, the game for Grasp Sparrow’s Tail is about entry, domination and change; and how it all fits in with the principles of the Tai Chi Classics.

When you approach the learning of Tai Chi Chuan effectively suddenly the possibility to Master Tai Chi Today does not seem impossible.


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

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