My student said he has a question. But then he changed his mind and said never mind. I encouraged him to ask anyway because asking questions is part and parcel of learning Tai Chi.
I remember a story about a master who when asked questions would typically deflect them and replied that the student is not ready for the answers as they are of advanced nature.
To me the art of Tai Chi is about basics, good basics, refined basics. So what is so advanced that it cannot be mentioned? Most of the time it is my students who give up on hearing the answer when after listening they realized what is being explained is totally beyond them at the stage that they are in.
I would say there is no harm listening because the student could use his lack of understanding to prompt him to train harder to the stage where he can begin to make sense of it.
Sometimes a student may think if a principle can be performed then that is it. Mastered. However, that is only the beginning. The first layer. Good skills are typically multi-layered. This is why it is not easy to copy good skills, more so if the skill is sublime.
For example, being able to do the 5-Count is only the beginning. One must be able to apply it freely to validate that the skill has been mastered. During application it is not only that the 5-Count can be used for issuing power but the student must demonstrate the ability to apply techniques in various ways and neutralize at the same time with it. Throughout, the principles of relaxing, adhering, not going against, being able to flow, etc must be shown.
In the early stages of mastery the student can demonstrate using more obvious motion but as he progresses he would be expected to show that he can do the technique with the least possible movement such that the person he is demonstrating on would have a hard time seeing or even feeling how the technique is executed.
So in our Tai Chi there are no questions that cannot be asked because this is the least we can offer to the serious student who wants to Master Tai Chi Today.
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