Part 1 here.
It makes no sense, right? How can practicing a movement 1,000 times over 2 hours not accelerate mastery? This is the conundrum.
Here are my thoughts on it :-
a) If you have to practice 1,000 times chances are you are a beginner
b) A beginner may understand what is right intellectually but this understanding does not necessarily extend to physical understanding. This means you know what you should do and why you should do it but when it comes to doing it you still cannot help but do things the wrong way
c) So a beginner does the wrong thing and he now proceeds to do it 1,000 times over 2 hours for the next 3 months. Unless he gets corrected or can correct himself and the corrections stay in place chances are the beginner would now have 3 months to set his faulty practice in concrete. I suspect this is why I have a hard time trying to change the way new students do the same movement in their previous Yang style to the way I require them to do. They hear, they see but they cannot do it or change, at least not without a lot of hard effort over many months or even years
d) It seems to make sense that its easier to catch what is happening when you are only working on one movement. But guess what? If you cannot see the problem chances are you still won’t see it in the months and years to come
e) The human mind can become bored easily. So if you keep doing the same thing chances are your mind will wander and the quality will still go out the window. Even when asked to follow precise steps to carry out a movement the typical student will still struggle to do it even if for 3 minutes, believe it or not
f) If you try to do 1,000 reps within 2 hours this means that you have to do 500 reps within 1 hour. This means each repetition should take 0.12 minutes (60 minutes / 500 reps). By comparison we normally take 1.5 hours to complete a form of 85 movements. This works out to 1.06 minutes per movement (90 minutes / 85 movements). So you actually have more time to work on each movement when doing a form than when doing 1,000 reps. What if we increase this to 3 hours? 180 minutes / 1000 reps = 0.18; not a significant increase in time. If you rush to complete the reps within the time frame you may also sacrificing quality for quantity
So how is doing one form of 85 movements over 1.5 hours better?
Part 3 here.
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