Nowadays I read about Virtual Reality and its impact on games and training in the future.
Did you know that form training in Tai Chi is a form of VR except you need to use your power of imagination? This is why I call it Visual Reality.
Sometimes you can also consider that learning a form is a study in thinking. Basically, you use the form to run thought experiments in how to use techniques, apply strategies, use power and so on.
Beginners will have a hard time trying to use the form this way because they are well, beginners. But do not despair. To Master Tai Chi Today is not something impossible. As I would tell students – do not discard that which is important and when all are in place mastery will be achieved.
The problem is that students typically cannot consistently perform their form. It is common that the problem that was fixed will come back again when they move on. So a lot of effort is required to get things in order and maintain them. However, most students think that only a little effort is required. Hence, fix one problem and another will arise. Fix another and yet another will arise.
This is why mindful practice is important. I tell students to slow down and take their time. I teach them how to pace the movements. But predictably they will not listen or listen half heartedly. So not to be surprised they still cannot get it.
Many small patient steps are required to learn a form using Visual Reality. Last week I explained to one student how to use the Turn, Chop with Fist and Deflect, Parry, and Punch sequence to map out the mental learning. Learned properly it will improve the way you control your body tremendously. Learned poorly the form becomes a worthless and useless tool – in which case you might as well not waste your time practicing it.
The Turn, Chop with Fist and Deflect, Parry, and Punch sequence is not just an example of moving the Tai Chi way. To consider it so is to miss the point by a mile wide. How to move, why moving a certain way, how the balance is controlled, how to mentally define the lines of combat, what is the timing to use, the obvious and hidden applications, how to change the application to derive a different application, questions of timing and power, and so on. A lot of things to learn in two movements. You can also make a few drills from these two movements.
That Tai Chi is a broad subject is what makes it interesting and why it will continue to keep you engross in its study for a long time to come.
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