Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Beginning Wu Family Style Taijiquan

As a beginner in the Wu family style of Taijiquan, what should I be working on; where should my head be at? It's easy to read newsgroups and get caught up in discussions of taiji theory which I'm totally unqualified to partake.

The main focus of the beginners class is to simply learn the sequence of the 108 standard form. Some corrections are given along the way, but the focus is to learn the sequence and get it reasonably correct.

In addition, I should be trying to make certain qualities of movement habitual. These are relaxing, being weighted 100% on one leg or the other, and whenever it's called for, moving my upper body by moving my hips.

These qualities are reinforced by not only practicing the form, but the warm up exercises.

These warm up exercises are considered so important that the class format has changed to give them their proper due. All the students, no matter what level, show up at 6:30. We spend the next 30 minutes thoroughly working on the warm up exercises as a group.

At 7, we break up into beginners and non beginners. The beginners work on continuing to learn the sequence, while the non beginners seem to usually work on form refinements. At 8, we do the form as a group, with the beginners dropping out as they get to the end of the movments they know.

After that, the beginners leave and the intermediate and advanced students continue to train.


Billy Jack said...

enjoying your stuff.

Rick Matz said...

Thanks. It's fun to be a beginner again.

ms_lili said...

sounds like a good method for learning something well. the element of time is taken out and you practice without pressure

Zen said...

The longest path is done one step at a time...

each step is it's own treasure.