DOES IT MATTER WHAT STYLE OF TAIJIQUAN YOU DO?

Sifu Michael Durkin
Shaolin Wahnam England

Sifu Michael Durkin

Sifu Michael Durkin of Shaolin Wahnam England


The following discussion is reproduced from the thread Does it Matter What Style of Taijiquan You Do? in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum on 13th December 2005


Does it Matter What Style of Taijiquan You Do?


When you make a choice about anything you need to have an understanding of the choices. You also need to understand what is required from you and what are the results/consequences of your choice.

-- Michael Durkin


Making a choice - Form follows function, so what's your purpose?

When you make a choice about anything you need to have an understanding of the choices. You also need to understand what is required from you and what are the results/consequences of your choice.

Its not easy to find out all the answers to everything before you begin anything, so a little trust and faith needs to be placed that you have made a good decision. But you shouldn't base your understanding on faith alone, you should try to access the situation to the best of your understanding and ability, follow the method and see if it lives up to what it says it should, review and move from there.

In the context of martial arts:

Understand the martial art


Find the teacher

As a student:

As to what style you choose, there is a good saying along the lines of “if you can train with a fantastic teacher of a low to intermediate martial art, then you are better doing so than training with a poor teacher of an advanced art.”

Originally Posted by SifuStier:
“So...to some degree...you are correct in saying that the problem often lies with the individual rather than their style of Tai-Chi. But what of the many people who train hard for many decades with some of the popular Form Sets...yet have very little to show as benefits for their great efforts? This scenario HAS to be the fault of the Style rather than the fault of the practitioner!"

I would disagree that it HAS to be the fault of the style alone. When SifuStier says "popular Form Sets", I will take this as an established genuine system that is proven to work. There are 3 factors involved in reaping benefits in martial arts, they are Method > Master > Student. Weaknesses in any of these 3 aspects cause a decrease in the results.

As SifuStier says, there are many people who have trained hard for many decades with some of the popular Form Sets, but have very little to show as benefits for their great efforts. I don't think it is the art/style itself that is the problem. I believe that most teachers today don't quite fully comprehend a good proportion of the true scope and depth of the art/style they practice.

Information does get watered down over the years and another factor is that people sometimes don't reach a sufficient level of competence in an art before they start to make modifications as they see fit. There are other problems like masters dieing out before passing on their teaching, students drop out before completing their training etc etc. This now shows the "breaks" between Master & student in the 3 link chain of Method > Master > Student.

Sifu has written some excellent articles on accessing a martial art and getting the best benefits from your training. I have linked these two articles below and they are well worth reading.


Take care,
Michael Durkin
Shaolin Wahnam England
http://www.shaolinwahnam.co.uk


Taijiquan Single Whip
Form follows function. “Single Whip” is what it is because this form, amongst other functions, is excellent for exploding internal force like a whip, as demonstrated here by Sifu Piti Parra Duque of Shaolin Wahnam Colombia. Obviously, if you learn from a teacher who has no understanding and experience of internal force, you will not get good result from your Taijiquan as an internal art regardless of your years of devoted daily practice.

LINKS

Courses and Classes