TAI CHI CHUAN — CLASS OF 2006
Intensive Taijiquan Course of 20th to 26th January 2006
The following discussion is reproduced from the thread Tai Chi Chuan — Class of 2006 in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum on 26th January 2006.
he Course had it all, outstanding instruction from Sifu and the most good hearted, open, skilful and cheerful classmates anyone could ever wish for!
Thank you Sifu, it has been an amazing first experience!
The Course had it all, outstanding instruction from Sifu and the most good hearted, open, skilful and cheerful classmates anyone could ever wish for!
I look forward to a CLASS REUNION sometime in the near future that allows us to share experiences post-course and appreciate the effort and progress of our training ...
... and now, special appreciation to my classmates:Alex, thank you for the late night practice, it really helped!
Peter, next time I will get you!! Be ready!!
Joko, I enjoyed our sparring. Well done in the demonstration!
Adrian, thank you for not letting me get nervous.
Tay, there is a teacher in you with lots of patience!!
Anti, thank you for not hurting me!
Jose, my experience would not have been complete without your participation.
Robin, big thank you for having the patience to teach me the forms/stands.
Kevin, your questions always made a lot sense and made me think a lot.
Momo, You have got to be an instructor!
Joan, solidarity is always important, thank you for making it pleasant and easier.
Wei Foong, I was touched by your sincere concern and generosity.
Thanks again Guys, Joan and Wei Foong.... you made a difference!
See you in the class reunion of "Tai Chi Chuan - Class of 2006"Grace
Sifu Jeffrey Segal
26th Jan 2006
I think that one of the many ways that Sifu's excellence as a teacher manifests is that every class he teaches seems to be of historic importance, as indeed it is!
I wish all the participants of this latest Wahnam Taijiquan intensive course much joy in their training. Please know that you have a brother in Melbourne who loves training so if any of you feel like coming to visit, there's a lovely park just near the house where Lauren and I live
From the Heart,
Shaolin Wahnam Australia
Sifu Joan Browne27t Jan 2006
Welcome to the Forum, Grace and what a great first post!
Perhaps we can keep this thread for the January 06 class, where we can keep each other motivated and share experiences of our training.
Of course, Jeffrey you are always welcome to join us We would really value your experience and advice
I must echo what everybody else has said, it was a wonderful course and Mile Bhuiochas to Sifu for his patience, kindness and generosity of teaching.
The Intensive Tai Chi Chuan course made me realise how far I have come in six years. In 2000, I wouldn't have dared let anybody throw me, or indeed attempted to throw anybody else, no matter what their size because of my back injury. This time it was easy!!
Thanks also to Wei Foong, who makes everybody feel at home and makes course organisation look like a piece of cake.
Also thanks to every single individual for making me 'less scared'...........I know I am just a big baby Also to Grace, it was sooooo good seeing another lady on the first morning. I look forward to your visit to Ireland.
Many blessings to you all and may your practice deepen your joy of living.
Books don't mean a lot unless you open them, Hearts are the same.......
Joko > 27th Jan 2006
Sifu's Method of Teaching
Map, Path, Guidance and Direction, and Manual
Returning from the Intensive Course, I realized how lucky we were. I would like to share my experiences here.
We were given the map and paths of how to learn and practice properly the art of genuine Taijiquan. Not only the map, we were also given the guidance and direction, and how to practice step by step.
On top of that, we were given the manual, utilizing in full use the latest development in technology: the computer multimedia. How Sifu has improved his method of teaching! He is the first to use this method: certainly the 21st century method of teaching Taijiquan and Shaolinquan!
The map? We were given and experience the overall aspects Taijiquan, starting and learning totally from scratch as a beginner and gradually step by step climb each and every ladder to reach the next level, until finally got a glimpse of the ultimate level- merging with the universe;
Guidance and direction: the heart to heart transmission during the learning and practice process, and experiencing every aspect that Taijiquan can give us (of course at the lowest level first).
The manual or standard procedure for practice: during the course Sifu's performance as well as those of each student were photographed and video-taken using the latest digital multi-media technology, which can later be used as reference when we practice by ourselves at home or anywhere, so that we can correct our own mistakes and perform correctly.
And what is expected from us to do? Very simple! Just to be a good student, that's all! For certainly we already have the best teacher and the best methodology available.
Being a good student means, among other things, to follow orders and instructions obediently, and not trying to be smarter than the master. This is really easier said than done, because sometimes without realizing it I did something silly myself. That's why now I acquire a full length mirror when I practice, and occasionally ask one of my sons to take photo or video of me practicing so that I am able to identify my mistakes and correct them before ingrained further.
Given all that, now I can understand and imagine how students in the past might learn Taijiquan or Shaolinquan:
First the master would teach how to do the stances properly; the instruction may be given in 5 or 10 minutes, or in half an hour, or one day, until the master was satisfied that the student could perform the stances correctly and properly. Then the student had to practice the stances everyday for three months, or six months, or even a year, without doing anything else, and probably without any explanation of the importance of the stance. Ordinary students would probably get bored and quit learning, but the dedicated students would have faith in the master and practiced obediently.
Next, when the master was satisfied with the result, he would show how to move to other positions and in any direction, by introducing footwork. Again, the teaching itself would only last probably a few minutes or a few hours at most, until the student could move around with proper footwork.
Then he would practice to master the skill for several more months, before the master would teach the next level, which would be simple and basic hand forms. Only then that the students would be able to perform a pattern properly: by combining the hand forms with the stances and footwork that he had practiced before.
Meanwhile, during the months or years that the student practiced his stances and footwork, slowly, gradually, but surely he would develop internal strength and experiencing chi flow.
Then, when the master was satisfied with the results (this could have taken a few years), he would teach the combat application of the patterns, which, in the case of Taijiquan, the method would be by using the pushing hand (tui shou) and striking hands (ta shou).
Next, combat sequences would be introduced, and after some time, combat sparring. Combat sparring would begin with prearranged sequences, then limited free sparring, until eventually the students would be allowed to spar freely, with the supervision and observation by the master. The supervision and observation was needed among other things for safety precaution, and that the process was taken gradually, step by step, little by little, until finally, perhaps without the students realizing it, he would be a competent combatant with sufficient internal force.
Sifu has kindly, generously, and ingeniously developed his method of teaching; based on his vast knowledge and experiences in the arts, and in lieu with the development of modern times, technology, equipment, and time effective basis, that now we are able to learn and practice by ourselves, in our own time and will. As each of us has his own duty and role in the society, we can practice without neglecting our other tasks and duty for our family as well as society. He also considered very well the time and cost constraints that we generally have in this global modern world.
Not only this will be cost and time effective for our learning and practice process, it will be very efficient for the master himself in sharing his vast experience and knowledge of the art.
With his method of training, we were given all the materials in just only 5 days of Intensive Training!
Now we are able to be aware in what level of the art we are now, at which step we are, and by experiencing the whole picture of the Taijiquan art during the course, we are able to know and be aware of the following steps we will take next in our training and practice.
Thanks to the spiritual aspect which we also learn in the course, we are able enjoy our practice, no matter how imperfect we perform at the beginning. We can live at the present moment, without the burden of the past and without worrying about the future.
Last but not least, we have the advantage that probably the Taijiquan students might not have in the past: We are able to generate chi flow right at the very first lesson of the very first session during the course, and periodically utilizing the self induced chi movements to remedy any mishappenings that might happen to us during our practice!
This last part is probably not achieved by ordinary people practicing Taijiquan in this modern times, no matter how long they practice. Perhaps also the ability to use intent to guide energy, which will cause the movements of the Taijiquan movements or patterns. We experienced it right from the start.
Sifu, how could we express our gratitude for these all? Thank you, Sifu.Joko
kai xin... hao yunqi...
Be happy and joyful... and share the joy with others
TaiChiPete28th Jan 2006
I'm sitting at home some hours after the graduation dinner reflecting on what a wonderful experience the course was. Joko has said it all ... Sifu's instruction is second to none. In particular I was impressed by the depth and breadth of the teaching which is superior to any other Tai Chi Chuan school I have seen. The methods are comprehensive and Sifu's teaching shows the way ahead clearly.
Inspirational: The course inspired me in many ways, to be a good student and follow the instruction faithfully, to use Tai Chi Chuan principles to guide me in difficult situation in my daily life (as Sifu articulated to us so clearly), and above all to work on embodying Wahnam's open hearted attitude to life that I saw manifested in all my brothers and sisters.
Sifu, I must thank you teaching me, my gratitude is heartfelt but inadequate.
Sisters and brothers, thank you also for making the course so much fun and all your help.
Wei Foong, you made all the arrangements feel so easy for me and I am really looking forward to reviewing the videos - thank you.
That's enough talk for now - I will go and endeavour to put it into practice
Ade28th Jan 2006-03-10
Wow and more Wow
I agree with Pete. Joko has summed up the course brilliantly.
I feel so privileged to have been allowed to attend this course and would like to add my thanks to Sifu for a truly wonderful experience. The systematic teaching method and the open sharing of so many "secrets" was truly amazing. Thank you Sifu for being so generous and considerate.
Thanks to all the others on the course too for making it so much fun and I look forward to meeting you all again in the near future. Don't forget .... practice, practice, practice (ppp)
Again many, many thanks, Sifu.
GuoJun29th Jan 2006
I thought I should take a look at this forum before I leave home to start my Chinese Lunar New Year visits.
Great to see that some of you have already posted your experiences about the course. I certainly share what you have all summed up. Personally, I agree with Joko that Sifu's usage of the computer multimedia is revolutionary. I felt daunted during the course, wondering how much I can remember of the wonderful skills I am learning for me to bring back home to practise.
Thanks to Wei Foong with her video camera. At least now, the course material is in video and can be used for reference during our practice.
Sifu, thanks again for your kindness and patience in imparting your wonderful skills to me.
To everyone in the class, thanks for guiding and helping me along during my moments of clumsiness and forgetfulness during the course.
Gong Xi Fa Cai!
MoMoJuice29th Jan 2006
Wow, what can I say?
The course was a truly amazing experience for me. Sifu's teaching method is so rich and advanced that it really blows away anything and everything else I had seen before.
I feel I've learned so much from the course itself, but I know that in order to improve lots of practice and dedication are needed. During the course Sifu was so patient and kind with us, he made sure that every student got the needed corrections to the form, stances, movements, strikes etc. I am very humbled and thankful to Sifu.
The course was a great learning experience, and I've also learned so much from talking and practicing with the course participants. You guys where really amazing, thank you for the fun and help. I enjoyed the sparring sessions very much, as every student brought their own flavor to the table. I want to thank Robin, Mark, Joan, Alex and all the others for helping me see my mistakes and correct them.
Wei Foong did an amazing job organizing the course, and handing out CD's containing videos of what was taught will be a huge help to us all. Thank you Wei Foong for all the hard work that you put for us. The course would not be the same without you.
I hope to meet everyone again in the future, take care of yourselves and good luck with your practice.
Thank you Sifu for the course, it was really beyond my already very high expectations.
Happy Chinese New Year,
"If you can walk one mile, you can walk a hundred miles"
Sigung Ho Fatt Nam
Joko29th Jan 2006
Grasping Sparrow's Tail
When I read some articles for the first time that the Invincible Yang Luchan used only 'Grasping Sparrow's Tail' patterns to handle his opponents, I could not imagine how he did it.
Until on the first day during the course when Sifu showed us the combination of stances, footwork, body movement and hand forms, that I understand how Yang Luchan might have done this 'Grasping Sparrow's Tail' form applied in combat. (It had not been called that name during Yang Luchan's time)
To my amazement and pleasures, even by just knowing this pattern only, we can perform hundreds of different sequences in our practice.
This is an example of how rich the art is.
kai xin... hao yunqi...
Be happy n joyful... and share the joy with others
Ade2nd February 2006
Here are a few photos taken on the tours during the Chi Kung and Taijiquan courses last month http://www.kodakgallery.co.uk/BrowsePhotos.jsp?&localeid=en_GB&collid=2433287593 3&page=1&sort_order=0
Sifu Jose Antonio6th Feb 2006
Thank you Grace for opening a thread for the Course! It is great to keep in touch and share experiences from our practice here!
What a great course we just had! I remember Sifu saying one step means one step... and when he calls the course "Intensive", he really means it. It is amazing how much we learned in 5 days.
Have you seen the sets with all the attack and defence names on Sifu's homepage? It is incredible that he also supports us with such great material! Thank you Sifu!
It was very rewarding meeting you all. I enjoyed training with you and hope to do it again in the future.
A big smile from the heart!
Joko6th Feb 2006
Wahnam Taijiquan Secrets
Hello, Sifu Jose, glad to have you here.
Have you been back home? How is your baby? It was nice going back to the airport with you. Wish you succeed in your programs there.
“Have you seen the sets with all the attack and defence names on Sifu's homepage? It is incredible that he also supports us with such great material! Thank you Sifu!”
Yes, they have been all there since July 2005, the fast forms even earlier! Do you see how generous Sifu is in sharing some Wahnam secrets in the websites? Everybody can see them and learn if they want to.
But it shows also how genius Sifu is! Although I had seen them for ages, I could not understand before coming to our class!
Now, I understand all of them, even the finer points! And it becomes fun and joy when practicing, because now I know what I am doing. It becomes much easier, too, in remembering the sequences.
Remember also Sifu's advice: Every movement is a master piece. And this golden rule: The art of practicing one step back whenever required.
Again, thank you Sifu, and all our classmates. Also Sifu Robin and Sifu Mark. Hello Sifu Joan, how is your practice of our WahnamTaijiquan art?
kai xin... hao yunqi...
Be happy n joyful... and share the joy with others