I remember the first time I was in a Taijiquan class for beginners. It was strange, but calming. And I clearly felt that those moves where something I liked. But also I really wasn’t sure how to do them.
I mean, I’ve been at the ballet for 12 years as a kid. I know how to memorize moves. I know how to imitate them.
But with Taijiquan, I felt from the start that there was more to it than just the body moving. I could imitate that, but I couldnt imitate that other quality. This calmness and ease that I saw when my teacher did the moves.
I totally remember how frustrating it was to see the move and not being able to imitate it at all. Like not being able to imitate the body moving neither this subtle quality. And I often heard about this frustration from fellow students, especially from beginners: “I cannot do this, I think I’ll never learn this”.
Even now, after more than a decade of practice, I sometimes even think that myself.
But then I remind myself: I am LEARNING. Going to class is not about knowing everything and being able to move any bodypart in any direction easily. Going to class is about learning. Practicing at home is about rehearsing.
We are so used to know everything immediazely. Just google “restless legs syndrome” and you’ll know a lot about it within 5 minutes.
And as much as I love the internet and its possibillities, our current lifestlye gives the illusion that everything is accessible anywhere anytime to anyone.
But Taijiquan doesnt work that way. It is a moving art, it is necessary to DO it. To PRACTICE it. One cannot read about it (though surely it helps to read some Taijiquan books or some of the classic or to know about the principles).
Thus, if you really want to learn Taijiquan, you need to practice practice practice. You need to get used to that feeling of “I don’t know how to do this” and practice anyway.
Noone can do it for you. But you can do it for yourself. And this feeling of doing something for yourself, to reap all the benefits of calmness and health, to see the slow progress. I think that is just so much more satisfying than just reading blogs online or reading a book about Taijiquan.
Thus now get away from your computer, put aside your phone and practice practice practice!