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Taijiquan class is a break from how you normally operate. It is an opportunity to set aside old habits and consider new, healthier approaches.
Taijiquan is not modern. It may indeed be hundreds, if not thousands of years old... Who knows for sure?
The attitudes, culture and philosophy surrounding the art are not modern. If a student expects to make progress they should respect this.
And be prepared to embrace ways of thinking and acting that are perhaps unfamiliar.
In many martial arts schools the practice was carried out in secrecy and the
school's very existence was frequently concealed from the authorities. For
example, taijiquan is based on body of principles known to be around 2000 years old
yet it was not revealed until 1750.
When a master of taijiquan faces an opponent he brings to the confrontation thousands of years of philosophical, martial and practical thought. He has lived most of his life according to the principles established centuries ago and in the process, he has strengthened his body and probably earned a long and healthy life.
Let's start with talk... Common conversations:
Complaining about ailments or comparing medical histories
Boasting, bragging or showing off
Competing with other people
Telling people how busy you are
Talking about drinking/getting drunk
Not having enough money
Not having time
News issues/current events
Why do people come to class?
They don't come to be depressed, stressed, frustrated or anxious. Quite the opposite. People come to relax, to learn, to have a good night.
Please be considerate
Why not leave your 'baggage' at home?
Stuart Wilde has written a few books that explore Taoist issues in innovate ways:
When engaging in dialogue with others, try to remain underneath them psychologically, rather than talking across them or even down to them from above. Talking above people is trying to make them feel inferior, pushing yourself onto them, or attempting to force your ideas upon them. It's dominating the conversation with endless tales of your experiences - hogging the stage.
Most people talk out of ego, talk to hear themselves. They are not usually interested in what you have to say. While you talk, they are waiting to respond with something bigger and better. So you mention taking a vacation, and they mention every vacation they've ever been on. Those people are dreary, because they are insecure, and they have to win you over by trying to impress you.
Most of what people say doesn't impress you, does it? Mostly it bores you. If the story of their vacation is particularly interesting or amusing, or there's something to learn from it, okay. But generally speaking, when they're telling you about their vacation, they're only pleasing themselves by trying to combat with you. You're going on a vacation, but they've been on bigger, better, more expensive ones.
So, be careful with your dialogue, and try not to compete with people. If they talk about their trip to France, and you lived in France for 20 years, don't mention it. Just listen to them.
Most people invent things, exaggerate, or they don't know what they are talking about. They rarely have a command of what's being discussed, or they'll parrot something they've read in the paper, or they'll take something they saw on TV and regurgitate it for your benefit.
Stay inside what you know. If you're an expert on something, fine. You can talk about it if people ask. But generally speaking, don't bother trying to impress people.
sabotage the lesson
Please leave your baggage outside the class. We are encouraging people to be healthy, to let go, to de-stress, to have fun. A political conversation or a list of health problems is sabotaging the class.
It perpetuates a miserable habit and will not make anyone feel good. Least of all you...
Upbeat, positive, constructive conversation will really lift your mood. Talk about how much you are enjoying the training, discuss something you have been working on. Be hopeful, optimistic, refreshing.
Class is about being vital, alive; completely and fully.
created 18 April 2009
Last updated 21 November 2021