Friday, November 2, 2018

Semper Fidelis Classical Tai Chi is "mind-boggling"

My own teacher Master Stephen Hwa tells me in so many words that being frustrated over students not sticking with the art is somewhat of a common occurrence. However, in no uncertain terms, he adds the caveat that when you teach this art " is also the life we have chosen...".  So, "Semper Fidelis", I'm still standing as both student and teacher.  My student Barry was learning the "Square Form" of Classical Tai Chi and is closest to the camera in this video. He told me that he taught defensive tactics to Parole officers based on "external movements" from "external martial arts".  I also taught largely "external movement defensive tactics" to U.S. Customs officers as an additional duty as a Customs Officer myself.  I studied Tai Chi with the Wu family in Toronto at the same time I was doing Tae Kwon Do in Buffalo.  My fellow officers thought my traveling once a week across the border for classes was a "hoot". As my student Tom says, learning Classical Tai Chi is "challenging" but what I think is the most difficult is being "Semper Fidelis" to the art over many years. 

As Barry said: "The difficulty in maintaining true fidelity to the "Internal Art of Tai Chi" is mind-boggling. After having been involved in the external martial arts for an extended period of time, and seeing the difficulty many students have in maintaining fidelity to external movements only, and how long it takes to become proficient in those movements. Now, combine that with incorporating true "Internal" movement ! And one should see how important it is to stay close to a teacher who can correct/critique one's movement up close and personal. Without that help, one will be sure to develop poor or inerrant tendencies, which only further "adds up" against you developing your skills to their highest levels."

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