Stonestown Family YMCA
San Francisco, Ca
First Friday of each month 8am-10am
San Francisco, Ca
Peninsula Del Rey
Senior Living Community
Daly City, Ca
Fridays 10:30am -11:30am
Private Lessons by appointment
Sifu Kiyoko Hancock
Blog: Notes From the Epicenter
Good in the Beginning,
Good in the Middle,
Good in the End:
Moments In Time
-by Sifu Kiyoko Hancock
GM Chen Qingzhou:
On Requirements For Learning Tai Chi, The Seven Principles for the Practice and Training of Taijiquan
1. A prime rule for learning and practicing Taijiquan is respect. One’s lack of respect will, as a result, be expressed externally through his disdainful treatment towards his teacher and friends and also towards himself internally. If one does not have a respectful mind, one cannot learn the art.
2. When practicing and learning Taijiquan, the student must respect and honor his teacher. The teacher must care for his disciples with a sincere heart. Thus the teacher can truly teach and pass the real art to the student.
3. When practicing and learning Taiji, the student must be willing to “eat bitter”. (practice) The art of martial arts is also called the “bitter” art. If a student wishes to develop a high level of skills, he must put in the requisite effort. Hence, we can say, if the student cannot “eat the bitter within the bitter”, he cannot become a “high hand.”
4. When practicing and learning Taijiquan, the student must have a detailed oriented mind, a “small heart” in Chinese. A writer needs to put pen to paper diligently in order to write quickly while a person needs to be detail oriented in order to be skillful. Each movement must be thoroughly studied and pondered upon; each posture must be carefully paid attention to. Without a pondering and focused mind, one will not be able to truly understand the art completely.
5. The student must not be impetuous and impatient. One cannot learn Taijiquan today and want to apply it tomorrow. Practice and practice tens of thousands of times and then you will be so familiar with the postures internally that skillful applications of the postures will emerge on their own.
6. When studying and practicing Taijiquan, the student should not be unrestrained and undisciplined. If your hands are unrestrained, and undisciplined, they will lead to trouble. If your words are unrestrained and uninhibited, you will add faults when you talk. Although this is a matter of martial arts, the student must learn to be refined and graceful like a literary man. Otherwise, when you make light of the matter externally, you will fail internally.
7. When practicing and learning Taijiquan, prior to truly knowing and understanding the energies, the student should not reform and renovate the art. The development and evolution of Chen Family Taijiquan was a result of reformation and renovation by skilled practitioners based on the needs and demands of their respective times because they wished to synchronize the art with the progress of the society. After we continue to inherit and grasp the essence contributed from the practitioners of past generations, we can, with the advancement in science and technology of the modern times, devote our wisdom and efforts towards the development and promotion of Taijiquan.
(Permission to reprint from Sifu Tony Wong: Reprinted from Section 2, Chapter 1, An Essential Collection of Chen Family Taijiquan Martial Arts by Grandmaster Chen Qingzhou, translated by Ming-Chen Chuang and Sifu Tony Wong)