Becoming a teacher #8

The facism of force...

Tai chi is about feeling the flow. Going with the grain, not against it. Naturalness. Smoothness. Receptivity. Ease.

You need to be in touch with these things. If your urge is to tense-up; physically, mentally, emotionally - then you should not teach anyone anything. You need to work on yourself more.

Forcing is just not tai chi. In fact, it is as far removed from tai chi as you can get.

There is a danger in believing yourself to be calm, relaxed, open and composed. But are you? How do you respond to pressure, to crisis? Does being thwarted cripple you? Tai chi students commonly imagine themselves balanced only to lock-up horrendously when surprised. Force is not the way...

Working on yourself is where you should begin and where you should end. Gain the knowledge, the experience, the skills, but also go further and make sure that you are balanced and in tune. Get third-party assessment. Listen to people. Learn not to take life too seriously. Or yourself. Especially not yourself.

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