After long years of practice, your body will regain the qualities of a baby, and you can respond to everything around you with the simplicity and naturalness of a child.

(Yang Jwing-Ming)


Concentration is the act of focussing. It is a narrowing of perspective.
Extraneous distractions are blocked out and the attention is directed towards a limited target.

Keeping your mind on what you are doing is excellent. It improves quality.

Sometimes, it is good to be distracted, to notice unexpected possibilities, to wander off in new directions.
However, there is a danger with distraction: the more distracted you become, the less competent you are.


Is tai chi chuan dance?

Tai chi chuan may look like dance and move like dance but it is something else - something far more complex than dance.

The art has many facets.
It is a healthy form of exercise, a system of self defence, meditation training, the physical embodiment of taoist insights and a spiritual journey.

The student

A dedicated student aims to steal their instructor's art.
This is akin to acquiring a trade secret.
Only by taking responsibility for their own learning can a student hope to learn the true depth of the art.

Motivation, commitment, intelligence, enthusiasm - these are all relevant factors.
To quote the proverb: You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.



Some beginners want to collect forms. Instead of learning one form thoroughly, they want to accumulate.
As a consequence, superficial knowledge is sought, and the beginner never penetrates the art.

Collecting forms and drills is not a good thing. It leads to an attitude of flitting.
The untrained mind becomes goal-oriented and skips around.
By doing more, we accomplish less. Do not spread yourself too thinly.

Thinning our time and our attention leads to a watered-down outcome, rather than a richer one.



Lineage students

Taking private lessons and/or training with an instructor for many years does not make you an 'indoor student'.

If a class member wants an indoor relationship with the instructor, the process is quite formal.
The student must become a 'lineage student' and this entails meeting certain criteria and fulfilling specific obligations.