Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Introducing Body-Being Principles to new students

Mike Cottrell-Tribes
Whitehorse, Canada
I have a question about when is the best time to introduce the basic principles, including: relaxation (in both movement and in standing), calmness, moving from the center, grounding, compression, posture.
I've been introducing these concepts in my classes lately, and the feedback I'm getting from some of my senior students is that this is too advanced for junior (less experienced) people.
These are concepts that they (and I) are only beginning to grasp after a decade of training, and so they feel that it takes that long. My counter argument is that we had never properly been taught these concepts, and had to figure them out for ourselves.
So my question is, when is a good time to introduce these concepts, and how much effort should
be put into attempting to teach these concepts to people who are still learning the basic mechanics of theart? At what point can one delve into these concepts in great detail, and really work on learning and internalizing them?
Mike Cottrell-Tribes

Right away! No time to lose! The principles should be practiced right from the beginning. Advancement is a matter of deepening our understanding if the principles, not waiting to get to them. They are most important. Even more important than the mechanics.

Of course not everything can be learned in a day, but that is simply because learning takes time, not
because anything is withheld -- especially the principles. Once I taught a group of about a hundred peopleduring a weekend in Chicago. None knew any martial arts or t'ai chi. I worked only on the Cheng HsinBody-Being principles of movement and structure, without teaching one technique or form. At the end, I had them make up a "t'ai chi" set using what I had taught them. No kidding, they did better t'ai chi thanmost people who've studied a t'ai chi set for years!
Hope I cleared this up for you.

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