LFIAA “Maintaining the Concentration Within the Practice of Tai Chi Form”

One of the main problems that many individuals find within the study and practice of Tai Chi is the ability to fully maintain their concentration levels for the duration of a typical class training session that can be of an hour or more. I was taught that it is only through plenty of repetition of the Tai Chi Form during a class training session that individuals will gradually begin to develop their concentration, but it’s not just done to simply repeating the movements of the Tai Chi Form, it’s also down to how skilful you can make your Tai Chi movements become while you are practicing and not to simply copy and follow the person in front own movements, which many beginners obviously will do and what happens they pick the bad habits of the person, rather than concentrating on their own actions.

There are many different layers to the practice of the Tai Chi Form that every individual has to become aware of and be able to perform them. Theses particular layers are there to allow the individual to skilfully perform their Tai Chi movements in an accurate, relaxed and precise manner with the whole body moving as a connected whole with no isolated actions, secondly it means that the individual as to become fully mindful of their actions, making sure that they are in constant control of their physical movements with the mind leading the whole body. It is important that the individual maintains the same speed of their actions from the start to the end, there should not be any sudden change of speed for example when the individual steps forwards the lifting of the foot off the floor and the lowering of the foot back onto the floor must be of the same speed. Some individuals concentrate more on lowering their foot onto the ground slower than lifting it, whereas it should be of the same speed and it is up to the individual to fully concentrate and control their stepping.

Another layer for example that the individual must be fully aware off is the actions of their arms, for example their both wrists must close and gently open to control the actions of the fingers to either lower or raise them while performing the actions of their Tai Chi Form. Sometimes individuals will tense their wrist joints and lock them up not even realising that they are no longer performing the opening & closing of the wrist joint which means the skilful element as lowered, which is due to the lack of concentration by the individual. Developing the ability to concentrate is properly the hardest element of Tai Chi practice for any individual to develop and strengthen, it can only be improved through regular practice and lots of time and patience by every individual. Sadly I have seen many an interested individual stop their study and practice of the Tai Chi Form mainly because that they find it to difficult to calm and still their mind to be able to concentrate and raise the skilful performance of their Tai Chi Forms actions.

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