Over the many years that I have been teaching and practicing taijiquan in the Li, Yang and Sun styles and also through its many qigong exercises. I always come across the same problem with many individuals who decide to take up the study and practice of taijiquan, that because the practice of taijiquan and its qigong exercise involves slow, gentle flowing actions that it is easy to learn. The amount of individuals who suddenly realise that taijiquan is not an easy exercise to learn, that they have to engage fully in its practice, that they must remember and retain the quality of the movements and exercises.
To many individuals fall into this lazy attitude that they cannot retain the accuracy, quality and discipline of their taiji qigong actions. They believe that because it’s action are performed slowly that it will be easy, actually the slower the movements the more the body works in maintaining its balance by placing the bodyweight fully onto one leg alternating from one to the other for long periods, plus the arms are held away from the body not being allowed to touch and rest on the body. Then the individuals mind must then fully engage to harmonise the breathing with the accurate and disciplined movements.
The actual name that the Chinese give to taijiquan when translated into English means “Supreme Ultimate”. By giving it this name the Chinese were not messing about, they expected every practitioner of taijiquan to aim high in developing a quality based mind, body, breath exercise that fully brought the whole being into harmony to strengthen the health, fitness and wellbeing to live a long life with a youth vitality in their old age. Sadly, today to many individuals try and water down the practice of taijiquan and its qigong exercises making it so easy that it no longer challenges the individual to strengthen their mind and body connections.
There is a tremendous amount of depth in the practice of taijiquan that many individuals will never achieve. Because they are lazy in their approach to the practice and study of taijiquan, many do not do any daily self practice to help maintain the quality and accuracy of their movements, many cannot even remember the movements and exercises that they have learnt because of a lazy attitude, thinking that they will attain a high level of practice by not practicing themselves, this is a strange paradox.