You are correct, I was typoing all through there.
Like I've said, many times, don't try to teach me chinese because I can barely be coherent in English and I've been being using that language, incorrectly, my entire life.
No, you've got that backwards and I have to stick with my original statement.
To use your bike analogy:
Falling off the bike happens as you practice applying the principles of riding one, but someone has to teach you how to ride one if you wish to learn to ride one well. (Can you learn to ride a bike by yourself? Of course. You can also teach yourself TCC. It will take you much longer and you will get a lot more skinned knees along the way, but you can teach yourself both if you want to.)
A teacher will teach you the principles of bike riding, which you will have to learn before you succesfully ride. You will have to practice the principles of riding to learn them, which means you will have to get on the bike and try.
You will be told or shown how to ride, you will listen to what your instructor tells you, and watch what he shows you, then you will try to do it yourself. You will, of course, hit the ground quite a few times because you will not be applying the principals of riding a bike correctly, if at all, the first few times.
You will get up and go back to your instructor and say, "What did I do wrong?". He will explain the principles to you once again, you will try again. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
You will eventually get one or more of the principles closer to right, you may actually stay on the bike for longer, but you will still be wobbling, still not doing it correctly because you don't know all the principles, and you will eventually fall down again.
When you do your teacher will tell you why, which principle he thinks you violated that lead to this fall, and you will try to correct that principle and get up and try again.
Correcting that principle throws off another principle, either in your mind or because you are physically over-correcting, or both, and you fall down again. Your teacher shows you another principle that ties in with the first two and you practice that until you get them all closer to correct and so you stay up longer this time.
You're still not doing it exactly right, but you and your teacher have taken you to a point where the bike stays up and you can now ride it for a while, at least in a straight line, without falling down.
Now, you must learn to turn that bike if you wish to go anyplace, you get cocky so you turn the handlebars thinking you understand the principles now, and flip right over the front of the bike as it crashes to the ground.
Your teacher then explains the principles of turning the bike, you try a few times and become succesfull enough at that so you can wobble around in a circle.
Eventually you will learn to go faster, turn smaller circles, do wheelies, handstands, whatever tricks it is that people do on bikes nowadays.
These are your "forms". The things you do on the bike. But the principles of riding are going to be there throughout and are what enable you to do the "form" of bike riding in the first place.
Once you get the principles of bike riding down, and then you practice them all time, you will eventually be able to figure out the tricky forms on your own and make that bike do what you either want it or need it to. Your teacher will go by the wayside and you will be on your own to create all the "form movements" on your bike that you could wish for.
Do you see where I'm going here?
At first we all simply mimick our teacher, but once we learn the principles we are doing "form". You can no more be doing "form" before you learn the principles than you could ride that bike before you learned those principles.
The principles first, the rest comes later. You can only learn the principles by trying to do them, and you do that by trying to do the form like your teacher does, but until you learn the principle behind the form you're not doing the form correctly.
If you were riding your bike, you'd fall off. But we're doing TCC so we don't fall down too much until we start free style sparring. After that... Well, you're on your own.
As one elderly student I used to practice with at the old Academy used to say "I have been learning TCC for over sixty-five years".
This "student" was one of the best players of the game I ever had the privilidge to meet and yet he said of himself that he was still only learning TCC, more each day.
I have done my best to remember this as my time has gone on in this strange art. I'm still the merest beginner at this art form, I'm still learning TCC because there are still principles, and principals, that I have yet to learn.
If I ever do learn all the principles, I will likely fall over dead from shock that instant and no one would ever know.
I'll be smiling though.
[This message has been edited by Wushuer (edited 09-08-2004).]