(what we're doing isn't what he wants us to work on. Usually, his correction is that we’re not sticking, adhering, connecting, or following properly.)
Reading this brought a smile to my face with many happy recent memories.
My teacher in china at 86 is always smiling, and radiates a very happy and serene demeanor.
Many of his students used to practice other IMA / CMA styles for quite some time before comeing to him. I think that at times the perception of what taiji is gets clouded with past experiences and expectations. As most of us have found taiji really is very different when meeting someone who truly has it, even a small part.
At times when the pushing got rough, he would step in and say this is not shuaijiao (Chinese wrestling) this is the power of taiji. With little to no movement he would toss each away. He would laugh and invite us to use what ever we liked on him, softness and emptiness can be truly scary at times. I was tossed to, he did this so we could feel what he was talking about.
My Chinese is not really good but I did note that even if one could understand and communicate well in Chinese it helped but really not that much.
This is how I understand things at this time, shen is shen, yi is yi and qi is qi. I know what it is, and how it feels but could not tell another what it is as in explaining it. But I could make them feel it as he did to me.
In talking to me he did mention that certain skill sets, would take a while to develop, 5,10, 20 yrs. He said that in time with correct practice one would get it but that many seem to get tired and rush it after some small improvement thinking they have the real skill.
This leads to stagnation and limited development, unfortunately it also seems that some people who are very vocal reaching a partial understanding declaring it as a full understanding. People who are quite good tend to be quite about it for the most part.
Taiji is alive and well, softly and quietly practiced in the mornings all over the world.
funny thing he also mentioned that at age 60 most people achive a major break through in skill level. imagine that at 60! I should mention that many of his older students 50--70yrs are quite good, not some one you would want to mess with in the street.
[This message has been edited by bamboo leaf (edited 04-09-2005).]