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Postby Blues » Mon Oct 07, 2002 2:02 pm

I have recently discovered that my teacher has not been taught the entire Yang Long Form. He is missing many connecting moves. His reluctance to teach the 2 person set and many applications of the form now make sense to me. I was very surprised since he claims to have the true transmission, "the real deal". His teacher declares he is a "Master" and uses this title, but there is no record of his teaching lineage that is readily varifiable. I am now seeking a teacher that can guide me in the correct manner.
My question: Should I tell my teacher why I am moving to a different Sifu? or Should I just move and say nothing?
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Postby tai1chi » Wed Oct 09, 2002 12:00 am

Hi Blues,

fwiw, there's a saying "Teacher for one day: father for life." Imo, it's important to remember that your teacher assisted you in getting to a point where you can see his limitations. It would always be polite to thank him for that. OTOH, depending on him, he might feel insulted if you told him directly that you have outgrown what he can can teach you. Have you seen how he treats other students who have left? Do older students maintain contact with him? Anyway, I don't know which sort of exit will be the most graceful. I do believe, fwiw, that the worst thing you could do would be to disparage him.
Steve James
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Postby gene » Wed Oct 09, 2002 7:25 pm

I recently went through this experience with a wonderful teacher. I had been with him for almost 10 years and pretty much exhausted his taiji curriculum. (He did not teach taiji weapons or freestyle push hands.) Also life is short (maybe I was feeling more mortal post 9/11)and I wanted to experience some other views. I told him up front that I really enjoyed his program, but that I wanted to incorporate some other things. His response was that he felt badly that he did not have more information to give in taiji (he teaches Shaolin as well), but he understood. We're still friendly and I talk with him from time to time about techniques. I think a student owes the teacher the respect of being up front and polite. If the teacher is a good person (someone you would recommend to others), then he or she will care about you and respect your views on what is best for you. If the teacher is not as mature as we should expect, and reacts badly, then it's the teacher's problem, not yours. I agree with the preceding post that you should not burn any bridges or be rude or disrespectful. I would also add (somewhat tangentially) that my teacher, who'd had his share of problems with one of HIS teachers, always told me to separate the messenger from the message. Put another way, you can learn a lot from people even if they aren't perfect.

By the way, my decision was very tough for me, because I felt like I was losing a good friend whom I'd spent time with every week for years. I still miss the classes, but I don't regret the decision, because it's fun to learn something new (as long as you aren't jumping from form to form without learning at all).

Good luck.

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Postby Blues » Wed Oct 09, 2002 10:45 pm

Thank you for your responses, Tai1chi and Gene. Mostly they clarify what I have been feeling but perhaps was not quite willing to accept. This person is a very good teacher; he communicates well, sets realistic goals for students and mostly he is supportive and encouraging. Gene, I think I'll follow your lead and approach him in a similar fashion as you had done with your teacher. I'll move on but stay on good terms with him.
Thanks again.
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Location: Ontario, Canada

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