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People come in to Tai Chi Chuan and complain about Tai Chi Chuan causing knee problems.  Tai Chi Chuan didn’t cause your knee problems, your approach to learning, which probably involved a more outward perspective is what crippled your learning process of Tai Chi Chuan.  Do you listen to speak? Or, do you listen to respond?

How you answer each will help you to think about how you understand your learning process.

Sometimes its a picture we think we need to imitate and sometimes its the practice of older, more experienced masters we want to like.  Let me remind you of something here. I am not supposed to look like you.  You are not supposed to look like me.  We are not supposed to look like any of the Great Grandmasters who are mostly caught in stances frozen in photos.  For starters, being photograph tends to cause people to “pose”, what is captured in those poses are very rarely reality, but you also have to realize the reality of that moment was to capture what looks good on camera.  Tai Chi Chuan is not something that is meant to look beautiful in photos, because Tai Chi Chuan is meant to be felt.  A common complaint I hear when beginners start to learn Tai Chi Chuan, is that their knees hurt.  This is either because you are bouncing in the knees or you are trying to turn in while staying weighted in the leg you are trying to move.  Tai Chi Chuan is about frictionless movement.  You need to shift your weight from the leg that is supposed to move and it is the anchored leg that is actually pulling or lifting the now free leg into place.

We also get a large number of people who come in with Yoga injuries.  Believe it or not, Yoga is not meant to be practiced in competition with who you see next to you.  Yoga too, is an inside job.  You are supposed to feel your limits and listen to your boundaries.  You are not supposed to go outside of minding your own business to look like anyone else or better than anyone else.  Not minding your own business is what creates Yoga injuries and if you make it a competition with anyone else, karma might just bite you in the ass with a self inflicted injury.

When practicing internal arts it is perhaps also important to understand the perspective of learning, from where you should be focusing and that is really all about you, all about you in the very Non-American way, which is about minding your own business.

Yoga didn’t injure you, your inability to practice internally did.

Tai Chi Chuan didn’t hurt your knees, your lack of listening to you, did.

Flow is not about how you physically can manipulate your body, Flow is about how well you can fully connect to yourself.  This is where you begin Body Mechanics and from Body Mechanics will come your technique.

4 Comments on “Injuries do not come from practicing Yoga or Tai Chi. The injuries comes from learning Internal Arts from External Perspectives. It’s not always good to Americanize everything, especially when you remove the Method of Learning from the actual Practice.

  1. I like your recent writings about Flow and the internal feeling. I have been trying to hold on to the intention, for example, to wash the dishes and keep feeling that flow that comes from that. Usually, I start washing the dishes and pretty soon I’m thinking about something that happened 40 or 50 years ago. Nothing like internal generation of energy based on a purpose or intention.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s nothing better than to flow freely in the moment. It’s creates such a relaxing environment. Too often we are thinking about the rest of the day and worrying about things we have no control over and cannot change. To find your intended state of presence is the gift you can always gift yourself and there is nothing that feels richer. Sometimes I switch from my dishwasher to hand washing just because of the same thing you described. We can choose to be unnaturally detached from who and where we are, or we can choose to flow from our essence of feeling which always finds us when we discover our presence.

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  2. From the classics it says that the movements must exhibit the incessant and continuous flow of a great river. I have been trying to understand this for some years now. Your writings have helped me to see a little flash of light that gives me hope of making some progress. Thank you, Sifu.

    Liked by 1 person

    • All flow comes from within. Don’t let your visual perception confuse you with what you think flow should look like. Seek the feeling. You can only flow from a Silent internal state, this is your Present State. The Present State flows because it exists in the NOW. It is what it is, its as simple as that. Happy that I’ve been able to help.

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