Books and Teachers

If I believe entirely in books, better not read books; if I rely entirely on teachers, better not have teachers.

— Master T.T. Liang

I dug up this quote after reading a post by Shang Lee regarding Reading versus Doing taiji. Does this same logic apply if we believe too much in our own experience?

[tags]taiji, quotes, ttliang, books, experience[/tags]

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About wujimon

taiji, meditation and health
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5 Responses to Books and Teachers

  1. That is one of my favorite quotes, but I don’t think it originated with T.T. Liang.

    Experience is always correct. The problem lies in the suppositions following the experience. To give two common examples:

    “This is one way to perform it” –> “This is the only way to perform it”

    “I have never seen it” –> “It is impossible”

  2. ZMS says:

    What is we never experience grappling? Does that mean our experience is still valid? Or only valid up to that point in time subject to future experiences 🙂

  3. “Invalid experience” is an oxymoron.

  4. wujimon says:

    @Chris
    One thing I worry about experience, is the scenario in which we are experiencing “the wrong” thing. For example, in taiji, if I experience power when I fajing through the whipping of my knees, however I’ll never know if this is correct/incorrect without some sort of guidance or correction either via books or teachers.

    I think an the best route would be 20% books, 20% teachers, 60% experience.

    @ZMS
    I agree with Chris regarding the oxymoron, however I think you’re eluding to the situation in which we are never put in a situation where grappling is involved, yet we think with taiji training and push hands sensitivity that we’d be able to “hold our own” in a grappling situation.

    If this is your thought, then I agree with you. In fact, I wrote about this exact scenario in a post titled: Understanding Taiji Only With Taiji.

  5. ZMS says:

    yup brother that’s what i mean. that is why i suspect masters of old plus less of a premium on free sparring and instead focus on learning skills that can be applied universally to changing situations. with the mastery of change then free sparring is useful otherwise its useless – case of putting the cart before the horse 🙂

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