Since I was young, I’ve always seen those kungfu movies where a student happens upon a ‘secret scroll’. After reading the scroll, he is able to execute the most fatal, unbeatable technique that no one can counter. When I began to explore taiji, I often read accounts of masters being able to effortlessly deflect and project someone with the slightest movement of their body. There has to be a secret in that, no?
Early on, I happened upon a book titled, There Are No Secrets. We then hear accounts of how a master, upon his deathbed, wrote down a ‘secret passage’ on a piece of paper to a tending student. After the master had passed, the student read the paper and it said, “Practice. Practice. Practice.”
Now we have videos of instructors explaining the intricacies of the art and show their applications. Even with all of this, I still continue to look for the infamous “Li Kong Jin” or empty-long-distance force, the ‘death touch’ of taijiquan. Have I been watching too many old school kungfu movies?
In a interview with Mah Yueliang (Wu Jianquan style master), he states:
There’s no mystique in taijiquan. What’s difficult is the perseverance. It took me 10 years to discover my qi, but 30 years to learn how to use it! Once you see the benefit, you won’t want to stop.
10 years to discover this qi! Wow.. I’ve often heard stories of how it takes close to 6 years for someone to begin to understand the basics in taiji. All this rambling is just more backing that I have a very long road ahead of me. The perseverance is truly difficult!