The Well Is Very Deep

Picture of a deep well

One of the great things about learning Tai Chi is that although it is easy to start, the art has a depth that means your learning can progress and continue for as long as you want. With Tai Chi there are always deeper aspects to discover.

I used to have an instructor who would occasionally say to me “Very good…”, at which point I would glow with pride. He would then say “…but”, at which point I would worry. He would then go on to explain some additional element or subtlety that I could add to my Tai Chi practice to make it better, where better usually equated to being difficult to understand or hard to do.

Now, of course, there are people who like the thing they are studying to be neat and tidy. If you were a child studying mathematics and I taught you that TWO plus TWO equals FOUR, the great thing about that is that it’s pretty much an absolute fact 2+2=4. Yes, that’s always right.

However, there are other people (I am one, and maybe you are too) who like fields of study where the body of knowledge is continually advancing, like say particle physics, or anthropology, or… Tai Chi.

There are many layers to Tai Chi and of course many different styles and sub-styles, I have studied quite a lot of Yang style and some Sun style and a tiny bit of Chen, and Lee, and Wudang styles but that means I haven’t even started to look at Wu style or Hao style. And as for sub-styles, well I suspect that there are probably hundreds of those. Quite enough to keep someone busy for a long, long time.

And, as if that wasn’t enough, as you study even one style (any of them) you will keep finding things that you didn’t see before, applications; ways of using the body; ways of using the mind… It genuinely is as deep a study as you care to make of it.

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