Reviews: Fairfield Workshop, July 29 and 30
Posted by Editor on August 8, 2008
Attendees were most enthusiastic in their appreciation of the experience with Chen Zhonghua, at the workshop, July 29 and 30, in Fairfield , Iowa. Following the video below, read on to hear from others who attended.
Private lesson with Master Chen Zhonghua during the Fairfield Workshop:
I have been to a number of Master Chen’s workshops in the past and have always gotten a lot out of them and I will enthusiastically continue to attend. This is the first time, however , that I have ever scheduled a private lesson with Master Chen. As the time drew closer, I looked forward to my lesson. I had a list of questions and a set of specific goals that I wanted to address during the lesson. When it started, Master Chen asked me what it was that I wanted to work on. I described my goals and he immediately began to lead me through a focused, step by step process of postures accompanied with in-depth explanations. As one idea became clear, he would start explaining the next part to me. Master Chen would demonstrate a posture and then have me copy him, correcting me so I replicated his examples as precisely as possible. He would add extra information at just the right time, as if he could sense when I understood a new concept and was ready for more. This created a nonstop experience of learning for me that was organized and complete. It definitely increased my understanding of Taiji.
I am very glad that I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to schedule a private lesson with Master Chen. Because of it, I was able to return home and immediately begin to improve the way that I practice Taiji. What a great thing!
Many thanks to Master Chen for offering these private lessons! I’ll look forward to the next one.
It was great to come to the work shop. I am starting to really appreciate the special knowledge Master Chen has ………The special personal opportunity to study with him directly………………….to learn from such ancient traditions…………. It really is something to see him in person ………..
My Experience and Lessons Learned From A
Private Lessons with Master Chen
I’ve been studying Chen Taji for a little more than a year and a half with one of Master Chen’s disciples. There were a few other options for martial arts instruction available to me that didn’t appear to be options at all. I am one that is drawn to depth (on many levels), understanding, struggle, and the need to commit time and effort for growth. After my private lesson with Master Chen I sure was experiencing those growing pains on many levels.
The first lesson I began working on is listening. Master Chen corrected me on numerous occasions on either making interpretations of what he was saying to me and anticipating what’s next. He clearly illustrated this to me verbally with this statement of “the principal in Taji is truth is definite—the interpretation is infinite”. This was then followed up with several examples of misinterpretations I made throughout our lesson that altered the meaning, content and context of what he was teaching me.
It is my nature to anticipate what is next as a means of putting things together to gain understanding. In doing so, I take myself out of the moment. My attention becomes split and leads me to missing the subtleties of the art…which is most of it! If I can’t fully listen to the Master then how can I fully listen to my opponent?
The many other lessons I learned had to do with the structural and operational dynamics of the art…numerous corrections to be mindful of as I continue on this journey. One of the humbling aspects of my 2 ½ hour private lesson was that I was taught within the construct of one posture, Buddha’s Warrior Pounds Mortar. Indeed this is an art and a Master with great depth. I very much look forward to my next lesson with Master Chen.