Students today in the West are luckier than those of 15 or 20 years ago when not everyone could find a teacher of any kind of Tai Chi Chuan. Those who did find someone skill in the art were even more fortunate.
Today, there are many more teachers, including many people from China. And there is more information. Some teachers are giving out much more important information than was discussed in the past. And it is much more accepted for them to do this. A lot of this information is coming out in the pages of T’AI CHI Magazine.
But the burden is still with the student who must practice and experiment and always try to understand at an intellectual level and also at a sensory level.
Often the meaning of a teaching or the T’ai Chi classics will not be understood until the student has put in a certain amount of time and made a certain number of mistakes.
Stil, after much practice, there will continue to be a lot of confusion about basic principles. An example is keeping the back straight. This is not widely understood by many experts.
Even the Yang style, the most widely practiced tai Chi style, is often misinterpreted.
In an article in this issue, Wu Ta-yeh clarifies important points about its evolution by Yang Cheng-fu, who continued to improve the style.
We are on a continuum and, fortunately, that process is working in favor of students more and more.