Vol. 13, No. 5
A man interested in Tai Chi Chuan classes called to ask me how much he would have to practice.
I told the caller how much practice he did depended on the time and interest he had and it was really up to him.
Practice is really a personal and subjective matter. In today's competitive society, where people are often over-extended, it is hard to find time to practice even when one really wants to.
In the article on the Chen Pan-ling style, Chien-liang Huang says old masters often would not teach new material or make corrections if they saw the student was not practicing.
Practice is necessary, not only to learn the movements correctly but to grasp the underlying principles.
However, there is an underlying equation that people apply to most of their activities. If they give their time, their money or even their emotions, they expect to get as much, if not more, back, usually right away.
In practicing Tai Chi Chuan, you will get a return. But it may not be the obvious one you are looking for, and it may not be for a while.
In fact, you may have to practice 5, 10 or 15 years before you will be able to appreciate the benefits accrued from the time you spent. And those benefits may be different from those that you actually thought you were getting when you started.
The longer you have done Tai Chi Chuan, the more it becomes apparent that practice – with insight – is crucial. But it also becomes apparent that no one can make someone else practice for long of the desire and the will is not there. - Marvin Smalheiser.