Saturday, December 1, 2007

December: Cute Hippie Chick Of The Month: (and other thoughts)

Ah yes, It's the first of December, it's snowing outside Dojo Rat's shack, and you know what that means--- Cute Hippie Chick Of The Month!
This young lady, third eye bead and all, is the living image of the hippie chick theme. Listen to her idealism, her compassion for humanity and hope for the future. There is no doubt that in this hopelessly screwed up world, we need more people like her. Listen to what she says about "planting the seed" and "cultivating". As I've said before, I believe that as we approach "Peak Oil", there will be a return to an agrarian society. It will probably involve co-op farming built around small communities. During the FIRST great depression, the farmers never went hungry.
I had a young guy come to the Tai Chi Chuan class this week for his first class. He followed us through the form and then watched as we did some push-hands. I saw him the next day and asked him what he thought. He said he loved the push hands, but didn't think he had the patience to learn the form. I said I would never teach anyone push hands if they wouldn't learn the form, so he may as well quit now. This is interesting; some students only want to do the form, usually women or older folks, and some just want to get physical and learn a little self defense. I come from a hard style background, and always integrate self defense into our Tai Chi class. But I have no interest in teaching just one portion of an art like Tai Chi Chuan. I don't think a practitioner can be well-rounded without both form training and self defense. I suggested he find a Karate school instead. If this guy comes back, I'll probably make him just do form training until he can at least demonstrate the first set of the Yang form, and then have a talk with him about push hands.
Bob over at "Striking Thoughts" has given me a sort of sideways challenge: He wants to see me develop a one-handed lock-flow drill while holding a Beer in the other hand...
Bob; I'm already working on it, give me a couple of weeks to set up the video!


Sa Bum Nim Pieschala said...

I gotta be a pig, "Oh really baby .. now roll over"


Dave said...

I'm wondering: could you show a student like this guy that all the push hands stuff COMES from the form? Do you think that might make a difference? Or did you just get the vibe that he was hopeless?

I've often wondered about how to present my material in a way that will not push people away and yet teach them something real.

Formosa Neijia

Dojo Rat said...

I did have a talk with him about self-cultivation aspects of the form, but we were in a busy public place and didn't have too much time. He commented that "everything in his life is coming so slow right now" indicating he is impatient. You have a very good point about showing him in more detail how the form relates to push hands, and I will explain that to him if he comes back. In both Karate and now Tai Chi,I have seen so many people come and go (you know how it is) that I now tend not to invest a lot of effort in a new student until they have been there a few times and show real interest. As a life long martial artist, I guess I get frustrated with flakey wanna-bees. Maybe that's something I should try to improve in myself...

Dave said...

I see what you're saying. In the past, I have invested too much time in new students, too. I sometimes forget that not everyone has my passion for MA. How to do just enough with them is difficult.

Formosa Neijia

Dojo Rat said...

Thanks Dave, it constantly forces us to re-evaluate our teaching and our teaching goals and our personal goals...

YOUNG said...

Give a free lesson or 2.
But the lesson is just standing in a corner, and stay awake.

I don't remember where I learned this. Either from my auntie or from the Tung family Red Manual.
In the "old schools", the teachers only taught the students to stand for months to a year before the lessons of movement.

The lesson is about breathing. There was a proper breathing technique. But I cannot find the origin of this statement. Some manuals says breathe naturally. Yet, I found others teaching Ho Nan Shaolin breathing technique.