Taiji Day 20: Flexible Tradition

During this morning’s taiji form, I realized I wasn’t happy with the particulars of a sequence of moves within the form, and I was in position (although facing the wrong direction) to do them all again.  So I did.

That meant I finished facing the wrong direction.  So?

I ran into my friend Matt a little while ago, and he asked me to write a recommendation for him to his new Aikido teacher.

“My old teacher suggested him to me… he’s one of these experimenters, who tries every different position or variation twenty or thirty times.  But he needs three recommendations from each potential student before he accepts them, plus a recommendation from my existing teacher.  He’s awesome.”

If you’re going to be a practitioner of a martial art, it seems to me, that’s the right attitude: try all the postures frequently; examine each of the positions and processes and sequences from a lot of different angles and directions.  Slow down, speed up.  Jerk through the positions, or achieve procedural flow.  But DO IT.  DO it every day, do it to the best of your ability, do it even when you don’t want to.

That’s how to make it a part of yourself.

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