What? Really?

“I don’t want to practice, cause I am afraid I don’t know what I am doing, and I don’t want to practice wrong. “

How many times have I heard a new student tell me this?

And I understand the sentiment. I do.

Learning something new, we all want to do it well, we want to get it right.

But in reality, when we are just learning something – how can we practice in anyway other than wrong?  And then, by practicing we discover how to learn. We see where our questions are, and where we enjoy the movement, and what part is hard for us. Practice becomes our exploration. And the exploration is the journey. The journey of taij.

It’s like saying I want to live, but I don’t want to make any mistakes, so I won’t start living until I am perfect. Well, none of us would have learned to walk or talk, much less become functioning competent adults in the world.

Same thing with Taiji   – you can’t wait until you are good at it to practice it. You have to start where you are.

The only caveat……don’t hurt yourself. Practice, practice wrong, and if it hurts, stop and talk to your teacher to find out what is wrong so you can correct it. And then go back and practice your new learning some more.


Til the next move

Enjoy your practice



  1. I’d much rather hear “what’s your question” or “No”, with the kindest (or not) of corrections than not practice my practice at all. I can still manage to not practice my form every single day but every day, my practice is with me. My practice usually takes me to places I either don’t know or am not sure of, so I take a guess and see how it feels. The newest joy is the final let go of diagonal flying! And that “feel” of (repulse like) monkey, I would love to explore that more. Thanks, I am learning/gaining so much. I know I have to wait and work for the full form but can hardly wait to start over at the beginning again. I’m looking forward to what this workshop has brought to your own practice and teaching methods. It’s sure to be personal for you and it can only be good for me and all of your students as well.

    Hugs to you and Ruth and Scott, sending love and energy from here to you all.

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