One of the things we as students always have is an element of doubt. This is normal, but don't let it ruin your progress and it's all about managing your expectations.
How am I progressing?
The question we have on our mind. The quick answer is, if you're learning, you're moving forwards. Everybody learns at a different rate and that can take time. Small incremental progress is still progress. It's good to have some a target or objective, but be realistic. You wouldn't expect to jump from primary school to PhD in a short space of time would you?
Feedback is a gift
We are all students and this applies even those with years of experience. We are always learning and through this process, we strive to improve ourselves and art. It's helpful when we receive feedback as we're not always aware of any mistakes made. However don't be afraid to make mistakes, this is natural and part of the journey. Feedback might not always be a pleasant experience, but good medicine is seldom sweet. Where feedback is not a gift is when it's given on a negative basis.
Putting it all together
Taiji is a sophisticated art regardless of whether you're practising for health or as a martial art. Putting everything together is not easy. You have forms, theory and variations on a theme. This is where it can take some time to get it right, but a lifetime to perfect. Good progress is when you can make it all work. Mistakes give you the opportunity to learn and gain experience. The term, to have gongfu* is appropriate here as the term means an acquired skill. At the end of the day, your training never lies.
Remember to have fun
Learning a martial art is not an easy task, but it's best to put things into perspective. Remember to to loosen up and have fun. I've seen many a Taiji journey cut short as people stress themselves out by rushing into things and then lose the interest or the joy of learning.
That you for reading my blog.
*Gongfu is better known by the spelling of kung fu. Which doesn't necessarily means martial art, but can be applied to any skill trade or art.
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