“Body needs practice, Mind needs to quiet down”

After spending yet another great weekend with Grand master Pang, we dropped him off at the airport early in the morning. For those who don’t know master Pang, check his website.

With his 80 years of age and I think roughly 40 years of teaching experience, Pang’s words and advice are simple but condense with great value.
If you don’t believe in the health promoting aspect of Taichi, just meet the man. He “is” the proof that Taichi (but also Bagua, Xingyi) is beneficial for your health and has life prolonging qualities. His mind is still clear and his body remains strong and agile.
I mean you see a lot of masters on the internet, who are throwing around youngsters like a twig and shooting Qi in all directions … but so what … . When I see them move, look into their eyes and listen to their words, none have what master Pang has; Jing, Qi, Shen (voor latere Blog).
I personally, don’t know about you guys, am not so interested in shooting Qi out of my fingers while having to walk with a stick in daily life.  No disrespect to the people who can but I think I personally prefer being in good health with a strong mind to enjoy life.

In this day and age I think Master Pang is right when he says: “Body needs practice, Mind needs to quiet down”. Now the following is all my own interpretation of what Pang says, so I’m not speaking in his name. I just want to share and ponder on his words.
Pang has made his own special way of doing the Yang style Taichi. He didn’t change the form so much, but rather changed the way you perform the existing movements. This is where Pang’s system “shines”.
The only problem … is the people practicing it. Pang adheres to the biomechanical laws of the human body: the normal range of muscles and joints. This method involves being conscious and aware of what you’re doing, taking no shortcuts. A lot of students say it’s difficult. True, it takes time and insight to develop the basic skills and without you being conscious and aware of what you’re doing its hard to book progress. But that is not the definition of “difficult”; it is the definition of “studying”, studying  to attain skill.
Studying and training are 2 different things. Students of Taichi and other Internal Martial arts should study their art. It’s like reading a book.
You can read a Classic of Chinese Medicine in one day and know something about its contents. But that is a complete different thing than studying the book. Studying means putting the book aside to allow the contents to permeate your own essence. It means to stop and think about what you’re reading, even better, to be aware of what you’re reading. Sometimes you have to go back a chapter and reread it or go further in the book to draw lines between chapters.
I guess you get the picture, not? Understanding 1 form vs. knowing a lot of them.
Most people haven’t made that choice yet when they start doing Taichi, and sadly, a lot of them never make that choice. They’d rather blame the system or the teacher instead of looking inward.

“The only secret out there is “you”, try to understand that.”

Pang don’t force people to do it as perfect as he does, “just do what you can” he says. It’s better to do it a little bit sloppy than trying to do it right at all costs. Remember the beginning: “Body needs practice, Mind needs to quiet down’. Is your mind quiet when you’re frustrated about your own abilities at that moment in your practice? I think not.
Its true, as Pang says, that in that case the sloppy one who sticks his butt out and allows the knees to buckle inward can still have greater benefit. Why?? Because at least he is enjoying himself and believes in what he’s doing.  Admit it, nothing worse than looking at somebody who doesn’t like what he’s doing, right?
And of course an even greater benefit can be achieved if you combine all you are with the knowledge of how to move your body. Being sloppy in not the same as being lazy, You should at least try to do it right of course.
You “are” Taichi; one “complete” moment in time. An individual expression of who you are, that is unmistakably recognized by people.

Thanks my Sifu: Henny Eleonora, who always pushes me to think for myself and pave my own way in the labyrinth of life. Thanks to master Tze Yau Pang for once again sharing his knowledge and showing much more than movements.

Als je interesse hebt in het trainen van Taichi contacteer me dan gerust.

Hope you enjoyed this.

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2 Replies to ““Body needs practice, Mind needs to quiet down””

    • Ruud Vercammen Auteur van dit bericht:

      Hey Marth,

      Thanks for the reply, glad that the info was insightful. I try to write as much as possible in English so that a lot of people can read it.


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