GAUGING THE PROGRESS OF CHI KUNG AND KUNGFU
After learning either one of these great arts, how do we know whether or not we are doing it correctly? Who gauges our progress ?
-- Jack and Steve, USA
The best test is to access your results against the effects these arts are purported to give. As chi kung is purported to give good health, vitality and mental clarity, you should have these results if you have prcatised it correctly. If you do not experience any noticeable results, it is likely you have correctly practised not chi kung but some form of gentle exercise that pretends to be chi kung.
Such a situation is more obvious in Taijiquan. Virtually all Taijiquan classics mention that Taijiquan develops internal force and is very effective for self defence. If you have practised what you think is Taijiquan for some time but do not know what internal force is or how to defend yourself, it is certain that you have not practised Taijiquan although you might have practised it correctly.
On the other hand, if you feel uncomfortable, painful, nervous, weak or sickly, what you practise may or may not be chi kung, kungfu or taijiquan, but you have practised it wrongly.
The best person to gauge your progress is your teacher -- if you have a good teacher. Because of his experience and wider perspective, he is usually a better person than you yourself to gauge your own progress. But if you have chosen a mediocre instructor as a teacher, who himself has little experience of what he teaches, obviously he is not a good judge.
But in your case, after you have completed the intensive course from me, you yourself would be a good judge as you would know exactly what to look for in your own accessment. Your friends too would be able to gauge your progress. If you have practised correctly what you have learnt from me, your friends would not fail to notice the good health and vitality in you.
The above is taken from Question 3 of March 1998 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.
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