Single Tiger Emerges from Cave

Single Tiger Emerges from Cave


Why does a senior practitioner who attended a course previously still attend a same course?

— Moste, Switzerland


It is because he gets a lot of benefits from the course, besides seeing me and his friends.

When there are senior practitioners in a course, junior practitioners will benefit more than if all the course participants were junior practitioners. The extra benefits are obvious, like the seniors can help the juniors by correcting their techniques and giving them advice.

But in the same course, it is the senior practitioners who get the most benefits. This is a special feature of courses in our school, and may not be so in other schools. Why will our senior practitioners get the most benefits? An important reason is that the seniors can focus on skills, whereas the juniors still struggle with techniques.

For example, in learning "Lifting the Sky", junior practitioners will focus on the techniques, like how to lift their hands, and whether their arms are straight. Senior practitioners already know the techniques very well, so they focus on the skills, like how gently should they breathe in and out, and at what level of performance should they choose to operate so as to get the best benefits.

In a kungfu course, for example, in learning to apply "Single Tiger Emerges from Cave" to defend against "Black Tiger Steals Heart", junior practitioners will focus on the techniques, like "leaning" and not "blocking". Senior practitioners already know the techniques, so they can focus on the skills, like at what point of time should they defend against the attack, or at what point of space should they "lean" on the opponents' arm.

Senior practitioners also learn more about the techniques. For example, in "Lifting the Sky" senior practitioners learn that they should push up with the base of their palms and not with their fingers, and that they should pause for a while after dropping their arms. Junior practitioners will be quite satisfied if they can perform the pattern correctly without worrying about details.

It is not that when the senior practitioners first learned "Lifting the Sky" at a time when they were junior, these fine points of techniques were not taught. At that them they just wanted to perform the pattern correctly, without worrying about details.

Similarly, senior practitioners learn more about the philosophy of the art. They would learn, for example, that "Lifting the Sky" not only generate a chi flow, which was their main concern at the time they first learned the pattern, but also it would give them good posture and help them to free their mind from other thoughts.

It was not because these philosophical points were not mentioned when they first learned "Lifting the Sky", but at that time they were more concerned with using the technique of "Lifting the Sky" to have the skill to generate a chi flow. Now that they can use the technique and skill well, they can focus on deeper philosophy, techniques and skills.

The above is taken from Question 5 December 2018 Part 2 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.


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