How do you know whether you are learning?
In terms of learning the Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method system, the assumption is that unless you have a special method, you are not learning. You might disagree with this assumption and believe, like many others, that you are learning and making progress. Your beliefs and conclusions are based on criteria that are not taiji, therefore, they are not valid.
What are the criteria that are invalid?
- I have been studying taiji for a long time (10, 20, 30 or more years).
- My teacher is famous.
- I am part of a famous and proper lineage.
- I know many forms and weapons and I can push hands.
- I have won many medals in various competitions.
- My taiji is very smooth and people like it.
- My master said my taiji is of high quality.
- Having a center.
- Elbow does not point up or sideways.
- In with elbow; out with hand.
- The knee does not move sideways.
- Try to use a yoga block (or something similar) to ensure the knee does not move. http://practicalmethod.com/2011/02/the-new-usage-of-yoga-blocks/
- Video tape yourself every three months to see if your form performance has improved.