Sporadic training advice

Tim's Discussion Board: Ba Gua Zhang : Sporadic training advice
   By Anonymous on Tuesday, October 24, 2000 - 09:50 pm: Edit Post

I have been training in Ba-Gua for almost a year & I practice daily , but our classes are very sporadic sometimes only meeting once a month.I am very serious about learning the art, but sometimes I feel that I am not getting enough feed-back & that no form is better than bad form. My question is, do you feel instruction once a month is enough to progress in an art as complex as Ba-Gua ?

   By Anonymous on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 - 02:45 am: Edit Post

What happens once a month? Do you get good feedback and correction on the forms you are already practicing? Do you practice in between classes with any classmates? In other words, how much of a vacuum are you in?

   By Bob #2 on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 - 02:48 am: Edit Post

Certainly. Minimal progress is still progress.
On the occasions when you do meet with a teacher focus on answering whatever questions you discover during your daily practice.

It will take longer.. but by the time you find
more steady instruction, you'll have the basics
down and a focused attitude regarding what you want to get from a teacher.

Some of my students are geriatric and it isn't
easy for them to get around. And a few of them
are only able to afford to see me once a month- so
I do what any good teacher would do- I work the
everlovin hell out of'em while they are available.

Minimal is one of my favorite words. "Minimal".
How did they come up with that. I always wondered if they were sitting around deciding what to
call things. And said " hmmmm it's something so small.. it's almost like a little animal... but a mini animal...Hey, let's call it 'MINIMAL'".

And now that you bring it up, who were "THEY",anway? These people who made up words for ALL the other people to use. Forever. For everything. It's kind of creepy to think that "THEY" decided what words like 'creepy' and 'forever' and 'words' ages before you were ever a twinkle in your fathers eyeballs.

Eyeballs. Check out that "word". "Eyeballs"... "Twinkle". "out". "that" "th" "ththththth"
it's freaky. "FREAKY". It just makes you want to go crazy doesn't it.Lighting yourself on fire or hitting yourself in the head with a clever or a potted plant or a tire pump.

good luck "in" your training,
Roberto Numero Dos

   By Mike Taylor on Wednesday, October 25, 2000 - 03:25 am: Edit Post

To Anonymous Posting Original Topic,
Yes, you can learn with sporadic classes -- even if you don't practice (much or at all) between them, provided you occassionally review material (even if you practice a particular concept for only about 10-to-20 mins. at a time); however, more (good) practice brings about faster (& sometimes better) results.
A suggestion (I've got many, but I'll just offer one for now): since you're away from constructive criticism for a month at a time, try to do a form (or forms) EXACTLY as you're taught; don't try to experiment early on. Get the form -- or forms -- firmly in your "muscle memory" before blending them together (&/or using variations), else you may "lose" some of your forms [that is, you may become confused on aspects of a form (or more that) you had been doing fairly well with before the deviation occurred]. :-)

   By Mike Taylor on Tuesday, October 01, 2002 - 02:57 am: Edit Post

An additional thought to the above advice,

Ask your instructor what energies (or intents) are being practiced in a given form & seek to "feel" them & it's this feeling (or feelings)that you want in your "muscle-memory."

And here's something to ponder:
Some schools (martial-arts schools in general, not just Ba-Gua schools) "dump" the basic forms after awhile in favor of free-form (once the "feelings" of the basics are understood/ingrained), while other schools practice their basic forms constantly, without change (like many karate schools).

   By Ty on Thursday, October 03, 2002 - 07:10 pm: Edit Post

To Anonymous Posting Original Topic,
I agree with Mike for the most part. Your body and mind will still benefit from training. Once you arrange for regular good instructions you will be able to improve upon your sills. I would like to emphasize "more (good) practice brings about faster (& sometimes better) results."

To Bob#2
Minimal and minor are both akin to Old High German minniro smaller and Latin minuere to lessen. Don't freak Bob. Our language is constantly changing. By usages words come to be an integral part of our language. If you don't like the word just don't use it.

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