What students find difficult to understand is that the work is reductive rather than accretive. It may seem that Taiji is all about learning Forms, but that is only the beginning stage. Once a Form is learnt it becomes a thing to repeat in practice day after day so that tensions adhering to the body, mind and spirit can gradually fall away. This is why solo practice – solitude – is always the most important aspect of the work, without which there is only the most superficial of progress.

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