My journey and knowledge gained on learning Taiji Quan
by Poh Keng Song
After completed the full cycle of National Service, I hardly exercise regularly. Ever since I have encountered some knee problem, the thought of learning Taiji has been on my mind as I have heard so much about the health benefits derive from practising the taiji, especially the muscles and joint of the body. While I was short listing which Community Clubs should I enrolled the class in, I happened to meet one of the ex-instructor of Rennie Chong Tai Chi Training Centre in Bukit Gombak. Through his recommendation, I signed up for the Wednesday Class after having understand the structure training programmes as well as reading up some of the very useful & informative information and articles in the RCTCTC website.
The learning journey of the Yang style taiji 37 form was not an easy task since I do not have any basic knowledge on taiji. The initial warming up and stretching exercise not only focus on relaxes the body muscle and loosening the joints, some of them are actually quite strenuous exercises which helps to toning up the leg muscle and it is also an important foundation to some of the taiji form. Without realising, I have already slowly building up those muscles to enable the execution of the taiji form easier. With proper guidance, patience and willingness of Shifu Rennie Chong and the instructors to repeatedly guide and demonstrate on every lesson with detail explanation of the relevant taiji application, I was able to understand, memorising and executing the sequence of each of the 37 form easier and improving on my posture and concentration. Besides the physical forms of taiji practise, Shifu also imparted us with the theoretical aspects of taiji quan by giving out relevant notes and explain the taiji movements, sharing his deep well of experience and knowledge on taiji quan with us.
Despite learning taiji for 2 years, I still have much room for improvement in terms of the understanding and put on practise on how to relax the muscle (song) and the proper executing of the form via movement of ‘Kwa’ instead of only our hands movement. It is still a long way to go on practising and fine tuning by Shifu Rennie Chong. I hope to at least grab hold of the important aspect of taiji and able to complete the Yang style taiji 37 form without much ‘mistake’ and move on the journey to another higher stage of learning taiji quan.
Thank you Shifu Rennie Chong and all instructors!