Motivation Ideas Wanted

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Linda Heenan
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Motivation Ideas Wanted

Post by Linda Heenan » Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:40 pm

I'd like to pool a few student ideas. Have you ever felt the effort you put in in training is not reflected in the progress you make? I suppose almost everyone feels like that sometimes. What do you do in those times, to reinspire yourself, recapture the fun of taijiquan, etc? Do those efforts work?
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Linda Heenan
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Re: Motivation Ideas Wanted

Post by Linda Heenan » Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:15 pm

Here's the first idea - one that works for me.

Set small goals that depend on only you to acheive. Make them challenging but acheivable. This works for the goal setters among us who must see completed and assessible results to be motivated. (or you could join something with belt levels :lol: ) It will motivate completion oriented people but not process oriented types.
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Re: Motivation Ideas Wanted

Post by Aidan O'Brien » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:18 am

Personally, if I'm not feeling the magic, I watch Wuxia films. I know they're not real and are fantastical, but I fell in love with CMA through cinema. And watching the wonderful fight scenes inspires me to continue training.

Plus, I'm relearning the 108 empty hand and 54 jian simultaneously. Then if that's not enough to practice and keep me interested. I work on applications. 1 move a week, work on the applications I already know and then turn my mind to finding the other possible uses of it. Until I find the perfect move for me. (All moves are perfect when done correctly, but they are not all perfect for everybody.)

Finding perfection is a lifelong goal, refining and fixing the form until it truly is perfect. Plus I intend on forcing the form and techniques backwards, as far as possible to Yang Lu Chan's small frame. Since he was the finest exponent of the style who ever lived, being as close to his as possible is the best possible achievement. IMHO.

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J HepworthYoung
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Re: Motivation Ideas Wanted

Post by J HepworthYoung » Sat Sep 18, 2010 7:45 am

my teacher told me once that if you feel like you are not learning, then you are right at the edge of a breakthrough and need to keep practicing.

why do it at all?
why practice, why study?


i guess the silly but honest answer for me is that it has been helping me find my center
nobody benefits from my training but me.

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Re: Motivation Ideas Wanted

Post by Mark Linett » Sun Sep 19, 2010 2:40 am

Something that has inspired me is learning to practice the forms with both the right hand and the left hand.In this way when you practice pushhands you won't favor one of the sides. Also when practicing the form, start the form moving to your right rather than to your left. When starting the second duan, start by turning to the left and start the third duan by turning to your right. In this way you begin to know the form from inside out, to see the forms in a new light and perhaps learn to have a bit more patience with yourself.
Also you become your own teacher in the sense that you have to go back to what you have learned from the right side or right hand to teach yourself the other side. It's a challenge worth the time and effort.

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Re: Motivation Ideas Wanted

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:53 am

Linda Heenan wrote:... Set small goals that depend on only you to acheive. Make them challenging but achievable...
The sense of having moved forward or to be continuing to move forward in one's practice is always a big motivator. So your idea for small goals is quite good. I often suggest that students find one thing to fix in their form each week. It doesn't have to be something dramatic. But ask anyone, if they could fix 50 errors in their form, wouldn't he or she be really good? Everyone answers yes. So I suggest fix one thing a week & in just one single year your form will be very good.

Obviously, one can do the same thing for push hands, sanshou or swordplay. I do this work with my son in his fence. Three weekends ago, he lost a match in overtime by one point to a boy who was Second at last years Nationals all because of one technique he couldn't deflect well, the fletch. The very next weekend he was in an A level tournament, so the day before we primarily drilled the foot work he needed. It's simple foot work, he just needed to get it into his body. The result, he turned the tables on anyone using fletch on him, & instead of giving up points, he scored on his opponents who tried to use fletch. The result was he went up one rank. The point is, we made a very real change in his fighting ability with just one hour focused work that changed only one thing.

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Re: Motivation Ideas Wanted

Post by Michael » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:44 am

Here's one for when you're around classmates: Compare yourself to the person who just started, not the person above you.

More advanced students and teachers are good to look at as role models, but if you're not at their level yet, you probably don't know exactly how to get there(besides practicing and coming to class). That means that their skill level seems distant and maybe unreachable. Also, if they are improving as well, you will never notice your own improvements in relation.

Instead, look at the beginners. Practice with them and you'll see how far you've come. This is the single biggest thing that makes me feel like I've made the jump from beginner to intermediate in an art. Beware, though, that while this is good motivation, it can also play games with your ego. It doesn't make you qualified to be an instructor, it just means you're not on the bottom rung.

It motivates me to realize that I have already made progress, so it helps to periodically reset my perspective in order to see how far I have come.
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Re: Motivation Ideas Wanted

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:05 pm

Linda Heenan wrote:... What do you do in those times, to reinspire yourself, recapture the fun of taijiquan...
Sometimes, if you are just in need of a new focus or an idea to work with, you can just pick up a copy of the Yang Family manuals & randomly open the book to any page & read. There is always something there...

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Tashi James
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Re: Motivation Ideas Wanted

Post by Tashi James » Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:08 am

One of the greatest teachings of Taijiquan is perseverance.

I find it useful to vary the practice, to give myself small goals and as I have an affinity for empty hand, particularly chin na, I like to brainstorm different applications (i haven't got any one to try them on though, so its all visualisation-which means they may not work in practical terms).

It think it is good to practice in different environmental conditions as well, terrain, weather, (multiple aggressors if available, for application and sanshou if you are at that level--I'm not--but worth the thought).

IMO variation and perseverance is key though.
"There is nothing that does not become easier through familiarity" (Santideva).

"We become what we do repeatedly. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit" (Aristotle).

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Linda Heenan
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Re: Motivation Ideas Wanted

Post by Linda Heenan » Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:49 am

Tashi, I am training with three Canberra students on the 26th of this month. They will be sleeping overnight here on the 25th. You are most welcome to come and join in for the day. We'll be spending a whole day on Section 2 Michuan, jian, miaodao and dao.
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