If the teacher doesn’t like questions, then you might be in a cult. Questions are important, and should never be dismissed outright. If the teacher treats all questions with respect, then over time, the more questions a student asks, the more the teacher and student will learn. They will learn which questions are important, and which questions are the right questions, and why the question is the question in the first place. The nature of the question give insight into the student’s mind, and into the art itself.
Haha! I can feel it. That’s amazing.
The question is, “Why does the technique work?” or “When does it technique work?” We were talking about that guy who was saying “The problem with students is that they ask too many questions.”
The fact is that if the students aren’t asking questions, neither the teacher nor the student is learning anything, and you are probably in a cult. …Now, having said that, the teacher’s job is not to get you to stop asking questions.
The teacher’s job is to get you to ask the right questions, preferably at the right time. But that is a lifetime process. Right?
So, the students keep asking questions. And often you’ll get questions that seem stupid but then make you think. It’s important not to dismiss the questions right off the bat, because if you think about it, you’ll consider whether their question helps to understand where they’re coming from.
You will ask, “Does it help me go to where they are at, and help me to get them where they’re going?” So, you have to listen to what the student’s question is, understand why they’re asking that question.
Sometimes the question is just a way to show the teacher that the student is paying attention, or they want to show how clever they are by asking a clever question. Yeah. That was me. That was why I’m sure a lot of teachers just wanted to shoot me in the face with a bazooka a lot of the time. Because I would ask these questions.
But they were patient with me and they understood that I was, at some level, sincere.
The point is that the students have to ask the questions in order to understand what the right question is. As well, the teacher has to be able to entertain those questions to a degree. But sometimes the answer to the question is “Just do.” Okay.
A lot of the time the answer to the question is “Just do it. Just do.” because a lot of the time, this the student will ask very specific but irrelevant questions like, “Should the right foot be at a 45 degree angle or a 44 degree angle?” and the teacher’s answer is, “You should relax your shoulders.” because that’s not important right now. You don’t practice enough for it to make any difference. You need to actually just do this more. That is a good answer to that question.
But you never want to throw out the student’s question.
My best teacher would always say, “You can do it however you like.” Meaning, it doesn’t matter how you do it because you don’t practice enough for it to make any difference. But they never just said, “Stop asking questions” because the moment you tell a student “Don’t ask questions” you lose that student. I mean, they may keep coming. They may keep paying you. But you lose them as a student. You gain them as a cult member. It makes things easier for you, but not better for you.
So, when somebody asks me a question, then the the goal is to say, “Okay. Why are you asking that? What are you going to get out of that question? Does that question challenge me?”
And a lot of the times the students will ask questions and I’ll say, “I don’t know. Let’s think about that.” And sometimes, that means I need somebody to come and train with me for two or three hours while we work on an answer to this question, or I need to go take a science class to figure out the answer to this. Right.
But, too often, teachers just say, “Do this you’ll get it after a while.” But you won’t. The truth is that you won’t get it after a while if the teacher is not entertaining your questions. Right? They don’t have to entertain you. Right. But they do have to entertain your questions. Right? Because they have to show that kind of respect. Sure, sometimes the answer is “lower, longer” Yeah, and sometimes it’s “Ask me in a week or two.” or “Uh, see if you can find another way of asking that question” or “What do you think is the answer to that question?”
So, the thing is, when they ask a question, what is the real question? Why is the question the question in the first place? That is where you have to go if you’re trying to figure this stuff out.
…and and all this talk about oh the “power of chi (qi / 氣)” …I have no problem with qi 氣. Qi is real. but it’s not what people think it is, and as soon as people start talking about it, they’re wrong. So, people will ask me questions about qi 氣 and I’ll say, “Well, which one do you mean?” or I’ll say “Work on the physical first until you can feel your spine, and you can feel where your liver is, and then you can feel the connection to the ground, and then you can neutralize that….. now as you start to… as you start to do this…”
You see how your body has changed since day one? It has, yeah. And your response to this is entirely different from then. So I would be doing this kind of stuff and a lot of the times, like I said before, what I’m doing when I’m teaching… I’m not doing Tai Chi, I’m trying to get you to do it. Right. So, you know, me doing Tai Chi to teach you, sometimes it’s like teaching you how to box by punching you in the head.
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