When we learn Tai Chi and Kung Fu, we receive knowledge from our instructor, and practice that. We do this over and over until we have it ingrained in ourselves. Ingrained in our bodies, so we don’t think about what to do, we just do it! This is called body knowledge.
We as students will hear from our teachers, and sometimes struggle (sometimes not) to incorporate what we’re learning. We’re all the same in this… We all learn differently and at different paces. One of the best teaching techniques that I’ve learned is to just let the student learn… they have the puzzle pieces before them, they just need to put them together. A teacher will get the student started, but at some point the teacher has to back away and let the student finish by themselves.
As a teacher, this can be a difficult thing. however, it is essential for each student to learn, not just for the instructor to teach. We’ve all heard the aphorism: you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. We each have our own paths in life. Even when we share very similar paths (i.e. students in a Tai Chi or Kung Fu class), we all take different things from it. We all incorporate different things into our lives and practices.
A teacher cannot force a student to learn. We can only bring them to the water. We as students need to be thirsty enough to drink though. We as students need to put the puzzle together. We need to take an active role in our learning. It is for ourselves that we are learning Tai Chi, and Kung Fu. We should create, in the learning process, a path to what we want to learn. Let us work towards making this learning process body knowledge… We don’t think about it, we just learn!