Funktionshust is a German term for the pleasure taken in what one can do best. This pleasure this happiness- may increase the tendency to do these things. This is nature’s way of creating excellence.
From the first moment I started doing Tai Chi, I have regarded my practice as a source of pleasure, and I have derived a great deal of pleasure from it. This made me want to to do it more, which further increased my pleasure, on and on.
An important part of the role of the internal arts instructor is to help students find aspects of the internal arts that they can do well, thereby increasing the tendency for them to continue their practice. For some it lies in the physical realm, for others in the emotional, mental, spiritual, the restorative, philosophical, or any combination. As instructors, we must use our skills to look into the student, to help him or her find his special area of interest.
This week I posted a video from 1995 where I demonstrated the 34, 35, and 108 forms. I am constantly, in my mind, changing the forms, due to my understanding and practice. When I viewed this video, I was surprised by how similarly I do the forms now, and over 20 years ago. This can be viewed on You Tube at:
I would suggest that all of you who practice Tai Chi, have someone take a video of what you are doing now with the form. With the popularity of smart phones, this should be easy. Don’t worry that it might not be worthy of publication. Just download it to your computer so you can save it. This is for your own learning and interest. I think most people will be enlightened to view themselves from without, rather than glancing into a mirror, if one is available.
I have some video of my forms taken in 1973, which I know should be quite different, as my understanding of Tai Chi was so limited, even though I had started teaching. I’ll let you know when I post them.
Lastly, I just posted a 54 Form reference video, showing front and back views, and a section on applications with Sifu Stephanie Morrell. I never posted it in the past as I am not proud of my performance, but it is useful for learning the 54 and as a historical record of how the form evolves. It can be located at: