In traditional Chinese martial arts and qigong, there are two ways to learn. One is to join a school and learn as a student. This is how most of us get into the arts, and the lessons are enjoyable and productive. The student joins the class to get a chance to learn and feel the arts for herself, learning and training alongside others in a group environment.
The other method is the way of the indoor student. This is when the teacher and student form a close bond and the student takes on a stronger commitment, devoting extra time and energy to the training. In kind the teacher offers a more in-depth instruction, challenging and pushing the student to go to a higher level of practice. The teacher holds back nothing, depending on the students motivation to train hard to absorb what is offered. This path is much more difficult but the rewards can be greater.
We at WTIA have been lucky enough to have teachers who taught openly in the inner door fashion. Although we are not official disciples of anyone, we’ve done our best to fulfill our teachers’ generosity and openness by training hard and seeking to absorb and embody the skills and principles we’ve learned.
In thankfulness for what has been passed to us, we’ve carried on the tradition here in the San Francisco Bay Area offering classes and seminars giving our students everything that we have to share. In our class everyone receives the inner door teachings, but it’s up to the student to devote their time and energy to bring this to fruition.
We’ve stuck to the traditional ways, but we also want to offer up some of these teachings to our friends who aren’t nearby, and as inspiration to our students here at home. With that in mind we’ve decided to issue a series of blog posts called Inner Door Training that will pass on some of the key points from the Chinese internal martial arts and Taoist qigong that we think can help others.
We hope you enjoy them and please give us your feedback as you experiment and discover these skills.