Feeling Natural 

If it feels unnatural, it’s probably wrong.

Master Chan says this from time to time. He said it to a Taijiquan magazine, about stances, and caused some controversy.

To those of us who struggle along in Chinese martial-arts, the statement is surprising. Much of the training is difficult. How could something difficult be called “natural”? How could Wuzuquan‘s painful, low stance practice, for example, feel “natural”?

I’ll gloss the idea with my interpretation: “if it feels unnatural, it’s not within your command“.

Yes, you should attempt the low stance, but it’s not really a practical part of your repertoire if you are struggling. However, you can still derive great benefits from attempting the position, which will improve with regular practice. When it’s good, truly functional, then it is in your repertoire.

The skills that are really ours, at our disposal, are the ones that fit us comfortably like a glove. We can employ them without the distraction of discomfort. The rest are works in progress.