November 27, 2000: Master Ni’s method
& December 24, 2000: The Sequence of Forms
Stranger and stranger -
At the beginning of Tai Chi Class last Saturday Randy approached Master Ni with Tom, a student that he is coaching, and said: “Tom has finished Right and Left Side Tai Chi. Should I teach him Combination or Sword next?”
Master Ni: “After Right and Left comes Tai Chi Sword, not Combination.”
This set me to thinking.
After class I said to Master Ni: “Can I ask about your method.”
He wrinkled his brow like he didn’t understand or was skeptical -
I then asked: “Is your method Wu Tang - Taoist?”
His face lit up and he answered an emphatic, “Yes.”
This confirmed to me that he is a Taoist Master following the method of the Taoists of Wu Tang Mountain. He is neither Tai Chi teacher nor sword teacher, but is instead a Taoist master, who is employing Tai Chi and swords as the Way to transcend ordinary reality. Bill Powell, UCSB Professor in Asian religions, said that there are actually many Chinese Taoists in the US who teach Tai Chi as their method. He said most are more open about it than is Master Ni.
Taoist first - Tai Chi teacher second.
I asked Ni about his 'method'.
Immediately and quickly he answered - with no thought: “Warm-ups, Right, Breathing, Left, Right Sword, Left Sword, Combination, Push Hands, Double Sword, Wu Tang Sword.”
He didn't mention Hand or Sword Sparring. Further many have been through a different sequence. He seems to follow the propensities of the class.
Master Ni was happy about your class - saying the most students he ever had at one time was 23.
Stumbling drunkenly - the body named don