I just received the following e-mail on Sunday from John Lovas. I was asked to post.
I was the one who chose the title here.
I inadvertantly started this debate when, unable to swallow Mr Sigman's claim that Uechi Ryu students can't benefit from a weekend (Taiji) Push Hands workshop, I asked Sensei Mattson for his opinion. Sensei Mattson felt, as I did, that given the common Chinese roots of Uechi and Taiji, it would make perfect sense to "cross-train". Here's a brief follow-up:
Eight of us Uechi Ryu students (each with 3 to 5 years Uechi training, but none in Taiji) spent a total of 7 intensive hours last Saturday & Sunday learning "Push Hands" from Yau-Sun Tong (http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/~taiji/
· a Taiji master from China, and his very friendly, helpful students.
Master Tong is a very competent teacher and excellent martial artist. Though we were relatively "stiff" initially, everyone was pleasantly surprised with the rate of our progress. Push Hands in Taiji is probably like Sanchin in Uechi - there's a GREAT deal more depth to each than meets the beginner's eye, and many years of daily practice continues to yield benefits. There's clearly much for Uechi students to learn from a good Taiji teacher who is willing and interested in teaching his/her art. The workshop WAS definitely worthwhile for all of us.
On a humerous note, several of the Taiji students were openly surprised that we Uechi folk were friendly and displayed "beginner's minds" in the workshop - NOT at all consistent with Mr Sigman's comments about us on the Neijia listserve.
Check-out Sensei Dave Hunt's "Atlantic Martial Arts Training Camp" July 9,
19 & 11 right here in glorious Halifax, Nova Scotia :http://members.tripod.com/karatecamp/