Copyright H. Kurland 1998 (From T’ai Chi Ch’uan And Wellness)

According to Grandmaster Cheng Man-ch'ing there are three basic faults in studying t'ai-chi ch'uan. The first fault is the lack of perseverance. The second is greediness. The third is haste. All three lead to mindless and sloppy learning of t'ai-chi ch'uan.

The idea is to focus on the basic principles when doing the form. More is not necessarily better. Some people are trying to learn every form or style they come in contact with, that is an expression of greed. Some people call them "Form collectors." They are in a rush to learn, haste. But this can cause confusion and not give them time to learn the forms correctly. It is better to take your time, learn step by step and not be in a big rush. That gives you time to digest what you learn. The haste combined with greed makes a mishmash out of forms and they all start looking alike. I have seen some teachers doing the Kuang Ping form that looked just like the Cheng Man-ch'ing form in energy. Students, who trained directly with Kuo Lien Ying, as I did, know there is major differences in the energy of those forms. This combining of energies may have been done for a reason, essentially making a new style, but it may also have been due to learning two different conceptual forms without keeping the idea separate. This is an example of being greedy and learning in haste.

Let your knowledge sink in. Learn one to two new movements per week. Unless you already have the basic exercises mastered, it is best to take your time. If you are more concerned about getting "through the form", than being in the form, then you need to go back and practice the basics.