4 Practice Partners You Should Avoid

The next time you go to class, watch out for these 4 practice partners. While they all start out with good intentions, if you hang out with them too much, you’ll get sucked into their quirky habits and slow down your own progress. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

1. Checklist Charlie

Checklist Charlie is the tai chi student who is forever stuck in his own head. Every time he practices, instead of feeling his body, he recites a list of stuff he is supposed to be doing. For most people, “soundtracking” your way through the form is a legitimate learning phase, but Checklist Charlie is stuck there forever.

2. Intense Irene

Intense Irene takes her practice way too far. At first, this is a good thing. She works hard and uncovers a lot of depth. Over time though, she goes too deeply into one thing and it distorts the rest of her practice, leaving her potentially injured, way too tense, and out of balance.

3. Workshop Wally

Workshop Wally loves to collect pieces of his practice, like random pieces from a bunch of different puzzles. When he tries to fit them all together, it’s a total disaster.

4. Environmental Ernie

I’m not talking about your “greenest” student, I’m talking about the one with no internal motivation to practice. Environmental Ernie relies on the external environment, fellow students, regular classes, instructor-led sessions, to do his practice. And I think that’s fine! We can all learn from his laid-back ways.

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  1. Thanks, Dan. This is a nice piece. It seems to point to a diversity of how much people practice; what they practice, including focusing on one aspect vs. integrating, and to what degree or balance between the two; and why they do it.

    Important whether you’re trying to learn, or trying to teach.