The key of the matter is, to have to keep up with a high performance level in chi-related discipline, one have to do literally 24 hours a day!
In Zen Buddhism, it is called being in Zen during walking, living, sitting and lying down (行住坐卧）. Wang XianZai had been reported to be asking some of his students something like: "try to 'attack' me in surprise and you'll know my art". His physique was supposed to be trained and being ready at all time.
Recently I came across a book by a student of the late Yang-style master Wang YongQuan (汪永泉） publishing his study notes. It was said that Wang advocated 24 hour tai-chi practice, in the sense the the body and mind of a practitioner shall be in a state according to tai-chi requirements as taught be Wang, which essential means chi-ready.
I totally agree with this advice of 24 hour practice. How to creatively execute this objective in practice will be another issue. One example is my previous post: Power Mudra for everyday use.
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