Just recently, after several decades training, I came to understand that techniques in themselves don't work. ...
What do mean with "technique in itself"?
The more I practice (it's not even 20 years) the more I experience that technique teaches me, teaches my body, i.e. it's structure, it's skill to perceive and to be - what we call her - permeable ... It is not the outer shape of technique, but the millions and millions of details lying under the surface of a technique, that teach the practioner and "transform" him over time.
(Just to take an example: Standing hanmi. You can stand in hanmi and nothing happens. It might look "correct", but it doesn't "do" anythink. It doesn't "work".
And you can learn to stand "correct" in hanmi and suddenly you are doing "sort of qi gong" without even understanding it at first. The differences are very, very small. I sometimes don't see the corrections of my teacher with my eyes, but only feel them with my body. And this has enourmous effects you come to notice. So isnt't this the technique in itself, that works?)
So in my understanding it is just and "only" technique that works. But I think we may call different "things" technique?