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How To Find A Tai Chi Instructor (Part 1)

Apr 5, 2008
This article explains the bare minimum amount of knowledge that any beginning Tai Chi teacher, style, school or method of Tai Chi should know and be able to convey in order to teach Tai Chi. Without this basic knowledge students will not be able to gain any of the real health, healing or energetic benefits of Tai Chi. Most of what is detailed here is normally taught within the first year or two of Tai Chi training and can easily be learned within the first 3 years of training.

Imagine going to the auto dealer and buying a high performance Sports car that costs more than your house. The cost was a little bit cheap compared to other more reputable dealerships but you sign a statement agreeing to buying the car as it is and with no refund in consideration for the cheaper price. Then, after you buy the car, you find out that you did not get what you thought you paid for. Instead, you got the car frame/shell and all of the internal mechanical parts are missing or have been replaced with a 4 cylinder engine meant for a car that will not drive over 45 miles per hour.

Now, imagine that you do not have any idea about engines or transmissions. Due to your lack of knowledge you do not understand why your car will not run and do all of the impressive things that you have seen and read about. The high performance of the car is a major part of why you desired and decided to purchase a sports car in the first place. Without getting some education you would be stuck with a car that looks like a sports car, but, which in fact internally is not one. Unfortunately, this is an all too common scenario found by many students and practitioners of Tai Chi in America.

There are plenty of skilled Tai Chi teachers to be found in the USA. But, for every competent Tai Chi teacher there are as many as a dozen other people teaching Tai Chi who simply do not have the knowledge to really teach it. This is mostly due to the fact that most people simply do not know much about what Tai Chi really involves. They figure that if the Tai Chi moves frame/body/form looks good then the inside and knowledge base is most likely okay as well. Without any other information to go on students simply sign up and take Tai Chi classes from someone who looks the part.

Most people teaching Tai Chi can look good when they perform the moves in the air and they can quote some of the health benefits that Tai Chi is known for like the fact that Tai Chi improves arthritis and circulation. Tai Chi typically does improve arthritis and circulation but only when performed in very specific ways that require more knowledge than just knowing the choreography.

To Be continued in "How to find a Tai Chi Instructor (Part 2)
About the Author
Sigung Richard Clear has over 30 years of continuous study in Tai Chi and Chi Kung both in the U.S. and China. http://www.clearstaichi.com
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