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How To Find A Tai Chi Instructor (Part 3)

May 15, 2008
Continued from "How to find a Tai Chi Instructor (Part 2)"

The same is true with Tai Chi. Even though approaches may be different, words like Chi, Jing, Peng, Sung, Tao, Yi, Shen and Li will be known by any real teacher. Anyone offering Tai Chi classes who does not have at least a working understanding of these terms simply does not have enough knowledge to properly teach Tai Chi.

The instructor should have at least a basic working knowledge and ability with most of the following,

1. Basics of Chinese Medicine including Yin and Yang theory

2. Chi Kung including an understanding of what Chi is and what it is not

3. Knowledge of sources of Chi

- Chi is very explainable in Western medical and physics terms and the actual meaning and application of Chi Energy would make complete sense to any Western medical doctor, physicist, biologist, chemist, engineer etc etc.. Unfortunately, Chi is often explained in some sort of metaphysical mumbo jumbo way by teachers who either do not understand it or who feel they have something to gain by making and keeping it mysterious and elusive. In my opinion this does much to harm to acceptance of the Tai Chi art as a legitimate source of alternative health and it adversely affects the many people who would truly benefit from this amazing modality.

4. An understanding of Chi Blockages and how to remove them using Tai Chi. This includes understanding the difference between Excess and Stagnant Chi and knowing how to restore proper balance and flow in the body using Tai Chi.

5. The Meridians and pressure points as used in Acupuncture and how Tai Chi stimulates proper flow of Chi through them

6. The 3 Treasures Li, Chi and Jing

7. The 3 Powers Heaven, Earth and Man

8. Sung - A Chinese term that refers to Relaxation Techniques and Methods.

9. Breathing methods including how to breathe to beneficially lower the heart rate and blood pressure in order to get the stress reduction and circulatory benefits that Tai Chi is famous for.

10. Body Mechanics and body positioning that is truly based in knowledge of skeletal alignment and structure. This includes how to properly align the spine and how the midsection should be positioned and how the knees should be aligned to the feet and the foot placement for good knee health that utilizes the musculature of the leg and protects the tendons and ligaments.

11. Natural body responses, actions and movement.

12. Push Hands -This is a practice method of Tai Chi that is usually played as a physical game(s) but can also be utilized by students to simply learn better internal sensitivity to their own body and structure and internal skill of rooting and Sung relaxing.

13. Internal Principles that begin with understanding how to drop excess tension in order to develop deep relaxation while moving and very powerful physical alignments that involve moving in ways that easily engage whole body power to whatever task you would desire to apply it to and eventually go as far as one can imagine in the direction of being able to feel inside yourself and others to manipulate the internal organs, body structure and energy.

To Be continued in "How to find a Tai Chi Instructor (Part4)
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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