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How to Find a Tai Chi Instructor (Part 6)

Jul 31, 2008
Fortunately, there are plenty of skilled and experienced Tai Chi teachers in America and there are a few Tai Chi masters here in the US as well but you may have to do a little homework to find one of them. The good news is that you don't have to study from a Tai Chi master to get benefits. A basically skilled teacher as described in this article will suffice. The bad news is that if you study from some one who does not have at least the basic Tai Chi skills, some of which are listed in this article, then you are learning something from someone who may do you more harm than good.

One of the things that I really hope I have been able to accomplish with this article is to educate people about how much more there is to Tai Chi than just the form (moves). The moves are an important beginning part of Tai Chi training and it is necessary to learn at least a few moves but the art and its legendary benefits particularly regarding health and healing are not possible without an instructor who really knows the art, way beyond the moves.

Also, the real Tai Chi instruction starts at the beginning of training and does not somehow magically begin after several years of time during which only the moves have been learned. The real Tai Chi instruction begins on the first day and the moves help a person to understand, work and apply Tai Chi. Only an authentic and at least basically skilled teacher can do this.

This article has presented only the most basic criteria required for a beginning Tai Chi instructor. A Tai Chi Master has much greater and more depth of knowledge than what is presented here. Anyone teaching just the moves with a little bit of philosophy thrown in is a Tai Chi beginner at best and at worst an outright fraud. Without the rest of the information particularly the internal aspects of the art Tai Chi is nothing more than fancy choreography which is fine, if that is what you are after, but if you want real Tai Chi then take the time to do a little reading, searching, visiting and question asking. The rewards of Tai Chi are worth way more than the little bit of time investment that I am recommending here. The people I really feel bad for are those who began taking Tai Chi classes without doing their homework and who have now spent years studying Tai Chi wondering when the real benefits that they were told about will happen for them. Much better to spend the time to visit and check out a few instructors now than to figure out several years to late that an instructor you assumed was legitimate (because they knew some choreography) simply did not have more than the external form movements and that you have wasted years of time trying to learn Tai Chi from someone who simply does not know it.

Good luck in your search and research. Please contact us and let us know if we can be of any help or guidance.

Sincerely,

Sigung/Sifu
Richard Clear
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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