Beginning Tai Chi – How to find a good Tai Chi Class
When beginning Tai Chi your movements may not look pretty; it takes much dedication and perseverance to reach a high level in the art. Most of us have often seen that the of images of Taiji play on television or in the media, the soft gentle flowing movements practised by its participants may have resonated within your sub conscious. Giving the look and feel that the practitioner is in complete harmony with nature and their surroundings. Each movement gently flowing onto the next, with no discerning pause in between, this can have an almost hypnotic feel to the spectator.
Beginning Tai Chi – How do I start?
You may have seen the wonderful movements of Tai Chi being practised and would like to do beginning Tai Chi, but do not know what to do next.You may have come to the conclusion that you would like to try Tai Chi but do not know where to find a suitable class for your Tai Chi.
Local newspapers are a brilliant source of information about events that are going on locally to you is a good place to start when beginning Tai Chi. Scan through your local newspapers and see if you can find an advertisement for a beginners class advertised. This would be a brilliant way to find out whether you like Tai Chi and get on with the teacher. Please ask the teacher whether you can try out a lesson, to see if it is for you. No descent teacher should mind if you have a go for one lesson for free.
If you cannot locate a beginners Tai Chi class in your local paper, there are normally classes advertised most weeks in the paper. Again ask if you can try out for one lesson for free, to see whether it is for you.
Local directories for Beginning Tai Chi
Another source of local information is directories such as Thompson or Yellow pages.
The internet is a fantastic media source; look through it carefully there are normally lots of classes and associations advertised on the internet.
Word of mouth
Ask friends, colleagues or family if they know of a good Tai Chi class advertised locally. It is surprising when you talk to people that you may find out that they are actually beginning tai Chi or know a good local class.
Notice boards or window advertisements
Start to read local notice boards or window advertisements as they can be a good source of information for what is going on locally.
I have found a class and would like to do beginning Tai Chi
It is always a very good idea to try at least three different classes before you begin training properly under one teacher.
Classes can vary so much, so it is a sensible idea to try a few teachers first, making a list of the pros and cons before you decide on a regular class.
What do I need to know before I begin my first lesson?
Joining a new class can be a big commitment, so it is a sensible idea to check out the teachers credentials. You will have to feel confident in your relationship with the teacher as you could be training for many years together.
Ask about lineage of the teacher
In Tai Chi one of the most important questions to ask the teacher about is their lineage. No authentic teacher should mind you asking this question. This will give you important information about who the teacher has trained under, and if they are training in an authentic style; which can trace its origins back to the founders of the system or style, usually originating from the east in countries like China.
Choose a well known style
It is vitally important that you choose a well known style of Tai Chi such as Yang, Chen, Wu or Sun style etc.
If you move area, change classes or teacher you should have no problem finding a new teacher for your style, as styles or systems can vary so much.
Look around the class
Speak to the other students within the class as they are another source of useful information. See if they are happy and look at how the teacher passes on his knowledge on to them. When you are beginning Tai Chi it can all seem a little daunting at first.
- Does your teacher continue to learn and train under more senior teachers within their art?
- Is your teacher choosing to practise what they preach and do continual professional development, to improve their Tai Chi and teaching methods?
If your chosen teacher is continuing to learn and practise under their teacher or teachers this is usually a good sign that you are in a good authentic class. If your teacher does not continue to learn this can be extremely de-motivating for the students, and would normally indicate that unless they are a complete master, in which case the class is not an authentic one or that the teacher is a very poor one.
Ask your teacher about their teaching syllabus as in an authentic class the syllabus is huge and takes many, many years, to learn in full. In a lot of cases the full syllabus is only taught to the inner students (most senior students), but this should not deter your progress within the art.
Do not rush
When beginning Tai Chi observe your teacher very closely and listen to what they tell you. Do not compare your progress to that of others as this can also hinder your progress.
Does the class meet on more than one day a week?
Ask your Tai Chi teacher if they run other classes, as you progress you may decide to increase your lessons. If your teacher only runs one class a week this may hinder your future progress.
Enjoy your your training!
There are numerous other questions that have not been covered in this short article, but Tai Chi is a life long discipline will that take you many years to become proficient in. When beginning Tai Chi it will soon far exceed your overall health improvement expectations.
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