The purpose of a tai chi school

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The purpose of a tai chi school

If you attend a night school class to learn Spanish, French Cuisine or how to paint, the lesson is simply teaching you the required skills.
The next step is to go home, speak Spanish, cook or paint. You learn through practice.
Tai chi is just the same. We are showing you how to do tai chi. Now, go home and practice the Art for yourself.

Night school

Tai chi is not supposed to be a spa treatment or a chill out session.
It requires the individual to mentally engage with the material - to deepen their knowledge and skill - to understand
This makes the training far more stimulating and encourages long term interest in the Art.

How long does it take to pick up?

There is no conclusion to tai chi study; no end certificate or finishing point.
Tai chi was designed to be part of your life; something that you do regularly. Your body must last you a lifetime and tai chi will help to accomplish this.
How quickly you progress is down to you personally. Everyone is different. There are so many variables.

  1. Do your ambitions match your degree of commitment and ability?

  2. How often do you attend lessons?

  3. Do you practice at home?

  4. How good is your memory?

  5. Are your coordinated?

  6. What are your expectations?

  7. Did you think it would be easy?

  8. Are you open and receptive?

  9. Have you any existing health problems that might impede training?

  10. Are you patient?

The main challenge people face when learning tai chi is their unwillingness to practice at home between lessons.


If you want to become skilled with tai chi you need to practice frequently. The more often you perform the movements, the easier they are to remember. Repetition forms habits.
Little and often is best for concentration.


How long does it take to learn to play the guitar? How many lessons are needed to speak Japanese? Obviously it depends upon your purpose. Do you want to be the next Segovia or Clapton, or just to play a few simple tunes? Do you intend to translate haiku, or are you simply preparing for a two-week vacation? Although the skill of your teacher and your talent level will certainly influence your progress, the duration and intensity of your study will be determined ultimately by the level of expertise that you seek.

(Michael Gelb)

Page created 2 August 1995
Last updated 21 February 2018