Tai chi class or school?

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Tai chi class or tai chi school?

Most people never think to ask whether or not they want to attend a tai chi class or a tai chi school. The two are not the same.
It is worth considering the differences...

A tai chi class

Most tai chi classes in the UK are essentially drop-in sessions. Students attend as and when they feel like it. The teacher is often not qualified and there is no syllabus in place.
The attenders usually have a good time. T
hey follow along with the group and do more or less the same things every week. Very little progress takes place but people enjoy being there.

A t
ai chi school

Professional instruction from a qualified instructor
Fully-differentiated syllabus 
13 areas of study
Cultivate healthy social relationships within a safe, friendly environment
Address individual health concerns & training requirements, tips & pointers, refinement & corrections, one-to-one assessment/feedback/guidance
New material/insights every week
Access to on-line resources and school DVDs, workshops, boot camp and class social events
Complete biomechanical understanding of form, along with exploration and application of The Tai Chi Classics
Opportunity to study multiple taijiquan forms, chin na (seizing), shuai jiao (take downs), self defence, form applications, weapons training, neigong (whole-body strength), jing (whole-body power), Taoism & Zen, martial principles & practical application, taijiquan principles, meditation, brain work (meditation, awareness, metacognition)

This level of study is not going to happen via a drop-in class...

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.

Not all tai chi is the same

Choose wisely... Not all tai chi classes are the same. There are different qualities and grades of tai chi; some approaches/classes are far more potent than others.

Not all tai chi is equal. Just as there are different models of cars, makes of computers and universities of varying calibres, so too are there different kinds of tai chi.

(Bruce Frantzis)


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Page created 2 August 1995
Last updated 22 January 2020