Why there’s so much bad Tai Chi & How to fix it.

Bad Tai Chi is a favorite topic of discussion among many Tai Chi folks.

Unfortunately the blame often falls on other students and their laziness, impatience, lack of dedication or misguided goals.

The truth is no one intentionally studies bad Tai Chi.

Whatever their motivation or goals may be, every single student is trying to learn something effective and useful.

There problem is many folks don’t know what to look for.

Skill and achievement in Tai Chi are often talked about in very nebulous ways.

It can be difficult to know the quality of what you’re studying if you don’t know exactly what skills you should be learning and what you should be able to do with them.

In theory certifications and titles would help but they rarely come with a clear definition of what it means to earn them and they often represent how long someone has been part of an organization more than what skills they have acquired.

The solution is simple.

No, we don’t need some grand Tai Chi governing body. We don’t even need to agree on what the standards for Tai Chi should be. Or what skills should be studied or what benchmarks you should use for progress.

All we have to do is start talking about it.

The more Tai Chi folks talk about the skills they are learning and the benchmarks they use to measure progress, the better off all Tai Chi will be.

This will create the expectation that if you study Tai Chi you should be acquiring a catalogue of skills and that you should be measuring and testing those skill to make sure you are progressing adequately.

There are far too many people who practice Tai Chi by rote, with only vague notions of what they want to get out of their practice.

The more we, as a community, can educate people on the idea that Tai Chi produces results,

…and that they should expect a clear road map from their teachers on how to get to those results and how to measure their progress along the way, the better off all Tai Chi will be.

Because when students expect results, teachers will have to deliver. Or be replaced by teachers who deliver.

When teachers teach well, they create skill students. Skilled students set the example of what Tai Chi can be and what new students should expect. and Tai Chi as a whole gets better.

Of course goals & standards will vary between teachers and systems. That’s ok. Not everyone studies for the same reasons.

Here is what it takes to become a Level 1 Clear’s Internal Push Hands Instructor:

If you have some previous Tai Chi experience you should be able to meet these requirements within a year. Possibly much less than that if you work hard.

All this and more are taught in the push hands Instructor course coming Thursday Feb 18.


…and that DVD package is an excellent way to prepare for the Clear’s Internal Push Hands Instructor Certification Workshop coming at the end of August.

Details on the workshop soon.

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