By Master Kathleen M. Gill, Ph.D.
The Secrets of learning Live Taiji quan (Tai Chi Chuan)
Taiji quan (old spelling Tai Chi Chuan) is an internal martial art and a preventive health practice that has documented benefits for body, mind and spirit…but most of the benefits require many layers of mastery. Generally speaking, following a DVD to learn the form won’t do any harm, but it may not do any good, since the movements as a mindless exercise will have no effect. The movements are just the vehicle for becoming more and more AWARE of your posture, breathing, focus and energy flow and that level of practice is what yields the benefits.
Continued relaxing practice takes you to deeper levels of awareness and consciousness.
As with any type of cultivation, the awareness is not instant, but continued relaxing practice takes the player to deeper and deeper levels of awareness and consciousness.
These are the “secrets” of taiji!
Unless it is simply to remind you of the next move at the stage where you are first learning the form, or to refine later practice, a DVD is going to take you out of your internal awareness. Plus, a live teacher with appropriate training and continuing education can notice and refine aspects of your playing the form that will enhance the benefits!
[bctt tweet=”A live teacher with appropriate training and continuing education is best for Tai Chi.”]