Tai chi is it right for me

Tai chi has truly wonderful benefits both as a Self Defence Art and for Self Healing, if only people were made aware of the important secret ingredient – Effort.

Now Tai chi is not for everybody and if we have said this once we have said it a thousand times…it is not your fault…not everybody is going to put enough effort into Tai chi training to benefit, you may as well take the dog for a walk for all the good it will do. Seriously people have unrealistic expectations of Tai chi like no other activity I know.

Tai chi is like a job in the way that you shouldn’t get paid for just turning up…you have to do something to earn the benefits.

Often students drift into and out of classes looking for that easy solution for there troubles…having no sense of purpose maybe half the trouble. Now we don’t think it is really your fault…you just have way too many choices these days. Have you ever tried to pick new tiles for the bathroom and been bombarded with the choices…it wasn’t like this in the past, life was simpler. Your diary is chock full of things to do and you say you don’t have anymore time to commit to Tai chi, something complex and meaningful…you only have time for superficial stuff.

It is time to make a choice … cut down on the “Noise” that you have surrounded yourself with, make life a little simpler. If that means we don’t get to see you at Tai chi classes then we are happy that you are starting to realise that you can have anything you want…just not everything you want.

Tai chi if taught correctly takes a bit of learning…if the instructor is particular about where you put your foot or how wide your stance is, are you breathing correctly and is you spine in the correct alignment…then you have found the right place. If it sounds and looks like a bunch of geese flapping their wings about in all different directions then maybe keep looking…this is not the place to learn Real Tai chi. We love to have fun with you too…while you learn correctly.

If all you want is to come to a class, bump and grind, flapping your arms about to whatever music is playing, maybe a less structured exercise class like aerobics or Zumba is the right class for you. We don’t sit around closing our eyes in a darkened room either…remember this is Tai chi and we don’t wear silk pyjamas. In the beginning we need to teach you how to move from your centre and breath naturally…then balance and timing are added. This takes a little effort and concentration on your part.

We teach building blocks…beginning with a firm foundation.

My Tai chi instructor Erle Montaigue would always say to us “if you feel it is easy then you are doing it wrong”, the challenge we face is making the difficult look easy. Our movement is always a ‘work in progress’…never easy, definitely beneficial.

If you make the choice to give Tai chi a go…give it a real go…it requires time and effort in a busy world… 5 min here, 10 min there and you are on the right track to long lasting benefits. Commit or don’t commit…but you have to make a choice before starting, or don’t start at all. Say to yourself that you will attend classes for a solid month…4 lessons or more…do a little practice at home then decide if Tai chi is right for you. Committing to 4 consecutive lessons is not a big ask…don’t you think.

Maybe you will go up to your Tai chi instructor one day and say “if I learnt nothing more than that simple breathing exercise I would be happy…can’t wait till the next lesson.” We cherish our students because they teach us as much as we teach them.

Before you decide to add another “thing” like Tai chi to your life think about what you want to commit to and …give it a real go. Build a strong foundation for your health…with a bit of Effort.

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