Tai Chi: In the Beginning

Learning Tai Chi is not an easy thing. I like to say that Tai Chi is very simple but learning to be that simple is difficult. To learn Tai Chi the first thing one must do is to find a good teacher. Personally I was very lucky to find Sifu Fong Ha. A good teacher will guide you on the right course in your study of Tai Chi and it’s related arts. When you begin it is important to remember that it will take time and patience. Be gentle on your self. Many people stop studying Tai Chi because their inner critic overwhelms the desire to learn. The most common reason that people give for stoping is that they are not making fast enough progress. Well if you stop so will your progress. In the I Ching the most common phrase is “perseverance furthers”. So stick with it.

 

Take small steps, literally and figuratively. When you begin it is important not to take on too much. When I first started I would try to take one thing home with me from each class. I would practice it that night before I went to bed and again first thing in the morning. I have found that this works well for people. We slowly build our practice adding on a little bit each time. Stay with the new piece you are learning until you have it. Then add a little more. A good teacher will break the form down into digestible chunks for you and help you to assimilate them.

 

Books and videos can be helpful aids to your learning but you will need a teacher. Tai Chi has been passed from teacher to student for centuries and that is the only way it can be done. So find a good teacher, be patient and enjoy. One of the delights of Tai Chi is that you do not have to be a Master to get the benefits. A little gentle practice can start a long and health filled journey.

 

To sign up for a Tai Chi (Tai Ji) class or arrange a private lesson in Kihei on Maui please call 808-280-3450. Tai Chi Class, including Chi Kung and pushing hands, meets Monday mornings from 7:30 to 9:30 in Kihei on Maui.


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