Tai Chi Classes: Finding the Right One
Advantages of Tai Chi Classes
. Signing up for a tai chi class is the easiest and quickest way to learn tai chi. Self-study is good but difficult for an art such as tai chi, which requires a high degree of body awareness.
Trying to learn solely from books and videos can be frustrating, and camera angles can make it difficult to see the proper moves and body alignments.
Without proper feedback, it’s easy to develop bad habits and to habitually practice and repeat these.
The regular meeting times in a class are good for establishing a regular tai chi practice. Students leave a class with new information and new movements to practice before the next class.
And, most people find it fun to meet others with a shared interest in learning tai chi.
With these advantages in mind, here’s some information for finding classes through:
• General sports programs
• Dedicated tai chi schools
Sports Programs. Athletic clubs, adult education programs, and the local YMCA/YWCA are likely to offer a range of classes, including beginning tai chi courses. These can typically be found through the telephone book or community listings.
The price of the class may be bundled in with monthly club fees. If not, they are still likely to be reasonable. These venues are often nearby and offer good and practical opportunities to see whether you want to develop a long term tai chi practice—or whether another discipline such as kung fu or yoga might be more appealing.
However, continuing tai chi students may not find much opportunity for development of a deeper practice. The quality and level of the teachings will very much depend on the instructor, who may have in-depth tai chi knowledge—or not. Read more about selecting a tai chi instructor here.
Dedicated Schools or Clubs. Some schools or clubs were created with a focus on the internal arts or specifically on tai chi. These can be found through a local internet search, phone book listings, or in specialized tai chi journals.
You may be lucky enough to live close to a good tai chi school. But, most beginners will probably have a longer drive or transportation time as well as higher course fees to participate in a tai chi club than in a multi-purpose sports program.
It takes dedication to run a tai chi school and you’re likely to find more serious instructors here. If the school has been around for awhile, you’ll also find more experienced students, as well as a wider range of tai chi class offerings.
The instructor’s knowledge, more advanced courses, and the opportunity to practice with senior students all make it easier to move from a beginning tai chi practice to the intermediate stage.
Sign up for a class. There’s a lot of variation in the tai chi classes. But, jump in and sign up for a class anyway. It’s the best way to find out if you really want to learn tai chi. And, doing any tai chi class is better than not doing tai chi at all.
Next: Read about Selecting a Tai Chi Instructor here.