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How Can I Learn Tai Chi ? – The “I” In Tai Chi

How can I study Tai Chi ?

 

Is probably a better question because the answer is not an easy one to give, the trouble with trying to learn tai chi is that there are so many different styles of tai chi, they have been influenced by many different teachers for the last two hundred years or more, how do you know that you are learning is the real thing, how do you know that the person teaching you knows what they are talking about. Most people would just say find a qualified teacher, but how ? Is Chen tai chi correct is Yang tai chi the best, is Wu tai chi the best and even if you find the correct style how can you know with certainty that the teacher has learned the correct art ? It is just as likely that they too have not learned what is meant to be an authentic art form. The problem with tai chi is that it is open to interpretation which means that you could spend years doing completely the wrong thing,  the masters that learned tai chi in the first place passed on what they knew by word of mouth and that means that the transmission could be at fault. It is easy to be confused when it comes to tai chi. Tai chi is similar to the bible in that there were texts written a long time ago in a language that westerners and even Chinese find hard to decipher. The texts that were written are called the tai chi classics and this is probably as close as you are going to get to the genuine art.

Tai Chi for beginners

I compare tai chi classics to the bible because the bible needed to be translated into English and because of this there may be different interpretations by different people as to what is genuine and what is wishful thinking. The tai chi classics is in no way a simple book to translate because some of it is literal and some of it is definitely  philosophical and maybe even cryptic.  My answer to this is read as much about tai chi as you can and try to find a teacher that has some grasp of what you find in the tai chi classics, also they must be able to explain to you the basic principals that the classics talk about. It is also a good idea to find someone that can explain the philosophy behind tai chi. The tai chi classics are as close as you will get to the real thing, your own input is as important as just following blindly what you are being taught.   Tai chi is about learning and about personal interpretation it came from the mind or intent and that is how it should be absorbed the feel of tai chi is more important than the look and that is why there are so many styles even though they all come from the same place.

yin yang headThe essence of tai chi is the  way not not the case but the jewel inside it is you that is tai chi, tai chi is and should be personal with a personal interpretation.