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How do I learn Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is learned by doing. It takes about three to four months to learn the 108-move set, and the beginner class format is quite simple. The instructor will demonstrate a move several times, then perform it with the class, and finally watch the students as they repeat it. People of all ages and conditions can learn.

Some of your questions may be answered in the FAQ below, but another way to get introduced to Taoist Tai Chi Society® arts  is to visit one of our open houses.

What should I wear?What if I have health problems or disabilities?What if I’m not coordinated?My memory is not what it used to be, does that matter?Who are the instructors? What does it cost?Is there more after the beginner course?Is there instruction outside of regular classes?Can I learn Tai Chi using videos or books?Watch introduction video

 

What should I wear?
The moves can be performed in any comfortable clothing. It is recommended that you wear shoes that offer good support and balance, like comfortable walking shoes or sneakers, but there are no special uniforms.

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What if I have health problems or disabilities?
Most people can practice Taoist Tai Chi Society® arts in spite of handicap or ailment, even those with advanced chronic conditions or those who are confined to a wheel chair. Numerous illnesses have been shown to improve with the regular practice of the set and associated exercises. Many branches offer ‘special needs’ or ‘health recovery’ classes to help those with particular health problems or who are recovering from injury or illness. Pregnant women or those with an acute health problem should check both with the instructor and their personal physician before beginning any exercise program. The International Centre near Toronto in Canada offers a supervised Health Recovery Program, which provides an opportunity for those with significant health problems to improve their health through the intensive practice of Tai Chi in the supportive, calm and healthy environment of a Taoist training center.

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What if I’m not coordinated?
Learning Tai Chi is not like learning dance. Developing balance and coordination are part of the learning process, the benefits of the practice. You needn’t worry if you believe you have two left feet or no eye-hand coordination. You  learn by doing.

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My memory is not what it used to be, does that matter?
No, the repetition of the moves develops memory you didn’t even know you had. One of the benefits of the way we teach Tai Chi is that you will always be doing it with people who know the set whom you can follow.

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Who are the instructors?
All our instructors are accredited volunteers who have been approved to instruct by the National Instruction Coordination Committee (NICC) of the member association for their particular country. No instructor is paid for teaching, and they must attend regular training workshops and meet annual re-accreditation requirements.

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What does it cost?
Membership fees are set by the association in the relevant country or region and may be paid by the month, by the quarter or by the year. There are special rates for students, seniors and those unable to pay the full amount due to financial hardship. Your membership entitles you to attend as many available classes as you’d like, in your area or abroad. You are not limited to just a specific class or instructor. If you happen to be travelling, members are welcome to visit classes at any of our approximately 500 locations in some 27 countries. Since all our instructors are volunteers, membership fees are used to pay operating costs such as advertising and rent.

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Is there more after the beginner course?
Learning Tai Chi is a developmental process. The better your Tai Chi, the more you benefit. The basic Beginner Class is literally just the beginning. While some people only take the initial class out of curiosity, many students practice and attend more advanced classes and workshops for the rest of their lives. We offer Continuing Classes with instructors who have been certified to teach more advanced skills. In these classes you get a chance to practice the set, get corrections on your form, and improve your understanding of the set, in order to experience deeper benefits for health and well-being. Most members also practice the set outside of class. Master Moy noted that five minutes of Tai Chi once a day is better than two hours once a week.

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Is there instruction outside of regular classes?
Local, regional, national and international instruction committees periodically schedule Intensives and Workshops for members that offer extended instruction, from a few hours and up to 5 days. You can check with a location near you for upcoming events.

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Can I learn Tai Chi using videos or books?
Videos and books can serve as aids to learn the set, but can’t replace the role of a trained instructor, who can offer customized feedback and support as you progress in your practice. The instructor can make sure that your form is correct, effective and won’t cause injury.

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Watch introduction video

A moving meditation for body, mind and spirit.
Young or old, newly healthy or healing, all around the world, practitioners of the Taoist Tai Chi® arts experience profound and life-changing improvement in their overall well-being.

Watch more personal stories videos 
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