We don’t "really learn” Tai Chi by listening to, imitating, and following a live Tai chi instructor, or reading Tai Chi books, or watching Tai Chi instructional DVDs. The “learning” comes from practicing Tai Chi, playing Tai Chi, moving by Tai chi, and feeling Tai Chi. We move from being awkward and uncomfortable to moving gracefully, fluidly, easily, confidently, and beautifully. Live and virtual Tai Chi instructors provide us with information and ideas about what Tai Chi has been for others and could be for us, its rich history, and provide us with a model of how a "form" might look and be realized as expressed by their body-mind. Our instructor's "mind" set or intention is important - depending, for example, on whether they emphasize martial applications or they are a New Age energy arts dancer. Likewise, our own progress in "learning" will depend upon our own "mind set" of intentions, dedication, toughness, the courage to go beyond our limitations and failures, and our willpower. Learning Tai Chi is always a complex matrix of interactions, lived experiences, daily training, and accumulated muscle memories. Less thinking and more practice, training, and doing will result in the greatest learning. Repeated movements are the foundation for Tai Chi learning.
"Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person's physical, emotional, and mental states."
- Carol Welch
"Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do."
- Bruce Lee
- Bruce Lee
"It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power."
- Alan Cohen