(9 pages total)
Page 9 - Taijiquan (T'ai Chi) Basics
Start Your Search
The internet is a great place to begin your search. You can go to any of the major search engines and type "Taiji" or "Tai + Chi" and you will be presented with hundreds of individual sites, many having class listings and schedules. You can also check our professional listings to locate schools that have websites you can visit, where you will find additional links. You will be surprised how much information is available on the web, although most sites are not updated regularly (check the "year" before you plan to attend that weekend seminar you find).
The phone book is another place to look. In the yellow pages, look under "martial arts" or "karate-kung fu" schools. Many of these martial arts schools also teach Taijiquan. If you contact them, ask if they have a separate teacher for Taijiquan, or they use the same teacher that instructs in Karate or Kung Fu. It is rare, although possible, that you will find a high-level Taijiquan teacher that continues to practice other martial arts. We generally prefer the "taiji-only" instructors, but the best way to determine is to go to the class and speak with the teacher and watch one of the classes. If the teacher does not allow you to watch a class, yet wants you to pay up front for the instruction... beware. Also, because many classes are taught by Asian immigrants, make certain you arecomfortable with the class location (in a safe area of town) and can understand the instructor's accent sufficiently to benefit from the class.
Community colleges or large universities often have classes for the public, and some have organized clubs that give you support and comfort when trying to learn such a culturally-different system.
Another good place to look is community recreational programs. If your city sponsors children's basketball, etc., you might want to inquire about a class on Taijiquan (they will know it as "Tai Chi"). These classes are inexpensive and taught by volunteers or instructors who are interested in sharing their knowledge within the community. Classes are often held in the local parks, or in local schools after normal class hours.
Some retirement communities offer classes to their members, and are willing to take outsiders for a small fee.
We have also noticed that a number of Gyms and Health Clubs are offering classes in Kickboxing, Yoga, or Taijiquan for their members. While these are relatively expensive because you need to be a member of the organization, the atmosphere and organization is often preferred by Western patrons. They often attract well qualified instructors, especially those trying to make a living by teaching what they love.
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