or Getting Back into Tai Chi?
class is a way to formally learn the art of t'ai chi ch'uan.
The system being taught was developed by Grandmaster Tchoung Ta-tchen and
is called the symmetrical form of the Old Form of Yang Style.
are for learning the forms and concepts in a specific progression.
It takes several years to gain proficiency in the art.
The idea is you are learning an art form.
Classes are also for training.
benefit is only gained from the doing. So by working out in class you will get
that exercise benefit. If you have
trouble motivating yourself to train at home, then you should continue taking
class even if you know the forms. Just
like taking medicine for chronic illness, doing t'ai-chi is not a one shot deal,
if you do not do the art form, you will not get the benefit. So taking the class
is a way to make sure you do the training. The training, exercising or playing is what is important.
The training day is a special day.
welcome all students to our classes. But
recently we have had several which had confused views over joining the classes.
you have to sign up for every class you take, just like in the real world.
You should have the prerequisites for those classes you sign up for.
Classes are geared for the average of the group and everyone will be
working on that. If you want to
work on specific forms you need to be in the class working on those forms. Otherwise you may have to take private lessons or attend the
"Open" workshops. Our
basic policy is that in general private lessons are reserved for Current
Students and are for form training only, no partner work.
we have students who are returning after a long layoff.
And there are students who come from other schools who just want to learn
a form. Our policy is that all new
students from other schools will have to start with the beginning classes.
While this might not seem fair to some, differences in style, forgotten
movements, and incorrect or differences in technique need to be dealt with from
the beginning of training. Our
experience is that jumping into an advanced class does not work and there is no
discussion on this. Everyone starts
at the beginning. The only
exception to this is the "Open Workshop".
you just want to learn walking stick, pushing hands or sword, and are not in
that part of the systems progression, you will have to wait for an "Open
Workshop" on that topic. Otherwise
you will go through the normal progression.
Classes are geared to the level of the group studying and that will be
the focus. We believe that Basic
Training is important and is stressed in each class.
students feel that they learned the form years ago and forgot them and they
require special treatment. For
example a fellow showed up for class one day after not training for several
years. He was not sure if I was his
previous teacher or not. Then he implied that he wanted to sit in on the class
to relearn what he forgot. When
told that he would have to register officially through the school, he was
indignant and left. In that
particular school the Official Policy was that all students must be registered
in that particular class, with no exceptions.
time students that trained years before have since forgotten most of the form
and techniques. Yet some believe
that they should be able to audit the class to catch up. The policy is that
each student needs to be officially registered in every class they train in.
Most students understand this policy.
visiting a class is allowed on the first day, after that the student must
register or they should not be surprised if they are asked to leave.
We do not like doing this and it is uncomfortable for everyone involved.
For example, at UCR-UNEX unregistered students are not allowed to attend
after the first session, that is a departmental policy.
RCC Senior's classes are free due to a Government grant, but students
must be enrolled to attend there as well. To
not want to officially sign up is rude and disrespects the class, other students
and the teacher. If you have no respect for the class or teacher, then don't
show up. So if
you do not want to sign up, don't show up. See Respect
Dealing with this issue, Master Andrew Dale wrote the following in the article "What do the masters do?" by A.T. Dale www.wuji.com Xin Qi Shen Dojo Newsletter AUTUMN 2001.
"Those teaching these arts get an assortment of
phone calls from individuals wanting to join. Amazingly, a large percent mention
they are above beginning classes. These statements range from, “Oh, I’ve had
Taiji before (10 years ago) so I don’t need to be in a beginning class,” to
“I just want to learn the sword.” Imagine going into a university and saying
that? Or taking piano lessons and saying, “Oh, I just want to learn
Beethoven's 5th, I had piano lessons when I was in high school.”
"Do you know what ballet performers do before a
show? Do you know what concert pianists do before the performance? Do you know
what opera stars do before a concert? They work on the basics! Ballet performers
practice their bar exercises, pianists warm up with the scales, singers practice
their range. Even at the start of their practice they work on the core basics,
polish, polish and polish them some more."
"It’s interesting that many martial artists,
once they’ve learned the basic stepping, hand exercises and drills, don’t
drill basics but merely practice forms! As they start practice they tend to move
directly into their forms, go through the entire routine and keep going. Seldom
do practitioners take pieces of the movements, or the basic exercises, and drill
them. Many don’t know how to practice. Look around, those you see drilling
basics are usually the most skilled at their art.
I say more?"
to Dale, "The emphasis of this
dojo is to teach and train members in the complete system of the arts. Students
will be taught systematically from the beginning to advanced levels: Qi Gong,
Meditation, Solo Forms, Tuishou (push hands), Roushou (soft hands), Sanshou
(applications), and Weaponry. All students are expected to practice between
classes. Regardless of prior
background all new members start at the beginning in the basics classes.
roushou, sanshou, and application classes are for long-term members of the dojo
and by invitation from the instructor. Body vocabulary and character are
determining factors in joining the applications classes.
certifications are issued upon the completion of an individual system. This
usually takes 5-7 years of continuous practice."
Xin Qi Shen Dojo at www.wuji.com
The Dojo will be run in a traditional manner. Enter
with beginner's mind. Sifu/Sensei and assistant instructors set the rules.
All new members regardless of prior experience
begin at the beginning. A constant beginner's mind is the path to learning.
Students are expected to be on time for classes.
Students are expected to practice between classes.
This dojo doesn’t support competitions,
tournaments or fighting.
Cell phones and pages either off or on silent
during club hours.
Perfume, cologne or jewelry should not be worn
Dojo is for practice, not chatting.
Students are expected to help each other. If part
of a group practice, students must catch up to class if a session is missed.
No food permitted in dojo during club hours.
Weapons are only to be handled by those working on
forms requiring them.
Tuishou and partner work is by instructor’s
The dojo is for refining our body, mind and spirit.
Displays of ego or anger are not acceptable.
Members are expected to set a good example at all
times. Do not show your training, let your training show.
Members are expected to help keep the dojo clean.
Those with regular attendance will receive priority
Assistant instructors and advanced members will be
held to a higher standard than other club members.