Updated: Jan 1
I often ask the same question when I begin my class with new learners - What brings you to learn Tai Chi. Knowing that, I will be able to guide them maximising their potential based on their expectation, abilities and limitations. There is one common reason - Many came with existing ailment or injury hoping that Tai Chi could help them recover. Some were advised by their doctors to practice Tai Chi. Tai Chi if practice correctly does have the healing effect. With the know-how, the fundamentals and correct foundation, practitioners gain stability, and moving along with the correct posture does alleviate pressure on the body joints and allow better recovery. Moreover, Tai Chi training helps to improve blood circulation, enhance health and relieve stress, thus brings about the healing effect. However, one should note that regular practice with the correct method of learning is the key and for those with existing ailment or injury, necessary medical treatment must continue.
Besides healing, Tai Chi is a martial art for defense. Regular practice of Tai Chi build strength, stability, balance and cultivate calmness and concentration. This not only applies to martial art, it applies to our daily life. When practice on a regular basis, one will tend to be more alert and able to stay calm when facing challenges in life.
So what brought me to learn Tai Chi? I have a little story to share...
I was born into an average family. My parents did their best to support the necessities. There was no luxury of anything non-essential. Story book is considered a non-essential item. Yet I was lucky that my father managed to bring back piles of martial art novels, at that time Jing Yong Novels were the popular ones. Those were novels discarded or given away by someone. They were in series. It took 20 to 30 books to cover the storyline. None of the series was complete. There were always missing books within but that did not deter my father nor I reading them. I would follow my father reading every book once he had done reading it. The righteous characters in the novel, the martial artists, young or old, male or female, helping the weak, bringing about justice are admirable.
I grew up with martial art novels, but in the 60s and 70s, parents were reluctant to let their girls practice martial art. Then it was career that was more important in adulthood.
At the age of 40, I chanced upon Tai Chi classes at the Community club. It was my last chance to experience martial art. Although It was the competition and performance style of Tai Chi I was learning at that time, it was nonetheless a start of my Tai Chi journey. When I met my master teacher in 2014, learning the Traditional Huang Style Tai Chi opened up a whole new experience of Tai Chi for me. A new journey to discovery for the rest of my life.
Was it a reason or was it a wish? Whatever it was, I am glad I made the decision to begin Tai Chi.
If you have been thinking of starting Tai Chi, for health or for defense, you do not need to wait for a reason.