Updated: Dec 21, 2022
In Tai Chi books, online articles you can find a lot of information WHY YOU SHOULD TRAIN Tai Chi. I suggest the opposite view, from the dark side of Tai Chi :) If you agree or disagree, use the comments or send me an email.
1. Tai Chi is time consuming...
Most Tai Chi classes last for 45-90 min. - sometimes twice a week. Additionally you should practice at home if you want really good progress.
One or two classes a week may not sound like much but modern life has a busy schedule. Tai Chi is time consuming!! I bet you've never looked at Tai Chi from this side :)
Practising Tai Chi can make your body feel tired... Waking up in the morning with sore arms, back and legs can be very frustrating. Shouldn't Tai Chi help us with relaxation and calmness? If you were not exercising for the last few years, if you didn't use any activity don't be surprised that your body is protesting. So the first thought is to quit
But because Tai Chi is very flexible in how you can practice, after a few sessions you can find your rhythm and soon your body will become stronger.
3. Tai Chi is Difficult to Learn on Your Own
Is that true? What about books/videos? For example "Complete Idiot's Guide to Tai Chi and Qigong"???
You can't learn Tai Chi (or any Martial Arts) from books or videos. You can use them to reach a deeper understanding of the art, learn more theory but not learn from scratch.
If you are a beginner, find a good Tai Chi teacher/sifu who can introduce you to the art and explain basic rules about setting your body (which will prevent injury). Then, grab a good Tai Chi book (we recommend
"Taijiquan Theory of Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming—The Root of Taijiquan") and read (sometimes a few times, because your understanding will grow with your experience) - it will help.
Since you know what and how to practice Tai Chi, practising on your own (at home/park) is more than recommended.
4. Tai Chi Can Be Slow and Repetitive
Tai Chi is an internal art, also called "Meditation in Motion", so it supposed to be SLOW. In Tai Chi you should be able to control your movements, but also your mind and body energy. That's a lot of things to maintain, and slowing down performance helps to capture them all (at least you're trying).
"If you can't do it slow, you can't do it fast"
At first you focus on body movements, then you synchronise them with your breath. Once you get that, you try to work on better body connections and an energy flow. At an advanced level, you can speed up the execution of the techniques so Tai Chi Chuan looks like an external style (Kung Fu, Karate).
And finally Repetitive. All those things will not happen without repeating. Repetitive training helps to develop correct body alignment and a deeper understanding of Tai Chi.
5. It Should be Practiced Outdoors
That's nothing new!!! Any activity practiced outside has more benefits than done inside. Some will say that to practice Tai Chi you need lots of space. Beginners don't need it. Practicing stances, basic movements or beginning of the form - they cannot repeat for long because their legs are not ready for this yet. So a hall with a few meters length gives them a break and time to rest. More advanced students can deal with small places - practising form in 1 square metre is a nice challenge!! But of course - we recommend practicing outside, even if our TaiChi4U classes are indoors :)
6. Tai Chi Can be Addictive
A Lot of books and articles recommend practicing Tai Chi in the morning – when your mind is calm and fresh. Performing form/sequence warms-up your whole body. Is it an addiction? And if it is, it’s not that bad, isn’t it?
Did you ever wonder how some people can wake up in the morning, don't bother if it is raining (or cold) and run? Because they love it!! I wish everybody would find some activity to love - we would definitely be healthier. I more worry about people who setup some targets (for example: I repeat form/sequence 100 times per week). This could lead to injuries – people can be so focused on the target, that even when the body is saying ENOUGH they still carry on. Because most classes (Tai Chi, Karate, dance) taking place every week you can say that is an addiction as well... Hmmm.... Yes, Tai Chi can be addictive - and this definitely is a good thing! :)
7. Next week :)