Some advice please?

Tez3

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I've always wanted to 'do' Tai Chi but living in a rural area there has never been anywhere to go however our local education authority has just put out a list of the evening classes it's offering from September and Tai Chi Qigong is being offered as a course over one hour a week for six weeks. if this was a karate course I'd think it was a ridiculously short time to try to learn anything and I'm assuming Tai Chi practicioners will think the same?
Would it be worth doing anyway bearing in mind there's no where for me to continue practising unless the instructor is planning on opening up somewhere local after the course. If it's worth doing what questions should I ask before I decide and what answers would be good ones?, I've realised that in the title of the forum Tai Chi and Qigong are two different things?

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read!
 

Jade Tigress

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I'll answer this the best I can not being a Tai Chi practitioner. No, you will not learn much one hour a week for 6 weeks, but you can get a taste and hopefully discern if this is a watered down version or legit instruction. Tai Chi takes YEARS of practice. If this is a good instructor, teaching *real* Tai Chi, it may be a good opportunity to discuss continuing training with him after the class. Tai Chi, the real thing, is a martial art, there are watered down versions taught for *excercise*. Qigong is a system of exercises that develop Chi.

I'm sure the more knowledgeable on this subject can offer you better details.

Good luck! :asian:
 

charyuop

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Probably what they will teach you is the 8 form. A very basics beginning of Tai Chi. I bet there won't be any Martial Art aspect involved, but merely a form for health. We still do the 8 form every class as a warm up, so it is not wasted time. Moreover if you go you will get in touch with a teacher.
I say go, talk to the teacher and tell him/her about your interest and find out what the teacher knows. If he/she knows Tai Chi Chuan you might ask the teacher where you can start learning or if she/he is willing to teach you.
I had the same problem. My Sifu stopped teaching Tai Chi as Martial Art many years ago so I went to her "health" Tai Chi classes to learn forms. On the side I started taking Aikido (which I discovered to love deeply) and now after over 10 years the Sifu decided to introduce push hands again. The problem is I don't study streight under the Sifu so I will have to wait for my teachers to learn push hands from her first.

Telling you the truth, this with time, is slowly pushing me away from Tai Chi...now it is more than 1 month I am not going. But you can go, it is a way to start...
 

Taijiguy

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I've realised that in the title of the forum Tai Chi and Qigong are two different things?
Tai chi (also spelled taiji quan) is a martial art, while qigong is basically breathing exercises for building health and strength. A typical progression in taiji would be
-start off learning taiji qigong (some moving breathing exercises and the standing meditation)
-then single moving exercises and combinations
-the taiji quan form work
-taiji quan push hands (stationary then moving) which is basically an exercise to better understand application and develop sensitivity for close range fighting
-san shou which is free sparing

Some taiji quan schools have a pre-choreographed two person form before getting into the meat of application work, and also there's usually weapon work (sword, and sometimes other weapons like staff, spear, saber, etc. Depends on the style of taiji). Some schools learn how to use the weapons getting into weapons sparring, but most don't. Usually weapons is just form work, with all the application focused on the bare hand aspect of the style now days.

I think you can certainly learn taiji quan through one day per week lessons, but it'll be slow going at first and you'll have to be very self motivated. Of course everyone's different. Some people pick up taiji much faster than others :p If you find out what style it is, you can often track down video of others in your lineage to supplement your training. At the very least it can save some memorization time with the form work.
 

East Winds

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tez3,

I agree with what has been said so far. Certainly go and try it. 1 hour per week for 6 weeks will at least give you a flavour of what the class is about. If you haven't done any martial training before though, you might not be able to tell what the quality of teaching is. It is always worth asking where and for how long the teacher trained. If he is "authentic" he should not mind telling you.

Very best wishes and keep us posted on your progress.
 

grydth

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I've always wanted to 'do' Tai Chi but living in a rural area there has never been anywhere to go however our local education authority has just put out a list of the evening classes it's offering from September and Tai Chi Qigong is being offered as a course over one hour a week for six weeks. if this was a karate course I'd think it was a ridiculously short time to try to learn anything and I'm assuming Tai Chi practicioners will think the same?
Would it be worth doing anyway bearing in mind there's no where for me to continue practising unless the instructor is planning on opening up somewhere local after the course. If it's worth doing what questions should I ask before I decide and what answers would be good ones?, I've realised that in the title of the forum Tai Chi and Qigong are two different things?

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read!

This sounds like a worthwhile basic introduction.

I started in Tai Chi quite a few years ago by going to one of these. The people were so enthusiastic that the sifu elected to keep teaching there, and to teach us more... and the rest is 'history' as they say.

I think the exercises, even the basic ones, could assist you right now. My hard charging daughter - who tests again tomorrow, and who flattened two boys in sparring last night - does a Qi Gong set with me before tournaments or tests to focus and collect herself.

Qi Gong, in essence, are sets of exercises for good health. There are hundreds of varieties. Tai Chi is the martial art, though often no longer practiced as such.

I customarily ask the origins of any form, be it Tai Chi or Qi Gong; what forms are taught; if there are any reference sources (books, DVD); if there is any possibility of further instruction; who the instructor's teachers (lineage) were.

A traditional Chinese sifu may tell you that you are expected to 'learn' more in your daily practice instead of relying on class.

Best of luck, hope you find what I have in these arts.
 

qi-tah

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I've always wanted to 'do' Tai Chi but living in a rural area there has never been anywhere to go however our local education authority has just put out a list of the evening classes it's offering from September and Tai Chi Qigong is being offered as a course over one hour a week for six weeks. if this was a karate course I'd think it was a ridiculously short time to try to learn anything and I'm assuming Tai Chi practicioners will think the same?
Would it be worth doing anyway bearing in mind there's no where for me to continue practising unless the instructor is planning on opening up somewhere local after the course. If it's worth doing what questions should I ask before I decide and what answers would be good ones?, I've realised that in the title of the forum Tai Chi and Qigong are two different things?

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read!

Heaps of great advice here, i can only really reiterate what others have said. A six week course can be a good starter if yr interested in Taiji, and certainly you should be able to chat with the instructor about what might be available to you once the course ends. If there is enough interest s/he might consider offering a class on a more permanant basis. Perhaps you might even be able to link up with the other students to practice what you are learning outside of class (eg in the park etc)?

One thing i would say is not to discount the qi-gong instruction in favour of the taiji form work. After a few years of Taiji practice, i can honestly say that it is the qi-gong exercises that have been of the most benifit to me. Often different forms of qi-gong work on different meridians or parts of the body, so it is worthwhile finding out what qi-gong you might be learning. The "eight peices of brocade" qi-gong set is very common and great for overall health when performed everyday.

Hope you enjoy yr introduction to Taiji and qi-gong!
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mfinn

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Where are you? If you told us this already, I apologize.

When I began studying taijiquan, I drove into NYC 1x a week from Southampton (about 50 miles) to study with Cheng Man-Ching on the Bowery...(this is a long time ago). It was worthwhile. Maybe you are within striking distance of some good teaching also.
 

Phoenix44

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If you like it, ask the teacher where s/he teaches or trains. You might be able to find a more "martial" approach that way. I travel 30 mi each way once a week to train in tai chi, too. It's hard to find a good instructor, and worth the trip.
 

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