H. WON TAI CHI INSTITUTE
FAQ & Tips
Too Many Masters/Schools!: Common sense ought to tell a person that not every one of them is a knowledgeable master. Certainly, there are a lot of famous masters, having produced books, videos, seminars, etc. But are they all knowledgeable as they claim? So, how does an inexperienced person choose a school or a teacher?
Solution: First of all, arm yourself with some knowledge of Tai Chi Chuan. Check out the bookstores & browse a few books, or check out a few web sites. Read a few chapters or pages of Tai Chi Chuan & the famous past Tai Chi Chuan masters. Try to perceive the quality which made Tai Chi Chuan a famous martial art, & why every one is teaching it, & why a whole lot of people want to learn it. Be careful though, not all of these books & the authors know what they are talking about. Interestingly enough--if you didn't already know--if there is a high demand, you know that there will be plenty of supply.
Now that you are somewhat familiar with the art of Tai Chi Chuan, visit a few of the local schools. Check out what they teach. Compare some of notes between what you've read & what the schools teach. For those who haven't had the time to arm themselves, I have gathered some of the notes for comparison for you. Of course, be my guest to add more if necessary.
1. Lineage--who was his/her master & for how many years
2. Curriculum--completeness of system or a partial system
3. Understanding of the Principles--how is Tai Chi Chuan power different
4. System--traditional system or combined style
5. Teaching Method--indivisual or in group
6. Atmosphere--ask some questions to the beginners
7. Price & Quality--primed rib or hamburger for your money
Lineage: If a person is of a bloodline, then the quality is guaranteed. Formally accepted disciples will fare much better than the average students. Even the among the students, the skills will vary greatly. Remember when you were in high school where you were getting A grades while others struggled to get C grades. Find out how many years he/she has studied & with whom. Remember, some of them only studied a few months or a couple of years, & then deceptively claim legitimacy.
Curriculum: If there is a lineage, then the school should have a complete cirriculum, not a form or two with a weapon form thrown in. If he/she has studied with a master for 10 or 15 years, then there is no reason why he/she shouldn't know the whole system.
Understanding the Principles: Tai Chi Chuan is about internal energy & power, which enhances health & self-defense. Is the school dedicated to developing internal power principles, or merely executing external techniques? Does the school has the remotest plausability of duplicating the powerful feats of the past Tai Chi Chuan masters, of whom you read in the books?
System: Does the school teach something else other than Tai Chi Chuan? Why? The past Yang masters never studied & combined with any other styles. Make sure that the school doesn't teach shaolin/tai chi, western boxing/tai chi, xingyi/tai chi, karate/tai chi, etc. Beware of the water-downed versions. Again, there is no reason to combine if someone has trained the traditional Tai Chi Chuan for many years, & understood the principles.
Teaching Method: Traditionally a student was taught indivisually, thus, receiving & maintaining the accurate transmission of the knowledge. So, why would someone want to teach beginners in large group? Having the lineage & curriculum, understanding the principles & the system, then, there is nothing better than one-on-one type of teaching.
Atmosphere: Ask questions, especially to other beginners why they've decided to study with a particular teacher. What convince them? How do they feel about the school? Any doubts?
Price: You work hard & earned your money. You are giving genuine money to a
teacher, make sure that you get genuine knowledge of Tai Chi Chuan in return.
Why settle for less for your money? Therefore, shop around. Demand the prime rib for your money!