How to Find an Excellent Tai Chi Instructor in the USA – Part IIIc

The last 2 posts have been all about questions & topics your Tai Chi instructor or teacher should be familiar with as you’re choosing the best place to take lessons. This is the final post in this series of questions/topics which your Tai Chi Instructor should know.

By the way, if you’re a local from Maryville, TN we do offer a wide range of Clear Silat’s Tai Chi classes here, everything from basic to advanced at our local school in downtown Maryville, TN. If you’re not a local, or you’re an advanced or combat Tai Chi student, you may be interested in checking out our sister site: Clear Silat’s Tai Chi or you can watch some of our videos on our youtube channel.

Below you’ll find the final round of Tai Chi questions/topics your instructor should be familiar with:

  • Wu Chi and How to help students actually feel the energy within the first several weeks of study.
    • Our students are usually able to feel the electrical energy within the first 2-3 classes.  This is critical to getting the famous Tai Chi results for arthritis as seen in studies.
  • Tai Chi body frame training – Large, medium and small frame.
    • This includes being able to perform the entire Tai Chi set in a very limited space of several feet as well as being able to utilize the great deal of space that is most commonly seen being utilized by Tai Chi practitioners.
  • 4 ounces moves 1,000 pounds principles and concepts applied
  • How to perform the Tai Chi moves in a weight bearing manner in order to get the bone density results as seen in studies performed at Emory University.
  • How to utilize and practice Tai Chi in a manner that will rehabilitate injuries and physical conditions such as back problems.
    • This is person and injury specific and is not just practicing the form moves the same way that everyone else in class does.  Real Tai Chi for rehabilitation purposes is specific to the individual and any real Tai Chi instructor knows how to teach it this way.  It also includes how to intelligently modify Tai Chi moves so that a person who is elderly or disabled can still get the full benefits of practice.  This includes such things as being able to perform the Tai Chi while sitting down.
  • Various and different ways to practice the Tai Chi moves in order to work with different personalities and mental states to develop different attributes and abilities including the ability to become more grounded and mentally focused and to how to mentally relax and get rid of body tensions including headaches depending on what is needed.
    • Part of this refers to the idea that everyone should not be doing the same thing the same way.  From a medical standpoint Tai Chi is very individualized.  So, if the teacher claims they only practice or/and teach Tai Chi for health then they should be quite knowledgeable in this area and if they are not then not only do they not know the self-defense aspects of Tai Chi but they don’t understand much about the health aspect of practicing Tai Chi either and you would do better to keep searching.  If you cannot find someone in your local community who really knows and teaches Tai Chi then please contact us and we will do our best to help you.
  • Self Defense Applications – A Tai Chi teacher does not have to teach self-defense to students who do not want it but any real teacher of Tai Chi who can impart the real knowledge of Tai Chi to others must have at least a basic understanding of how the movements are really applied and be able to demonstrate it.
    • This is a necessity as the moves can only be truly understood if the practitioner knows the basic fundamental applications for the move.  Without this knowledge the Tai Chi instruction really is a case of the blind leading the blind.
    • Any basic Tai Chi instructor knows a minimum of 9 – 10 different applications for each and every move and the applications range from very simple to very sophisticated.  An advanced teacher will often know a minimum of several dozen or more applications for each move that will include but are not limited to throwing, grappling, striking, seizing, controlling, pressure point strikes, take downs and slipping/warding off (soft blocking).  Tai Chi began as a martial art and is still practiced as such by the Chinese and any real teacher of the art is going to have been exposed to this part of the discipline.
  • Peng, Lu, Ji, Ahn
  • Jan Si Jing
  • Rooting
  • Fa Jing
  • Pulling Silk
  • Coiling
  • Expanding and Contracting
  • Condensing and Releasing
  • Listening – Ting Jing
  • Central Equilibrium – Dong Jing

Many other items too numerous to include here and that can be found by reading quality books on the subject and by searching and reading online and by checking back with us as we continue to post and offer information for the general public.

Obviously this is quite a bit to take in. Some Tai Chi instructors dedicate their lives to the study and practice of the art; don’t be intimidated. This art can make you healthier, fitter, and offers many health and mental benefits.


Richard Clear (posted to site by Sarah Vose)