Monday, October 22, 2012
Many people take my Tai Chi classes. Some of them improve significantly from class to class, but others show little improvement. Why, when they all have the same teacher and have learned the same things in class, is there such a difference in their performance? Here are five suggestions that can make a difference in how quickly you improve.
1. Develop an interest in Tai Chi
If you truly love what you are learning, you will put in more time and effort to learn and you will become better. Now you have decided to take a Tai Chi class, spent the money and time, and told all your family and friends about it. Can you make sure to make it worth your time, money and effort? Learn some facts and become knowledgeable about Tai Chi. Learn the benefits, history, and stories which will inspire you to learn better. Participate in more activities with your Tai Chi classmates and teacher. Feel positive and confident that you will learn well.
2. Have a goal with a detailed plan
I know your goal is to learn Tai Chi, but that’s a general goal. You need to have a specific, detailed plan to reach your goal. For example, you might decide to spend one hour every morning to practice one move, such as Brush Peacock’s Tail. Spend another hour in the evening before bed doing the whole form. Spend another hour after each class to review the day’s practice and be prepared with questions for the teacher at the next class.
3. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and ask for help
When your teacher asks if you have questions regarding the move he or she just demonstrated, be sure to ask if you do have any. It’s your opportunity to get things cleared up and make sure you understand what you are doing. Be proactive and ask for help and correction when needed. Don’t wait for the teacher to tell you to do everything or for your classmates to redirect the focus if you’re in a large class.
4. Bring the principle to practice
Don’t just practice the movements. Think about the principles your teacher has taught you and bring them into practice. For example, I always ask students to pay attention to four basic principles while doing each movement: stay vertical, keep it round, stay relaxed, and be flexible. Are you following all four of these basic principles when you’re doing your Tai Chi movements?
5. Practice a lot both in and outside of class
Can you swim far if you only swim during a swim class? Can you play your guitar well if you only play in class once a week? Practicing in class is not enough; you also need to practice at home as well. Students who do well are not only practicing a lot at home but are also asking a lot of questions and practicing a lot in class. When the teacher stops to correct other students’ forms, some students also stop and just watch. These are also the students who don’t practice at home. The students who really improve are those who keep moving or who watch and move at the same time. Remember, your goal is to learn the form, not socialize in class.
Do you have any ideas to improve your Tai Chi? Please feel free to give any comments and suggestions to help our students and fans.
Copyright Huan's Tai Chi 2012