Home Discussion Forum Tell me about your Tai Chi experiences?

Tell me about your Tai Chi experiences?

I’m extremely interested in the martial art Tai Chi, and I’ve definitely considered taking classes. The local YMCA offers them but I’m worried that they wouldn’t be very authentic. So if you’ve taken traditional and/or modern Tai Chi classes, I’d love to hear about your experiences; with both the class and the general martial art. Thanks! 🙂


  1. Tai Chi IS a martial art and advanced Tai Chi is not slow at all and very powerful. Your power generates from relaxation. Therefore the first thing you learn is how to relax. Most people never got past the first stages of learning relaxation and thought that was all there is to it and so it is rare that in the US you will find a school that will actually teach Tai Chi as a martial art and not a stretching excercise or worse some mythical religion.
    Tai Chi training in China involves everything from rolling out of bed at 5 in the morning and running to weight training, heavy duty stretching (as in doing splits and worse) and acrobatics (anything from cartwheels to aerials). The grace you see in Tai Chi forms comes from strength and flexibility and that will have to be earned the hard way.
    Tai Chi involves learning weapons just like Kung Fu.
    Tai Chi is an internal martial art and is not easy to learn. Patience is of the utmost importance. Trying to rush things will only slow you down. The rewards of Tai Chi are great in many areas not just as a martial art.
    Here is the link to my teacher’s web site:
    There are videos and all kinds of fun stuff.
    My teacher’s teacher
    My teacher and an MMA fighter
    Tell me Tai Chi is not a martial art……

  2. There are different styles of Tai Chi Chuan as well as different emphasis on its practice. Tai chi is a Martial Art. It is taught as a martial art at some classes and and a method of exercise at others. I suggest you speak to the instructor. Ask him/her which they teach. Ask which style their training comes from. Observe a class before deciding. The people on Y/A that will always say that tai chi is not good for self-defense have obviously had very little involvement with it. Although I’m not into tournaments, I was once at one where the only injury was done by a Tai Chi Chuan student. He threw one punch that had the opponent sent to the Hospital in bad condition.
    EDIT: I don;t often post links to wikipedia, but this one has a family tree of the styles.

  3. Allison – there are many people here, like chris, who have no clue about martial arts. So beware!
    I studied Hsing I Chuan, an Internal Art related to Tai Chi and my Teacher is a highly respected Master from Taiwan with almost 65 years of experience. He was also an Iron Guard – the security Cadre for the Taiwanese Presidency.
    I can tell you that Tai Chi is a great art, as I would sit in during Tai Chi classes and did push hands with my classmates of the Tai Chi section. I’ve had great exposure and can execute sections of a few forms. Doesn’t make me a Tai Chi practitioner.
    If you’re interested in finding out, send me their information and I will be able to tell you my opinion about their practice.
    There are many who teach Tai Chi for health. If this is one of those schools, don’t waste your money.
    Here is a the Youtube site of Joanna Zorya, who I consider to be a great practitioner.
    Go through it so you can see how many people are highly mistaken when they say it is not a martial art. She’s in the UK and if you’re their – by all means contact her!
    If in the US, I will help you.
    @ Chris – take a look and see how wrong you are.

  4. By all means take the class. Don’t discount it because it is offered at the Y. I’ve met some respected masters of TaichiChuan (TCC) who teach and even volunteer at the Y, church, health clubs, and even at the local parks. You have to understand that TCC masters have a different mindset than the typical hard/external style of martial art. Not that they are better or worse, just different. They see themselves as healers and TCC as a healing art as strange as this may sound for a martial art. So, teaching at the Y is not a bad mark against them per se.
    As for authenticity, ask the teacher about his or her pedigree or if you are shy ask his student(s). A legit TCC or any martial art teacher understands there are many frauds passing themselves as masters of martial art and have no problem explaining their qualifications.
    TCC is from the Chinese martial art standpoint a “new” or “modern” martial art because it is the last great martial art to be invented by the Chinese of classical or ancient times. It’s the new kid so to speak. It is considered by many Chinese to be the crowning jewel of Chinese martial art development. The same people who invented TCC are also the same people who discovered acupuncture – the Daoist monks.
    I think you will enjoy it more if you read up on the subject. There are some very good books on the subject and it will enhances or compliment what you will learn in class.

  5. It’s good that you are questioning the quality of the instruction you would receive at the Y. After training in Tai Chi for many years I’ve found that it can be a deeply rewarding, effective practice…. or it can be slow moving calisthenics. The quality of your chosen teacher is very important. It can be hard for someone new to the art to determine how skilled a potential teacher is though, especially considering that Tai Chi is a subtle practice.
    Here is a basic guide to evaluating a teacher:
    “They should be able to explain and show the movements well. If your teacher’s movements are coarse or abrupt, that should raise questions. When explaining what certain movements are for, there should be a balance between grand concepts (cultivating chi, uniting movement and intent, etc.) and very tangible examples (opening the hips, developing balance by conditioning muscles, aligning the body to negate physical force, etc.). If the instructor spends a lot of time talking about extraordinary abilities or talents they developed but can’t show you, this is again questionable.”
    And a link to a video overview of Tai Chi as a practice:


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