When it comes to learning Tai Chi, there are 6 stages of learning.
Now let's discuss each one of these 6 stages.
When you find a person to guide you on your Tai Chi journey, you will find yourself in the Following stage. In this stage you are trying to copy or imitate your guide. You may also be listening to what your guide is telling you, but you may not believe it, because you have not yet reached that stage. Everyone starts here and we can even call this stage the disbelieve stage. You want to believe, but your mind, body and spirit are not ready to yet. Remember this is natural, so don't worry about being in this first stage. With a good guide, you won't be in this stage long, so don't worry about it.
The stage of believing is your next stage and it is an important one. In most cases you reach this stage, because you start to experience differences in yourself to validate what your guide was telling you in the following stage. You are now accepting what you are learning as true, genuine, and real. This is probably the most important stage for you, because it is a true ah ha moment for you. You have an understanding of the principles that are being taught to you but have no further understanding in feeling anything of the experience. Where a topic can be explained enough till the follower can identify that the topic can be applied. This doesn't require the feeling, but feeling is the next step to progressively move forward.
In this feeling stage your practice starts to produce more feelings of what has been explained and taught since your 1st lesson. Your 'Ah-ha' moments are physically and spiritually felt and your feeling of believe grows even stronger. As you practice this feeling, your understanding grows and you apply the teachings to immediately get the feeling & now know it & can identify the feeling with the activity. This leads to the knowing stage.
NOTE: For some, the Feeling stage may need to come before the Believing stage, because some may not believe until they can feel.
In this stage you are able to identify the feeling and are able to produce them in your practice. It is one thing to feel something, but it is another to identify it and reproduce it. You now have the knowledge, information, and intelligence to identify and reproduce the feelings in your practice. This is an important step in your Tai Chi journey.
In this stage you are evolving from just knowing how to identify a feeling to understanding how a feeling works and how to produce that feeling. Tai Chi is an internal practice and understanding how the internals feel and knowing how they work is an important next step in your Tai Chi practice. This stage can be very complex, because it can be an understanding of anatomy and physiology, math, physics and mechanics.
In this stage you believe your Tai Chi, you can feel it and know why you are feeling it. You have an understanding of what you are feeling and can give an explanation of the why and how so that you can teach it to someone else. This does not mean you know everything, but maybe just one thing. You have learned a Tai Chi technique and have gone through all 6 stages of that technique. With that being said, you will find yourself repeating these 6 stages many times in your Tai Chi journey and may never reach an ending, because there is always something new to understand about Tai Chi (The Grand Ultimate).
I hope you enjoyed learning about the 6 stages of Tai Chi learning. Stay safe and have yourself a blessed day!