What should you expect on your 1st day of Tai Chi class?
To answer this question you must know what kind of Tai Chi class you are participating in. Are you participating in a Tai Chi Exercise class or are you participating in a more traditional Tai Chi Quan class?
If you are participating in a Tai Chi exercise class you will probably begin your 1st class by learning a Tai Chi form. If all you want to get out of Tai Chi is a mere exercise, it would do you the same to take a Tango class, because you are basically doing the same thing. You are not actually performing Tai Chi. All you are doing is learning a slow dance.
However if you are participating in a more traditional Tai Chi class you will not be learning a Tai Chi form until you create a Tai Chi body, which can take a month or more. When you are building a house you must have a strong foundation 1st. The same can be said about Tai Chi. If you want to learn real Tai Chi, you must also build a strong foundation 1st.
Tai Chi stands for Grand Ultimate. It is the Ultimate Martial Art when studied correctly. This is a life long journey and not one to be rushed. All styles of tai chi chuan aim to cultivate chi. The life force that is truly essential, powerful, and very elusive to cultivate if tai chi chuan is practiced incorrectly.
The Taijiquan emphasis puts comparatively more attention on standing and single form meditation and the accumulation and cultivation of Chi -- the Life Energy. As Chi accumulates, so do the benefits it brings: health, life and vitality. While it is a "well concealed martial art," TaiJi does have substantial applications for self defense.
With the above being said, when you participate in a Taiji class at New Life Kung Fu, you will not be learning a form until your foundation is strong. Be prepared to practice and work hard. The journey is long and well worth the benefits you gain from practicing Taiji correctly.
Tai Chi is more than form! That is why Tai Chi is thought of as a weak martial art that is for old people and why 90% of people who practice Tai Chi are just practicing Tai Chi Exercise. They just come to class and learn the form right away without building a base 1st. If all you want to do is learn an empty form, you can just buy a DVD an learn from home. That is not real Taijiquan. Real Taiji is a life long journey with no short cuts.
If you want to learn the Grand Ultimate martial art and not just an exercise then real Taijiquan is what you're after!
A common question. "When am I too old to learn Taiji?" Answer, When you're in the ground.
Thanks for reading this post and we look forward to seeing you in class. 🙂
Taiji (太極) is a compound of tai 太 "great; grand; supreme; extreme; very; too" (a superlative variant of da 大 "big; large; great; very") and ji 極 "pole; roof ridge; highest/utmost point; extreme; earth's pole; reach the end; attain; exhaust". In analogy with the figurative meanings of English pole, Chinese ji 極 "ridgepole" can mean "geographical pole; direction" (e.g., siji 四極 "four corners of the earth[clarification needed]; world's end"), "magnetic pole" (Beiji 北極 "North Pole" or yinji 陰極 "negative pole; cathode"), or "celestial pole" (baji 八極 "farthest points of the universe; remotest place"). Combining the two words, 太極 means "the source, the beginning of the world".
Common English translations of the cosmological Taiji are the "Supreme Ultimate" or "Great Ultimate"