View Full Version : f.y.i. the qualified t'ai chi instructor

11-17-2004, 05:30 PM
yep this is an old one too but what the heck.(it can also be very subjective)
The question of whether a t'ai chi teacher is qualified to teach can run a whole gamut these days from one of my teachers who insists on his students learning one weapons form being proficient in push hands fixed and moving and learning one Kung Fu (shaolin) form before giving his permission for them to teach, to the yoga teaching spa attendants who tell their bosses they would like to add t'ai chi to their fitness program now that they have watched a video.
to muscle heads from miami south beach that sell health club memberships and feel their backgrounds in progressive resistance weight training innately qualifies them.
what do YOU consider essential in your teacher?
what skills,then,should a teacher of t'ai chi be required to master?

11-17-2004, 06:37 PM
What I consider essential?

Firstly, there is methodology which includes teaching methods and mastery of the art. Second there is psychology which includes communication skills.

Let us skip communication skills now, we have been talking about it on the other thread. I would say for ME:

1. Mastering the forms he/she teaches a 1000 %. Mastery to completely neutralize force. It stands to reason that mastery of stationary and moving push hands is essential. Mastery of limited and free sparring. Mastery of at least straight sword, broadsword and pole or spear. Fan would be good but not essential.

2. Basic knowledge of TCM and western medicine would not be too bad. safety precautions essential. Din Mak techniques include acupuncture knowledge anyway. Tai Chi also helps a person to treat oneself or other people with mental acupuncture. Why do you think Paul or my mum are so successful with acupuncture? I do acup-massage and shiatsu.

11-17-2004, 11:04 PM
Shark stated "yoga teaching spa attendants who tell their bosses they would like to add t'ai chi to their fitness program now that they have watched a video" to which it can be said this is highly unlikely. I am sure it does happen despite being "unlikely" but the venue depends how this is handled.

In the interview process (again depending on venue) one is arsked about background, ability to teach, previous experience, works, be it printed, books, presentations, etc., being that a 3rd or 4th rate organizational structure lacking any of the above can hire one who as stated above by just watching a video. If there are no structural processes in place, then the more likely to hire those who just watched a video.

In the workplace, I have never heard such a thing in those organization that have a strong process in place. Of course, it can, does and will continue to happen if processees are not enforced, like any other endeavour.

Most places ask one to submit lesson plans and that requires, as Melanie stated,some methodology in presenting what one has professed to have learned.

Ability to lead the class and be familiar with fitness fundamentals, or be in a health care field, or teacher, or similar endeavour where one interacts with various groups.

Most people in USA want health generally, and / they want to be healed, be better. As a result push hands training would be absurd in that venue (TCA/TCD). Age range would determine fondness for push hands....On the other hand, a private gym may value push hands training so in that venue, it is positive.
Of course, anyone with a private tai chi school can do whatever he wants (generally speking) as long as the customer get what he wants. Usually the customer is healthy.

I see many tai chi schools that should not be opened but that is a different story!!