Frequently Asked Questions

Here Are a Variety of Questions I am Often Asked

john kozak

Can I learn t’ai chi from a video or book, or do I need a teacher?
T'ai chi is rooted in ancient Chinese culture. Its underlying principles are difficult to understand and put into practice. A teacher will guide you appropriately through the different stages of learning, correct any errors, and encourage you in your progress. Books and videos are very useful as secondary sources of learning. My advice is to work with a teacher.

How can t’ai chi which is so slow-moving improve health?
Traditional Chinese medicine models the body differently from Western medicine. The body is made up of various fundamental substances one of which is called, "ch'i." An important function of ch'i is to maintain the body's overall physical health. If the ch'i isn't doing its job properly, the result is poor health. The reason for moving slowly is to help the ch'i do its job properly.

What is ch'i?
In Chinese medicine the body in addition to having an outer physical nature also has a subtle, internal circulation system referred to as “ch’i”. One of the functions of this internal circulation system is to support and maintain the body’s outer physical health. When this internal “ch’i” circulation system is disrupted sickness results. T’ai chi, when performed as a health exercise, is designed to promote and strengthen this internal circulation system which in turn provides the foundation for the health of the body.

How long does it take to learn t’ai chi?
It takes time to learn t'ai chi correctly and be able to benefit from its practice. First you need to learn the basic postures. After that, you will learn the internal principles that govern these postures. The better you understand and do t'ai chi, the better the benefit you derive from it. Yang Ch'eng-fu, a famous t'ai chi master, constantly admonished students to avoid haste.

More Questions?

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