Commitment
   
     

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What do you want out of class?

Think about what you want out of a tai chi class.
Your hopes, ideas and expectations will help to determine your level of commitment.
 

How long does it take to learn to play the guitar? How many lessons are needed to speak Japanese? Obviously it depends upon your purpose. Do you want to be the next Segovia or Clapton, or just to play a few simple tunes? Do you intend to translate haiku, or are you simply preparing for a two-week vacation? Although the skill of your teacher and your talent level will certainly influence your progress, the duration and intensity of your study will be determined ultimately by the level of expertise that you seek.

(Michael Gelb)


Taijiquan
(high commitment)

Seeking to learn a martial art is no mild endeavour...

Most martial artists attend classes 2-3 times a week.
Taijiquan is an advanced martial arts system, so commitment is even more pertinent.


Daily practice

In taijiquan much of the work is done at home.
Without a commitment to daily practice, there is little point in undertaking taijiquan.
It would be far wiser to study tai chi for health...


Tai chi for fitness (moderate commitment)

Some people want to get fit from their tai chi...
Being fit entails a wide range of concerns e.g. increased flexibility, suppleness, strength, cardiovascular fitness, agility....
Getting in shape is going to require some work.


Tai chi for health (mild commitment)

Some people want the famous health benefits of tai chi...
Tai chi for health medical studies indicate that 12 weeks of daily practice are required for the health benefits of tai chi to become evident.
Without a commitment to daily practice, the results are meagre.


Pay-as-you-go (no commitment)

Some people are just looking for an opportunity to relax, experience a stress-free evening of gentle movement.
This is fine.
There is no commitment involved and no expectation of progress.


Committed to class

A student who attends lessons every week has made a strong commitment to improving their fitness and wellbeing.


Committed to learning taijiquan

A student who does a moderate amount of practice every day at home has made a major commitment to improving their fitness and gaining powerful martial arts skills.
 

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

(Homily)

Can't be bothered?

This is perhaps the laziest era in recorded history.
People are not wanting a challenge.
They lack interest, passion and enthusiasm.
Rather than work, people just want to be entertained.


Ambitions

New students often have great ambitions but little interest in practice.
We live in an era where people often seek short-term gratification.
They are not prepared to be patient or plan ahead.



Structured learning


Taijiquan cannot be approached in a haphazard, piecemeal fashion.
There needs to be a framework for learning.
This would be true of any subject: Spanish, cooking, carpentry, music, ballet, massage, accountancy, engineering, botany, computing, rugby...


Learning requires commitment

Students begin with basic skills and gradually build to a richer, more complex grasp of the subject.
Taijiquan must be studied methodically, regularly and consistently.
This way, you make the most of the class, achieve tangible results and get the best value for your money.


Membership

An earnest student joins the school because they are committed to learning taijiquan properly.
 

It is absurd to think you are going to get anywhere by giving only an hour a week to your practice or that you can regularly skip classes.

Martial arts is not like a bridge club, where you drop in when you have nothing better to do. Martial arts will always make greater demands on your time than would most hobbies or avocations.

(Dave Lowry)
 


Page created 8 May 1996
Last updated 10 November 2017