|Leaving the school|
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Tai chi classes that teach the complete system of fitness, meditation and combat can often have a rather high turnover of students. Why is this?
Modern people are simply not prepared for the journey ahead and they leave at the slightest hurdle. For many, it is purely a matter of patience - they are unrealistic about their own willingness to learn.
With others, it is the fear of stepping into the unknown, of losing control. Most people are just downright lazy...
Learning tai chi is hard work. It entails considerable diligence, personal responsibility, time, money, effort. Very few people become skilled with any physical art.
Failing at the onset
Students usually paddle in the shallow end of the syllabus, utterly unaware of the depths of the art. They lack the level of self-discipline, faith, tenacity and commitment necessary to climb hard.
The student leaves before they have even started. This is no surprise. It is normal, average, and to be expected.
The beginner’s enthusiasm is such that he cannot imagine what blocks
could lie ahead to halt his progress. If some decisive challenge to his
continuing on does occur at this early stage, he will likely abandon his
Not many people leave class with good reason. Typically they have just lost interest. The training is harder than they expected, they are lazy and cannot be bothered. This is OK.
You have a choice. Tai chi practice is not for everyone. You may wish to cease training, or you may want to find an easier class.
Long before people actually leave a class they begin to exhibit certain behavioural traits that indicate what is on the horizon:
• There is a marked lack of enthusiasm
• Many classes are missed
• The student may become surly, withdrawn, contentious or unfriendly
• Quality of practice diminishes steeply
Sifu Waller often knows that a student is planning on leaving a long time before the student plucks up the courage to do so.
Modern culture encourages egotism. When a student demonstrates arrogance in a tai chi class, it is the duty of the teacher to quash this. Many people are unwilling to recognise that they are at fault.
Rudeness, cockiness and selfish behaviour are entrenched and familiar to them. Letting-go is not an option.
When a student leaves the class, they typically need to justify it to themselves. Rather than be honest, the individual blames the teacher, the art, the syllabus, the atmosphere.
In most cases, the teacher sees the seeds of their discontent months ahead. If the student is genuinely keen to learn tai chi, they are likely to seek out tuition elsewhere. But this seldom happens.
Although some people leave because they have moved town or lost their job, most people leave because they are too lazy to do the work. Admitting this is another matter entirely.
It is far easier to blame somebody else for your own shortcomings.
Good manners have much to do with
To make them ring true, one must feel them, not merely exhibit them.
Some students want to leave but do not want to look like a 'quitter'. Instead of just leaving... they make oblique inquiries - hinting that they may not be cut out for the training.
These people want permission to leave.
Other students behave obnoxiously, knowing that the teacher will have no choice but to tell them to leave. These students can then claim that they liked the class but were kicked out.
If you are thinking about leaving, then take a moment to plan it out:
Cancel your standing order
Give Rachel 7 days notice by e-mail
Have some dignity
Accept that it is time to move on. There's nothing wrong with this. People change. You change. Just leave politely, sensibly and without making a fuss.
Contentious leavers are added to our 'blocked senders' list.
Your agreement with us
New students sign a 'Registration Form' and school members sign a 'Membership Agreement'.
The registration form states: "I have read and understand the code of conduct. I am prepared to adhere to the class rules." This is signed after reading the Code of Conduct and Etiquette notices.
The Etiquette notice says: "If the class is not to your liking or you fail to turn up for lessons, please note that we do not give refunds."
The Terms of Membership and Code of Conduct page states: "Students pay fees regardless of attendance (like a gym membership)"
Refunds & cancellation
Our membership policy is akin to a gym membership. We request 7 days notice if you are planning to leave. That way the student has the time to cancel their standing order in advance.
Should the standing order be sent after notice has been given, we will immediately refund the amount.
If you fail to give notice, don't attend classes or decide to cancel after the first of the month we will not refund the monthly fee.
6 November 1998
Last updated 15 February 2011