Trainee teachers

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How can I become a taijiquan instructor?

We welcome anyone who wants to become an instructor. You need to be an excellent communicator and to be genuinely interested in other people and their wellbeing.

Work hard

Being an instructor is more than just talent. You need to put in the work. Not only must you be good at taijiquan, you must also learn how to teach.
This is why there is a teacher training course for would-be instructors.

Know your stuff

In order to instruct, you need something to teach. You require subject knowledge. Begin as a new starter and work your way through the syllabus.

Receive guidance & feedback

eacher training for each level is an on-going process over many months. It involves:

  1. Class management methodology

  2. Weekly teaching practice in class

  3. Principles

  4. Designing your own personal teaching notes/scheme of work

  5. Questionnaires

  6. On-line media training

  7. Learn how to promote a class

  8. Lengthy debates/discussions with Sifu Waller

These teaching concerns are all in addition to your personal development through the syllabus. Teacher training is free of charge.

Private lessons are vital

A trainee instructor must have first at least 100 private lessons with the instructor during the course of teacher training. This is essential.
You feel how the instructor moves, how softly they make contact and how little effort takes place. This is an invaluable experience. Your instructor offers you a physical illustration of what is to come. Their taijiquan embodies the very characteristics and qualities you are currently working towards. Without working 'hands on', this understanding is not possible.

What is a taijiquan instructor?

It may be easier to explain what a taijiquan teacher is not... A taijiquan teacher is not:

  1. A celebrity

  2. A coach

  3. A counsellor

  4. A guru

  5. A keep fit instructor

  6. A medical practitioner

  7. A monk/priest

  8. An on-line chatroom buddy

  9. A performance artist

  10. A personal trainer

  11. A therapist

  12. Your mate

It is important to be clear about the role played by the instructor.


A taijiquan instructor has studied about 60% of the overall curriculum, so there is a lot of work to do. Nobody expects a new instructor to be an expert.
A tai chi for health teacher only needs to learn approximately 10% of the taijiquan syllabus; just the forms, qigong exercises, pushing hands, partner work exercises etc. This is not a lot of material to study.
There is no excuse for being an amateur.

Your role
is to teach taijiquan

If you are training to be an instructor, you need to understand what that means. If a person needs counselling, they should see a counsellor. If a person has medical problems, they should see a doctor.
Wearing someone else's shoes may deny the student the proper treatment/help they require.

Although it might seem that the necessary time to master the requisite skills and attain a level of expertise would depend upon the field and your own talent level, those who have researched the subject repeatedly come up with the number of 10,000 hours. This seems to be the right amount of quality practice time that is needed for someone to reach a high level of skill and it applies to composers, chess players, writers, and athletes, among others.

Although the number of hours seems high, it generally adds up to seven to ten years of sustained, sold practice - roughly the period of a traditional apprenticeship.

(Robert Greene) 

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The photograph features our patron Mr Andrew Yeo of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Page created 18 March 1997

Last updated 15 February 2020