Is Tai Chi Difficult To Learn?


Tai Chi is a type of meditation technique used in Asia. It’s similar to Yoga but there are a lot of differences in execution. Most people who have signed up for Tai Chi programs are quick to label the act as difficult thereby discouraging newbie with budding interest. 

If.you’re one of those who have interest in learning Tai Chi but want to be sure about its difficulty level, you’re at the right place. In the next few paragraphs, we will take you through the challenges faced by Tai Chi students, and afterwards, we will reveal how long it will take to attain mastery. 

What’s Tai Chi? 

Tai Chi is a form of martial art that originated from China centuries ago. It isn’t a self-defense technique, rather, it’s a form of self-medication that involves flowing movement that helps with relaxation especially in non-combat situations. 

There are several Tai Chi movements. 108 in total and they’re divided into simple as well as advanced stages to make it easier for a newbie to learn. However, the movements are grouped into sets rather than learning one after another. 

How difficult is Tai Chi? 

Tai Chi isn’t difficult to learn but it takes a while to get a hang of all the movements. If you’ve seen Tai Chi moves in Asian movies, you’re bound to become fascinated but it takes a lot of time and practice to achieve the fluidity you see these Asian actors exhibit. 

The first rule when it comes to learning this act to is to pay 100% attention, especially in the studio. The entire curriculum includes 37 postures for a start and how to use them in your daily life. You will most likely need to memorize each move and the guys that teach these moves aren’t the best when it comes to simplification. 

Each class you will learn something new but you have to be patient throughout your learning journey or you might just quit even before you get started. Another challenge is that Tai Chi isn’t interesting when you practice alone.

You should practice in groups. Unfortunately, most studios offer a limited number of classes monthly. By the time the next month sets in, you have forgotten most of the moves taught in the previous class. 

In summary, Tai Chi isn’t difficult but a lack of guidance makes it challenging to perfect. A lack of consistency in practice hurts most Tai Chi students and if you’re not good with memorization, you might never get a hang of how things work. 

Finding a good Tai Chi instructor 

The best way to ensure your learning process is less complicated is to find a good studio to practice. Most importantly, ensure the instructor heading the training is experienced and can easily simplify difficult moves for newbies. 

Most instructors will not take you through step by step of how to strike a good posture. They always believe it’s simple hence you should be able to figure it out on your own. All they do is ask you to watch them and tell you where your hand and leg will go. 

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Without a good mentor, the learning phase will be slow. You could spend a couple of weeks or months without really learning a single move. Also, unlike in the past, there are no certified Tai Chi books that teach you how to strike every movement in sequence. It’s usually a blind spot for a newbie. 

For these reasons, we recommend that before you sign up for any program, take a stroll down to the studio and see things for yourself. Try to examine if the studio will be a good fit for you. Is the instructor friendly? Does he know how to simplify the moves? And how many classes are held monthly? 

With Tai Chi, the more you practice the better you get at it. Some schools offer just one class monthly while others offer two to three. If your schedule permits, we recommend you sign up for those with more monthly classes. With once a month classes, you will probably forget the moves before the next class. 

While it isn’t compulsory, it helps to take a book along to the classes and jot things down. You can write down key points the instructor makes rather than memorizing each moves, you can make a simulation on the book so it’s easier for you to practice on your own. 

Who can learn Tai Chi? 

The answer you will get from most folks is that – almost anyone can learn Tai Chi. Well, that isn’t correct. The skill is perfect for individuals with less physical mobility and flexibility. Most people who sign up are those who simply want to enhance their body flexibility,  stamina, and mental awareness through meditation  

All the exercises will help them achieve that provided they involve a  bit of consistency. 

How many Tai Chi movements are there in total? 

The 37 basic postures are the easiest and most popular Tai Chi movements but the numbers exceed this. In total, there are about 108 Tai Chi movements and they includes movement for slow breathing as well as exercises to improve body flexibility and at the same time, helps in  establishing a connection with your mind just like it’s done during Yoga. 

However, all the movements are grouped into sets. Hence, is not like you have to learn each move separately. Your ability to master these moves and move up the ladder depends on the number of hours you put into practice. 

What you will need for Tai Chi practice?

You don’t show up at a Tai Chi class empty-handed. Some tools have to be involved and the best part is, these tools are not expensive. There are no custome but you have to appear in something comfortable, especially loosed clothing to aid free movement. Avoid leggings, fitted jeans and anything in between. 

Tai Chi Shoes 

You can’t practice Tai Chi barefooted. Just like your clothing, your shoes should be comfortable and have a firm grip on your feet without slipping off in the middle of a class. The reason you’re not advised to train barefooted is that you will struggle to balance yourself and maintain a certain posture for hours. 

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Wearing shoes prevents you from falling off. Shoes with rubber soles are a good choice for Tai Chi. The sole balances your body and they won’t leave a mark on the floor especially if it’s made from wood. 

Tai Chi Sword 

You will also need to learn how to use weapons during Tai Chi classes. This will be taught at advanced stages after you’ve mastered the open-hand techniques. Once you get to the advanced stage, you will have to get s Tai Chi sword. 

How long does it take to learn Tai Chi? 

There are several factors that determine how fast you will master the movements. Unlike other types of martial arts, there are no grading system and neither do you have any title or black belt to differentiate your skill from the rest of the guys. 

When it comes to Tai Chi, there has basic and advanced movement. The basic movements take up to 36 classes to master. The issue however is that some studios hold just one class per month. This will slow down your learning phase. 

Secondly, the faster you learn how to strike each posture and movement, the easier it will get for you. Most people who learn Tai Chi at home have to put in long hours into practice than those who learn at a studio. They have to fight for consistency else they might become uninterested after just a few weeks. 

Tai Chi or Yoga: Which is more difficult to learn? 

Before diving into the simplicity of both acts, you should know that both Tai Chi and Yoga are meditative arts. They’re not used for self-defense like other martial arts, they strive to invigorate your body and enhance your mind. 

Yoga has an all-around benefit than Tai Chi. Yoga helps with weight loss, prevents injury, and at the same time, provide stress relief, and alleviate pains. Tai Chi is mostly about physical wellness. Improving body posture and flexibility at its best. 

When it comes to learning, you should know that there are key differences between both arts. One require you to sit on the floor while another will have you standing on your feet all through. 

We would say in the modern era, Yoga is much easier to learn than Tai Chi. There are a lot of materials that will teach you Yoga from the comfort of your home and it’s much easier to find a good Yoga teacher that will simplify things for you. Tai Chi masters aren’t good at teaching the act as well as they know how to strike the movements. 

Conclusion 

Tai Chi in itself isn’t difficult to learn, the loophole comes from the instructors. The majority of them just don’t know how to transfer the skill to others. You will be lucky to find an instructor who will take you through every move in sequence rather than one who combines everything in sets and present to you once. 

Secondly, if you want to shortcut your learning phase, ensure you sign up for programs holding regular classes monthly. You won’t learn anything from once-a-month classes. Once a week should be the ideal schedule. 

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Jonathan

Hi - I'm Jonathan, and I've been passionate about fighting ever since I was a little kid. I did some Karate, Judo, and Kickboxing, and always wanted to try Aikido. I started this site to indulge my passion for Martial arts, answering all the geeky questions I had. Now I want to share all the information I've learned with you guys.

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