Yang Tai Chi and the importance of Continuing Education.
Friday, October 25, 2013 at 05:40PM
Bob Boyd


I consider my snake style tai chi practice a “work in progress.”

I have always been a student first and a teacher second. My passion and drive in life has always been centered around the continuing improvement of my understanding and performance of my physical art.

But what's the big deal? I'm sure Eric Clapton would never say that he has done everything he can with the guitar, and that there in no room for improvement.

Yet, in Yang tai chi, I sense that students tend to regard their teachers as complete masters of their tai chi system. In many cases the teachers promote this image by refusing to demonstrate their tai chi, making themselves larger than life in the minds of their students.

Not in my case. I openly practice with my students and I know that my tai chi today is better this year than it was last year. I hope this will continue for the rest of my life. That's what I love about the snake style. It is unfathomly deep and continously evolving.

I have students who became teachers and then stopped learning from me. I can only assume they feel they have received enough knowledge from me to continue alone.

How strange, I think, because my understanding of the snake style is so much greater now than when they left me. One teacher stopped training with me over six years ago! Another, over two years ago. They continue to teach the snake style, but lag far behind their counterparts who continue to train and attend seminars with me.

As my tai chi improves and evolves, I constantly pass the new information on to teachers and students. Consider it an upgrade or like a software update. Why stay with old technology when there's a newer, more improved version to be had?



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