Tai Chi, Kung Fu, Friends – Quality not quantity

23 03 2010

My 3rd Tai Chi session for the Alameda P&R dept started last week. This is my largest class, there are some 16  maybe 17 people signed up.

It is my largest class ever in my teaching career, other than when teaching for my Sifu. Some of them are returning students, so I guess I must be doing it right. I’m still working on the flow of the class with that many students. It is good I have my most senior student of some 15 yrs helping. It is good for her, it is good for me. I was told a long time ago, teaching helps you learn, it is very true. There is a saying in Kyudo about one teaches, two learn.  Anyway, it is good to have her help. I am getting a flow set for the class now, However I expect to lose about 25 to 50% by the 4th week. Tai Chi is way harder than most people think. Even though there is no competition, it is all about self improvement. People get frustrated with themselves. I think to have patience with ourselves, it is one of the most challenging tasks in life. We tend to have more patience with another than ourselves. One of the returning students an older woman but not that old, was in tears tonight. I thought something was wrong, she was out last session due to illness, but as it turns out she was just frustrated she was having problems, “getting it”. I explained to her how hard it is, there is no pressure,  it is not a race. It is better to know 3 moves well than to know 20 moves so-so. She felt better and did a lot better after that.

Tai Chi, Kung Fu, life, friends it is not about quantity it is about quality.

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4 responses

23 03 2010
Restita

Yes! Quality not quantity. Just tonight, I was speaking of the very same thing to a student in my Yang Taiji class. He was feeling a sort of anxiety about “getting the moves right” and “feeling it”. I said “I know it looks easy when you see people do Taiji, but remember Taiji only has 13 fundamentals. If we strive to just get 13 concepts, it doesn’t really matter how many forms we know. I mean, really…do you want to be a master of 13 moves or suck at 13 routines? Mastering the fundamental *is* Taiji. The forms are just mediums to practice our fundamentals.” He did feel a little better after hearing that. I’m glad you posted this on your blog…its so good hear about “quality, not quantity”.

23 03 2010
The Accidental Aikidoist

Where is your dojo/studio. I read that it is in Alameda, there is an Alameda close to my location here in California.

23 03 2010
Zen

Alameda Island, next to Oakland

26 03 2010
Linda

Z – I could have written this post… 🙂 It’s why I changed my approach completely… I teach a short 10 form and fundamentals first , then and only when the student is ready I teach them more. Of course this works best with one on one coaching and frankly I am beginning to enjoy that alot more than group classes.. peace Linda

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