Frequently Asked Questions

I have a question – see, I have my hand raised!

Where does T’ai Chi Ch’uan come from?
What are some benefits of T’ai Chi?
What style of T’ai Chi do you teach?

How does T’ai Chi compare to other activities like Yoga or Qi Gong?
What classes are available?
How long is each class?
Are private lessons available?
Is there competition in class?

Where are classes held?
Are classes indoors or outdoors?
How do I register for classes?
How much are classes?
What are the payment methods accepted?
What is the weather cancellation policy?
What if I miss a class?

What are your qualifications?

Is T’ai Chi hard?
What if I’m not very good at T’ai Chi?
What if I have physical limitations?
Do I need to ask my doctor before starting T’ai Chi?
What happens if I find I can’t do T’ai Chi?

Is T’ai Chi a religion?
No, but it was developed based on Taoist principles such as “Softness overcomes hardness”, “Yielding is the way of the Tao”.

What is the difference between T’ai Chi and Qi Gong?
T’ai Chi Ch’uan, or Taijiquan, as currently taught, is a series of movements that make up a “form”. At Tai Chi KC, the form taught is the Yang Style Short Form developed by Cheng Man-ching. Tai Chi is a type of Qi Gong exercise, but not all Qi Gong exercises are Tai Chi. Most Qi Gong is taught as a number of separate exercises. At the height of development T’ai Chi Ch’uan is also a martial arts form that can be used for self-defense. However, it is mostly taught for the health benefits.

How long does it take to learn T’ai Chi?
That’s a trick question! If you were to progress from class to class without repeating, it will take you three sessions to completely learn the movements of the Yang Style Tai Chi form, so probably a year or so depending on when classes are offered. However, that’s only the beginning. The learning of T’ai Chi and embodiment of the principles is a life-long practice. Simply performing movements without following the principles of T’ai Chi will not yield the most benefits.

How much time should I plan on spending in daily practice?
T’ai Chi is like most activities – the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. Daily practice will provide the most progress. How much? A lot depends on how much you know of the form, but planning on 10-15 minutes twice a day is a recommended practice. Practice what you learn after each class before going to bed, and early the next day.

Are all T’ai Chi classes the same?
There are a wide number of different T’ai Chi styles, each having variations of principle and practice, and each taught by people of differing backgrounds and with different areas of emphasis. Here’s a short article on how to find a good teacher.

What’s up with the whole Yin Yang thing?
The Yin Yang symbol itself is made up of a balance of opposites, light and dark. Opposites are also a foundational principle of T’ai Chi Ch’uan – soft and hard, empty and full, down and up, left and right, for example. An extreme of one side leads to the other, and each side contains a bit of the other.