There’s a lot of information out there
Reading books and articles can be a good way to expand our knowledge about whatever subjects catch our fancy and for whatever reasons. And with the amount of information available to us via the Internet, there’s never been a better time for self-research.
But in order to master a physical art form such as Tai Chi and reap its benefits, it is essential that we find a good teacher. Here are a few reasons why.
How to find a good Tai Chi teacher because written material can sometimes be unclear
It’s not easy to describe complex movements through written word. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “it’s like dancing about architecture.” Writing and movement are two completely different mediums that don’t substitute well for one another.
What’s more, we can’t ask a book to clarify a point we’re unclear on.
How to find a good Tai Chi teacher because the art is Increasingly complex and evolving
Many authors of martial arts only give out the basic information. As we get deeper into an art form, the material gets more and more complex. This makes it even more difficult to convey in writing.
Additionally, these complex movements can be dangerous to our health without proper guidance. A teacher needs to know that we have mastered the basics before moving on to the advanced stuff.
How to find a good Tai Chi teacher becasue a lens cannot view itself
We can’t see ourselves. And even if we try (via video camera), we wouldn’t know what to look for (since we’re trying to learn something yet unfamiliar).
A teacher is able to provide direct feedback about our form. They’ll know what to look for and be able to offer suggestions and corrections. We can ask them specific questions and they’ll have an answer for us.
Different learning styles
We all learn in different ways (e.g. visual, auditory, tactile, logic, etc.) A teacher will be able to provide a demonstration (from any angle you please) of the movement. They can describe the particulars in several different ways. And they can also physically move our bodies to help with tactile learning.
Teachers are coaches
Part of their job is to motivate us to keep working hard—whether through an awe-inspiring demonstration or through verbal encouragement.
Part of this motivation comes from accountability. By sharing their knowledge, a teacher is investing in us. They expect us to learn the form well. This means we must put in the effort and practice on our own.
Reading as a supplement
When it comes to a physical art form, such as Tai Chi, books shouldn’t be our main source of information. Written words can be useful for conveying ideas and concepts, but they must then be translated into physical movement. Nothing can substitute for a knowledgeable teacher with which we can interact on a personal level.
If you’re looking for a teacher in Portland, Oregon, be sure to stop by Northwest Internal Arts.