What's the Difference?
A common criticism of the Tai Chi for Health Institute is that instructors are often relatively new to tai chi themselves and are not traditional tai chi masters.
Tai Chi for Health instructors are specially trained allied health professionals who are able to deliver a valuable therapeutic exercise program based on a modified form of tai chi. Ample research has shown the wide-ranging benefits of these movements to improve balance and health. That same research shows that these movements don't need to be taught by a traditional tai chi master, and in fact, TCHI instructors are experts at breaking movements down for beginners and seniors.
That doesn't mean that Tai Chi for Health Instructors don't need to study and practice traditional tai chi. In fact, at the annual workshop in June 2013, Tai Chi for Health Institute board president Dr. Raymond Lau, strongly encouraged all of Tai Chi for Health instructors to deepen their understanding of what they were teaching by studying traditional tai chi.
The more we study and practice traditional tai chi, the deeper we will understand the tai chi principles and the TCHI modified sequences like Tai Chi for Arthritis that we share with our participants.
It's not easy to find traditional tai chi teachers in your area. But thanks to the pandemic, we have discovered that Zoom gives us a great opportunity to connect with teachers around the world. For the last year, I have been taking private Zoom classes with traditional Sun-style lineage holders who studied directly from Sun Lu Tang's daughter. Even though they are in Europe, Zoom has allowed me to benefit from their teaching, and I have deepened my understanding of tai chi and Tai Chi for Health tremendously.
If you would like to learn more about Traditional Sun Style Tai Chi, I will be offering an introductory Zoom workshop on July 10 and a 5-day beach retreat in September. I hope you will join me in exploring the traditional movements behind our Tai Chi for Arthritis sequence.