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How effective is easy Tai Chi?

Posted by Swati S.

There are classes who advertise that they teach Tai Chi in a simpler format. They claim to take the most important part of Tai Chi and then teach it in way that’s easy to learn. I am just exploring options but I am not really convinced. I don’t know whether it is such a good idea to take something so ancient and then modernize it by making it simpler. After all, if it’s worth learning, then it doesn’t matter if it’s difficult or not. Any thoughts on this?

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Absolutely, if it isn'tbroken don't fix it. From what I noticed from practicing Tai Chi is that it is very difficult, you can always make your self better. That is why it is said it takes 80 years to master. If you make it less difficult you are problably not going ot get the same benefits as if you were doing it correctly. I just think it's how the world is today they want to have everything now! The truth is if you want to be good at anything, it takes time!
Actually, any class that starts with learning a choreographed set of movements (called a set or form) is a "modernized" class. It doesn't matter if it's a newer, simplified, shorter form or one of the older, longer, so-called "traditional" forms.
For most people, their first classes in Tai Chi in the consist of learning sets or forms. If the student has a good teacher, after learning the choreographed set of movements, she will begin exploring the "skills" behind the movements. She will work on separate drills and practices to learn these skills.
However, this is the reverse of the way Tai Chi was traditionally taught.
If you go back and read the stories of the original masters of the 1800's and early 1900's, you'll see that they often spent their early years on single postures, single movements, and skill-based drills, before ever learning to connect the movements and drills into sets or forms.
These masters placed a greater emphasis on learning skills rather than learning choreography. This "Tai Chi as skills" is quite different from the "Tai Chi as forms" or "Tai Chi as principles" methods that are common today.
A number of masters claim that this traditional method builds skill much more quickly than the "forms-first" backwards method taught today. When we were developing our ChiFusion courses, we tried both approaches, and our research and student feedback supported this approach. Students saw benefits much more quickly if we worked on skills first, and sets later in the program. By following the Tai Chi as skills method, students often see health, stress relief, and especially Chi developments much more quickly.
If you are interested in learning more about this approach, I offer a no-cost introduction to kinesthetic, skills-based Tai Chi on my website at
Best wishes,
I totaly agree, why fix something that's not broken, it is worth the work to do it correctly, and get full benefit.... worthless:)
Simple doesn't have to mean incorrect. One posture learned properly with its mirror image is simpler than learning lots of forms. A set of perhaps three, possibly with mirror images and done correctly can be real tai chi and older or slightly disabled people particularly respond really well to this approach. They do not appear to tire of the repetition and enjoy discovering increasing depth to the movements.  In time another three can be added. This is easy tai chi but is not simplified - the very reverse!
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