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A Tai Chi Student

What makes tai chi training so different?

If there was a single phrase, it would be: "Slow and steady wins the race"

Here in America, most martial arts tend to worship the “No Pain, No Gain” as their guiding philosophy.  But the guiding philosophy of tai chi is different. You win not by pushing, not by tensing and gritting your teeth, but by relaxing and persevering over time. Tai chi training is about making the body healthier and stronger with no room for injury. So the “ no pain, no gain” approach that easily creates injuries is not the tai chi way. In other martial arts, as well as most sports, it may be the norm to have injuries that put you out of action, but in tai chi, we refuse to sacrifice our health with our training. In other words, tai chi trains you not just to defend yourself mentally & physically, but also to defend yourself from illness and injuries.

Real tai chi students win not by sprinting, but by pacing themselves for the long run. That is why more than any other form of martial arts you can find masters of tai chi practicing in their 90's and even some into their 100's!  Other martial arts practitioners are like sprinters. They may sprint and earn a black belt in a few years, but then, due to some form of injury or physical demand on the body that they can no longer maintain, need to stop practicing. Tai chi training is designed more like a life style, therefore, you get healthier and stronger the longer you train.

Sometimes when people think about trying tai chi they may feel that they do not have the time or discipline needed to train, but the truth is we all have discipline in us. It just needs to be nurtured in the right way. The big secret to discipline is that it must be cultivated and nurtured — slowly, steadily, and consistently. Once you begin your training you will be surprised of how focus you will become giving you the time and discipline you need for tai chi.

A longer life maybe...a better life absolutely. Tai chi training may very well increase your longevity, but the real value lies in the increased wellness and enjoyment of life right now. None of us know whether we'll be here tomorrow, so the important question is, "What are you doing for yourself right now?"