How to attract students, particularly younger

How to attract students, particularly younger

Postby RedLotus » Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:15 pm

Hello all.

New here. I'm in SLC Utah where my school teaches a modified Yang style form. Our lineage is through Chen Man-Ch'ing, but the form is modified to be more "middle Length" so it pulls back in some postures / transitions from the Long form, as well as other forms. But we are mostly the Chen Man Ch'ing form.

I'm looking for thoughts on how to attract younger people to study. Sure we can get seniors, if they are willing to come to our school at night for classes (all instructors have day jobs). I feel, however, that T'ai Chi benefits all ages. We do have a few students in their early 30s and one outstanding student in her late 20s, but most people look at T'ai Chi as something for "old people".

So, what are your thoughts on how to make T'ai Chi reach out to younger (say 50 and under) people?


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Re: How to attract students, particularly younger

Postby fchai » Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:01 am

Hello Clair,

I am new to this forum and as member. I have been teaching to more 'mature aged' folks and have the problem of holding back on what I can teach due to mobility and flexibility issues. However, in relation to your problem about attracting 'younger' students, here are some of my thoughts.

If, when you mention that your Taiji lineage is through Cheng Man Ching, is it the very internalised form that he eventually evolved to? Because, if it is, then it is a form that has almost erased much of the martial characteristics of the Yang Cheng Fu long form. For myself, my Taiji lineage is along the Tung Ying Chieh side. The Tung lineage also has a fast form that is not taught in the Yang Family Taiji schools.

Back to your query. For the younger practitioners, they are quite likely to be interested in the martial aspects and a more physically demanding and challenging regime. So, it would be of value to,

1. Highlight the 'martial' applications of Taiji. For added challenge get them to do 'low form'.
2. Teach Taiji weapons forms, e.g. sword, broadsword, staff.
3. Teach the 'fast form', if you know it. The moves can be done 'explosively'!
4. Instruct in 'Push Hands'.
5. Instruct in 'San Bao Dui Da', the sparring routine.
6. Do some Qigong forms. especially the Ba Duan Jin and the Dao Yin Yang Sheng Qigong forms. The Ba Duan Jin form can also be done in the 'Shaolin' style, which the young would probably find quite challenging.

I hope this has been of some help.

All the best in your Taiji journey.
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Re: How to attract students, particularly younger

Postby Jaxi » Tue Nov 24, 2015 4:21 am

I think the answer being sought is more along the lines of 'how to find youths/younger to teach'? I would recommend posting it as an after school activity, much like the 'after school karate' studios do. Perhaps advertisement in local publications with graphics that pop with INTESITY noting the benefits for people interested in the martial aspects, maybe stating in ad how it's a boon for anyone involved in MMA training. Perhaps becoming involved in MMA events or befriending gym owners, letting them know that you can send people to them who are looking to get involved in MMA competitions if they send people to you who aren't as interested in the extreme nature of typical MMA training methods. Just some ideas. Good luck.
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Re: How to attract students, particularly younger

Postby Parkallen » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:41 am

Whatever you do, do not teach the form (to put it aphoristically). The form will by and large repel younger students except for this very small number of people who have that peculiar interest. We all have to remember that the form is factually peripheral to tai chi. The heart of tai chi is actually push-hands. I suggest to always start younger students with push hands and only after quite a while to introduce the form.

Teaching push hands can be done in a push hands club, where everyone understands that the class is for push hands. Or, it can be taught inside form classes as a welcome reprieve. Or, it can be taught as the central component of a form class! In this case you present push hands as a challenge to their typical conception of tai chi.

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Over 1000 views on this question but only 3 replies; that says something in itself. However I'm not sure what it is saying.
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