Looking for a place to start.

Looking for a place to start.

Postby ShannonB » Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:57 am

Hey, I was wondering if it is possible to participate in the ranking system, and one day become an certified instructor "if" I currently have no school to me. Is it possible to learn what is needed and develop skills using the videos available on this website? Thanks very much.

p.s. Im not a total beginner as I have some training in the short 24 form, but I would realy prefer to learn the full length traditional style.
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Re: Looking for a place to start.

Postby Mike Lucero » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:30 am

My opinion is that it is much harder to learn from a video than a person. But, we know someone who learned the hand form and sword form from the dvd's, so it's possible. You already know 24 of the 36 different hand form movements. If you have a pretty good foundation already, you could learn the rest of the movements from video. Master Yang's DVD spells out how to do all the movements correctly. In the seminar video clips on the website, everyone already knows the basic movements, so the descriptions may not be as complete. Still, I think the seminar clips make clear the important points in the Yang Family style, which we want more people to know about.

After viewing some clips, you can ask any questions here, and someone will help you out.

Mike
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Re: Looking for a place to start.

Postby Audi » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:07 am

Hi Shannon,

I agree with Mike that the video can be a great place to start. When I first saw the video, I was amazed at how well it captured much of the teaching that happens at live seminars.

If you are going to start learning with the video, I would also say that there are certain other aspects of your practice that you should probably stress more than the average practitioner.

First, everything stems from you spirit, attitude, and "martial morality" (武德). The stronger you maintain these, the more you will learn and the more opportunities you will probably find to learn.

Second, the 24 and the 103 are quite similar, but also quite different. Be open to different details that may not seem to matter in the short run, but will matter in the long run.

Third, Taijiquan is easy to start, usually easy to practice, but hard to get really good at. If your goal is to become certified, you should, if at all possible, seek out live teaching. If regular teaching is problematic for your location, budget, or schedule, periodic teaching might be sufficient. Go to a seminar. Seek out an Association Center. Seek out a senior practitioner. Long-distance teacher-student relationship are actually not that rare. With the right chemistry between teacher and student, you can learn an enormous amount in a day or two that can give you material to practice for many months (or even years).

Fourth, strike a dynamic balance between being very patient with yourself and your progress and being very observant and very critical. Mirrors or video taping can help a lot.

Fifth, ask questions and read.

After viewing some clips, you can ask any questions here, and someone will help you out.


This is great advice as well.

As for ranking, the requirements are laid out on this site here. Anyone who can perform the 103 from memory is potentially ready to enter the Ranking system and could contact a Center Director, Certified Instructor, or post here for instructions as to logistics. Much to my surprise, I have become a fan of ranking because of the focus and motivation it can give you to break through barriers and improve your practice significantly.
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Re: Looking for a place to start.

Postby ShannonB » Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:25 am

Thank you for the replies. Tai Chi instructors are hard to find where I live and the only one I know of is somewhat unreliable currently. Also they teach a mix match Tai Chi forms not including the 103. However, I had thought about trying to get to seminars whenever able, if possible once a year. The idea of a long range Teacher/ student relationship is great. I will try to find the nearest Yang Instructor to Mobile, Al and see what I can work out. Hopefully there is one not to terribly far away that I could get a private lesson with every couple months. Thanks again.
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Re: Looking for a place to start.

Postby kentold » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:24 pm

Shannon:
Hi. My name is Kent Oldfield and I teach Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan. I have been studying with the Yang family for 14 years and teach all the forms. I live in Gulfport Florida, which is in the Tampa Bay area. It is about 8 and 1/2 hours from Mobile.
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Re: Looking for a place to start.

Postby ShannonB » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:14 am

Thank you Kent for making youring self known. Do you have a website or any means that I could contact you about possible future private learning or seminars that may be in your area? I am still debating which video to buy to begin learning the long form. It is difficult because I have very little money to spare right now, but I would love to purchase the one on this website. Also, any further advice from anyone would be greatly appreciated. I have always loved martial arts and am excited to continue my studies with Tai Chi. Would it be wise for me to also join the association/ ranking system now as i begin training. I would love one day to reach the 4th rank and teach the art to others. Thanks again for all the responses.

Shannon
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Re: Looking for a place to start.

Postby Audi » Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:48 am

Hi Shannon,

Since I am an association member, I may be biased; however, I think that Yang Jun's DVD is tremendous. The pictures and explanations are excellent, and multiple angles are shown.

As for joining the association and the ranking system, these are really separate issues. If you join the association, you gain access to the journal, certain discounts, and certain training opportunities (e.g., some push hand seminars).

To begin to rank, you would have to learn the entire form and be practicing for at least one year (I think). Not everyone applies for ranking, but I highly recommend it for those who really want to study the art deeply. I was originally quite skeptical about the purpose of ranking; however, having seen it action, I think it really encourages people to improve their practice, learn new things, and build enthusiasm.
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