Looking Forward to Tai Chi Classes

Knowing the con­sis­ten­cy with which I go, she asked me if I ever felt like not going to my Tai Chi class­es on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

I thought about it, and came to the real­iza­tion that I did­n’t. There have been win­ter nights where the com­bi­na­tion of snow­storm and ail­ing tran­sit sys­tem have sud­den­ly left me with a wel­come free night, but oth­er than that, I always enjoy going to class.

Before Tai Chi was table ten­nis1, and some days, I’d have to force myself to go. But when I was there, in the mid­dle of a good ral­ly, then pant­i­ng, sweat­ing, exhaust­ed after­ward, I’d always remind myself that I was glad I went.

Tai Chi offers me some­thing else though, a way for me to lose myself for an hour or two. Maybe because it takes so much focus, or so much focus to not focus on any­thing, that I’m able to for­get every­thing else. Even when I’m prac­tic­ing the form on my own it’s not the same. Being at the stu­dio with the oth­er stu­dents — learn­ing from and teach­ing each oth­er, apply­ing the prin­ci­ples we can’t prac­tice by our­selves — lets me get away. On top of that, I know that I’m improv­ing, even if I may not notice it in myself.

And that’s enough to make me look for­ward to my next class as soon as I step out of the stu­dio into the cool night air.

  1. Unfortunately, they’re both on the same nights dur­ing the week, which means I have to choose one over the oth­er []


  1. Isn’t it an amaz­ing feel­ing when you find your­self doing some­thing that’s so absorb­ing that every­thing else melts away?

  2. You have Tai Chi, I had Karate and Tae Kwon Do. The side ben­e­fit to being able to defend myself against bul­lies when I was a kid was to get rid of those excess anger that I always had pent up.

    Eventually though, it help me con­trol and focus my anger and frus­tra­tion to what it is now. Like all forms of mar­tial arts includ­ing Tai Chi, it’s more about the dis­ci­pline of mind rather than just the body.

    Sometimes I think I should take up some­thing like that again, while my body can’t real­ly han­dle so much phys­i­cal strain the­ses days, maybe there should be an equal alter­na­tive.

  3. @Kate Saltfleet — Absolutely…and the only things that can do this for me are Tai Chi and games.

    @Edrei — Why can’t your body han­dle the phys­i­cal strain any­more? Is it because of your pre­vi­ous mar­tial art train­ing? Many of my Tai Chi class­mates are afflict­ed from things relat­ed to their days of learn­ing hard “exter­nal” mar­tial arts. From what I know, the Yang style of Tai Chi is much eas­i­er on the body, as long as your teacher is very aware of how to take care of the knees and pre­vent any dam­age from bad habits or slop­py prac­tice.

  4. Martial arts and extreme sports. I used to push myself a lot as a kid, even though I could­n’t real­ly take it, phys­i­cal­ly. The end result are a whole lot of bumps, bruis­es, scrapes and bro­ken bones. Some healed, some got worse over time, pri­mar­i­ly my knees which haven’t healed in years.

    I would­n’t know much about Tai Chi forms. I used to see a lot of old peo­ple prac­tic­ing it every morn­ing around where I used to live. Slow med­i­ta­tive moves that work up a sweat.

    I miss those days when I could let my anger out. Better in prac­tice than unin­ten­tion­al­ly.

  5. Good your teacher is aware like that. I had a cou­ple Tai Chi teach­ers who did­n’t know body or thought they could improv and riff with the form. To my knee’s detri­ment. A third teacher was keen­ly aware of inner and out­er forms.

  6. I believe that a good teacher can mod­i­fy the form to their stu­dents’ needs, although it should prob­a­bly remain con­sis­tent and not so much an “impro­vi­sa­tion”. And isn’t the point of adjust­ing the form for the ben­e­fit of the stu­dents, and not the detri­ment of their joints?

  7. Very inter­est­ing blog post thanks for shar­ing I have added your blog to my book­marks and will check back :) By the way this is off sub­ject but I real­ly like your web page lay­out.

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