I’ve started learning large san shou in my Tai Chi class. While it’s fun to be practicing another interactive form of the Yang style, it’s also a little scary to be learning something new as my teacher nears retirement (when he reaches 60 in four years). I’m starting to worry that I won’t reach a level where I can practice effectively on my own before his time is up.
At 2 classes a week, 52 weeks a year, and 4 years left to go, we can expect roughly 416 classes total; every class is worth 0.24% of a very limited resource.
A classmate once told me that his coming retirement is a good thing. We’ll be forced to go elsewhere to expand our knowledge of Tai Chi, because we reach certain limitations when practicing with the same partners, skill levels, partners, styles, body types, and even teachers. While I understand his reasoning, it doesn’t change the fact that I may not be able to continue learning what I know now, if another teacher doesn’t offer the same curriculum.
Added to this is the fact that martial Tai Chi teachers are hard to find in a city as small as this. Good teachers, especially ones suited to your learning style, with the right balance of patience and discipline, are even less common.
It makes me wonder where I’ll be with my Tai Chi progress in four years.