by DrJahnke on November 23, 2013

    They show up on FaceBook, LinkedIN, Twitter. This is a string from FaceBook.
    Its a kind debate where two honorable views converge and clash and express and inform — in the end it is inspiring!
    We at the The Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi (IIQTC – http://IIQTC.org) suggest that what is the most important about these dialogues is that there are not enough Qigong and Tai Chi Teachers and that anyone inspired to learn could easily also consider learning enough to be a Teacher. —- I wasn’ able to import everything from FB. Later I will add on of these dialogues from LinkedIN.
    Leave us a comment here at the Blog.
    Then head over to:
    A Sincere Qi Rush to you all!
    Dr Jahnke — Roger
    Director of the IIQTC

    I want to learn Tai Chi but where I live there are no instructors
  • Roger Jahnke Become a Practice Leader – Teach what you aspire to know!
  • Jôhnÿ Tæ Start searching for established teachers in the nearest big city and see if they have some kind of ‘crash course’. Then take a few days off to at least learn some introductory moves from them.
  • Mike Quinlan There is no crash course or short cuts in Tai Chi Chuan. That’s how the art has been diluted. Learn it off a video and then teach it.
  • Jôhnÿ Tæ No. It is videos that dilute Taichi. Nothing can beat an actual, capable teacher. By crash course I mean learn some basics and what it’s all about – to be good at it is another thing. And for heaven’s sake one must never teach Taichi unless an established school or teacher certifies you!
  • David Lenkovitzki it is NOT possible to learn TJQ from a video, since TJQ is not the form, or waving arms around, or following a dance sequence

    learning TJQ is about modifying your body in a very specific way so as to make ‘internal’ happen

    else what you have is an ’empty form’ with ‘waving arms around’, and that we have more than enough already, tens of millions of such

    teaching TJQ goes into a totally different category, another skill altogether

    so, you want to learn without a teacher? that’s not possible

  • Zachary Nelms True David, however it does start with the form. A beginner can learn a lot from books and videos, although its not ideal, it can be developmental… to a certain point.
  • Mike Quinlan i did not mean to learn from a video then teach…i meant that’s what many do…poorly worded on my part..but that is no different than going to a seminar and then teaching…the arts are lifelong endeavor and there are few real teachers who still view it this way
  • Mike Quinlan David…AGREED! To memorize a move takes 500 repetitions, to make it natural 5000….to unlearn takes 10 times that.
  • David Lenkovitzki No Zachary, it does not, it starts with jinbegung, basic, like any viable martial art.
  • David Lenkovitzki A beginner can learn nothing from books or video, she is lucky if she can learn from a hands on teacher.
  • David Lenkovitzki What you have to understand is that any somatic learning is not a process of getting some information in your head, but rather changing the living body in specific ways.

    No book or video can do that for you.
  • Zachary Nelms David, you’re spitting hairs. A book can be a purveyor of information, just like words can be. Obviously “somatic learning is not a process of getting some information in your head” but basic instruction starts with the head, which can lead to practice. Which, in turn leads to somatic integration. Ultimately, I believe that a person can become a master of somatic integration without any direct teacher but themselves. Teachers only point the direction (as can books and videos).
  • David Lenkovitzki Do you have any supportive evidence for your ideas Zachary? 

    Have you by any chance reached mastery of martial arts from books and videos alone?
  • David Lenkovitzki Basic instruction starts with hands on adjustment of structure and carriage, words mean nothing to a beginner.
  • Fernando Bernall what type of schools are there in your area?
  • Roger Jahnke I love this archetypal debate twixt Zachary and David. Excellent online push hands! Don’t stop! A public verbal Tai Chi smack down……. Just so you know, this debate has been happening for centuries. Remember, there is a whole community of alchemists that think Tai Chi is actually the manifestation of the Big Bang within oneself. Who gives hands on instruction for that? Wuji – ONEness, non-dual, to Tai Chi (Taiji) – the two, opposites, duality. Tai Chi to San Bao – Three Treasures. Gentlemen, please proceed. Daniel thanks for hosting another great round of this question!
  • David Lenkovitzki here is something that I wrote a couple years ago:
    by way of foundation, I have started teaching by permission from my teacher 28 years go.

    I had about 700 people pass through my classes by now, some stayed longer than others.

    not bragging, just laying out what I found my statements on.

    my ideas as to how to teach, and what to teach, in what sequence have changed radically over the years.

    I wish that me now, had a way to work with me 30 years ago, and make the pathway smoother for me; since I can’t do that, by way of compensation I tell Daniel Anderson what I have learned about learning somatic skills.

    and now, I get off this thread, I need to make a living.

  • Isah Adams I facing a similar predicament with Daniel .someone should help out.
  • Mike Quinlan did all of these people achieve greatness without a mentor?
  • David Lenkovitzkihttp://www.biography.com/people/leonardo-da-vinci-40396

    Leonard Mussellerdo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452, in Vinci, Italy. Born out of wedlock, the love child of a respected notary and a young peasant woman, he was raised by his father, Ser Pie…See More
  • David Lenkovitzkihttp://www.nobelprize.org/…/laur…/1921/einstein-bio.html

    Albert Einstein was born at Ulm, in Württemberg, Germany, on March 14, 1879. Six weeks later the family moved to Munich, where he later on began his schooling at the Luitp…See More
  • David Lenkovitzki  James Blanchard, 33+ years of Wu TJQ, and I learn new material every single time I practice, or teach.

    That’s why it’s the one constant in my life, it’s always changing, always new.

    I have a very open mind IMO, show me ONE person that picked up viable somatic skill from Books or Video and I’ll concede 

    Just one
  • David Lenkovitzki CZH is a wonderful teacher, thanks Brett Alexander for a live example of what hands on teaching is.
  • Brett Alexander No problem, I always learn a lot from watching his corrections on students… and this one is free!
  • Zachary Nelms David, my first introduction to taiji and qigong were through books and videos. I created my own initial practice through this. I eventually found teachers that taught me choreography of taiji, but my primary teacher has been myself. Sure I’ve gotten pointers, tips, and other information from teachers, in fact in my view everyone is a teacher on some level but my primary teacher is myself. I’m no “master” but I have developed some mastery within certain domains. Besides, who is the master? It’s all relevant right?
  • Roger Jahnke Zachary Nelms it is typical in these discussions for someone to reveal that the mythology of the necessity of a Master Teacher is actually a restraint to proliferation of Tai Chi. You have accomplished that with excellent humility. The thing that is the saddest about the view that says you can’t get anything from a book, or video, is that it is a huge limitation of the volume of people who will ever have a positive experience. What we find is that a fair % people who learn without an accomplished teacher, eventually either find an accomplished teacher — or even better — they become an accomplished teacher. Love the discussion!
  • Vincent F. Pierino III I am also very interested in finding a legitimate Tai Chi Chuan Master to learn from. I have read some books and they have been little help in knowing if you are doing the movements properly. The instructors I have come across have not been very reputable. Love to hear some suggestions
  • Bruce Hayden The lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.
    The doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient.
    The tai chi student who teaches himself…..
  • Mike Quinlan Well stated Bruce…
  • Zachary Nelms Perhaps it is the fool that is easily persuaded by meaningless rhetoric.
  • Mike Quinlan I’m sure someone as talented as you think yourself to be will do just fine with a book. But then if you have nothing to compare it to, I guess you’ll never know for sure.
  • Jôhnÿ Tæ An important factor in this argument is that Taichi standards in N.America are generally lower. So even if you find a teacher that ‘appears’ to be good, you might realize you can learn a good portion of his/her stuff from a video. This is because you h…See More
  • Roger Jahnke Is it possible that there are actually two parallel but separate tracks in this discussion. As a long time practitioner of Taijiquan, I am biased to the ideal of learning from teachers. However, as a participant in the emerging Integrative Health Care s that think Tai Chi is actually the manifestation of the Big Bang within oneself. Who gives hands on instruction for that? Wuji – ONEness, non-dual, to Tai Chi (Taiji) – the two, opposites, duality. Tai Chi to San Bao – Three Treasures. Gentlemen, please proceed. Daniel thanks for hosting another great round of this question!
  • Zachary Nelms Don’t misunderstand me, I do believe that a teacher is valuable, but to imply that a person should give up their pursuit of Taijiquan (or whatever) because they don’t have a teacher is utter BS! A person anywhere along the path can learn something from a book, especially a complete beginner.
  • Zachary Nelms Everyone will agree that learning this stuff takes time and hard work, THE STUDENT’S TIME AND HARD WORK.
    I know it’s sad for some of the teachers out there, but none of you have a monopoly on wisdom. The wisdom is there for anyone willing to seek it, with or without a teacher.
  • Daniel Anderson i have a chance to learn a watered down version here for $5 bucks on mondays when im in school so that doesnt work
  • Edith James I am in a similar situation. My reasons are for health, mental and energy benefits. I have decided that I am going to start with whatever free sources I can come up with then once I have exhausted whatever I can glean from those sources I will delve deeper by then investing in whatever I consider to be of use. In the end I intend to reach a higher level of consciousness and health through study with a skilled master but I do not want to be hasty in choosing as many are diluted.
  • Bruce Hayden So, Zachary, could you have become an acupuncturist without teachers? The knowledge set is all in books, right?
  • David Lenkovitzki Sure, after all Zachary Nelms became a member of the Royal Ballet because he read a book about ballet once upon a time, and watched a real video of Nijinski 

    after all <The wisdom is there for anyone willing to seek it, with or without a teacher.> hurray for hollywood.
  • Mike Quinlan A senior student of professor Cheng Man-ch’ing once told us there is a big difference between taiji and taiji quan
  • Vincent F. Pierino III Q what is the difference ? Which should I be searching for?
  • David Lenkovitzki TJQ is a martial art, tai chi is a common reference to a watered down, or enfeebled, or emasculated version of that root martial art.
  • Petra Emmerich a teacher said: you call it taiji you are lazy…you take your time to say or write taiji chuan your are willing to learn and work hard..
  • Zachary Nelms I see David Lenkovitzki, you are not interested in discovering wisdom or truth. This is just a game to satisfy your ego. You brush off my statements as if I’m quoting a movie. Apparently you are not paying attention. I said, TEACHERS HAVE VALUE!!!! Of course teachers are important, but you apparently overvalue your importance.
  • Zachary Nelms Yes Bruce Hayden I did and do have teachers in medicine, (and as I said all people are teachers) but my path to acupuncture started with palpation and discovery of how I could change headaches by pressing spots in my body, this led to books, and eventually teachers, but more importantly I continually learn through PRACTICE.
  • Zachary Nelms If you guys doubt my skill level, I suggest you come to Portland and push with me.
  • Jôhnÿ Tæ I used the term Taiji to encompass the entire system- health, defense, and Taoist philosophy – which I am taught. Taiji roughly translates to ‘principles of the cosmos’. Taijichuan is only the first level of this system, ‘chuan’ being physical action or boxing. There is still ‘gong’ – the total system of practice, and the ‘Dao’, the path towards Taoist-based wisdom.
  • Roger Jahnke Before we all push in Portland, I hope we will have tea. Lets invite Johny and put this all in perspective with Cosmic Principles and Dao as the foundation and physical action within a total system of practice as the expression. Then perhaps we can have one of those push sessions where we witness the principles in practice.
  • Jôhnÿ Tæ I’m flattered that you think my knowledge is worth listening to, Roger. I’ll be happy to meet with anyone who might drop by Toronto. Also if anyone hears of a group/event in Toronto comprised of serious Taiji practitioners and teachers (such as this fb group), I’m keen to link up. I can’t find such groups so far.
  • Paul White I learned the basic movements of Tai Chi Chuan solely from a DVD by David-Dorian Ross (Tai Chi Daily). It is completely possible to learn the movements and underlying techniques of breathing, stance, and marital application through a video recording]
  • Joe Harte Hi Daniel, have a look at this on-line course offered by Tai Chi Nation and taught by Luke Sheperd. He is a student of Patrick Kelly in the tradition of Mst Huang Sheng Shyan. There are some free session to see if it’s what you’re looking for. Hope that helps. http://www.taichination.com/learn-online.php
  • Steve Roberts Yes, you can learn it, but not well. Onward!
  • Roger Jahnke Reflecting back — this was a great discussion, thanks everyone!

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