Sunday, May 8, 2016

The pursuit of Classical Tai Chi methodology for suitable teaching of certain segments of population Inbox x

Dear Master Stephen Hwa:

In reference to your recent request for a dialogue on the subject: "I have been experimenting with different scope of teaching that is extracting certain parts of our art which are suitable for certain segment of population, such as elderly population."

From visiting and participating in your class in Florida I picked up on some few "parts of the art" which can be useful for the elderly population. It cannot be denied that one of the "parts" has to be how we can be using the "Tai Chi Walk"

I cannot help but continually think of what I experienced when I participated in the "walking exercises"  with the very large class.  What I saw was a variety of "gaits", some of which I believed were abnormal but since I was participating was not able to zero in on specifics.  I have to say however, what a treasure/miracle it is to have a normal gait and to not be afflicted by an abnormal gait that may even be there because of some disease. 

One of the things I like to do with our class is use a long corridor (which we have access to) and simply watch students come and go as they walk normally up and down the hall. This seems to give me a better handle on how I can breach the gap on even introducing the walking exercises. 

I can't help but think that an instructor  of Classical Tai Chi can benefit from some preliminary observations of what his/her class is capable or not capable of in an everyday kind of environment instead of taking a "one size fits all" approach. As a side note, some major Universities publish documentation that there are literally dozens of abnormal gaits associated with various disease states. 

 As you say:

"The concern we have is that there are different category of potential students who could benefit from learning our tai chi. But, different category of incoming students have different objective of learning as well as different capability of learning. One learning path can not fit all."

Please note that a copy of this email and future emails will be sent to the Yahoo email group

Sifu James Roach