Q: What should I wear?
Wear loose comfortable clothings such as work out pants and a t-shirt.
There is no school uniform however, you should wear something - nudity is distracting. School t-shirts are available - ask your instructor.
Each of the facilities has a different climate - layering until you get a feel for the facility is a pretty good idea.
Q: What should I bring?
Water, a notebook if you want to take notes, a smile.
Tai Chi is pretty simple and low equipment. If you stay with it, you may end up with a sword, spear, tai chi ball and other odds and ends.
Q: What about shoes?
Shoes are a personal preference type thing. You should wear something comfortable with no heels and relatively flat so it doesn't mess with your balance.
You can go au naturale in the foot department, however we meet in public areas with a lot of useage. The facilities are always kept clean but you should have a good think about going barefoot in public areas.
Most MAI'ers wear their regular sneakers or buy a specialty sneaker such as
Feiyue Martial Arts Sneaker
or indoor soccer sneakers.
Q: When should I arrive? What is your late/tardy/missed class policy?
Try to arrive 10 minutes before your class to give yourself time to settle in, stretch and greet your classmates.
We have a very strict attendance/late policy. Strictly, we're just glad you can make it. We have enough pressure from regular life without getting scolded by a Tai Chi teacher.
If you're going to be late, come anyway. Some Tai Chi is better than none. If you are going to miss a class, come back. We have several excellent instructors and we'll get you caught up.
Q: Which class do I pick?
Try a couple of the ones around you. Chose the one with the program that works best for you and where you feel comfortable in the facility and with the people around you.
TC4HB (Tai Chi 4 Health & Balance):
This is our Evidence-based Tai Chi Exercise Program. It includes the TC4Core (Warm Ups, Tai Chi Exercises, Deep Breathing) and also has seated exercises and self massage. It does not have forms - the long flowing routines with multiple movements done together(postures) in a string of 8 to 108 postures.
TC4Forms: This program combines the TC4Core (Warm Ups, Tai Chi Exercises, Deep Breathing) with a variety of forms. We do barehand (MAI 8, MAI 12, 16, 24, 34, and MAI 37), sword (16,26), spear (16, 26) and other studies - Muscle Tendon Changing, Qigong ball, etc.
Q: What's TC4core?
TC4core is a group of exercises and routines. All of our programs start with the TC4core exercises and add additional sections to make the individual programs. The TC4core includes a 10 minute body warm up, 15-20 minutes of Tai Chi exercises and 7 minutes of deep breathing.
Q: What ages do you teach?
Tai Chi is about detail. It moves slow and involves a lot of repetition. It's been our experience that Tai Chi usually does not appeal to people younger than 16 years old.
There are always exceptions to the rule and you are welcome to give it a try if you are young in body but older in spirit.
At the other end of the spectrum, there are a couple people who have celebrated their third 30th birthday (90+)
and according to the recent study we did a large number of octogenarians. Apparently, there is no maximum age for Tai Chi.
In between, where most of us fall, Tai Chi can be simplified for those who have areas that need work and amplified for those who want to push their strength, flexibility and fitness.
Q: How much is it?
We now work with centers across the country. Please contact the center or recreation board that is hosting the class you want to attend.
Q: Do you have your own building/facility?
No. We use a community partner approach. We provide the material and instructors while our community partner provides the facility and marketing.
We found this approach is invaluable for the connections to the community and other health activities and also allows for a much better marketing process.
The community partner - usually a recreation commission or senior center - has greater resources than an individual class would have and being out involved in a community provides a much richer experience than walling off in one location/building.