I’ve been studying Tai Chi for … a while. I originally attempted to learn via several different DVD programs. While I did make some progress, I never finished learning the entire 24 form. Then I began learning under a proper teacher. When she moved on, I began learning under her teacher, Michael Paler. Michael studied in China under Master Wei Xilan, a disciple of Grand Master Wei Shuren who received the complete transmission passed down all the way from Yang Lu Chan, the creator and founder of Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan.
A bit over a month ago, a friend asked if I would begin teaching Tai Chi in Bonners Ferry. My teacher’s lineage was something I thought was cool but it wasn’t the reason I studied with him. I studied with him because he knows what he’s doing and he’s an excellent teacher. And, as I talked to people about my Tai Chi class, it became clear that other people found value in knowing about that lineage. Lineage makes it clear what someone’s learned and a sense of one’s expertiese. More importantly, it communicates that what’s being taught is authentic and includes both the martial arts aspect as well as the meditative and health qualities. True Tai Chi includes both, making it almost unique on the martial arts landscape in the United States where martial arts focus either on health benefits or combat effectiveness but rarely on a wholistic approach that benefits body and mind.