TEACHING QUALITIES By the Legacy Holders, 2016
The Tai Chi Foundation’s mission is to promote and spread the study and teaching of tai chi chuan in order to bring health and consciousness to humanity. Patrick Watson founded our School on the idea that we learn by teaching. Whenever we teach, we are working towards a deeper embodiment of the art for ourselves and our students for the benefit of all.
THE SUBSTANCE OF OUR TEACHING
WE TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO:
1. Embodiment and showing our best form
Knowing the scripted words well means we can stay relaxed and confident about passing the material, while maintaining our focus in the dantian and guiding the energy of the whole class.
We do this by describing our own (well-positioned) body rather than reciting memorized words.
4. Dantian focus is the key
5. Hands-on adjustments
We adjust body to body and give a direct experience of what a position or move is about and can feel like. We do this from our own expression of what tai chi is, coming from the dantian and from our awakened presence. From our own relaxed bodies we convey relaxation with our touch.
OUR ATTITUDE IN TEACHING AND TEAMWORK
1. Emotional qualities in teachers
2. Respecting limits
3. Team-teaching and humility
Everybody in the classroom is more at ease when we, as teachers, stay supportive and respectful of each other, build on what each other says, and avoid contradicting each other. Humility means that we take on the function of letting the teachings flow through us in service to others (rather than for our own glorification).
UNDERSTANDING AND CREATIVITY
And last but not least: keeping the students and each other aware of the importance of:
TYB AS A SUPPORTIVE TOOL
- In Embracing the Tao we can introduce the dantian, deep diaphragm breathing, alignment and the connection to heaven and earth.
- In Yin Yang Breathing we can connect the breathing to the internal energy channel and show how the breath moves the arms.
- In Constant Bear we can talk about how when we move (utilizing both shifting weight and rotation) we don’t compromise our movement and disturb our footing or alignment. The work is to fold into the hip joints. We can also teach how the image of the owl on top of the head, with its eyes that see all without looking, empties the mind. As they continue to practice the movement students will also feel the qi generated between their hands.