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How many hours of Tai Chi have you done?

Whilst chatting to students in the park. We stumbled on the topic of quality over time. So how many hours of Tai Chi have you done?

I'm not one for counting, but after a quick estimate, I've probably done well over 6600 hours of Tai Chi and Qigong practice, in over 16 years. To me, it should be about the quality and the not the quantity that matters. Some days are better than others and that is just how life is. I definitely don't expect my students to put in more hours than is sensible and nor do I want them to. So what is it you wish to get out of Tai Chi?

So where did this thing about the amount of hours come from? Well, it isn't a traditional thing. It is something that is in certain Yoga communities. And it is starting to creep into Tai Chi. A few years back, A Chinese Tai Chi teacher (that's rare in the UK) asked me about the hours registered and with which body as I with. As it that is more important. I don't agree with this sort of accreditation. To be accredited, you need to be assessed and just like being judged in competitions. Opinions are subjective and at the end of the day, it is about whether your face fits. Standards are a matter for the practicing community. Gradings are a matter for the lineage. Medals can be seen as a mark of achievement, but even medals aren't everything. For me, teaching is about improving the quality of life through Tai Chi and Qigong. What is important is how many people I have helped. How many students you have and how much money made off them is not what martial arts about. As I mentioned before, I don't count the number of hours. I do my practice regularly, because I enjoy it. Counting hours of practice is a bit like counting calories. This can become an unhealthy obsession and an unnecessary distraction. Progress comes from regular practice. Tai Chi and Qigong is about discipline, spirituality and balance. The martial aspect is within all of that. For me, counting the hours is a waste of time. If your objective is to do more than what is sensible, then that isn't balance. Thank you for reading my blog.

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