Frequently Asked Questions

The following are common questions we receive  from people inquiring about our Introduction to Tai Chi classes. We will be happy to answer any question by submitting an information request, calling or you can visit any class in person and speak to the instructor.

Q: What should I wear? Is there a uniform?

There is no uniform. Wear comfortable loose-fitting clothes. T-shirts with the CTCA Academy logo are available for purchase.

Q: I have some health concerns, is Tai Chi right for me?

The first resource you should check with is your family doctor. Your doctor can advise you based on your medical history. In general, if you can manage a brisk walk then you should be able to do the Tai Chi set. If you need to take a break to rest during the class, we encourage you to do so. If you have any other concerns please speak with your instructor and together you can find a way to adapt the Tai Chi to your needs.

Q. What should I wear on my feet?

Comfortable shoes, preferably with no or low heels, should be worn. Bare feet are not recommended.

Q. How do I pay for my membership?

There are numerous options to pay for your membership. Pay by cheque, cash or by credit card online through the website.

Q. How much does it cost?

Membership fees are paid per month. Three-month introductory course can be paid in a lump sum or monthly. Annual memberships are also available.

Q. How often do I need to do Tai Chi?

Like any form of exercise regular practice is encouraged. Playing Tai Chi as often as you can fit into your personal schedule is highly recommended.

Q. Do I have to practice at home?

Practicing at home is recommended but not mandatory. Practicing what you learned in the previous class will help reinforce your learning.

Q. What happens if I cannot attend a class?

In each class, we review the previous class’s lesson. So, it will be possible to get up to speed on what was missed. Review is an important part of learning. Also, there may be introduction classes at other locations that you can attend. The other classes may or may not be at the same place in the sequence as your class. Attending other classes will help your learning progress.

Q. Will classes be cancelled due to bad weather?

Only extreme weather conditions will cause a class cancellation. If the city buses are not running, we will cancel classes. You will be contacted if a cancellation is necessary.

Q. Do you offer Health Recovery or Adapted Tai Chi?

In a sense, all Tai Chi classes can be considered health recovery classes. Official Health Recovery classes are not offered at this time but may be offered in the future.

Q. Do you teach breathing as part of the class?

There are no specific instructions for breathing other than to not focus or concentrate on your breathing. Relax and let the Tai Chi movements allow breathing to happen naturally.

Q. Will I be learning any Chi Kung exercises?

Please note that Master Moy modified the Yang Style Tai Chi 108-move set to emphasize turning, stretching, rising and falling, expanding and contracting, borrowing principles from the internal martial arts and Chi Kung.  The continuing classes introduce exercises that incorporate Chi Kung principles.

Q. Will there be any sparring or application of the martial arts?

There is no sparring. Martial arts and the martial origin of moves may be referred to in order to improve or expand understanding.

Q. What is included in my membership in the Canadian Tai Chi Academy?

Members can attend any Academy class. Please note that some special event classes are held as fund raisers with a nominal participation fee. The participation fee is published with the event poster.

Q. Is there a rank / belt system in Tai Chi?

There are no belts and all members have the same rank. Members that are new to Tai Chi will attend an Introduction to Tai Chi class before moving on to continuing classes. Members who express an interest are invited to train to become instructors.

Q. Do the instructors have any certifications to teach Tai Chi?

The training of instructors is a continuous process. One of the principle goals of the Canadian Tai Chi Academy is to provide training for members who are interested in learning and sharing with others their understanding of Tai Chi and related arts.

Q. I am new to Tai Chi. Can I attend any of the special events that appear on the schedule?

Yes, Academy (CTCA) members can attend any class or special event but please note that some events may be fundraisers and some events may have a prerequisite of having learned the art.

Q. Is there any way that I can get additional instruction?

Members are welcome to attend any class. There may be a class concurrent to yours that will give you the additional instruction you seek. In general, personal/private instruction is not available. All instructors are willing to answer questions and provide feedback on request. The Introduction to Tai Chi class is structured as a group class. Instruction is not personalized but offered to the entire group. The Continuing Class is intended for both group and personalized instruction.

Q. How do I know if I am doing the movements correctly?

Your instructor will provide you with feedback that will help you progress relative to your experience, age, flexibility and understanding.

Q. I have completed the Introduction to Tai Chi class. Now what do I do?

Having completed the introduction to Tai Chi course you are encouraged to attend as many classes as you like. Members are encouraged to attend continuing classes but attending more Introduction to Tai Chi classes is also an option.

Q. What will I learn in a Continuing Tai Chi class?

Continuing members receive instruction to reach a deeper understanding of the Tai Chi set including revisiting movements to discover additional details. Also, two jong exercises as well as three foundation exercises will be learned: the don yu, the tor yu and the snake.

Q. What are the health benefits of Tai Chi?

The Tai Chi developed by Moy Lin-shin is fundamentally structured with a focus on improving health, learning and practicing Tai Chi.

Q. How does Tai Chi help with reducing stress?

Stress is a common complaint for many people who are attracted to Tai Chi. The physical work of doing the Tai Chi movements simultaneously works on the mind and the emotions. Movement alleviates tightness while strengthening the body.

Q. I have a hard time remembering the sequence, what should I do?

The goal of the introduction to Tai Chi class is to teach the 108 moves of the Tai Chi set. The expectation of the course is that the student will be able to complete the 108 moves surrounded by experienced members who know the set. There is no obligation for a new person to have memorized the entire sequence while taking the Introduction course. Becoming familiar with the moves to the point that you can do the sequence by yourself, is a long process. The more you do the set, the more familiar you become with the sequence.

Q. Can I come and observe a class?

You are welcome to come and observe a class. New students should look for an Introduction to Tai Chi class. Students that already know the Tai Chi set should look for a Continuing Tai Chi Class. It is recommended that you introduce yourself to the instructor so that your questions can be answered.

Q. I am visiting London and I know the Tai Chi set, can I join a class?

If you are a member of the Canadian Tai Chi Academy from another community, you can participate in any of the London classes for no charge. Non-members are asked to pay a guest fee of $5 per class.