The China Tai Chi Internship Programme
Welcome to the dream ticket!
People often ask me how I (the site author) managed to learn 1-1 with good tai chi teachers in China while rarely working in the West.
In the early years of my journey learning Tai Chi in China, I taught English to help pay my way.
At the time, teaching children at the weekend was enough for my needs, leaving the rest of the week to focus on my training. Things are more expensive in China now so this is not so easy.
Later my then teacher wanted to start a school teaching foreign students, and I took on the roles of helping to market it and facilitate the experience for the students. I still taught a little English to help with living costs, but the Tai Chi training was free for me thereafter.
I moved on to learning with one of the Chen family in Chenjiagou and again found a solution for myself by creating this website. I had felt inspired to do it anyway and so worked really hard throughout my second stay developing what was to become the first version of this site.
What I am now suggesting is a way for people to follow in my footsteps...
The China Tai Chi Guide and China Tai Chi Association are a platform for allowing teachers and established schools who wish to teach Tai Chi to international students to connect with potential students looking for a way to really learn Tai Chi.
The independent teachers and schools are not able to work very well with non-Chinese students in my opinion unless they have a Western long term student supporting their cultural interaction with foreign students, handling enquiries for the schools and helping them with marketing generally. Occasionally Chinese staff can do this job well but generally it's a little difficult.
The China Tai Chi Guide cannot expand and grow now solely with my own efforts and so I am suggesting the Tai Chi internship programme.
I invite Tai Chi enthusiasts desiring to follow the dream to do what I did in 2004 and help a Tai Chi school to develop.
This could either be an existing Tai Chi school in China or simply a good solo teacher who you really want to learn with yourself and who is open to teaching international students.
What the China Tai Chi Guide is offering is access to the platform to help you in this process.
And for yourself, you negotiate a Tai Chi internship with the teacher where you get to learn either at a good discount or for free with them for as long as you want.
In exchange The China Tai Chi Guide charges a small annual fee to the school. The China Tai Chi Guide is an altruistic project, but still one which requires an income for it to continue as I forgoe other paid work to spend time on it.
Part of the arrangement important to me is that all of the relationships are on a win-win basis. Respect is key in life and especially good taichi. This is about forming a healthy community where teachers get a reasonable reward for sharing their life's work, students get good access to a teacher appropriate to them at a fair price and you as an intern get the enviable privilige of having a path to becoming the next Tai Chi master.
So this isn't an easy path. You will need time and money to travel to China independently, learn some Chinese, find a teacher you want to learn with and then negotiate a marketing role for yourself with them, but it is one which will work if you are determined enough.
And we can use this website which has an existing tai chi world following to help you do your work.
Contact The China Tai Chi Guide if you are interested.