Where to learn Tai Chi in Hong Kong?

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If you’ll be living in Hong Kong for several months or longer, why not learn Tai Chi? As a memento of Hong Kong, it’s much easier to take home than Chinese furniture, and it’s good for your health too!

There are a variety of courses on offer. You can choose from further education centres (e.g. YMCA), fitness centres (e.g. California Fitness), or even the free sessions run by the HK Tourist Board. But if you’d like to make some local friends at the same time, and can be a bit flexible with your schedule, there’s another option.

Visit your local park.

Visit a park near your home between say 6 and 9 in the morning, and you’re likely to find several groups of people doing their morning exercise. There’s usually a variety of things going on – some will be practicing the simplified exercises for health that are based on Tai Chi, others will be working through one of the Tai Chi forms, either empty-handed or using swords or fans. Dancing is popular too, with ballroom, modern Western, and traditional Chinese all to be seen.

Pay a few visits to get an idea of what’s on offer. It’s worth varying the times if you can, as different groups practice at different times, and even the same group may switch between different activities as the morning progresses. Once you see something that catches your interest, it’s time to see if you can join in.

You can choose to walk right up and ask if you can join in, but I’d suggest turning up for a few days and just sitting nearby and watching for a little while. They’ll likely get the idea you are curious and approach you. Otherwise a friendly smile and asking what they are doing is usually enough to get a conversation started, then you can ask if it would be ok for you to follow along.

It’s not as straightforward as signing up to a class, but for me it’s been a great way to make some local friends around the area I live, and to feel more at home in Hong Kong.

So, all good in theory, but what can go wrong?

No-one speaks English. The first hurdle might be that no-one in the group speaks good English. That needn’t be a show-stopper, as long as someone can let you know if it’s ok to join in, and help translate an occasional word or two. In an odd way it can be a benefit not to have too much verbal communication available, as it forces you to pay close attention to what the teacher is doing.

You are not welcome. For a variety of reasons (e.g. language barrier, nervousness of dealing with foreigners, their type of Tai Chi not suitable for beginners, etc.), they may not want you to join in. Just ask if they can suggest which of the other groups do, and choose another group.

The cost. If you do get invited to join in, at the end of the session ask if it is ok for you to come back again, and also what fees are involved. More formal classes have a monthly fee, but often the teachers are retired and are teaching for their own enjoyment at no charge. Even if there aren’t any official charges, take note if you see other students gathering money on a regular basis. There may be a regular ‘gift’ to the teacher – probably just a few tens of dollars per student.

The teacher isn’t good. You’ll soon work out if you get along with the teacher or not. Two reasons I can think of to look elsewhere would be if they can’t teach, or they don’t look out for your safety. Some of the people who can do Tai Chi very well themselves have difficulty breaking down what they know into manageable chunks for their students. If you really aren’t getting anywhere after several weeks, move on. Also if you feel pressured to move in a way that can injure you, move on immediately.

The gweilo effect. The good news is that you’ll get plenty of attention as a student, the bad news is that you’ll get plenty of attention as a student. The ‘bad’ attention takes several forms. At the basic level, you’ll get stared at more than usual, and some mornings may even attract a small crowd. Annoying, but get used to it. You’ll also find that many Chinese people feel their nationality somehow makes them experts on Tai Chi, and they are happy to share their knowledge with you. Keep smiling!

Give it a try. Before you know it you'll be 'waving hands like clouds' with the best of them!

MrB

Comments

Learn Tai Chi in private

Another consideration is to look for an experience Tai Chi teacher who can communicate with English, at the time most convenient to you.
In case, if you are interested in acquiring such expertise, it may cost more.
Here is the information
http://www.geocities.com/zibocetaichiwebs/zibocetaichigroup

Tai Chi Classes in Hong Kong

I teach traditional Yang Style Tai Chi here for health. 

Tai Chi Yang Form

Hi David Schneider.

I am looking to come to HK. to learn about Tai Chi. Yang Form is what i am interested in, + sword.

I live in England, i am aged 67 years old, i have been in Martial Arts since 1973, I am a 6th Dan. I have many aches and pains, but i`m very fit for my age and still active.

Qu..please reply with any infomation + cost + accommodation local to where you do your teaching, + if and when would be the best time to come, not too hot or much rain.

Look forward to your ealiest reply. Take care.

Bill Hollister.

 

 

Bill, if you are still interested

Bill, if you are still interested

Please contact me at-

Taiji_dror@yahoo.com

Take a good care

Dr.