Vol. 13, No. 4
The tragic events last June in China are not likely to seriously hinder the growth of Tai Chi Chuan in the U.S. But conditions in China will probably hinder free exchange of ideas with people there for some time.
What is most needed for the development of Tai Chi Chuan in the West is the better exchange of information. T'AI CHI tries to serve that purpose and such gatherings as the A Taste of China tournament and seminar in Winchester, VA, also further the art.
In this issue, Martin Eisen, who is no less interested in promoting the art, expresses the view that competition will decrease the quality of Tai Chi Chuan. He brings forward some worthwhile and interesting ideas.
Tournaments, if they are not done in the right way, can be detrimental.
But from my experience so far, tournaments can raise the goal of students and strengthen their focus and efforts.
Tournaments are not for everybody. And the people who compete are not necessarily better than everybody else. This kind of competition is another tool, among many possible tools, for increasing skills.
One of the biggest threats to the development of high level Tai Chi Chuan is low level Tai Chi Chuan, which can exist because the practitioner has limited interest, poor standards and improper goals.
It is not really possible nor desirable to police Tai Chi. But it is possible for each person to strive for higher level Tai Chi Chuan.