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T'AI CHI MAGAZINE - August 1992

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August 1992 - Editor's Notebook

Serious practitioners are always concerned with the problem of how to raise the level of the art. And there are a lot of people out there doing it.
The level is raised at places like the Tai Chi Farm and at the various tournaments and seminars.
And there are many other people doing it on an individual basis teaching all over the country, usually at no small sacrifice to themselves. They deserve a lot of respect for what they do.

It also helps for someone like Mike Sigman to courageously speak out about what he feels are deficiencies. It is also true there there are some people with questionable credentials, as Mike Sigman has written. And there are some people whose dialog is way ahead of their skills.
There are also people out there who have ability but after 10 or 15 years still don't really have much to show in terms of internal energy or high skills.

It is easy to be exasperated with the slow development of the art. But we should recognize there are a lot of people out there trying really hard to teach and learn.
As part of our practice, we should learn to appreciate the different levels of teaching and learning as part of an overall process. With a few exceptions, most of us are trying to live the real spirit of Tai Chi and pass it along to students and classmates.

Our work should really be to offer the training that will lift the level of skill of those people who want to learn. This means appreciating the differences in how people learn, their limitations and our limitations. Elitist attitudes usually are self-serving and won't take us very far.

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