I would like to comment on some relevant points by the president in June's newsletter. Specifically, the fact that Tai Chi is so popular due to the health aspect and if we look at the composition of practitioners and students, the vast majority of us are practising Tai Chi for health purposes.
I agree with Paul Lam on this, and I know that many, many of the students I have taught over the years, have come to Tai Chi to learn the health benefits.
Paul makes some very relevant points on this and other topics in his column, and I would like to expand upon them.
For example, there is still only a very small minority of people who do Tai Chi - how to reach many more? Many people know about Tai Chi, but for whatever reason, don't practice it. Again, many people don't know about Tai Chi and its wonderful benefits etc,so how do we reach them?
I believe that is the challenge we face - to reach a vast, untapped market, a multitude of people ~who just do not have an inkling as to how our marvellous, magical skill can benefit them.
In talking to groups, or doing demonstrations etc, one often hears comments such as "I'm too old", "I'm too busy". "I couldn't balance/move like that", "its too slow", etc, etc. If only, if only those folk could take the first big step to trying Tai Chi, they would be on the road to better health and a better lifestyle.
Over the years, as we know, there has been considerable publicity of Tai Chi and this is good - many people have got the message! It's the other x number of thousands of people we need to reach!
This is the challenge for we teachers (and students) – to get the Tai Chi message across to the wider community.
Paul Lam used the example of basketball and how it grew from obscurity to now being one of the most popular sports. Paul adds that "I Believe this can happen with Tai Chi".
I believe it can also, but we have to handle it well, as to how we present ourselves to the public, how we 'win' the media, and more importantly, how we actually reach people and get them to take that initial first step.
Of course, one of the obstacles we face as Tai Chi practitioners is that there are so many other activities and things that people can do. Our job is, I believe, to convince them that Tai CHi is the one to try - not an impossible task, if we plan our campaign carefully.
I encourage members of the Association to openly discuss this project and I would be pleased to be part of a committee to discuss a plan of action. Let's meet the challenge!
We really have a wonderful opportunity to help more people enjoy better health and well-being! Please contact myself through Association.
Brian Gregson -Countrywide Tai CHi/Qigong College, Tamworth.