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My wife and I had been practicing Tai Chi for around seven years without thinking about becoming Instructors, then we moved to Sheffield – to be closer to Grandchildren. We couldn’t find a group which practiced the Style we enjoyed, (Yang), so decided to form our own group in Sheffield U3A and become teachers by default. We had both taken grading exams in the Yang Style and because we are members of the Yang Family International Association have access to the Students Handbook and Instructors Guide – both of which proved to be very useful. We also attend seminars with our former Instructor and the Yang Family Masters 3 or 4 times a year.
A friend who we helped start a group in another part of Sheffield took a different and simpler route. He had been a student of Tai Chi for around five years and decided he would like to offer Tai Chi within the U3A. He maintains contact with his previous Instructor so both practices and teaches and this seems to be a very pragmatic approach and fits the U3A ethos very well.
If you are interested in forming a Tai Chi or Qi Gong Group decide what style you want to teach. Each class should have a short warm up, Tai Chi or Qi Gong practice, a social part – just a cup of tea and a biscuit and an opportunity for folk to chat.
Keep practicing with a more experienced Instructor, this will improve your Form and give you confidence in your teaching.
Check out the Tai Chi Union of Great Britain website. We are members and find the resources and magazine useful.
Keep in touch with us – don’t hesitate to email any questions of any type – especially information on how to find teachers if you don’t wish to be the teacher.
Remember – to be a teacher in the U3A you only need to be one step or one week ahead of your students!