Some people don’t attend school, some only finish grade school; other students finish high school and attend university or obtain a graduate degree. You can find successful and happy people who have stopped learning at different levels. Few people, even after obtaining an advanced degree, must by their nature continue learning, studying and researching for the rest of their lives.
Unfortunately, Tai Chi has become commercialized like Yoga – see
Even grade school teachers know that there is more advanced mathematics than what they teach. Tai Chi teachers, even if they are happy with their level of knowledge, should know the original purpose and content of Tai Chi and inform their students that there is much more to learn.
If you are really interested in Tai Chi for health you must learn advanced biological sciences and math. to be able to judge correctly whether a clinical study is valid. If you have worked in a research laboratory, you probably know that data are altered to obtain more grants and for financial gain. Two recent examples are the faked results by well-known scientists to prove that there is global warming and also promoting the health benefits of red wine.
Even if the scientists are honest, most know very little about Tai Chi and the person that they chose to teach the research subjects might not know much either. The experiments are difficult to replicate because even 2 “experts” in Tai Chi teach different forms. In many of the trials there are not enough subjects and there are no control groups. A control group of people walking slowly and waving their arms might have produced the same result. The length of the trials is too short and they should really be entitled “Effects produced in learning Tai Chi”. It takes many months to learn even a shortened form correctly. There are no trials yet that have lasted for many years to establish longevity claims.
Clinical trials that suggest positive results should be repeated with a larger number of subjects, over a longer period of time and with a control group.
To use Tai Chi to treat a particular disease a diagnosis is required, since Tai Chi is a form of Qigong. Using Qigong properly requires years of study – for example, see or read the Qigong books by Jerry Johnson at
or Chinese Medical Qigong, Eds. T. Liu & K. Chen, Singing Dragon, 2010. However, for serious diseases it is better to use Qigong, because the patient will die before they learn even a simplified form of Tai Chi properly.
Qi is a basic concept used in Chinese medicine and Tai Chi. The health effects are explained in terms of Qi flow. Deadly strikes to acupoints (Dim Mak) are hidden in the main form and 2-person forms. The effects of striking these points and treating the resulting injury are also explained in terms of Qi. Although Qi cannot be explained scientifically, there is recent research which is getter close to explaining it – see