There are many things that we need to do to be successful with our tai chi practice. I've been thinking about this and I have distilled it down to three requirements I call the three ITS and it's easy to explain what they mean.
Investigate - When you first decided to try tai chi, the idea had to come from somewhere. You probably read or heard something about the health benefits. Spend a little time investigating tai chi before you commit to spending time and money. What do you want to get out of it? Define what you mean by "successful" tai chi practice.
Teacher - A teacher is essential. You can learn a little bit from a video. A video can show you the basic movements of a tai chi form, but it doesn't give you any feedback. It doesn't give you any of the depth of tai chi that makes it such a wonderful practice. Teachers are all different. Some have been studying for decades. Some for less. Some are great at their practice, but lousy teachers. Visit a class. Observe how the teacher interacts with the students. Ask if the teacher has experience with other students who have similar expectations as you. You want to find a great teacher that can help YOU. It can take time to find the right teacher, but it's worth it.
Student - You are the most important requirement. You can investigate and find the best teacher. You can spend your money on classes. But you won't be successful if you don't apply yourself and learn what the teacher is giving you. The teacher can show the way, but you have to put in the practice time. You have to do the hard work of learning.
© 2012 Eric Borreson