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Interested in seniors tai chi? A while back, one of my mailing list subscribers Dorothy, sent me this message: "Do you have a seniors version of your course?"
I teach a lot of seniors. I would say about half the people in our online tai chi courses are 55 or older, with many members in their 60's and 70's. And my oldest member is currently 94 years old.
But while I teach a lot of seniors to do tai chi, I don't teach "seniors tai chi."
That's because I don't have too.
You see, with my approach, each person customizes the tai chi movements they learn to himself or herself - to their unique mind, body, and energy systems. They learn how to make the movements fit them personally, instead of some generic approach that's supposed to fit "senior citizens."
So as I told Dorothy when she wrote me, "I guess in my course, you could say that instead of 'seniors Tai Chi', you are learning 'Dorothy tai chi.' Or more precisely, I'm teaching you how to develop 'Dorothy tai chi' for yourself."
There are lots of "specialized" Tai Chi course like seniors tai chi, and arthritis tai chi, and tai chi for this disease, and tai chi for that condition. But really, these specialized courses just show the "weaknesses" of the follow-along teaching method of Tai Chi I've talked about elsewhere.
It's like the senior Tai Chi teacher is saying, "Well, I can't teach you my normal Tai Chi class, because only people who are young enough can follow along with me. So instead, I've created a class that old people can follow along."
Or the "disease" Tai Chi teacher is saying, "Well, I can't teach you my normal Tai Chi class, because only people who are healthy enough can follow along with me. So instead, I've created a class that unhealthy people with a certain disease can follow along."
To me, these courses always sound like they'd rather label people by their age or disease, instead of treating each person as an individual.
Of course, that's just wrong. Every single person is unique. Lumping people into categories doesn't work, because each of us has unique needs, even if we have the same "age" or same "disease".
So we don't need "diseased" Tai Chi or "old person" Tai Chi.
We need "Dorothy" Tai Chi, and "Al" Tai Chi, and "Mary" Tai Chi, and "John" Tai Chi, and "Amber" Tai Chi, and "Mark" Tai Chi ...
... and YOUR Tai Chi.
You know, I've often joked with my students that I should create a program for seniors called "ChiFusion for Seniors." And a "ChiFusion for arthritis." And a "ChiFusion for" whatever the disease of the week is featured on daytime TV or Yahoo's home page.
I could get to the point where I'm making a new "ChiFusion for whatever" course each week.
It would be easy. I just copy all the text, photos, and videos from the current course to a new website. Copy them just as they are - no changes needed. The only change I need to make is in the NAME that appears at the top of each page. Instead of "ChiFusion Tai Chi" it would just say "ChiFusion for whatever." That would be the only difference.
And it would work.
That's because our whole focus is to get you to customize the movements to your unique body, mind, and energy system. Whether you are a certain age, or have a certain disease or condition, really doesn't matter to us. We still teach you the same things.
In our course, we've had people with ...
spinal problems, back problems, mobility problems, stroke paralysis, hernia, joint problems, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, cardiac problems, compromised immune system, toxic chemical exposure, HIV, HSV, cancer recovery, tinnitus, gastro-intestinal problems, irritable bowel, depression, anxiety, stress, inability to focus, phobias, excessive fear, OCD, anxious hair pulling, ADD,ADHD,
... and many other health challenges and problems. But we taught them all THE SAME WAY - not as "diseases" or labels or groups or categories, but as individuals. Unique people who need to be taught NOT how to follow along, but how to take the movements, customize them, and make them their own.
So who needs "senior's tai chi," when you can have Tai Chi customized exactly to who you are?
So are you ready to start developing YOUR OWN tai chi?
You have my best wishes for health, well-being, and Chi Development,