As you can imagine this question has numerous
responses. China and all the Asian cultures have ancient
histories and Asia claims an immense portion of the human
story. The birth Qigong (Ch'i Kung) is estimated to have
been between over 5000 years ago. And Taiji (T'ai Chi), a
modern development is just a baby, born in the 14th century,
only 600 years ago. Such huge chunks of human history are
the source for multitudes of philosophies, opinions and
It is a traditional guideline that one must choose and
then remain devoted to a teacher. The teacher-disciple
relationship has long been revered as the only path to
advanced skill in both Qigong and Taiji.
It has been found, however, particularly related to
health and self healing, that a motivated individual can
grasp and utilize enough of certain Qigong practices to
improve their health through personal practice alone.
When looking for a teacher there is a really practical
set of steps that will help you to sustain a certain freedom
for personal growth while leading to higher and higher
levels of skill.
Ask around to find the teacher that people like the
most. Study with that individual with the idea that you will
learn some things, get your curiosity satisfied (or
stimulated) and improve your skill. Try other teachers and
compare. Practice, read, discuss, practice. Before very long
you will become an expert on what feels right to you.
Remember that it is typical for the great teachers to
say "the Qi is the teacher" and "the practice is the
teacher". You will likely want to find a teacher who
reflects these ideas.
For some people a certified teacher who has been
qualified to teach by a master teacher within a recognized
lineage is necessary. We are fortunate to have many Taiji
and Qigong teachers who have such credentials available.
Some are of Asian descent others are vigilant and serious
If your goal is to penetrate to the deepest most
authentic lineage teaching, finding a teacher will be more
complex. However, your devotion and perseverance in the
process will eventually carry you into the presence of the
perfect teaching. If your goal is to learn some health
sustaining practices you will find teachers easily at the
YMCA, local hospital or community education program. This
may be the best place to start. Eventually you will be
exposed to master teachers.