Frequently Asked Questions

Chris Headlee Rolls Back

Chris Headlee leading World Tai Chi Day 2008.
Photo by David M. Frye, WideSky.biz

How do you pronounce Tai Chi Chuan?
Say tie chee chwan. It is also spelled Taijiquan, pronounced tie gee chwen.

What do I wear?
Nothing special—dress comfortably in everyday clothes you can move in.

What about shoes?
Again, nothing special is needed but comfortable, flexible shoes are best; bare feet are OK. Try a variety of footwear options for well-rounded training that reflects your life.

What if I do not have any experience?
Good, it will be easy for you to keep a beginner’s mind! This style was made for beginners, based on over 25 years of teaching experience.

I have a video… I tried a class… but they were impossible to follow! Can you help?
Most videos are too hard, especially for first-timers. Other resources will be more helpful after you learn the basics. A teacher offering in-person and hands-on help is always best and safest for beginners.

Is Tai Chi mostly for older folks?
No, it is practiced worldwide by people of all ages, at many different levels. Tai Chi Fitness students are all ages, too.

What does “certified Tai Chi teacher” mean?
Maybe not much so be sure to ask! Some people in Lincoln who have never even studied Tai Chi are receiving certificates based on 1-2 day or even online programs. No one owns or regulates the ancient/modern practices of Tai Chi and there is no one recognized certification to trust. Ask these questions to evaluate a Tai Chi teacher and their credentials:

  • How long have you studied & practiced Tai Chi?
  • Who is your teacher?
  • How often do you train together?
  • How long have you been teaching?
  • How many weekly students do you have?
  • What style(s) do you study & teach?

Chris Headlee, enjoying Taiji…
Photo by David M. Frye.

What Tai Chi is:

  • a martial art—yoga and Pilates, for example, are not
  • great for overall physical conditioning
  • non-competitive—no ranks, no test fees
  • mind and body training
  • full of endless challenges and variety—there are many styles and not one right way
  • a path, not a goal.


What Tai Chi is not:

  • an aerobic exercise, but recent studies show cardiovascular conditioning can occurs and there are documented benefits for cardiac rehabilitation
  • a religion
  • just stretching
  • just for old people
  • easy!