Class Etiquette For Wuwei Tai Chi School
By David Chen, October 2004.
Proofread by Dr. Ron Przygodzki.

Some students have asked me in the past about the class etiquette. I've always been reluctant to outline one, because with our mutual respect there's no need for such action. However, I made up one just for you to understand better my "way" of learning.

In my general understanding of the two Chinese philosophies----

Confucianism is an idea of personal cultivation, which obeys the authorship, respects the ranking, and treats people with politeness and respectfulness.

Taoism, in contrast, values non-desired realization, equal status, parallel learning, and the treatment of others with sincerity and openness.

I personally was taught and raised in the Confucian cultural, but gradually am evolving into the Taoist idea of well-being.

Thus, is my etiquette in our classes----

  • We are not learning Tai Chi for becoming a "better than you," but a "better me."

  • The class is student centered, not teacher centered.

  • I teach you to become a student of Tai Chi, not to become a student of mine.

  • I'm your teacher "Mr. Chen" in the classroom; I'm your friend "David" elsewhere.

  • I allow equal opportunity for everyone to correct my mistakes in the classroom, and earn my appreciation.

  • There is no need to report your absence. We all have our priorities in everyday living.

  • Joanne and I have learned to enjoy every class - with or without students.

  • I bow to you in the class to thank you for giving me a chance to share.

  • The goal of studying Tai Chi is for your personal growth, not for others.

  • There's no ranking in our classroom.

  • There is no "favorite one," no successors, no indoor disciples, nor any top students on my list. In fact, there's no list.

  • Senior students are role models of junior students, while junior students are the mirrors of senior students.

  • I encourage parallel learning between students.

  • Junior students try to appreciate the unique interpretations among senior students, and respect their kind efforts.

  • Senior students try to learn to care about the junior students' needs, as well as respect their "lack of needs."

  • I like constructive suggestions more than compliments.

  • No birthday parties, no gifts, nor special thanks for the teacher.

  • The only thing that makes a teacher proud is when a student has comprehended the art of Tai Chi.

  • You are not just coming to the class once a week to "practice" Tai Chi. You are coming to learn how to evaluate and discipline your inner self---in order to practice Tai Chi principles onto your spouse and boss.

  • There's no graduation in Tai Chi practice, only different levels of progress---There's no perfection in Tai Chi practice, only different levels of refinement.


  • There's no right or wrong in Tai Chi practice, only different levels of understanding.


I only have one dream, and it is not about becoming a famous master. Rather, I hope that perhaps one day I could let go of everything and attend my student's class to re-learn the Tai Chi.

David Chen