How to Spot Bad Qigong and Tai Chi Teachers

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“My teacher is the best!” she said.

“Really?” he said. “How do you know?”

“Because he told me so!”

This happens all the time in the world of qigong  and tai chi.  Actually, it happens with pretty much any art that comes from the East, whether it’s yoga, karate, or meditation.

Students love thinking that their teacher is the best, and teachers love to encourage this. Sometimes it’s true.  But sometimes, it’s not.

How can you tell the difference?

Below is a simple set of 10 criteria that you can use to assess qigong and tai chi teachers. 

1. How Does He Look?

It amazes me how may teachers look absolutely terrible.  Their skin is pale, their eyes are dull, their posture is awful, their voice is weak, and they have no pep in their step.

Why would you want to learn from someone like this?

Look at your teacher.  Does he look healthy?  Be honest with yourself!  It doesn’t matter what certifications or titles he has.  It doesn’t even matter who his teacher is.  If he looks unhealthy, then he’s probably not a good role model for self-healing arts.

If your teacher has overcome some sort of major illness, then that’s even better.

2. Does He Get Results?

A good teacher produces successful students.  Simple.

And there should be more than a few of these students.  I once met a teacher who constantly referred to the same success story over and over.  Just that one story.  No other success stories were ever mentioned.

3. Can He Teach?

There are people out there who are highly skillful in their art, but they can’t teach worth a damn.

Back in my violin days, I studied with a world-class violinist for several months.  He was, without a doubt, the best violin player I ever studied with.

But he was also, without a doubt, the worst teacher.

Because I had already learned from good teachers for over 15 years, I was able to learn a bit from watching him and listening.  But if I had been a beginner, it would have been a disaster.

If you’re an advanced student, then you may be able to learn from this kind of teacher.  Maybe.  But if you are a beginner, forget it.

If your teacher can’t teach, and if you’re a relative beginner, then you should find a new one EVEN if he is highly skillful.  (If he’s not skillful and he’s also a bad teacher, then what the heck are you doing? Get out of there!)

4. Does He Hurt People?

You’d be surprised how many students are physically or emotional hurt by bad qigong and tai chi instructors. Don’t let this scare you away from qigong and tai chi, but DO let it scare you away from bad teachers!

Make sure to account for what we call “growing pains”.  Even during my beginner’s workshop, students start to see results.  And as they see results, they often experience various growing pains, like a burning sensation in their feet, or a dull ache in an old injury, or even mild nausea.

These are good signs, and they are temporary.  They indicate that the energy is flowing.  A good teacher will address these “growing pains”, and explain them in a way that makes perfect sense.

But if students are constantly getting dizzy, having palpitations, or feeling severe nausea in class, and if the teacher typically dismisses or ignores these problems — then you’ve got a problem.  Move on.

And if the teacher verbally or physically abuses students — run like hell.

5. Can He Answer Questions?

A teacher needs to be able to answer a wide variety of questions, and do so intelligently.  The answer should leave you satisfied, like a good meal.  If the answers leaves you hungry, or nauseous, then you’ve probably spotted a bad teacher.

There’s a lot of BS in the world of Eastern arts.  A lot of it.

Part of the problem is that students allow the teacher to stand up in front of the class and spout BS.  Don’t be one of them.  Don’t allow it.

Question your teacher. Do it respectfully, but do it. And if you don’t feel good about his answers, then leave.

6. How Much Training Does He Have?

Forget about certifications.  Forget about black belts (which are not even traditional in qigong and tai chi).  Forget about shiny suits.  Just find out one thing about the teacher.

How long has he been training?

It’s shocking how many teachers are “certified” after only 9 months of total training.

There is no way anyone can be a good teacher after 9 months. It’s madness.  It takes 2 years just to become a good student!

If your teacher has less than 1 year of total experience, go find a new one.  Immediately.   He may be a nice person, but he’s a student, not a teacher.

7. Does He Understand Chinese Medicine?

When it comes to qigong, a teacher should really know something about Chinese medicine.  After all, qigong a branch of Chinese medicine (and arguably the most powerful branch).

If your teacher doesn’t know a thing about Chinese medicine, then that’s not a good sign.

8. How Does He Handle Problems?

Problems arise.  It’s inevitable.  A good teacher will be able to confidently and professionally handle those problems.

A bad teacher will stumble.

For example, let’s say that a student starts getting palpitations in class.

A good teacher can handle this situation confidently and responsible. He may suggest some remedial exercises, or even use some acupressure to help the student calm down. Within a few minutes, everything is back to normal.

A bad teacher will handle the situation differently.  He’ll ignore or dismiss what the student is experiencing. He’ll try to remain confident, but underneath the surface, you may suspect tell that he’s faking it.  In the end, you know something’s wrong because the students leave the class feeling worse, not better.

9. Does He Inspire You?

When you go to class, do you feel uplifted just by being near your teacher?  Does he inspire you with his experience, his results, his energy, and his confidence?  Does he always know the perfect thing to say to help get you back on track?   Then you probably have a good teacher.

Bad teachers have trouble inspiring their students  because they aren’t inspired themselves.  They can’t lead by example.

If you aren’t healthy, how can you inspire students to become healthy?  If you haven’t practiced daily for decades, then how can you inspire students to practice regularly?

10. Does He Have Integrity?

A teacher should have a high moral standard.  There should be telltale signs of integrity, kindness, courage, sincerity, and honesty.

A bad teacher may also have many of these qualities too. Bad teachers aren’t necessarily bad people. As I said above, they may even be excellent practitioners.

If you suspect that the teacher lacks integrity, then get the hell out of there, no matter what his skill level.

Summing Up

Spotting a bad teacher will save you time and money.  In some cases, it could save your life. I’d probably be dead if I hadn’t taken the time to search for a good teacher.

Even if your life doesn’t hang in the balance, it’s worth finding a good teacher.  Take the time, put in the energy, and spend the necessary money to find one.  Even if you have to travel 10,000 miles like I did, you will save time, energy, and money in the long run.  You deserve it.

I should mention that I absolutely encourage my own students, and prospective students, to judge me by my own criteria.  That’s only fair, right?  If you don’t think that I pass my own test, then you should absolutely find another teacher.  You need to find a teacher that YOU are comfortable with.

Drop me a comment below if you have questions. Really, it’s easy. Or if you haven’t already gotten your free Ebooks and free lesson, then make sure to grab them here. 

Mindfully yours,
Sifu Anthony

I'm Sifu Anthony Korahais, and I created Flowing Zen because I know what it's like to wrestle with chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and fatigue. I'm living proof of the healing power of qigong and tai chi. I've already helped thousands to get results with these amazing arts, and I'd love to share my knowledge with you as well. ​


 
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42 Responses to How to Spot Bad Qigong and Tai Chi Teachers

  1. Fred Chu January 24, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

    While I’m very lucky to never have had a bad teacher, and in fact they were all competent in their own ways, my past sifu’s did not have students with amazing results. Strangely, when I asked my old Yang Taijiquan sifu about self-defense applications, he said I was “better off learning anything but Taiji for self-defense.” Good thing I’ve since learnt from Sifu and Sigung, that sort of thing was pretty discouraging to hear at the time! I’ve visited a few kung fu schools since learning from Sifu and Sigung, and there just isn’t any comparison in the vitality of the masters, the skills of the students, or, well, anything, really.

  2. Lauren Michelle January 25, 2013 at 8:50 am #

    This is a really great article. I’ve come across people who have given up these arts because they had a bad teacher – but they blame the arts rather than the teacher. It is unfortunate when people who come across these arts are unable to experience the real depth and healing they’re intended for and even more when they were unable to recognize it was because they didn’t have a good teacher. I’m pretty lucky, I didnt have to go through all that many until I found you. Thanks Sifu – I will definitely be sharing this article!

    • Sifu Anthony January 25, 2013 at 9:46 am #

      The teacher and the art are inseparable. People often make the mistake of looking for a particular art, like Tai Chi or Bagua. Instead, they should look for a good teacher, and just learn whatever art he or she has to offer.

  3. Amy Morrow January 25, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    I knew before reading this article that I have the best teacher. This just confirmed it. I’m so thankful someone recommended Sifu Anthony to me!!!

    • Sifu Anthony January 25, 2013 at 9:50 am #

      You forgot to mention that he’s also very handsome, not to mention funny! 🙂

  4. Rich Marantz May 20, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

    I am a 25 year Tai chi and Qigong practitioner and a teacher for the last 15. This is a very well written article with sound advice. Nicely done.

    • lindsay July 1, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

      is a shaolin monk a good teacher?

      • Sifu Anthony Korahais July 1, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

        Hi Lindsay. Sadly, no, you can’t assume that just because someone calls himself a “Shaolin Monk” that he is necessarily a good teacher. First of all, he may or may not be a real monk. Second of all, even if he is a real monk, he may or may not be a good teacher. I think you’re better of judging teachers by the criteria in this article rather than by titles or accolades.

  5. Mujah Tai Chi July 30, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    Hi Sifu Anthony,
    I have studied and Taught Tai Chi for some time. If I experience a situation with a student that I’m not sure of, I simply get on the phone or visit a Sifu or Eastern Doctor and ask questions or I send the student directly to the Eastern doctor for treatment.
    Thank you for the article.
    My studies continue and I hope to attain more knowledge on the internal healing of this great art.

    Mujah, Lao Shi

  6. Charlene Vartanian September 29, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    Hello! I thoroughly enjoyed your article. I am a new qigong student, but have been practicing CranioSacral Therapy for 13 years. I find that these two practices intersect and the qigong gives me understanding for my CranioSacral practice. I look forward to being connected with you and receiving your ebook and lessons!.

  7. Ronald December 4, 2013 at 12:40 am #

    very nice and priceless and unvaluable article in what refers to how to find a good or great teacher of kung-fu. there isn’t any other article that explains so well what are the principals points to take in count when searching for a good kung-fu teacher..

    Im from Barranquilla, Colombia, been practicing martial arts for over a year (started with taekwondo) but quited it because of it’s high differences with other martial arts, and because of the teacher. who wanted to charge me $40 for and hour of self-defense lesson when in fact in kung-fu i can learn chin-na, i can learn sweeps. projections, and much more of “self-defense” for $40 a month.. christ.. $40 for and hour… so, if i pay $400 for 10 hours would i be an expert in the street right..?… and not to mention taekwondo does teach this, but anyway the teacher ( a good person by the way) wanted to get more money for his new byke..

    anyway i started researching in new arts ( i wanted and art that fullfilled what i wanted, not only learning fighthing and self-defense techniques but also meditation , herbal techniques., or other things that improve longevity…) and watched karate shoryn ryu, hapkido, aikido, jet kune do, and some others..

    until i found kung-fu, very nice and excellent art fullfilling what i expected and more, only one problem.. kung-fu in my country is rare.. there are teachers, but not how i wanted.. imposiblle to find a shaolin-monk style teacher here,, so i never expected that, but i still expected a good-level teacher, not perfect. but good.

    in my city there are only 2 schools, the “sitai-gung” doesnt have and school, because ( his words) ” my studends became sad after competitions where over and i told them that the kung-fu was not only to compete but to other things, so i closed the school)… so now he is teaching private lessons in a park of my city for $75 the month… that is a high rate here…. i mean he had good things ( taking in count that he is the only one teaching “traditional kung-fu in my city”) i have received good feedback from his old students but still it doens’t convince me, not because of the price of the money, its just because he seems to be on the teaching only for money. thats all. and he claims to be the best.. heck i dont know what to think….

    i founded what i thing is a good teacher of a kung-fu hua quan flowery fist teacher, in a city 1.000 milles away from mine… teacher chin-na , chi-sao, traditional chinese medicine, shuai-jiao, and tradiionatl weapons…

    but isnt just that, its the whole way he speak ( in just one class i took i realized how would it be my training if i choose that teacher for the next 6-7 years) , the class is very demanding, he starts class on time ( whoeveer arrives late some push-ups gifts for him) , he encourages students to better themselvs, and i myself saw a student almost faint-out ( also his first class like i said very demanding), he himself took him hey lay down you are not ok, and he lift his legs up and push them towards his head, ( i guess something for nauseas), i mean, i mention this, because all this details make one realize who a good teacher should be.

    what make more realize that was a very good teacher was that he was very attentive with students while doing some chin-na techniques, he corrected them, and he was all the time paying attention to what we do, this were things i never notice in the shaoling 5 animals “sitai-gung” on my city….

    regarding the money.. he told me ” this is not a business ” its and art, i charge only $30 for month, and no more charges, not even for promotions or seminars.., i guess some people are just in it for the money. or maybe the need to eat and get good things such as normal people do.. but maybe they could study a profession and get the money from it and not from the kung-fu…

    don’t know what to think, its very hard decision for me to travel to another city, leave my family, brother father mother, and even a daughter, to go another place learn and art for 6-7 years ( if that person where on my town i would be training by now and forever, but, i can’t stay forever on that other city, i have a family here..)… its a hard decision…

    why i wasn’t born on china, on henan or in wudang..?? only gods know…. will do what my hearts tell me.

    • Sifu Anthony Korahais December 4, 2013 at 11:15 am #

      Hi Ronald. Regarding being born in China — don’t make the mistake of thinking that all the good teachers are in China. Most of the good teachers fled China before or during the Cultural Revolution. You’ll find far more good teachers in SE Asia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the US than you will in mainland China.

      Regarding money — it a big subject. Should one teach these arts as a business, or not? I am a professional teacher, which means that I teach for money, just like a music teacher, a university professor, or a dance teacher. If I don’t charge money, then I can’t keep my beautiful studio open.

      In the past, I had a full time job, and taught Kung Fu and Qigong on the side. But now that I am a professional Qigong and Kung Fu instructor, I have much more time to devote to teaching, practicing, and promoting these arts. You yourself just benefited from this. If I weren’t a professional, I wouldn’t have time to write blog posts like this one and share them freely.

      Of course, if someone is only teaching for the money, and not to help people, then that’s different. But for me, the best way for me to help people is to be a professional teacher. 🙂

  8. Ronald December 4, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    Yep. that’s exatly what i expect from a teacher when being taught by him, to be attentive and help me achieve what i want. as i said it’s not a matter of money. i understand its a profession just like any other and you as teachers have needs and the same aspirations as a normal person. which requires money.

    the problem lays on the approach. if that person is teaching only to gain money, and has no interest of forming the student as a martial artist. and i really understand that kind of people, actually, its very difficult to find a person REALLY REALLY interested in learning in depth such things as chi-kung, The TCM, or internal arts, so they just want to get some “exercise” or to “loss weight” but hey why would i want to do this in a kung-fu class?, kung-fu must be to learn real defense and not to ” hey can you teach me to fly like jackie chan here”??? …. so people want to get what they pay for, and this is the ilussion that they know kung-fu in just 2 months or 3 months of training and then quit… so by this point of view, i really understand that teachers that charge highly, and dont seem to have any real interest on teaching, with such studends.. why would i waste energy in somebody that only looks this as a ” bruce lee” fashion..?

    not to sound angry, but it really piss me off some people disrespect to these arts, they simply dont understand what they are all about. they don´t realize about the really good benefits that this could brings to their lives, the only interest here on barranquilla is either football or baseball..

    i really take my time to research and ask question to a teacher , speccially because i don´t want to realize after 2 or 3 years of training that he didnt´t actually receive the proper training from his teacher.. i would like to add someting here to your article that i think its very important ( with your permission) and its what you said, it doesnt matter the torunaments that the master won, all the success stories, or even that he have been training…. i mean, for one of the more important thing is:

    – How long did the train with his teacher..?, was it consistently.? during that time did he quit training for some time?..

    some teachers say i have been training, by 20 years now, but was it 19 years training with your teacher and 1 by yourself, or 19 by yourself and 1 with your teacher.. what would have a person that trained 1 year possibly learn..?, and the other 19 years teaching something he doesn´t master….

    so i think this is very important…nothing more to add. thanks for the space to post here.

  9. Miramanni January 21, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

    Sifu, I have had a terrible time finding even a decent teacher (you and Master Wong raised the bar high! but so many seem to miss the very point of it) and I miss my practices. I love the patterns and wonder if you can suggest a basic pattern that I can practice to keep myself in Kung Fu? And a resource where I can watch from time to time? I am LOVING the online class- its so helpful to get back into a more zen qigong mind set and feel more motivated and less isolated in my practice. Will you be offering kung fu online as well? Best to you and Simu <3

    • Sifu Anthony Korahais January 22, 2014 at 11:20 am #

      Hi Mira. Finding a teacher is always hard. That’s why they online academy, plus periodic live workshops, is so helpful. It’s the way of the future!

      As for Kung Fu (including Tai Chi), there will be some exercises in the online course that will be good for you to practice. For now, just gain momentum in your Qigong practice.

  10. Yadi Alamin March 22, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    I love this article, brother.
    Of course, I’m a teacher, and THESE are the exact things I tell people.
    I’ve had several teachers in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Gung Fu and QiGong, and you hit the nail on the head!
    Results, Experience and Sincerity are the biggest selling points, yet they are not something you can buy!
    My three main teachers insisted that I learn acupuncture, TuiNa, herbs and martial arts/medical QiGong. Students who train with me tend to stay with me for years.
    I’m almost 39, with 14 years experience (4 hours of training per day), and thousands of hours in personal practice.
    I love to see my brothers and sisters of the art doing this service for mankind.
    Of course, I never ask anyone to call me “Sifu”. I am content with being called Yadi.

    Be Well

    Yadi Alamin

  11. Erik April 20, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

    What do you think of using your surroundings and God as a teacher? I have never had a qigong instructor per se, I have had many in many forms. For example, I learned not to worry too much about physical forms in my qigong amd tai chi exercises. I learn pieces from many martial arts and experience and even seemingly unrelated areas of study.

    • Sifu Anthony Korahais April 20, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

      Hi Erik.

      Sure, learning from the Cosmos is wonderful! Many great artists spoke about something similar. But if you study history — whether it’s the history of martial arts, music, or poetry — you’ll find that most of those artists also had a solid foundation. In other words, they were open to learning from the Cosmos, but they also learned from a teacher, and practiced diligently, for many years.

      All the best,
      Sifu Anthony

  12. Robin Schapiro May 1, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

    My Sifu makes me smile … and he can even do it in an audio! Which is what inspired me to make a small journey to meet you. 🙂

  13. Janice North May 4, 2014 at 5:09 am #

    I have been studying Qigong with an excellent and well trained Sifu for a year and a half. It has changed my life. I am currently in a middle eastern country and have been asked to share how I have healed myself. I will point them to your website as well as share the beginner basics. I feel I can trust you for 2 reasons. 1. You have said the same thing as my Sifu regarding bad teachers and 2. I have read Master Wong Kew Kit’s writings and you studied with him.
    Thank you for a resource I can give to those who want to learn. I am still just learning and very cautious about teaching others. However, in a place where medicine is not available or affordable I cannot allow someone to suffer who might be helped by the basic exercises. Maybe when I return I will have more to share with them.

  14. Diane May 14, 2014 at 10:41 am #

    Thank you for this article, which confirmed my Sifu with over 30 years experience is an AWESOME teacher! He motivates me and makes Tai Chi fun and it is something I so look forward to doing every day. Your articles are great, so glad I found your site!

  15. Terence May 25, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    There are quality issues in the Yoga world right now, mainly due to the fact that teaching certificates are being handed out after a one month crash course, to trainees with little or no experience.

    Its correct to say, always check in on a teachers experience as a practitioner.

  16. Michael Labant July 10, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

    Sifu Anthony,
    Wonderful article. As a practitioner of Chen & Yang style TaiJi, and Qi Gong, for over 25 years I can relate. You are wise and sincere. You write with reverence. In reading your article, you can feel your sincerity. I wish you were closer, would love to met and perhaps attend one or several of your classes. I do not respond to articles, in fact this is the first time ever. Clearly you moved me. After all the time I have studied all the publications I have consumed and the studying and training with 7 different teachers, Instructors and Sifu, I feel I’m barley scratching the surface of the vast world of knowledge in the wonderful modality of Qi Gong. I’m currently awaiting my certification of acceptance from the NQA and hope to soon become an instructor. Interestingly enough, just this very afternoon my teacher sent me a similar article. So much to know and so little time in life to learn it!
    I wish you happy Qi and a spirited thank you for this article.
    My very best to you.
    MLB

    • Sifu Anthony Korahais July 10, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

      Thank you, Michael, for your wonderful comment. Maybe we’ll meet some day! Good luck with your NQA certification! I should probably look into that myself. After 22 years of teaching and practicing, I should probably go about getting some sort of certificate! 🙂

      With Happy Qi,
      AK

      • Bob Carpenter January 9, 2015 at 10:15 am #

        I wouldn’t worry about getting accredited too much. Typically, such things just mean that you can toe the party line. I know people with accreditations galore, but with no practical experience. That makes them dangerous.

        Still, poorly trained Shi fu are dangerous as well. My favorite sports are dying because of lawyers and insurance companies. Poor instructors cause dangerous accidents.

        Your article helps. Thank you.

  17. Kella January 11, 2015 at 10:43 pm #

    Do you know if any good qigong and/or tai chi instructors/classes in the St. Louis, MO area?

    • Sifu Anthony Korahais January 15, 2015 at 11:40 am #

      I’ll be offering live online classes in the near future. Keep an eye on my newsletter for details. In the meantime, you might try Spring Forest Qigong. I’ve never met the master, Chunyi Lin, and I don’t agree with all of his methods, but many people like him a lot.

  18. william March 20, 2015 at 8:16 pm #

    I can honestly say that not a lesson from a bad tai chi teacher can often point you in the right way also how can u truly tell a good from a bad teacher.one more thing i have also study tai chi so i am also wondering what a true style or form of tai chi looks like the only reason i say that is because my lotus style has three diffirent forms i know two of which i speak of

    • Sifu Anthony Korahais March 21, 2015 at 9:50 am #

      William, that’s a good point. Having a bad teacher sometimes helps you to appreciate a good one!

      There is no “true” style of tai chi. There are many styles, including Yang, Chen, Wu, Sun, and Hao. But even these styles have started to blend and merge over the past 100 or so years. I have never heard of Lotus style. It’s possible that it’s a modern blend of some sort.

  19. Pia May 12, 2015 at 10:36 pm #

    Anyone has advice on good QIgong classes in NYC?

  20. kevin November 21, 2015 at 5:10 am #

    Thank you. A must read article for anyone seeking a teacher for anything I benefitted in many ways and its been less than a half hour . Very powerful , I am a life long student of the arts. I have studied many styles , I have great interest but limited knowledge due to my lack of ?? I’m not sure I am like the wind I am in and out getting the basics again and again and again. I am getting older now and am desiring better health and most important to me is that I’m not treating a symptom but finding the source of the ailment. I am in a small mountain town there is not even a doctors office. That is OK but there is also to my knowledge no place to study tai chi or qi . I would benefit and be honored by any help you could offer. Thank you.

    All smiles, kevin

    • Sifu Anthony Korahais November 21, 2015 at 9:08 am #

      Hi Kevin. My upcoming online projects will be perfect for someone living in a small mountain town! Also, don’t fret about learning the basics over and over. The basics are super important!

  21. Tony November 29, 2015 at 4:52 pm #

    Hello Sifu Anthony Korahais,

    So early last year I began to explore qi gong to help my mom recover from her near fatal stroke and to help control my mind and keep myself from internet porn and masturbation impulses. In the beginning when my mom was in the hospital I began to take the advice of one medical qi gong practitioner (though I did not really practice qi gong diligently from him) to feel qi in my hands and place my hands by her feet where it connects to the brain from a reflexology standpoint. It seemed to help a little bit and my dad did some tuning forks in the hospital to help as well which helped a little bit. But then I realized later that I can just feel the energy of my sexual impulses (just feeling and embracing the feeling with love) and from there I was able to avoid masturbation and pornography for SEVEN WHOLE MONTHS – I thought I was a saint or something by just embracing all negative impulses as energy to be embraced. During the seven months I practiced eight pieces of brocade and other exercises from the videos as well as yoga dvds.

    My sister told a qi gong master(with over 30 years of experience) what I was doing and he said what I was doing was dangerous without the guidance of a master and he wanted to train me. I began to train with him (he gave the class once a week every Sunday) and I practiced his form diligently and almost daily. Though within a month of daily practice I reverted back into my masturbation vice and for some reason I could not control my impulses no matter how much I embraced energy of the impulse. I thought it could be because I was more stressed out over college work but then the thought lingered into my mind that maybe there could be something wrong with what the master is teaching me.

    The month after that I made a rule for myself for avoiding the internet when no one is watching me and I was able to avoid the bad impulses for four months and then I reverted back and would only control myself for a few weeks at a time to two to three days and I am still stuck. And could not embrace and control my impulses like before I met the qi gong master. The good side to this master is that I was able to heal my mom with his qi gong form in a deeper way than I could with books. For example a doctor that was supposed to fix my mom’s arm actually caused the muscles there to recede. Qi gong helped form the muscles that receded and made her frozen hand mobile (the hand was frozen since the beginning of the stroke). She was also able to lift her elbow which she could never do since the beginning of the stoke and formed trap muscles which were non-existent(since the beginning of the stroke and despite intensive rehab). After months of practice her neck went from being a tree trunk to being a near normal neck with greater flexibility which made her able to eat complete meals through the mouth which she was not able to do before( we fed her through the stomach feeding tube for a year until very recently). She could not walk yet but is more vibrant than ever and I really feel her getting better with qi gong.

    As for me I really like my master’s form of qi gong. I have practiced it diligently for a solid year and it feels deeper physically and mentally than winging it by myself. But I am upset that I ended up being the same sinful person that I was during my teen years. I did not even really improve in speed or in intrinsic value with my college work at all (I take college online) like the master promised. He claimed that I would be significantly faster with completing tasks – he gave an example how a musician was able to read music twice as fast than the average musician(7 bars ahead instead of two bars ahead) than the average musician and how another office worker felt he had all the time in the world after feeling he had no time in the world after one month of practice. I told him how I did not really change mentally with work and he said that that is unusual and to keep making the qi gong deeper. Its been a year and there is no tangible improvement for me mentally my personality has not really improved or shifted at all. I just seem a little healthier in appearance and that is just it. Is there any advice you can give me?

    • Sifu Anthony Korahais December 2, 2015 at 9:57 am #

      Hi Tony. My advice is to learn from several different teachers until you find what works for you. The days of students being beholden to one master are gone. Focus on the results that you want, plain and simple.

  22. George March 18, 2016 at 4:13 am #

    This article is golden from a master himself, what Sifu Anthony is describing is very true, i know it as a meditation and tai chi practitioner that grounding is of utmost importance. And i have no master, i just go with the flow as i’m inspired by my own heart, the only question i would like to ask him is this: Is it normal to see big dots of light when doing tai chi meditation in night time? Its happening more frequently now that i am observing the thoughts and distance myself from them, every time i see plenty of lights in front of my eyes and a feeling like no other, of happiness, freedom and understanding.

    • Sifu Anthony Korahais March 18, 2016 at 7:45 am #

      Hi George. Thanks for the kind words. Yes, students often “see” strange things while practicing qigong. Since you’re also feeling happy and free, it sounds like you’re doing well. I think you can just ignore the lights, and keep enjoying your practice!

      • George March 18, 2016 at 10:05 am #

        Thank you for clarifying what i’ve experienced, there is also lightness in the body that i would like to mention and also some of my eyesight is returning, normally i wear glasses but for some reason after the meditation practice i can see very well from afar for some moments before turning back to normal eyesight, also i don’t need to wear glasses so much anymore, its like i’m more sensible to them. I often have dreams about my aura especially on the higher chakras, about golden light entering into them. This is certainly because of my practice, the tai chi movements aren’t inspired from anyone else, its something refined during 3 years of practice aimed solely to heal the cancer in my body, doctors gave me barely a year but now they can’t explain why some of it has healed.

        • Sifu Anthony Korahais March 18, 2016 at 11:04 am #

          Good for you, George! Keep surprising those doctors!

          Have you learned “Flowing Breeze Swaying Willow” yet? From your description, I think it would help you. This is one of the primary skills I teach in my online 101 workshop.

          • George March 20, 2016 at 2:14 pm #

            Everyone is different so what applies to one practitioner might not work for another. In fact what i do resembles Dynamic meditation from Osho, at the beginning it was really hard but now it has become a breeze. It started to become that way when i realized there is no particular form and in fact it depends more on the energy flow through the body. The method implied some instructions that i realized aren’t working on me, so i started allowing my body to do it in his own way, that’s when i started seeing profound results, like more energy and i needed less sleep, before i was sleeping 10 hours and was feeling exhausted but now after 5-6 hours i’m as good as new. There are several flaws within those instructions, the technique is not bad, just that its being taught incorrectly like it applies the same way to everyone when that’s not the case.

            • Sifu Anthony Korahais March 20, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

              Hi George. “Flowing Breeze Swaying Willow” is a technique that emphasizes the smooth and spontaneous flow of energy through the body. It sounds like you would really enjoy it.

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