Do not be afraid of trying out different classes with different teachers, or of asking questions. Find out from whom each teacher has learned, and how long the teacher has been studying T’ai Chi Ch’uan. It may be unwise to learn with a teacher who has been studying for less than three years, and considerably more than three years is the ideal.
Perhaps most important, however, is to ask the teacher to explain what the class offers – not only what style is taught, but how it is organized and what happens in it. It can be helpful to be aware of the atmosphere. When you walk into a class, ask yourself whether it resonates well with you. Feel your way. If what is offered matches what you are looking for, join. If not, try others until you find the right one.
People sometimes advise looking for a teacher who belongs to a recognized body. This is sensible, and is a good way of finding a teacher. However, it is most important to be alert to your personal needs. Some excellent teachers belong to no recognized body, and there are some teachers on the lists of respected T’ai Chi organizations who may never communicate well with you. Remember, you need a teacher who inspires you to practice T’ai Chi for life.