I’m grateful to Susan Berry for writing and sharing the following about the “special challenge” of learning T’ai Chi Ch’uan.

The Secret to Learning

Learning Tai Chi presents a special challenge for those of us who have always been praised as "good students."  We are accustomed to being able to pick up ideas quickly, and we excel on tests.  So what a disappointment it is for us to find that, many weeks after beginning our study of Tai Chi, we seem to have nothing to "show" for it.  At this point, if we are lucky, we are enjoying our classes so much that it does not matter that we have no idea what we are doing.  We go because we just like being there.   And that really is the secret to studying Tai Chi, I think. 
Tai Chi is not something to be "learned" the way we learn vocabulary and algebra, and traditional learning methods are not going to be much help to us.  Instead, we have to accept that this is going to be a long and slow process.  The form can be learned only by doing it, by making repeated, feeble attempts to follow our teacher.  In some ways, it is like learning to drive a stick shift car.  No book can tell us what to do.  We just have to get in the car and do it.  We have to get it wrong over and over again- but every now and then- we might get one little part of it right.  Along the way, we trust that something will eventually be learned.  
Right now, I have nothing to "show" for having taken several weeks of classes, but still I can feel that something is changing.   Something is different.  And I will keep going to class because I just like being there.

© 2013 Susan Berry Used by permission

~teacher’s note: I’d say that, just judging from this article, Susan has a _lot_ to show for her time spent!