The above quote comes from Dr. Yang-yang’s book” The Art of Nurturing, The Science of Power,” available here:


I wanted to share the above image because I hear things like this all of the time:

“I am going to meet with this special qigong healing master.”

“We’re taking a workshop with a guru who teaches a rare yoga.”

“I heard there’s a teacher in Orange County who can share some secret technique.”


The old expression, “The grass is greener on the other side” comes to mind. They wonder if they can learn a Chinese martial art from a white person. Some think they have to go to a mountain cave and seclude themselves, they will advance their practice faster. Or some think that if only they learn DIRECTLY from Master XYZ will they learn the ‘true’ art.

While there are many possibilities, Dr. Yang-yang explains in this book a few simple keys for finding a competent tai chi chuan teacher. All of Chapter 3 of the book is dedicated to pointing the student in the right direction for finding a teacher from whom he or she can learn. If you do find a qualified teacher, be hesitant to look to the next mountain. You may miss what’s standing right in front of you. To highlight this concept, I’ll recount a scene from the movie Needle Through Brick– where several kung-fu masters sit around talking about new students. They claim they will send new students away at first. “Go study with another master,” they insist. Their point is the same as the sentiment expressed in the above image- you can always chase a dream somewhere else.

There is always another master with whom to study. There’s always another guru JUST beyond the next mountain. You can search the world over for the best of the best, and even they will point you to some one (or some thing) else as their teacher. As mentioned above, Dr. Yang-yang mentions some ways to classify a teacher, here are some other techniques for learning:

1. Make sure you have a competent teacher.

2. Follow your teacher’s other students (learn from your peers).

3. Read books about what you are learning.

4. Practice daily.

5. Meditate.


If you can practice these few things, your art will be limitless. Climb the mountain you are on first. Then conquer the next:

Beyond the next mountain, there is always a bigger mountain.