14 Disadvantages of Tai Chi (Yep, It’s Not All Positive)

Tai Chi is practiced by millions of people across the world every day.

This is due to the far-reaching health benefits that are associated with this Chinese Martial Art. 

With so many advantages of practicing Tai Chi, you may be wondering if there are any disadvantages of Tai Chi in its slow controlled movements.

If you are beginning your Tai Chi journey and wish to dedicate some of your time to practice, you should become aware of its pros and cons.

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When you think of martial arts, you may conjure up images of violence but Tai Chi is a form of self-defense with no violence.

It is one of the most popular exercises and mediations in the world.

This ancient martial art was simplified in 1956 by the Chinese Sports Committee.

This was to make it more appealing and easier for the masses to perform regularly.

Although simplified, many aspects of Tai Chi are hard to grasp.

If you are aiming to instill this practice into a routine, you need to understand some of the advantages first.

Below is a list of disadvantages when it comes to practicing Tai Chi AND I cover each in depth further in the post so you can decide if it is the right martial art for you.

Tai Chi Disadvantages

  • The Time It Takes to Learn and Master
  • It is a Non-Violent Martial Art
  • Modern Tai Chi is Not the Original Form
  • It is Time-Consuming
  • It is Non-Competitive
  • It Can Be Painful
  • It is Difficult to Learn on Your Own or from Watching Videos
  • It is Best Practiced Outdoors So You Need Lots of Space
  • The Right Mindset for Tai Chi Can Be Difficult to Attain
  • It Can Be Addictive
  • Tiredness
  • Discomfort In The Body
  • It's Hard To Practice Independently
  • Tai Chi Can Be Slow and Repetitive

14 Disadvantages of Tai Chi

1. The Time It Takes to Learn and Master

Tai Chi takes a very long time to learn and even longer to master.

Of course, this process is highly enjoyable for millions of people but you must have the patience to succeed.

You reach different levels at a very slow and steady pace which can be frustrating for many when they believe they are ready for the next step.

Even the basic form of Tai Chi moves can take over 3 months.

However, many Tai Chi masters will argue that you will never stop learning from there on, no matter the level at which you are at.

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2. It is a Non-Violent Martial Art

The less violence in the world, the better but when learning a martial art, it can be easier to learn certain violent moves rather than use your opponent’s energy against them.

Tai Chi involves avoiding intended impacts from your opponent with no act of physical violence on your part.

It is believed that the father of Tai Chi based the art’s movements on a crane (a long-legged, long-necked bird) and a snake in combat.

The founder watched as the snake deceptively coiled away to evade danger from the crane repeatedly.

Tai Chi is based on this concept.

If you want to perform a martial art that involves sparring and contact, Tai Chi is not for you.

3. Modern Tai Chi is Not the Original Form

Most instructors and masters tend to teach a different version of Tai Chi than how it was originally. 

You will find that most modern Tai Chi classes teach around 24 moves but the original was far more complex with over 100 moves.

This is because of the simplified version introduced by the Chinese Sports Committee in 1956.

Your choices of masters to learn the traditional movements could be few and far between, especially in the Western World.

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4. It is Time-Consuming

Learning Tai Chi can be somewhat inconvenient to your time.

Most Tai Chi sessions should last around 20 minutes each if you want to develop each movement steadily.

20 minutes may not sound like much but modern life has busy schedules so many people may not be able to find 20 minutes every day to dedicate to this art.

5. It is Non-Competitive

As well as being non-violent, there is no competitive nature to Tai Chi.

Many people take up martial art with the sole purpose to compete.

Tai Chi just focuses on a different mindset and skills rather than competitiveness.

If you want to practice a martial art that always motivates you, you may find Tai Chi doesn’t offer enough of a motive to carry on.

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6. It Can Be Painful

When you begin Tai Chi, you will find that the movements can be quite challenging.

Although not aerobic or high-energy, Tai Chi provides a full-body workout.

When done correctly, this martial art can work on all muscle groups in your body.

Beginners don’t often expect to feel any discomfort or pain.

This is mainly because the movements involved are very slow.

However, the majority of newbies experience some sort of exercise pain, especially in their legs and arms after their classes.

This pain decreases as you continue your Tai Chi classes, however.

You will become fitter and far more familiar with the movements and your muscles will become used to them.

7. It is Difficult to Learn on Your Own or from Watching Videos

If you plan on skipping Tai Chi classes because you haven’t got the time or the money to do so, you should think again.

It is a very challenging art form to master without proper guidance.

An instructor, master, or Tai Chi guru is vital in the beginning stages of Tai Chi to ensure your form is correct.

8. It is Best Practiced Outdoors As You Need Lots of Space

Whether it is freezing outside or too hot, practicing Tai Chi in your backyard can be an unpleasant experience.

Many of us prefer to exercise in the confines of our own homes anyway so the thought of being outside can be daunting.

Some Tai Chi classes are taught indoors but the entire concept becomes somewhat lost then.

9. The Right Mindset for Tai Chi Can Be Difficult to Attain

If you have trouble focusing, getting into the correct mindset for Tai Chi can be challenging.

However, if you continue to practice the art, you should find your mindset becomes calmer and it can help significantly in mental and emotional health.

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10. It Can Be Addictive

Surely exercising regularly is a good thing, right?

Well, there is a line.

Some people feel so good after a morning Tai Chi lesson that they tend to become obsessed with the art.

Many people who begin Tai Chi spend a lot of time researching, learning, and even obsessing over their newfound form of mediation.

It can lead to individuals wishing for an escape from some places and the only way to clear their mind is through a session of Tai Chi.

Overuse can even harm your muscles and bones.

11. Tiredness

Classes can be long and cause tiredness and be draining on energy even though the practice it's self may not seen strenous. 

12. Discomfort In The Body

A common complaint of people who practice Tai chi is that their arms and legs hurt and they may feel dizzy.

Be sure to go at your own pace and comfort levels if you experience this.

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13. It's Hard To Practice Independently

You will not know how to practice without a leader showing you the moves or with a video guide to watch, it's not something that's obvious like many forms of exercise.

14. Tai Chi Can Be Slow and Repetitive

If you like high action and energy exercises then Tai Chi is probably not for you, it's slow and steady and repetitive. 

You will repeat the same moves over and over again at times and may feel like you're not making enough progress.

Can tai chi be harmful?

Tai Chi is pretty safe as it's a low impact exercise that doesn't cause too much strain on the body, but care should still be taken.

What does tai chi do to your body?

Tai chi has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety and build core strength and balance. 

How does tai chi affect the brain?

Harvard University believe Tai Chi can improve cognitive function, the ability to multi-task and make better decisions. It can also bring inner peace and calm to your mind.

How often should you do tai chi?

Most practicioners recommend doing Tai Chi daily for 10 to 30 minutes at a time to see any real benefit from it physically and mentally. 

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The 14 Disadvantages of Tai Chi Are As Follows...

  1. The Time It Takes to Learn and Master
  2. It is a Non-Violent Martial Art
  3. Modern Tai Chi is Not the Original Form
  4. It is Time-Consuming
  5. It is Non-Competitive
  6. It Can Be Painful
  7. It is Difficult to Learn on Your Own or from Watching Videos
  8. It is Best Practiced Outdoors So You Need Lots of Space
  9. The Right Mindset for Tai Chi Can Be Difficult to Attain
  10. It Can Be Addictive
  11. Tiredness
  12. Discomfort In The Body
  13. It's Hard To Practice Independently
  14. Tai Chi Can Be Slow and Repetitive

Last update on 2022-09-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API