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I get asked a lot what investment sector the work of teaching a centuries old martial art to people with cognitive disabilities, behavioral problems and physical challenges (so much so that we have to use a lot of high technology) should be classified as – medical care, education, biostatistics … I typically reply that we are in the courage business: I have to have some courage to teach, they have more courage to be students, and then I have to have the courage to learn from them. So once someone can muster up enough courage of the heart to come to class, bow and salute, then the re-engineering intrinsic to tai chi chuan takes over. Failing to do sets well in the early going, especially in a class with people who saw you yesterday and will see you tomorrow, is always tough – especially since we film. There is nowhere to hide. But then one day the silks just flow like they are fire, the weapons flash in the lights and the class is together on a wavelength. That’s the best. The memories of those moments act like a booster for the brain and the body so all the weeks of work and the frequent failures get recognized as necessary, but in need of reduction.
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