How to Train to be a Tai Chi for Health Instructor

The two-day Tai Chi for Health workshops are very intensive, so preparation is essential before the workshop, followed by on-going training afterwards and updating every two years. Depending on your tai chi experience, it may take between 20 and 200 hours to prepare for the workshop. Completing the two-day workshop is just a beginning, and workshop attendees are encouraged to further their tai chi and teaching skills.


Example:  Instructor Training for Tai Chi for Arthritis for Fall Prevention

(Please note:  Instructor Training for other Tai Chi for Health programmes follows a similar format, with the relevant instructional DVD)

All participants are required to:

  • Study the instructional Tai Chi for Arthritis DVD  (consists of twelve virtually real time lessons from Dr Lam with accompanying theory, and is included in the workshop fee)
    • learn and be able to demonstrate from memory
      • the Warm up and Cool down exercises
      • the Basic Six movements
    • and be able to follow the Advanced Six movements
  • Have an up to date First Aid qualification, including CPR
Additional preparation
  • Study and prepare specific chapters  from Teaching Tai Chi Effectively
  • Appropriate articles on the Tai Chi for Health Institute (TCHI) website

Further information and study: 'Overcoming Arthritis'  by Dr Lam and Judith Horstman –  a valuable resource for both instructors and students.


The Workshop will Include:

  • Practical
    • The TCH warm up and cool down
    • The Tai Chi for Arthritis sequence
    • Teaching practice of the Stepwise Progressive Teaching Method
    • Essential tai chi principles
  • Theory
    • An introduction to tai chi
    • How to deliver the TCAFP programme safely
    • How to teach TCAFP safely to people with arthritis and for fall prevention



All participants who attend the workshop will receive either an Instructor/leader's certificate or an attendance certificate.  You will be assessed on your performance of the practical as well as a written test. 

Even if you are attending the workshop for your own health and wellness, and not intending to become a certified instructor, it is recommended that you prepare in the same way so as to make the most of the two days' experience.

Please also see: How to train to be a Tai Chi for Health Instructor 


Follow up and Updating

Certification is valid for two years.  Tai Chi for Health programmes are endorsed by many organisations worldwide, and continuing training is essential to maintain the recognized standards and keep instructors up to date with new information and improvements to the programmes.

To maintain their certification, instructors are required to update their qualification in one of the following ways:

  1. At a dedicated Update workshop
  2. At another instructor workshop, arranged in advance with the Master Trainer running the workshop
  3. In special circumstances, by correspondence 

A written assignment is required to be submitted before all Update workshops.  Late submission will incur an additional administration fee.  To receive re-certification by correspondence, the written assignment must be accompanied by a half hour unedited video of the instructor teaching a TCA class.

Note instructors can Update any time before the end of the two years.  A reminder will be sent out by the Tai Chi for Health Institute shortly before the two-year qualification period ends.

Instructors who allow their qualification to lapse are not authorised to use Dr Lam's name in their advertising.

Please also seeUpdate or Recertification