John Riggs wrote:
Several studies have suggested that Tai Chi is helpful to senior balance problems.
Oh, it's helpful, no doubt, but in a lot of older people all the "form" (based on old martial techniques that most instructors have no idea about) is so complex that it compounds the learning process... balance exercises are simply more direct and more effective. I know a lot of seniors who have learned taiji, but most of them quit practicing it pretty soon. The last time I taught a bunch of seniors, I did a modified qigong that focused on the breathing that reinforces their "qi" strength and I did some basic-but-useful-daily exercises with jin/kokyu forces to give them greater strength almost immediately. I.e., I tried to stay simple, get results almost immediately, and give them a short routine that would help balance and strength for a long time to come. I wrapped it in "orientalism" to appeal to the ones whose motivation was "exoticism".
Still, most people, as always, only maintained their practice for a year or two at best.