The Door’s Open

Over 100 people applied for the 10 Year Program. Five were selected, Jon remains. Over 30 people applied in the next round. Five were selected, two remain. Fifteen people applied for the 5 Year Program. Six* were selected. Now, three remain.

It was expected that not everyone would stay. As Dr. Yang says, you have to pass the honeymoon period to know if you want to be here.

It’s not an easy decision to join the 10 or 5 year programs. It’s not an easy decision to leave, either. A student invests much of his or her life to be in the program. The teacher also invests a lot of time, money, effort, concern, and hope into each student. If it was a harmonious relationship, of course it’s a disappointment to both sides when a student leaves.

Does this affect the success of the programs? If you asked Dr. Yang, he would say no. As long as a few of us develop the feeling for the art and teach it to the next generation, the programs will be successful. It’s much easier said than done, but the teacher and remaining students will continue to pursue their goals, just as you would continue pursuing yours no matter who tells you it’s not possible.


Dr. Yang has announced a new 3 Year Program with a focus on Taijiquan. It will run from 2016-2019. More info here. I can’t tell you how incredible it is to be here and how much you will learn.

I am bummed that I lost a few friends who were a part of my daily life, but they have to do what’s best for them. More than a few visitors have come to the Center to take a break from their matrix or discover what they want in life. They won’t find it just by being here, but taking the time for themselves is the first step. I say, “Good for you. I hope you figure it out. You owe it to yourself.” We are each responsible for our own happiness.

*Quentin is in his own “6 Year Program,” having been here since Fall 2012.

9 thoughts on “The Door’s Open

  1. This blog is such a great service, thanks for posting. I keep checking the link to see if they opened registration, I wonder if I’d make the cut. From what you have seen, are the Taijiquan people on the same conditioning level as the other students?

    • Hi Alex,
      Thank you for reading! In my 1.5 years here, I’ve only seen a few Taiji students and some are good at the pushing hands side of conditioning, but I’m not sure if you’re referring more to the Shaolin conditioning? Can you please clarify?

      • Lol sorry! I was mostly curious if the taiji students were held to the same physical standards. As I am complete suck at static low stances, I figure I have a few months to cram, if they are all on the same level ^^

      • No, taiji students won’t be tested on mountain running with weight vests, pull ups, high logs, or trampoline etc… as far as I know ;) They can train it if they want to. Stances are always important so train them static and moving. Stand on bricks. We do stances and kicks for our Shaolin warm up and the taiji students may be able to join us at that time, but I’m not sure what the final schedule is. To start, I’d suggest working on connecting the lower thirds (ankles, knees, hips), connecting movements in the entire body, coiling, spine wave, and hip flexibility. If you have pushing hands partners – listening, following, neutralizing. Good luck!

  2. Honey moon period, huh? Thats quite a generalization for Dr. Yang to make. Surely, there are other, far more likely reasons one might choose to leave. I follow your program with interest however it seems that whenever a student chooses to leave, this “honey moon period” is brought up. Are you just repeating what Dr. Yang says, or is this your position as well?

    • Hi Jon,
      Thank you for reading and commenting. You’re right, there are many reasons why a student leaves (and Dr. Yang doesn’t simplify it to the honeymoon period so I just want to clear that up). My post was general out of respect and I hoped that it would allow readers to be open minded towards those left. It’s easy to make assumptions and criticize without having lived this life. (I’m not accusing you of either.)

      Maybe it was the realization that this is not the life they wanted. The training wasn’t what they expected. It was too difficult/easy. Maybe it wasn’t the training, but the living situation that they didn’t like. Maybe they wanted to be here, but other obligations pulled them away. Financial constraints, family issues, career concerns, health issues, not knowing what they want in life… the list goes on. Many of the issues don’t come up until after the honeymoon period, sometimes long after. Some left on good terms, others, not so good.

      I share my experiences on this blog so people will have some insight into our unique lifestyle, but the specific reasons why a student left are for him to tell. I hope this answers your question and please feel free ask more.


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