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.