Dear Chi Enthusiast -
I know you are here because you are interested in certification and personal coaching in Tai Chi and Qigong.
But I want you to know - I'm going to be blunt in this letter.
I'm not doing this to be rude, but I want you to have a clear idea of what you can expect from my coaching program.
So I won't waste any of our time on trying to "sell" you on my program.
As a matter of fact, my whole purpose for writing this letter is to DISCOURAGE you from signing up for my certification program.
Because the simple fact is that this program is not right for about 98% of the people who read this letter.
But if you happen to be in the 2% that this program is right for, I want to give you the information in a straight-forward, "pull no punches" manner.
My name is Al J. Simon. You should already know who I am. If you DON'T know me or my background, please stop reading and go to this website (click here) instead. That's really the best place to start.
In this letter, I will be telling you about the Certification program I run for my ChiFusion™ Tai Chi and Qigong program. If you are not familiar with the ChiFusion™ program, if this is the first you are hearing of it, once again if would be better if you started here first: ChiFusion Tai Chi and Qigong (click here).
But if you are familiar with my background, my program, and especially what I stand for, let's go ahead and get started.
As you know, I offer a complete Chi Development System called the ChiFusion Tai Chi and Qigong Complete Course. This is a self-study, work-on-your-own online program to help you improve your health, relieve stress, and develop Chi.
I have had over 4,500 people take this online course. Many are very satisfied with training on their own and getting all the benefits they can from self-study.
However, while this course has been extremely effective for most people, every so often a student or instructor comes along who wants more. They want to take their ChiFusion skills to the highest level, and/or want to help others by being able to teach these ChiFusion skills.
So to that end, I have created a Certification course for these serious students. This course gives you the opportunity to work one-on-one with me through Video Coaching to bring your chi skills and teaching skills to their highest level.
This course is really for two types of people:
First of all, it's for people who want to teach ChiFusion Tai Chi and Qigong. Our ChiFusion courses are great for helping your local community with health and wellness. You can teach them at your local parks and recreation department, at fitness centers, for your community and church groups, at senior centers and club meetings, and even as a "wellness" offering to corporate employees. And if you already are a Tai Chi or Qigong teacher, our ChiFusion courses make great additions to your current course offerings.
Secondly, this course is for people who want to gain more in-depth experience and skill in the ChiFusion Tai Chi and Qigong through our personal coaching and attention. Many of these people don't necessarily want to teach. But they want to work directly with us to make sure they are getting the highest levels of health, stress relief, and Chi development from their practice.
So I offer two types of certification:
Because we use Video Coaching, there is no travel involved in this program. You don't have to attend any in-person workshops or classes. As long as you have internet access, we can send each other online, digital videos, and you can be certified anywhere in the world.
I live in Oregon in the United States, but one of my certified instructors completed the program 6400 miles away from me in Turunç, Turkey. I've also had people work on certification in Canada, England, France, Belgium, Germany, and South Korea, as well as all over the U.S.
Because of Video Coaching, distance is NOT a limitation.
The structure of the Certification program matches the four level structure of our ChiFusion Complete Course. You will work your way through the four levels of the Complete Course, teaching yourself the material in the course as you would if you were practicing on your own.
So there is still a significant amount of self-study in this program. But once you have learned the material in each level on your own, we then provide coaching through online video exchange.
You send me digital "home videos" of your practice, and (if you want to be an instructor) of certain teaching exercises. You'll send the videos to me online. There are a number of ways you can do that - for example, you can post them to private areas of YouTube, or we can give you access to upload them to our site.
After you upload the video, just email us to let us know. Within four weeks or so, your video is reviewed by me, and possibly by another instructor under my supervision. After we review your video, we create a CUSTOM VIDEO made just for you.
Your custom video will include our comments and feedback about your practice. You'll be given any information, tips, and advice specific to you and your current level of skill.
Generally, we exchange videos like this twice for each of the four levels in our Complete Course.
In other words, as part of your coaching and certification, you'll receive Eight (8) Custom Videos from us to help you improve your practice and teaching.
At the end of this process, if you show proficiency, you'll be certified either as a practitioner or as an instructor of ChiFusion Tai Chi and Qigong.
I want you to know - our Certification program not an easy course. It requires practice and commitment on your part over an extended period of time. Once you enroll, there is a TWO-YEAR TIME LIMIT for completing the course. And because the bulk of the coursework is self-study and self-paced, you'll need the discipline to complete each level in a timely fashion to finish within the two-year time limit.
And it's a challenging course, even if you are already an instructor of another style or in another program - which most of those who join us already are.
The certification course is not a course where we "massage your ego" or pat you on the head and tell you how great you are. We dig in and try to find all the areas where you can improve and polish your skills.
And it's not a diploma mill. Certification is not automatic. You have to do the work and show evidence of skill to be certified.
To give you an idea of the level of challenge: About 85% of the people who join the certification course do NOT make it past the first evaluation for Level 1. Now, many of these people had already been in the ChiFusion Complete Course and had actually finished Level 1 long ago. They thought the evaluations would be easy. But when they receive their first Level 1 evaluation results, they are surprised at how much additional work they needed to do.
A majority of these people leave the program and never take another evaluation.
For those that do continue, only a handful of people during the last five years have made it past the third evaluation.
Only four people have made it to the sixth eval so far.
And only three people (as of the time I'm writing this) have completed the entire course, all eight evaluations.
It may seem like I'm trying to scare you off. Maybe I am. But I want you to know going in, right from the start, what you are up against.
We are demanding in our evaluations, and many people find this personally and emotionally challenging. This includes people who have already been practicing and even teaching Tai Chi or Qigong for five, ten, even up to twenty years.
There are so many cheap-and-easy certification courses out there in all different fields. Many people expect that they have paid their fee, so they are "owed" a certificate.
That's not the case here. You will have to earn your certification. As a serious Master and U.S. Martial Arts Hall of Famer, I have HIGH standards. I expect a lot from my Certified Practitioners and Instructors.
That doesn't mean you have to perform these practices perfectly, or be in perfect health, or be perfect in any way. Many of our certification members have had serious health problems, limitations, and compromises. That is taken into account in our evaluations. After all, you will be getting CUSTOM advice, which takes into account your unique circumstances.
But you do have to do the work. You will have to work to the HIGHEST LEVEL you can realistically achieve.
So if you are up to the challenge, those who are taking the course have found it of immense value for their own teaching and practice.
In addition, the program is also a serious financial commitment. The cost for the course, during the two years you will be working with me, is $297 a month, for twenty-four months. So if at this point in your life, you have not yet established your career or your desired income, the timing may not be right for you.
Occassionally, we get teachers who think, "Well, since certification is so difficult, I'll just get the regular ChiFusion Complete Course, and figure out how it's taught from there. That way, I can teach it without having to go through the certification course."
In the computer world, this is called "reverse engineering" - where you take a finished piece of software and try to "work backwards" from it to figure out how it works.
You can't do that here.
In our ChiFusion Complete Course, we teach people how to develop their own Tai Chi and Qigong skills for health, stress relief, and Chi development.
But we do not discuss how to teach this to anyone besides yourself in the Complete Course. There are no discussions of teaching methods or our teaching model at all in the Complete Course.
Our success is just as much about "how" we teach as it is about "what" we teach. And as it is with many training courses, the "how" isn't always apparent from studying the "what".
The actual methods used to teach this material are not apparent from just having studied the material itself. Teaching is a separate set of skills.
The analogy I use here is English. We use English to teach these courses, but we don't teach English in the course. Well, we use teaching methods to teach these courses, but we don't teach the teaching methods in the course.
In addition, the teaching methods we use for "self-study" are completely different than the ones we use for in-person teaching. What has made us so successful both online and offline is that we adapt our teaching not only to our students, but also to the teaching environment.
In person, we use a six-step teaching model that reduced our drop-out rate to less than 10%, which is exceptional for a Tai Chi program. Most in-person programs have anywhere from a 40% to 80% drop-out rate. But our six step method helps keep your in-person students interested, motivated, and coming back for more. But you will not find this model anywhere in our self-study course. It is only available in our certification course.
And another reason for certification, besides teaching methods, is deviations.
It's easy to make little deviations in the practices and pass these on to students without even knowing it. This is really where one-on-one training becomes so important, and why it's a major part of our Certification Course.
If you work directly with me and my instructors, we can make sure that you are passing on information in the safest and most effective way possible to your students or clients.
So you will not actually be able to figure out how we teach just by signing up for our ChiFusion Complete Course.
(And to be blunt, if you would even consider signing up for a student course to steal what another person teaches, you are NOT an ethical teacher. And you are NOT the type of person I want in ANY of my courses.)
However, if you are serious about becoming a dedicated practitioner or instructor, our Certification program includes all the tools and information you need to reach the highest levels of chi skills and teaching.
When you register for Certification, you will receive:
This program requires dedication, commitment, and self-discipline on your part. I will not be chasing after you to send me your evaluation videos, or doing anything to keep you on track to being certified within the two year time limit. You will have to keep yourself on track, and make sure you complete the work within the two-year time limit.
And this is not an "easy certification" program. I know some programs out there, all you have to do is sign up, attend a few classes or do a few tasks online, and then you get a certification. This is NOT that type of program. You will have to do all of the work, and show me your proficient, in order to be certified.
When you join me for coaching and certification, you'll need to make the same commitment to your Tai Chi and Qigong as I will be making.
So if you are hesitant, don't do it. If you've read this entire letter, and are still unsure, then I would suggest that you do not sign up.
But if you've read through this letter, and you are ready to make a serious commitment, this might just be the best "Tai Chi" investments you'll ever make in your entire life.
Wishing you the best in Tai Chi, Qigong, and Chi Development,
Certified Tai Chi and Qigong Master,
Three-time Inductee into the U.S. Martial Arts Hall of Fame