Time is a precious commodity. It is also the real cost of training Tai Chi.
If you are learning Tai Chi for fitness and exercise then this is not a consideration. However, when you are trying to learn Tai Chi for combat then this is a different issue.
This is when the cost of time is expensive particularly in its alternative use. Economists put a value on time by considering its opportunity cost, that is the value you could have gotten if you had spent the time doing another task that has economic returns.
For example, I had a student who was embarking on a career in real estate at the time he was learning Tai Chi. In the end, he made a choice to put all his time into his career and today he is a success, having his own agency. If he had put the time into Tai Chi he might not have mastered the art yet. This is the reality.
Today those who work will struggle to find time to train. Those on a career fast track will have little time, if any, to train. Some like me chose a slow career path in order to have the time to train. It took many years but in the end I got what I wanted.
So what do you do if you have little time yet want to master a combat art, if only for basic self-defence. I created, actually more like, extract and reorganized material from an existing system and repackaged it as Sam Kuen Do (三拳道). It is not Tai Chi. You can’t reach core competency in Tai Chi in say 12 months.
However, it is possible to be competent in 12 months with Sam Kuen Do (三拳道). The trick is not to learn too much. Instead, learn core elements and learn in small chunks, become competent before try to bite more off. And it goes without saying train regularly, train consistently and don’t be lazy, don’t make excuses like not having time.
Find the time and do it. Put aside 12 months and start. If you procastinate pretty soon the 12 months would have gone by and you still have nothing. Blink and soon it will be 10 years gone and you are still nowhere. The gods favor those who actually do something about it instead of complaining about no time.
If it is to be, it is up to me. So if you want it get on with it.