The interview with Faye Yip was led by Nils Klug in the context of a Workshop on Ba duan jin given by Faye in the Tai Chi Studio, Hannover, in Summer 2016.
Voluntary work and rich life
I know exactly what you are talking about. I am working like crazy – like Ronnie and me did, when he was still alive… I pay everything out of my pocket and maybe one day, but…
… you are hoping – yeah, so that’s how we try to survive. We organize successful events to cover all the costs and if there are any left-overs we put it apart for the next event. At the moment, we can stand on our feet. Occasionally, I put all my time – and Tary’s time – we put all our time in it. For our website, we do not get paid at all. We put our time and effort all into it without expecting anything, like an employee. We do all of that, but – yeah, that sounds familiar to somebody…
So all of our own energy, time, expertise and the rights of the photos and videos and the editing, we give freely to the organization. However, we cannot expect a lot of other people to do the same: we have to cover the costs. If we ask people to do jobs for us, we have to cover the costs. – We are in a similar position really. Luckily, because we are passionate about what we do, we do not mind to give our resources.
But there is an end, you cannot do at all the time – you have to make a living first of all. – Well, we are probably privileged because we can survive with teaching. But still, it’s tough.
But nice too, because you get to know so many nice people. Because usually Tai Chi and Qigong people are really nice people.
That’s right, yes, you do make friends.
When I look at my college friends now – I have these WeChat groups where we are connecting. For example my high school mates: We are the same age. Now, a lot of them are very powerful, CEOs or company directors in very powerful positions, and the big money comes with it as well. – Teaching Tai Chi, running your own school doesn’t make you rich, I admit it openly.
But I think, in my own way I feel I have gained a lot. I have got to know so many people by heart. I have the friendships built upon these genuine peoples’ connections and feelings that you can’t buy for money. I have made so many long-term friends – from New Zealand to America, or to Latin America. Somebody on twitter follows me from Argentina, Mexiko…
Even Germany! (laughs)
Exactly, even Germany… (laughs)
So, in a way, we are richer in another way, not in terms of money. – Hey, you can’t have everything! I am just grateful to be doing what I enjoy to do, to be able to feed my children, to be able to have a house. That’s all we need really. It would be nice to have some little extra pounds to pay the bills, but hey: We have got our center, which I dreamt about having. So I look and I say to myself: there is no reason to feel bad about the choices. I am very lucky to do what I enjoy doing to make a living and to be able to raise the kids this way.
Images: Faye Yip and Taiji Forum
The interview with Faye Yip part 6 – The British Health Qigong Association
The interview with Faye Yip part 4 – own school and the repertoire
The interview with Faye Yip part 2 – competition landscape in Tai Chi
The interview with Faye Yip part 3 – Moving to the UK and beginning to teach