Private Tuition versus Generic Normal Class


Advantages and Disadvantages  

Generic Normal Class

Private Tuition

Require a long period of time to gain proficiency – approximately 5 years.

Proficiency attained within 1 or 2 years.

Cheaper in the short term.

Cheaper in the longer term.

Learning at a slow pace (might be suitable for those with learning abilities).

Learning at a faster pace.


Generic instructions only.

Receive detailed instructions.

Less individual attention as the teacher has to divide his attention amongst the group.

Have total and individual attention of the teacher.

The teacher can not monitor or evaluate you all the time as he has to monitor others in the class.

Monitored and evaluated by the teacher all the time during the session.

Mistakes are rarely corrected on the spot.

Mistakes are corrected on the spot.

Learning is hampered by slow learners in the class.

Learning is dictated by yourself, not dragged down by slow learners in class.

Travelling to and from class adds up to a huge amount of time over a long period.

Save on transport time and costs because duration is short and less frequent.

Meeting other members  –  have social interaction.

No social interactions.

Can practise with other members  –  variety and varied experience is essential.

Practise with teacher only is good for learning but is not good for overall development.

Sense of belonging to a group.

No sense of belonging to a group.

Better disciplined.

Tend to be lacking in discipline.

Comradeship and loyalty to art, teacher and group.

Lower sense of comradeship and loyalty to the art, teacher, and teacher’s school.



The main advantage of a generic normal class is that one is committed to a relatively small amount of money in the beginning, and can raise the level of commitment later. It also gives a chance to meet, interact and train with other members of the group which can be very beneficial.


The main advantage of private tuition is that it enables the student to achieve proficiency within a short time. Over the long term, it works out to be cheaper than attending a normal class.


The main disadvantage of a normal class is that it takes so long to attain proficiency, at a higher cost in the long term.


The main disadvantages of private tuition is that it is more expensive in the short term, one is limited to only the teacher as a training partner, and one does not feel any sense of belonging or loyalty to the teacher and his school. 


Students or potential students are advised to evaluate the above advantages and disadvantages and apply them to their personal circumstances in making any decisions.


Personally, I would recommend a combination of both a normal class and private tuition:-   attending normal class twice a week, with private tuition of either once a week or once a fortnight.



Written by John Chow -  a practitioner of Chinese medicine, acupuncturist, masseur, healer and teacher of martial arts and spiritual paths in Melbourne, Australia.

Copyright:-  No part of this article can be used, quoted, copied in any form without the permission from the author.  For further information on this article, please contact John Chow  at