In my experience, being self-taught, once you have some relevant experience, is useful in terms of deepening or broadening one’s understanding. However, there’s no doubt that it can be tough for beginners to recognize real quality when they meet up with it. No matter what your level of experience, it ends up being the same problem for all of us trying to learn new material: figure out what you want and try to find a teacher who meets at least some of those needs and in a few years, you may be better prepared to recognize a better teacher if he or she comes along. Have fun along the way, work hard, be a good student and someday you may be a better practitioner, perhaps even a good instructor.
Training seriously in the Chinese martial arts since 1973; accredited and teaching Yang Taijiquan since 1985 and Baguazhang since 1994.