I am the son of one of your students and I am a graduate physical therapy student at Ithaca College and I am currently taking a class called Wellness and Prevention. One of my assignments in this class is to interview an instructor of an alternative medicine/exercise field of study. I remember my father talking to me about the benefits that your Tai Chi instruction has provided him and I immediately thought that an interview with you might provide me with a new and interesting outlook on a different form of wellness. If you could help me out by answering a few questions regarding your field of Tai Chi, I would be greatly appreciative. The interview has to be handed in on Friday so I would be extra appreciative if you could respond to this by thursday night. If time constraints or your schedule do not allow this, I understand and would appreciate a response just so I can know to look elsewhere for another interview. The questions are as follows:1. How did you first begin practicing Tai Chi? Was there a specific event causing you to begin practicing Tai Chi? 2. After many years of practicing, what is your most valued benefit in terms of wellness?Have there been any negatives to practicing Tai Chi, if so what is the largest? 3. What do you hope that those who take your classes will gain from the experience?
I first began practicing Tai Chi in 1976. The Taoist Tai Chi Society was the first location in the U.S., and the Yellow Pages provided me with the address. I thought that all Tai Chi was the same in those days and by the same I mean at least similar to why I was motivated to study. I was motivated to study after reading "Comprehensive Asian Fighting Arts by Donn Draeger and Robert W. Smith. Smith was a former CIA agent that ended up studying Tai Chi in Taiwan. I left the "Taoists" after 2 years and studied Yang Style for awhile with a Chinese Family in Toronto, then on to Wu Style with Wu Kwong Yu in Toronto, and finally with Stephen Hwa Ph.D. in Rochester, NY.