I first came across Tai Chi over 35 years ago. My introduction was learning 108 Form Yang style, as many Australians did in the 80s. Over the next 20 or so years I practiced intermittently, as I began raising a family, moved to the other side of the world, studied, and changed careers. When I returned to Australia I lived, for a few years, in a remote town where no Tai Chi class was available.
Then twelve years ago I moved to Perth and found a local Yang 108 class which reignited my love of tai chi. Fast forward six years of regular tai chi practice and it was time for another career change. I had found Dr. Paul Lam and the Tai Chi for Health Institute (TCHI) and had the opportunity to complete Tai Chi for Arthritis Instructor training. I then began teaching this form for the Arthritis Foundation of WA. I went on to complete instructor training in several other Tai Chi for Health forms, but have continued to teach Tai Chi for Arthritis as I feel the Sun Style moves and emphasis on safe and effective teaching make it a perfect beginner’s form.
Each year in January I spend a week in Sydney at the annual TCHI week long workshop. This coming January will be my seventh. I also continue to attend training workshops and Master Classes with TCHI Master Trainers and Dr Lam in Perth and in other parts of Australia. I’m currently teaching eight classes per week, including a class for the Cancer Council WA. I really do enjoy teaching tai chi; I feel that I’ve found my purpose.
In January this year one of my mentors, Sam Sujatna, became the first West Australian TCHI Master Trainer. In the past few days, after the required nomination process, myself and another Perth instructor have been welcomed by Dr Lam as TCHI Senior Trainers for WA. I feel a little overwhelmed by the speed by which my nomination progressed, but becoming a Senior Trainer is something I’ve been considering for a couple of years and I finally decided to apply earlier this year.
As a Senior Trainer I’ll assist with Instructor training workshops and running skills workshops to ensure that instructors continue to be supported after their certification.
I’d like to thank all of you; my class participants, past and present, my instructors over the years, and the players in all the tai chi classes I’ve attended, for getting me to this point in my tai chi journey. Each and every one of you have had something to teach me and have helped to make my tai chi experience such a joy. Without playing tai chi with you, I wouldn’t be here at the beginning of my Senior Trainer journey – the next stage in my life as a Tai Chi for Health player.