Soft Answer Tai Chi Chuan - 回答柔和太極拳

How the Soft Answer Tai Chi Class Started

Years ago a friend of mine, who believes in astrology about as much as I do, when asked what his 'sign' was stated that he was a STOP sign. I loved his answer, and mine is similar; I am working on learning to become a YIELD! Hence the following paragraphs.

When my wife and I moved to the Austin, Texas area both my previous Bay Area teachers, Pak Chan and Ed Chan, challenged me to start teaching as a way to further improve my skills. I was not really considering doing it because I could not imagine finding the time but then in one day out of the blue I was asked by two different people, not knowing each other, to teach them Tai Chi. I went home that evening and told my wife about it. She said that on the same day two of her staff came into her office closed the door behind them and asked to speak with her, then they asked her, "Do you think you could talk your husband into teaching us Tai Chi?". We were both a bit amazed at the timing of being asked three times in one day and felt that it was a providential leading.

The locating of a beautiful facility to teach in just one mile from our home and one mile from my wife's Medical Practice, AllMedPhysicians, is another story. The Central Texas Academy of Martial Arts had no open evening time-slots. But, I still called Ray Parra and told him I would be interested in teaching Tai Chi there. Unfortunately I only had Monday nights as an available night to teach. Ray told me that their Monday night teacher had just called and wanted to teach in the daytime instead. So, the studio was available only on Monday nights, starting immediately!

Then I let the local newpaper, The Hays Free Press, know that we were starting a Tai Chi class in Buda and they sent a reporter to take the first nights class and produce an article. That favorable article brought in quite a few new students! And so... that is how the Soft Answer Tai Chi class began. Where it ends only God knows!

CTAMA has since installed a beautiful padded floor which works great for grappling arts but did not serve Tai Chi students well. This made us sadly leave their location. We then moved outdoors to the Elm Grove Elementary Schoolyard but left because they often had large events that displaced us and there were no washrooms or good cover from bad weather.

We then moved the class to the office of AllMedPhysicians, my wife's practice. On good weather days we practiced under the canopy and in the shady areas of the parking lot. At my wife's office there was also water and washrooms which was another very good reason to have met there. AllMedPhysicians then moved down the street and the class moved to the new building. We met in any space in the new building that was currently not leased out so we moved around a bit, in the building: think Yielding! :-) However, the new building eventually leased out completely. It was at this point that the National Center for Farmworker Health (NCFH) came to our rescue and offered us their conference room since they saw this class as a worthy community service! To that we say, thank you, thank you and thank you! All are invited to come and try to class. The first class is free. Class is on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM. We sometimes stay around till 9:00 PM doing push hands.

Another additional class is about to be started with me teaching once per week at the local YMCA in Buda.  This class should also be on Tuesdays and be between 11:30 AM and 12:30 PM.  The class is free to YMCA! members and will be a place for learning Tai Chi drills and forms.  Yet another reason to become a member of the Hays Community Family Branch YMCA! Tentative start date for the new class is Tuesday January 17th.


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