ABOUT SEATTLE SCHOOL OF TAI CHI CHUAN
We teach the Yang Style Short form of Tai Chi in the lineage of the late Professor Cheng Man-Ch'ing and his student Patrick Watson.
We maintain a close connection with the Tai Chi Foundation (TCF) and use the curriculum developed by the TCF. A carefully-designed sequence designed to help students develop their tai chi to a deep level, the TCF curriculum provides a clear, time-tested path.
We use team-teaching in most of our classes. This has several advantages. Firstly, students have at least two teachers to watch and listen to during class. Secondly, our teachers work together to improve the learning experience, ensuring that each class gets just what it needs. Working in a team also helps to keep the focus on passing the art to the students, rather than being an ego trip for any individual teacher.
We aim to serve the needs of someone wanting to learn a simple home practice up to someone who wants to deepen their Tai Chi practice, study Push Hands, Sword form, and learn to teach others.
Classes are taught in Queen Anne and Wallingford. Most years, we host a week-long Summer Retreat at the Whidbey Institute on Whidbey Island in late July. This event is staffed by TCF instructors from Europe and around the US. We also host a Winter Retreat, which is non-residential and takes place in Seattle at the end of December. Additionally, visiting teachers present weekend classes at various times of the year. See all events >
Cheng Man-Ch’ing (1901-1975)
Our traceable lineage begins with the Chen family where Ch’en Ch’ang-hsien passed tai chi to his disciple Yang Lu-shan (1799-1872). Yang-style tai chi was born and passed within the family to Yang Lu-shan’s sons Pan-hou (1837-1892) and Chien-hou (1839-1917). Master Yang Cheng-fu (1883-1936) was the son of Chien-hou.
Grand Master Cheng Man-Ch’ing (1901-1975) is known as master of the “Five Excellences”: painting, poetry, calligraphy, medicine and tai chi chuan. As a physician, Cheng Man-Ch’ing had the opportunity to cure Yang Cheng-fu’s wife of a serious illness, and as a result Yang Cheng-fu accepted Professor Cheng into his inner circle. For several years Professor Cheng studied tai chi daily with Yang Cheng-fu, putting in long hours. He emerged a master. In the 1930s, Professor Cheng saw that his nation needed the health benefits of tai chi chuan so, to make it accessible to everyone, he shortened the tai chi form and, breaking a long tradition of secrecy, published a book describing the movements and principles. In the 1960s, he brought tai chi chuan to the West. The Professor’s form has become the most popular tai chi form in the West.
Patrick Watson (1935-1992) already had a long history with martial arts, Hawaiian swimming, and the theater when he began studying with Cheng Man-Ch’ing in 1966. He studied with him for nine years, becoming one of his eight most senior disciples. In 1976, Patrick founded The School of Tai Chi Chuan (STCC) specifically to train teachers to teach the Professor’s tai chi chuan form; in 1979 Patrick founded the T’ai Chi Foundation, Inc. which now manages all programs including teaching, training, research and development. Over the next 16 years, Patrick guided the growth of the STCC into an international school with branches in seven countries.
David Goodell is our lead teacher. He has been a School of Tai Chi Chuan instructor since 1982 and Tai Chi student since 1976. David founded the Seattle branch of the STCC in January, 2005, when he moved to Seattle. It has always been the mission of the Tai Chi Foundation to teach teachers as well as more casual students. We are very happy that several of our more advanced Seattle students are also teaching some of our classes.
David also maintains a private acupuncture practice at the Center for Classical Five-Element Acupuncture on Queen Anne. He is the author of Opening the Gate of Life: Wisdom for cultivating Health, Vitality and Longevity.