Why choose us?
We believe we are unique in Spokane in our meditative schooled team approach to teaching the tai chi form. Tai chi is:
- a moving meditation
- for deep relaxation
- grounded in tai chi principles
- for physical, emotional and spiritual well-being
- a path to inner awareness
Our teaching method is unique as developed in our international school by Patrick Watson with guidance from Cheng Man-Ch’ing. Our school comes with a concise curriculum. Our form classes are taught with a team of two or more certified instructors—so your attention can focus on the teaching, rather than the instructors personality, and there is always someone up-front to follow.
Tai chi is much more than a hobby for each of us—it is a path we expect to follow for a lifetime. Teaching is the way we can share our experience with you, and is also very important for our own learning.
We regularly attend summer and/or winter trainings often on the East Coast and/or in Europe to increase our skill and to enjoy our larger tai chi community.
Our teaching team:
Birgitt Krause began tai chi in 1985 and was approved by our founder Patrick Watson in 1990 to begin her tai chi teaching apprenticeship. She is our most senior teacher and has taught since 1992. Birgitt brings to tai chi a background in depth psychology, Zen Buddhism, Arica meditation, and Jujitsu. She is a Licensed Massage Therapist with a focus on Chinese acupressure. She has studied several languages and has recently retired as a professor of German from Gonzaga University.
Scott Richter moved to Spokane in 94, immediately saw our flyer, and joined a class. With a body and mind well suited to tai chi he moved through basic classes quickly and a couple of years later began his teaching apprenticeship. Scott’s background includes forestry, professional gardening, and outdoor recreation. A few summers ago he hiked 500 miles in Colorado. While in Spokane, Scott has worked at Aunties Bookstore as their used book buyer. He also maintains his own business selling rare books on the internet.
R. Alan McFarland started tai chi in 88 and first taught in 97. His background includes physics & math, work as a lay psychotherapist including breath-work, photography, and mountaineering. Recently he is mostly retired from being a programming consultant to Spokane Neighborhood Action Programs. Alan’s goal is to bring tai chi awareness to all parts of his life, and to spend more time with my “Light Upon Water” photography.
Geoff Glen began tai chi in 2003 to promote his own personal health and relaxation. Geoff has had a life long interest in martial arts and has practiced a number of hard arts throughout his life. Geoff is currently a manager for municipal government where he oversees operations for the City of Spokane, Solid Waste Management Department. Geoff began his apprenticeship in January 2010 and is currently co-teaching tai chi classes at Gonzaga University.
Melissa Verwest after tearing her achilles tendon playing hockey, Melissa joined our school in 2005 in order to stay active while injured. After experiencing the benefits of TaiChi for body and mind, she continued on with her practice and journey into the tai chi apprenticeship. Melissa works as a consulting structural engineer for a local company and teaches both tai chi classes and senior design engineering classes at Gonzaga University. Being the lead singer of the local band Too Many Men, continuing to play hockey around the Northwest, and pursuing other interests such as mountain biking, snowboarding, photography, backpacking, rock climbing, and building rustic furniture, Melissa stays quite busy.
Sara Minier first started tai chi classes in 2005 when a friend who was recovering from an injury asked her to join for moral support. As Sara progressed through the classes, she found that the relaxation, breathing, and other principles of tai chi helped her improve in many other activities in which she participated. Some of these activities include ice hockey, playing music, climbing and hiking, and “doing Science” as a Senior Scientist at a local laboratory.
Charlene Barker came to our school in 2009, with a family tradition in Chinese martial arts. She immediately fell in love with our team teaching style. She enjoys both the health benefits and the calming effects of tai chi. She started her teaching apprenticeship in 2013. Charlene has been a Business Management instructor for over 20 years at Spokane Falls Community College. She has also worked in various industries as a business manager, financial analyst and controller.
Nancy Chase started her tai chi journey in 2012 as a way of preserving sanity in an increasingly complex and stressful workplace. Of particular interest were qigong exercises and the underlying relaxation principles of tai chi. She began her teaching apprenticeship in 2015 after retiring from Gonzaga University as a professor of Management Information Systems. Other interests include traveling to England to visit family, participating as a board member of Holy Names Music Center, and enjoying a variety of outdoor activities.
Noel Bormann began tai chi in 95 to create a balance in his life and to increase his awareness. He arrived with an interest in Filipino martial arts and modern combatives. Noel is a full professor in the Civil Engineering Department of Gonzaga University where he has taught for many years. He began teaching with us in 2001 after an apprenticeship in Europe. Noel has also studied Reiki and like all of us has a love of the outdoors. Noel is currently on sabbatical from tai chi teaching.
The School of T’ai Chi Chuan® and The Arica® School were brought to Spokane in 1984 by Gil Milner, M.D. Later Pam Hunt arrived from Florida to support the teaching. We thank them both for our Spokane school’s beginnings, which has allowed the teachings to continue since then. We also bring in senior teachers from time to time to enhance our program.
Please give us a call at 509-747-3715 so we may further answer your questions.