The latest note:

Tai Chi has made a wonderful change in my life both physically and spiritually. I began seven years ago, following recovery from brain surgery, which had weakened my memory and balance. After hearing about the Saturday morning Tai Chi sessions in Gilchrist Park, I thought I would give it a try.

I was inspired by my increased strength and balance, and decided to explore this further through taking classes with Richard.

By learning a number of different practices, I noticed improvement not only in my precision and flexibility, but also concentration.

An added bonus on this journey is getting together with wonderful friends and a great teacher!

Eunice N.


Hello Richard and Mary, I wanted to take the time to thank both to opening my eyes to the benefits of tai chi. As you  know I am disabled with Neuropathy and extreme Arthritis and on bad days I suffer a lot of pain. My wife started taking your classes and reluctantly I complied with her wishes to become involved. Little did I realize the benefits I would reap by practicing the movements you suggested to me. I feel better after limbering up with the gentle stretching and exercise that your postures provide for me. I get a workout and hardly realize it. Although I tire fairly easily my condition improves with tai chi. Another benefit I have noticed is that my balance is improving as we go. Thank you both for all you have done for me and thank you for making tai chi seem like a family thing with hugs and friendship throughout. Your generosity has not gone unnoticed. And one more thing thanks for allowing me to have a chair handy just in case I do start to fall, I will continue to do this at home and will see you both in September. Thanks again William  P. 


I wish to express my thanks to Richard and to Mary for leading me down a path to where I feel better .  And you ask how did they do that ? By teaching me Tai chi.
 Let me explain who I am and why I am willing to write this. My name is Paul . I am 67 years old and a diabetic , who has all the traditional afflictions, neuropathy  of the feet and hands, Morton’s neuroma, Planters Fasciitis also I am obese.  These things lead to a premature death, which I am not in a hurry to experience.  
How did they get me to change, by offering me a method to see what I am doing to myself and away to learn what can change when you put your mind to it.  Chi is energy and we are the energy managers which allow us the benefits that our own body has for healing and directing our energy to those areas that are in need of healing.
What has Tai Chi done for me, it keeps me moving and stretching and has taught me meditation which has also taught me how to direct the energy to some of the areas that need help, and boy is that spreading energy thin.  It has lead me to a better way to treat my body, because I want to do better.


This note came from one of our students that I asked to write this piece.  We were in the middle of Taichi II (qigong) working on move "double dragon".  I had asked the class why we always put our thumb and middle finger together for this move.  This is her disertation on what she learned.

I learned that in Chinese medicine, the spinal cord activates the index finger, the middle finger, and the thumb. The middle finger and the thumb activate the flow of chi in the spinal cord. So when we use moves that involve these two fingers when we do tai chi forms, we  strengthen the flow of chi in our spinal column.


This note was received from a current student.  I think the message speaks for itself:

Richard, I just wanted to drop you a line and tell you thanks for your classes . I know I'm not the best student but I can see/ feel the class is helping me . In a quiet way .... I was stressed the other day and I kind of instinctively  stepped back and  started to breathe and calm myself . I could feel the energy in me take over ... Listening ... And not fretting ... It was cool . 
I learned that from you !  :)


This type of note is always a joy to receive.  We know that our taichi and qi gong are a simple primer for living life to its fullest. - richard

And again...received via the internet recently;

"... Actually felt it, spiritually, today for the first time today.  Thank you!  Was even conscious of gritting my teeth when fearful of screwing up a move!   Thank you, Richard and Mary.   Please  feel free to share on the web site...." R. C.


​(2017)​I found this in my files and decided to share with you. It was written 3 years ago.

What does Tai Chi and QiGong mean to me?
Peace and Tranquility, balance and grace, a sense of well-being, and self-confidence.I moved to Florida in 1993 to care for my Husband through 10 years of his alzheimer’s, he passed in 1996; and I cared for my parents until Mom passed at age 93 in 2001 and Dad at 97 in 2004. During all this time I held a stressful job in the retail business.
When I was 66 years old I saw a flyer advertising Tai Chi I for beginners. I had considered Tai Chi when I was in my 20’s, but did not know how to pursue it. I was intrigued so joined the class. The teacher was my age, a retired Navy man. He explained what tai chi had done for him and I was impressed. He apparently had been as uncoordinated as I am. Watching him flow gracefully made me believe I was not too old to learn.
After completing that form, I went on to learn the QiGong forms, Tai Chi II, Yi Ji Jing, Ba Duan Jin, and Hun Yuan Primordial. My Tai Chi forms are Yang 13, Yang 24, Yang 37, and 13 Postures. My desire to learn took me to North Port FL to study the Tai Chi Sabre Form with Rick Brenton; to California to take some seminars from Dr. Yang, Jwing Ming about the theory and use of QiGong; and to Dr. Aihan Kuhn in Sarasota FL to study the Double Fan Form for women.
What all this research and training has done for me is absolutely amazing. I have learned to let stress go when it shows up in my life; to be more patient with myself and others; to help my body heal itself. For the first time in my life, I am graceful and balanced. I have learned to allow my energy to flow smoothly through my body.
The physical improvements have been wonderful. My legs are strong and at the age of 74 are looking good in a bathing suit. My arms and shoulders are strong. Although I still wake up a little stiff, as soon as I start moving with QiGong or Tai chi, it all disappears.

Mary Curtis

TESTIMONIAL from the April 2022 BIGU

Bigu benefits from April 6 to 9:
More focus, energy, balance, positive perspective, intuition, clarity, circulation (warm feet and toes), gratitude for healthy lifestyle. Less water weight, foggy thoughts, shaking of fingers, cravings for unhealthy choices.  For 72 hours, I did not feel hungry.  The time saved away from food freed up more time to meditate and practice Qi gong and taichi.  The daily gatherings with Richard and Mary were full of energy and positivity and learning about Bigu.

Reset experience.  
At first I agreed to do the 72 hour spring water fast in order to please my friend Linda.  Once stated, I realized I had to do it for me.
the total reset experience was enhanced by our mentors, Mary and Richardd.  We met every day to practice and discuss our body and mind reaction.  Two days after fast, I felt a surge of energy and new direct, more focused intention.  That has stayed with me.  I am amazed.  Thank you Mary and Richard
PS: One other benefit was I lost 9lbs off my belly.

I began this spring Daoist Bigu (Water only Fast) with one goal/hope.  To isolate or discover what was causing a severe itching pattern at the points of both hip bones.  This itching did not cause any redness/swelling, nothing the naked eye could see.  Day 2 and 3 of the fast saw that itching abate and go away.  Food associated? Qi channel?  Organ?  A visit to my acupuncturist helped us to decide it was in fact the gallbladder qi channel vs the gallbladder.  Once again my severe mucus problem from both my sinuses and lungs was another concern to be looked at during the Bigu.  At day 1 and 2, both mucus producers had settled and were creating a minimum of mucus.  By day 4 any and all mucus noted was absolutely crystal clear and continues that way up until now.  There was a definite absence of any coloring which would have indicated some form of infection in one of those areas.  This fast from 8AM Wednesday to Noon Sunday was an easy fast.  The gathering of participants, the qi gong, the meditation all made it seem so simple.  Although not a required nor desired effect, I lost 14 lbs which seemed centered at my belly.

My expectations for this 3 day water fast was to reboot my digestive system. Living with Crohn’s since 1973 has shown me just how important our eating and living choices are.
During the fast we would get together for two hours and share experiences as well as QiGong and a little meditation. Sharing everyone’s energy helps to add strength to my mind and body.
Some of the noticeable changes are: clearer vision, especially in the morning; absence of stiffness in my hands; and loss of craving for sugars.
I always appreciate the extra time I have for personal care due to not worrying about what to eat, buying the food, preparing the food, and consuming the food. Water is so much easier.
The five pounds I lost was basically fluids in my system. Love the less bloated feeling.
Looking forward to the next fast this fall.

 Testimonials (unsolicited)