Mary began studying with Shan-tung Hsu, PhD, in 1972 at Madrona Dance Studio where she learned Yang Style Chuan, Chi Kung, and beginning Push Hands. Master Hsu also taught her Feng Shui, Yin-Yang theory, and other traditional health practices.
In 1980 she began study with Master Tao, Ping-Siang, Shantung’s teacher, and continued until 2006, learning Yang Style Sword, Hsing-Yi Sword, Water Style, Push Hands and Separate Hands. Master Tao, a world class martial artist was respected and renowned for his sensitivity and softness in Push Hands. He also incorporated Water Style movement into Push Hands practice.
In 1979 she started teaching Tai Chi at Antioch University, and working with Professor Huang, Wen-Chih, learning Hsing-Yi and Shaolin Blue Dragon Sword for 2 years. Other honored teachers have been Sho-Yu Liang, Dr Wang, Xiu Zhi, Chris Luth, and Ken Wright, In the 1990’s Mary had the gift to study Chen Style and Chen Style Sword with Master Gao, Fu and Gao, Li Ting. More recently she has studied with Fred Hao and Greg Knight, advanced students of Master Tao’s.
She has taught Tai Chi and related arts for 33 years, including choreography for dancers making sword movie scenes, classes in “Tai Chi in a Chair” and “Tai Chi for Fall Prevention” (for seniors and those in wheel chairs), Sword Forms with street kids, in hospitals and physical therapy settings, and through the U of W Women’s Center for 12 years.
Mary taught 18 years in Seattle Public Schools as a classroom teacher. She is a licensed mental health counselor and energyworker, in private practice. Certified in CranioSacral Therapy (CST) and SHEN, she enjoys the connection between many kinds of energywork and Chi flow, She began to study CrainioSacral in 1988 with Jake Fratkin, author of Inner Bridges, a book relating CST to Push Hands. She also studied with Tim Hutton a Tai Chi teacher and Master Teacher of CST, who increased her awareness of the deep connection between CST and Push Hands skills and sensitivity. She hopes that other Tai Chi players will continue to explore the connection between energywork and Tai Chi.
Mary likes to introduce simple applications as she teaches class, because she feels that it helps students remember the reasons for, and the details of, correct movement. She enjoys teaching beginners as well as more advanced students and does her best to make classes fun, relaxing, and memorable.
She believes we can learn something from everyone and that even as we advance we still need teachers and practice mates. She finds that even in learning the first few movements of Tai Chi we change our lives for the better.
- Courses taught by Mary Newbill: