Dennis Nelms started taking T'ai Chi in 1997 in Portland, Oregon. He was going to massage school and felt that Tai Chi would help him with his massage practice. Dennis started taking class from Sifu Gregory Fong http://i-chuan.net Little did Dennis know how much T'ai Chi would change his life. T'ai Chi has become one of the primary forces in Dennis’ pursuit for a healthy mind and body. It continues to give him strength, power, stamina, vitality, and calmness. Before Sifu Fong passed, he told Dennis that “in order to understand and unlock the full potential of this practice, you must start to teach to others.” Dennis’ primary teacher was Sifu Gregory Fong from 1997 in Portland, OR, until his passing in June, 2014. Dennis started teaching T'ai Chi classes in Fayetteville, Arkansas in early 2015.
Over the past 20 years, I’ve trained in many styles of martial arts. In 1996, I started with Shotokan Karate in Hot Springs Arkansas. Shortly after I started my first Taijiquan (T'ai Chi ) lessons. While traveling in Central America, I was introduced to Qi Gong. Upon returning home to Fayetteville in 2000, I started training in Judo with Donald Oulette for 3 years, stopping only when I became pregnant with my son Sequoyah. While he was little, my martial arts training was put on hold, except for my daily Qi Gongbreathing practices. When Sequoyah was ready to train in martial arts himself, he and I both began our Black Belt Journey in Tang Soo Do, with Master Michael Felix. Now, we are both 2nd degree black belts, and continue training and teaching together. In 2014, I began training with Dennis Nelms, learning the Chen Taiji, Old Frame 74 movement form. Recently, I’ve had the privilege of training and learning from Erik Hardin and Dr. Yang Jing Ming in Yang Style Taijiquan.
My teaching philosophy and experience stems from my teachers. Training with many teachers in different styles has taught me that a friendly, light hearted approach to teaching, brings out the best in each student. I like to develop a solid foundation by learning structure, form, and breath. Then, string them together into a fluid and harmonized practice. Teaching Tang Soo Do and Taijiquan have deepened my knowledge and love for martial arts. It is more than a physical for practice, for me, it’s a way of life. Walking the path of the peaceful warrior is truly a path with heart.