Instructor Fred Willette began studying Tai Chi in 1980.
He studied with three Masters of Tai Chi, all students of Professor Cheng: Maggie Newman, Herman Kauz, and William C.C. Chen.
Fred believes his teachers have acquired their skill through dedication and hard work. Through all of them runs the golden thread of Professor Cheng’s teaching.
Fred is dedicated to passing down what he has been able to learn from each of them.
Fred WillettePrinciple instructor at HeartMind school of Tai Chi
In 1984, Fred began studying with Maggie Newman, a senior student of Professor Cheng. Fred was recommended to Maggie by Robert W. Smith who told him that, “Maggie is the queen of the Tai Chi form.”
Fred discovered that Maggie’s teaching emphasized harmonious relationship within the body. She stresses the importance of non-habitual movement and discovery through the development of awareness. Her openness and generosity have nurtured thousands of students and given them a safe haven to develop their skills. Fred has always considered her studio to be an oasis in the middle of New York City.
Fred continues studying with Maggie at every opportunity. He is one of Maggie’s senior students.
Master Herman Kauz
Fred has had the opportunity to study with Master Herman Kauz. who is also a senior student of Professor Cheng. Herman’s push-hands method requires gradually refining our sensitivity and not using force. His non-competitive approach gives everyone an equal opportunity to work towards improving their skill.
It is Herman’s belief that push-hands is truly the meditative aspect of the art as we must learn to respond appropriately by being present in the moment. Herman’s sense of humor and the seriousness of his approach combine to reinforce the importance of balance in our studies and in our lives.
Master William C.C. Chen
Throughout his years of Tai Chi, Fred has been able to study with Master William C.C.Chen.
Master Chen began studying with Professor Cheng when he was 15 years old. His skill using Tai Chi as a martial art is legendary. His teaching has always been generous, relaxed and completely approachable. He sees his classroom as a laboratory where all students can participate in discovery.