Tai Chi Youth Membership Form
Be a member of a nonprofit organization
dedicated to lessening violence in the world.
All Tai Chi Youth curriculums are licensed from Shaolin Chi Mantis.
Supported by grants from the Utah Arts Council and the NEA National Endowment for the Arts.
Only $10 for your TCY Annual membership fee.
Tai Chi Youth is not an affiliate or subsidiary of Shaolin Chi Mantis or Shaolin Communications.
Tai Chi Youth is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity organization.
Tai Chi Youth Belt Ranks and Testing
BELT RANKING of TAI CHI YOUTH
A student begins
lessons in Tai Chi Youth as a WHITE SASH student. After learning
half the Yang Style Tai Chi Form, they are Belt Tested for their
White Sash + 1 Red Stripe. Another Red Stripe is added after learning
the entire Tai Chi Form.
Next, the student
will earn a YELLOW SASH making them an Intermediate Level Student.
After earning 2 more Red Stripes, the student can become an ORANGE
SASH, Advanced Level Student.
After adding 2 red
stripes to their Orange Sash, the student begins working on their
Instructor level RED SASH. Several more stripes will be required
before the student is an ACCREDITED TAI CHI YOUTH INSTRUCTOR.
With semesters being
4-months each, it will take more than 4 years for any student
to become a Tai Chi Youth Instructor. Any semester can be repeated
if the student does not pass a Belt Test or meet the requirements
to be Belt Tested.
Because we never
want to see a student fail a Belt Test, all of the requirements
of each Belt Test must be twice approved and signed off by the
Instructor before a Belt test is even scheduled.
All Belt Test requirements
are well detailed. Each student begins each semester by filling
out a Belt Test Requirement Sheet that lists every requirement
the student must learn and get approved during that semester.
This provides consistency and fairness to all students.
The Tai Chi Youth
curriculums are very thorough and more than most persons initially
desire to learn about life, martial arts or their own self. Yet
this 4 year curriculum is just the first year curriculum of Shaolin
Chi Mantis stretched out to be more attainable to more youths.
There is so much to learn in Shaolin Chi Mantis that very few
people are sufficiently motivated to learn and achieve the lessons
and requirements of Shaolin Chi Mantis.
Tai Chi Youth makes
learning part of daily life. We especially enjoy seeing students
develop a lust for learning. It is this desire to learn that will
make them more successful in their life pursuits.
Tai Chi Youth Nonprofit Organization
Tai Chi Youth began when Buddha Zhen Shen-Lang volunteered to teach 15 inmates at Decker Lake Maximum
Security Youth Prison in March 1992. The inmates demonstrated significantly
improved communication skills and in only eight weeks were evaluated as
"more improved than the previous two years".
Prison officials petitioned for Buddha Zhen to be hired and he was immediately contracted by the State of Utah
to teach weekly classes at Decker Lake.
Buddha Zhen is the first, and perhaps
still the only, Tai Chi Instructor with programs taught in any American
"It was a very unique challenge,
teaching in prison," Buddha Zhen explains. "There is a definitely
depressing atmosphere in any prison. Sometimes I felt it was my job just
to bring some sunshine into that human cage."
"It's a real 'dog eat dog' attitude
in prison where the meanest dog rules. I taught at Decker Lake prison
for almost two years. Each semester I would have to establish my authority
over the class."
Buddha Zhen smiles and shakes his head. "I'd select the biggest toughest guy in the class and walk right
to up to him. I'd usually be teaching them basic Kung Fu stances to begin
with. I start with the Square Horse and Forward Stance."
"I would instruct this big guy--
I remember one semester I picked out a guy who outweighed me by almost
100 pounds! Anyway, I walked right up to him and instructed him to tighten
and flex his legs to 'resist me as best you can.'"
"Then, with minimal effort I'd place
both my palms on his chest and push him backward."
Buddha Zhen raises his hands in a relaxed
manner to demonstrate. "Of course, in a normal class outside of prison,
where the student didn't weigh 300 pounds, I'd sometimes just push with
a couple of fingers to prove my point."
"This lesson however, doesn't end
there. I would then pick a person smaller than myself and instruct them
to 'lock your back leg straight.' Now I am unable to push the person backward,
although sometimes, if we are on a slick gymnasium floor, I will push
really hard and make the class laugh as the person remains in position
but slides on the floor backwards."
On April 2, 1992, Buddha Zhen began teaching
Yang Taijiquan and Shaolin Gongfu classes at Liberty Park, in Salt Lake
City, Utah. These classes were maintained constantly over the next seven
years, even when other locations were contracted.
Only for a couple winters did Tai Chi
Youth and Shaolin Chi Mantis lack indoor school locations for the public.
During these two winters, Buddha Zhen taught in the snow covered park.
"Actually, only a few days each winter, was it unbearably cold. If
there was a lot of snow, we'd usually be able to find some bare ground
under the pine trees."
Over the next four years the Tai Chi
Youth Program was taught in many Utah locations including the YWCA, Turnabout
rehabilitation Center, and Bennion Elementary School.
Between semester programs were developed
for Washington Elementary school. First through third grades were taught
in one class followed by fourth through sixth graders in the next class.
These Tai Chi Youth classes always filled to the maximum of 25 students
in each class before any of the other between semester classes.
"I enjoy teaching all ages,"
explains Buddha Zhen. "Each age group requires a slightly different
focus, even if I'm teaching the same Form and exercises. Actually, some
of the adult curriculums were invented by me for the kids first."
Tai Chi Youth became a CORPORATION March
3, 1996, in Salt Lake City, Utah, and was given a "Temporary"
nonprofit status by the I.R.S.
The I.R.S. on March 29, 2001, issued
a "Final Ruling"
that Tai Chi Youth is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization after fulfilling
all requirements for five years and being supported primarily by public
grants and donations.
Tai Chi Youth Scholarship Donations
Your donations to our TCY Scholarship Fund will help many youths who otherwise would not be able to attend classes. This fund is also used for supplies and uniforms of students who file a financial aid letter from their parents stating they cannot afford these required items.
Your example of helping others will be significant to those who benefit from your generosity. When possible, or with the $950 donation package which pays for one full year with uniform, books and fees, we would like to have the student recipient of your scholarship personally thank you.
Thanks again for your support!
$950 Year Scholarship
Tai Chi Youth Annual Membership Meeting
Held each year, the first Saturday after Thanksgiving, the members / students / donors / trustees / and staff of Tai Chi Youth get together for our school party.
Membership meeting events include Graduation Ceremonies, Buddhist Naming Ceremonies, food, refreshment and sometimes videos and live performances of musicians, martial artists, and our own Tai Chi Youth Demo Team.
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