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How I'm Expanding My Tai Chi Classes into Big Hospitals

by Gene Nelson, ATCQA Certified Tai Chi Instructor - Level III  

In 1996, Gene Nelson, the founder, owner and chief instructor of Empire Tai Chi began teaching Tai Chi & Qigong at the Burke Rehabilitation Hospital in White Plains NY. Burke is a world renowned Rehabilitation and Research Center. The first class was a balance specific program that was on the heels of the landmark Tai Chi & Balance study conducted at Emory University and funded by the NIH. Gene offered to teach it first in the 10-week, once-a-week program at Burke at no charge. This immediately spun off a twice-a-week, fee-based, balance-specific program. Both classes enjoyed maximum enrollment.

Empire's classes at Burke grew at a modest pace expanding into seven classes a week including Traditional Tai Chi. In 2012 Gene was recognized for his many years of tai chi training and teaching, and was certified by the ATCQA as a Level-3 teacher. He subsequently has been appointed to the ATCQA Advisory Board.

A long-time student of Gene was running an advertising program for his own business, through a local Newspaper. In the process, the studentís interest in Tai Chi was discussed and his teacherís recent recognition was mentioned. Subsequently, Gene was interviewed by the publication. The published interview focused on "a local Tai Chi & Qigong teacher who received the highest level of certification from American Tai Chi & Qigong Association", as well as his involvement with the Tai Chi & Qigong program taught at The Burke Rehabilitation Hospital & Research Center. The following month, Burke was named an authorized ATCQA Teaching Center.

Less than a year later, the Burke's Tai Chi & Qigong schedule includes 11 weekly Tai Chi and Qigong classes. Included are 5 Balance Specific programs, 4 traditional Tai Chi & Qigong classes, and 2 Therapuetic Tai Chi classes for Special Populations. In addition, there are regularly scheduled Tai Chi related workshops and seminars. Plans are in the works to expand classes in the spring. Gene and Empire Tai Chi continues to expand into the NYC Market Place taking advantage of the resources of the ATCQA along the way.

In the interview by ATCQA, Gene cited his success story as an example of how an ATCQA Certification can be a significant contributing factor in helping to grow relationships and assist in expanding the presence of Tai Chi & Qigong in a market place.




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