Cloud Hands T’ai Chi
Instructor Michael Ward, LCSW-C
Michael Ward has been studying and practicing T’ai Chi for more than thirty-five years. He has taught T’ai Chi to people from 9 to 90 years of age in settings as diverse as senior centers, major corporations and institutions. Mr. Ward began his study of T’ai Chi in 1976 with John Eastman, who was given permission to teach by Professor Cheng Man-ch’ing, a renowned master of T’ai Chi. Professor Cheng was not only a master of T’ai Chi Chuan, but was regarded as a “Master of the Five Excellences”: medicine, painting, poetry, and calligraphy, in addition to T’ai Chi. Mr. Ward later studied for almost a decade with Robert Smith, the first Western student of Professor Cheng, and was given permission to teach by him. Mr. Smith and Professor Cheng co-authored one of the first English language texts on T’ai Chi. Since Mr. Smith’s retirement in 1989, Mr. Ward has studied for over twenty-five years with Ms. Maggie Newman, another of Professor Cheng’s senior students in New York City. Michael Ward learned the sword form of T’ai Chi from Ms. Newman in 1990. She has given Michael Ward her permission to teach the T’ai Chi sword form to his students.