Interview: Chris Bennett

From Basketball Coach to Tai Chi Teacher

Show Notes

Chris Bennett (@ChrisChats) is the author of Tai Chi: A Step-by-Step Guide to Complete Relaxation and co-editor and contributor to Many Paths One Destination: Nine Martial Artist Share Their Journeys. He has been practicing and teaching traditional Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan in Melbourne, Australia, since 1987. He specializes in providing Chair Chi Training workshops and programs for the aged care sector, Australia wide.

With his partner, Sue James, Chris is the co-owner of BJ Seminars International, a facilitation and consultant business working with organizations across all sectors to help them clarify their goals and achieve success using their unique AQ-KQ® framework. This is a combination of Appreciative Intelligence® and Kinaesthetic Intelligence, drawing on both Appreciative Inquiry and Tai Chi.

In his “spare time” he enjoys writing, photography, basketball, reading, and watching movies.

Appreciative Intelligence® is the registered trademark of Tojo Thatchenkery . Used with permission.

Key Points

  • Research and adaptation is important in improving your training.
  • Good coaches anticipate and consider a wide variety of potential scenarios.
  • It is important to ask yourself if you are and have been enjoying what you are doing. If the answer is no, then you should consider the factors why, and re-evaluate your situation.
  • Masters in martial arts and basketball hold no secrets. The “secret” is to refine the foundational skills to such a high level that it almost seems mysterious.
  • Learning what not to do to loose is as important as knowing what to do to win.
  • Three areas to focus on in order to get better at Tai Chi push hands are: correct structure, proper breathing, and not “trying” (let go of ego and expectations).
  • Pro Tip: always research and cross-reference your area of focus in training. You will pick up details and information that might have otherwise gone unnoticed.
  • When teaching, instructing, or coaching, always adapt what you know and do to your audience.
  • When teaching in an aged care setting, avoid the term exercise due to the perception of the term.
  • The worst group of people to teach to are teachers – they are always analyzing and mulling over what is being presented, and they tend to miss the actual information being conveyed. 😛

Fun Fact

Australian milk bars, serving milkshakes and soft drinks as well as limited foods, such as hamburgers and sandwiches, are similar to “malt shops” that were popular in the United States in the 1950s. Malt shops have since fallen out of favor and are almost non-existent in the majority of the United States. A corner store or small deli would be the closest American equivalent to an Australian milk bar.

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The theme music for the David Bordeaux Show is electrorock artist To Eris‘s track “Ultraspeed” from the album “Escape.” The track is used with permission from the artist and is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

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