History of the Center

and Classes Offered

This section includes the history of the teaching of tai chi in the Fresno/Clovis are. The next section will trace the earlier lineage of the school.

Dr. Wang Shih Chang

Dr. Wang Shih Chang

Establishment of the School

Dr. Wang started teaching tai chi in the Fresno/Clovis area in 1975. In 1977, he moved away and left his senior student, Charles Ettner, in charge. When Charles left the area for graduate study at Stanford and then to China for research, he certified his three senior students as teachers and left the school in their hands. They are Richard Parker, Chris Marie Brown and Ellie Orrin. In 1989, the Tai Chi Center of Fresno was incorporated as a nonprofit organization. Richard and Chris are still with the school.

The current Board of Directors includes President Chris Marie Brown, Vice President/Treasurer John Simpson, Secretary Linda Dencker, and Members Richard Parker and Jamie Flaherty. Teachers currently active in the school include Richard Parker (evening corrections class), Chris Marie Brown (morning beginning classes and corrections classes), and Linda Dencker (evening beginning class.) Assistant teachers include John Simpson (morning beginning classes), Jamie Flaherty (morning and evening classes), and Richard Blak (evening beginning class.) Charles Ettner provides periodic workshops for beginners and more advanced students.

Gathering in 2000  Charles Ettner is seated in the middle in the print shirt with Richard Parker next to him on the right, followed by Chris Marie Brown. John Simpson teaches morning classes and is standing in the back row on the right.

Gathering in 2000

Charles Ettner is seated in the middle in the print shirt with Richard Parker next to him on the right, followed by Chris Marie Brown. John Simpson teaches morning classes and is standing in the back row on the right.

Types of Classes

Beginning students are encouraged to attend classes at least twice a week. Those classes are provided on Tuesday and Thursday mornings or evenings. Once a week classes are held on Saturdays for those who cannot attend during the week. Students may take the beginning course or the first third more than once if they wish. Once a student knows the form, the next step is into the corrections classes. Those are offered Tuesday and Thursday mornings and evening and Saturday morning.

Push hands is a two-person form that is taught by invitation when a student is relaxing substantially in the form. Some students are ready once the form is learned, but often more time is needed to gain the level of relaxation needed to be effective in this practice.

Teacher adjusting student’s posture

Teacher adjusting student’s posture

Sword Form

Sword form is an advanced practice that is taught on an occasional basis.