Empty Step Tai Chi Association
Gary Wessels - Founding Teacher
Gary first learned the 37-Posture Yang Style Short Form of Tai Chi Chuan in 1978. He was fortunate to have an initial instructor who pointed him towards one of the most accomplished Tai Chi practitioners of our time, Grandmaster Benjamin Lo. In 1980, Gary started his Tai Chi study with Ben and continued to study with him throughout the 1980's. This study included the 37-Posture Yang Style Short Form, as developed by Professor Chen Man-ching, as well as Push Hands and Da Lu.
In 1990, Gary told his teacher that he was moving north to Tacoma. Ben said "Tacoma? No one knows Tai Chi up there. You will have to teach." Gary has been teaching in the Tacoma area ever since.
In addition to teaching, Gary has continued his study of Tai Chi. During the 1990's he studied with Master Tao and Saul Krotki, both students of Professor Cheng Man-ching. During that time he learned the Yang Style Sword Form and continued his study of Push Hands. During the 2000's, Gary added other related disciplines to his practice. They included the study of Reiki under the direction of a Reiki Master, and most recently the study of Chi-kung (Qigong) from Zen Master Ji Bong. Gary continues to practice and study Tai Chi and these related disciplines in the Tacoma area. He remains indebted to all of his teachers: Ben Lo, Saul Krotki, and Zen Master Ji Bong, but special gratitude is expressed to Ben Lo because his example and guidance provided much of the inspiration for Gary to continue his practice to this day.