John McKinney

My TaiChi story began in 1985 when I started learning TaiChi Short Form as a means of alleviating personel chronic pain from tendonitis. Since then I have taught and practiced several Yang style TaiChi forms including both solo and two person forms. As a teacher, I have developed my own style of sharing this profound and practical art by focusing on fun, flexibility and positive imagery thus creating a welcoming space which is learner-centered and results oriented while remembering that the unique needs of the individual student are job #1. To me, the inclusion of music and movement seems to be a natural complement to the TaiChi Falls Prevention program and overall I call this approach "American Style TaiChi".

The following is a synopsis of his progress -

- Initial learning of TaiChi (short) form to alleviate personel chronic pain from tendonitis.
- Began teaching TaiChi at the request of his instructor.
– Completed 5 day intensive instructor training program in the short form at the NYC School of TaiChi Chuan.
– Received Teaching Certificate in the 108 Yang Long Form from Master Instructor Alan Francis.
- Certified through the Oregon Falls Prevention Authority to teach the TaiChi Moving for Better Balance 8 Form falls prevention protocol.
- Chosen to be one of three lead instructors for the most recent instructor update coordinated by the Oregon Falls Prevention Authority.
- Taught an original program of Meditative Movement to Improve Executive Function at the Buckman House for adjudicated youth under the auspices of Janus Youth Outreach.
– Teaching a series of “Falls Prevention for Seniors” classes in SE Portland.
- Currently teaching in and around Portland at nine different venues throughout the week.

Outside of TaiChi instruction John gained a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis on the psychology of contemplative educational practices at Portland State University. He is also a Certificated Competent Toastmaster and has conducted many seminars in his field of business, Print Quality, and was employed by The Oregonian for 19 years.
Teaching Method

                                  •  Creation and maintainance of a SAFE space
                                  •  Attitude of unconditional positive regard
                                  •  Emphasis on somatic, experiential ways of learning 
                                  •  Short, content specific messages: "Do more of this"
                                  •  Frequent cycles of repetition without interruption
                                  •  Limits on narrative, 2nd or 3rd person accounts
                                  •  Focus on student perspective - Why are you here?

                                     Warm up exercises    •    Simple, repetitive movements
                                                  Guided somatic and visual imagery