Director, Peaceful Wolf Taijiquan in Colchester, CT


David Shaver Biography

David has had a wonderfully varied background of life experiences that contributes to his understanding of T'ai Chi Ch'uan and his ability to teach it well.

Between 1949 and 1956 he spent four and a half years on a cattle ranch in New Mexico and one season of that riding bulls on the amateur rodeo circuit. This period began to teach him about self-reliance and staying in the present moment.

Following graduation from Western Reserve University with a degree in Theatre Arts and minors in Art History and Speech he did graduate work at the Boston University School of Theology. This led, interestingly, to fourteen years in the professional theatre as a Production Stage Manager, Setting and Lighting Designer and Director in several regional theatres. A period, which allowed him to teach constantly and to begin learning about communication.

In 1975 he left the theatre and spent the next seven years as the owner of a women's boutique in Newport R.I., where he learned about owning your own business, good and bad. Before and during this time he was also developing as a professional craftsman. He designed and made leather clothing, handbags and luggage on the way to settling more successfully on high fashion women's belts in leather and exotic skins.

Beginning in 1982 he focused on the belt business, an intense period that finally taught him the need for moderation in all areas of one's life. Not surprisingly, this awareness coincided with the beginning of his study of T'ai Chi. David had been fascinated with things oriental and had in his mind that he should try T'ai Chi but it just had not happened until 1987. However, walking into his first class felt like coming home and in the next few months he discovered T'ai Chi as a way of life and determined to make some major changes. Even at this stage he envisioned himself teaching T'ai Chi someday.

He closed his craft gallery and workshop and entered the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy, graduating in 1989. Here he learned about the body and Traditional Chinese Medicine which he related to his continuing T'ai Chi practice. While developing his massage practice he worked at CCMT as coordinator of student services and bookstore manager, and he continued his T'ai Chi studies through workshops with several different teachers.

In 1995 he began teaching one T'ai chi class a week and then upon leaving CCMT the next year he gradually developed a full time T'ai Chi teaching schedule, now twenty classes a week. This has led to a wonderful life shared with his wife, Jane, a Massage Therapist, and two boys, Zachary and Dylan.

David's Tai Chi training began in 1987 with David Chandler and continued with several different teachers over the next few years. These included Master Jianye Jiang and Master Henry Wang. Workshops with Terry Dunn, Stuart Olsen, Ken Cohen, Dr. John Painter, and Chris Viggiano continued to expand his awareness. During this time he focused his study on the Yang style which he now teaches. For the last four years of his life, his teacher was Grandmaster Jou, Tsung-Hwa, who was tragically killed in August of 1998. However, Grandmaster Jou's teaching permeates all of his work and guides his continuing practice of T'ai Chi Ch'uan.

  The Magic Tortoise Taijiquan School
c/o Dr. Jay Dunbar, Director
15 Timberlyne Road
Chapel Hill, NC 27514-1522