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
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
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.