We are excited to announce that PDP II Research Foundation has been invited to teach a Mind-Body Integration through Tai Chi Chuan for At-Risk Children program at St. Vincent’s School for Boys. We’ve developed a six-week pilot program that will start up in two weeks, offering a three-times a week class.
One of our long-time students, John Heenan, works at the School, and last year he was asked by one of the boys to bring in a Tai Chi teacher, he had seen a television program on Tai Chi and was eager to learn it. John called us, and asked us to put together a program for the boys.
Many of you may recall our popular Five Tigers Martial Arts Summer Day Camp, which we ran for five years. We had so much fun working with our Tigers, we mixed forms work, meditation, arts and crafts and field trips (hiking and practicing Shao Lin Chuan in the restorative, breathtaking nature found in Marin County). Our kids came from all socio-economic levels of Marin, many on scholarship, and they all took away self-confidence, inner strength and cooperation from those magical summer weeks.
We have had the pleasure and honor of mentoring many exceptional young people, who are now phenomenal adults making a positive difference on this planet.
Tai Chi Chuan is the foundation of our Mind-Body Integration through Tai Chi Chuan for At-Risk Children program because this profound Asian internal art is a holistic approach to health, fitness, healing, personal improvement and growth.
As we teach it, the practice of Tai Chi Chuan involves the development of the complete person, the practitioner can attain the highest physical and mental condition possible. In this context, although Tai Chi Chuan is a martial art we won’t be teaching it as a competitive sport, the emphasis is on the practitioner advancing in skill by personal reflection and practice.
For at-risk youth, practicing Tai Chi Chuan can give benefits that are far-reaching and life-changing. Daily practice will improve balance, build self-confidence, and boost health, fitness, self-awareness, concentration, discipline and motivation. This Chinese internal art also helps to direct and focus the practitioner’s mental and physical energies, and develop those forces and potentials which are already within us. From our own experience, the discipline carries over to into everyday life, we have found that we can accomplish any task with ease, simply by using positive energy and concentration.
We’ve developed The Mind-Body Integration through Tai Chi Chuan with four elements:
- Form work
- Standing or sitting meditation
Within each of these elements are fundamentals of mind-body awareness:
- Relaxed abdominal breathing
- Body alignment and stances
- Mindfulness and relaxation practices
The three-times weekly classes incorporate strengthening and toning the body, reducing the symptoms of stress, developing patience and a sense of personal achievement through gradual progress. The practice will assist the students in increasing their rhythm and coordination, balance, cardiovascular health, flexibility, strength, and endurance.
We put a lot of thought into selecting the right person for this important work, someone who would best serve the children and impart the values of the Paul D. Pickens II Research Foundation: integrity, excellence and honesty.
We are proud to announce that we have chosen Robert Bergman as Program Director for our Mind-Body Integration through Tai Chi Chuan for At-Risk Children program. Robert, the founder of Spirit Boxing Association, is a dedicated martial artist with 40 years experience, and teaches mind-body integration classes at youth centers, clean and sober schools, Youth Gang Task Force facilities, adult treatment facilities and abused women’s facilities. He has been working with people in recovery, teaching healing and self-empowerment meditation and movement exercises, and has committed his life to helping people find strength, self-respect, self-confidence and compassion. He inspires and motivates adults and children alike with his humor, integrity, and focus on loving-discipline, showing by example how to live an authentic life and help others.
We know, with certainty, that the boys will have fun, and learn life skills that will serve them all their lives.