In 1984, the studio moved to its own space at 2500 University Avenue, then moved to the basement of its present location at 2242 University Avenue, and, in 1993, moved to its present space on the second floor. This last move greatly increased its size; the studio space alone increased from 1600 to 2400 square feet, with additional space for dressing rooms, office, and storage. An additional feature of the new studio is the suspended wooden floor made of Douglas fir.
1993 marked other innovations for the studio. First, we gained foundation support and were organized as a not-for-profit. This allowed the school to offer classes at reasonable rates and maintain a fulltime teaching staff, which, in turn, enabled it to increase the number of classes it offered and the number of students it served. Since 1994, the year the school began tracking membership, student enrollment has steadily increased from 46 to 149 per month.
Another innovation was the studio’s quarterly newsletter, Wu-Dang, named for the mountain home of the legendary founder of T’ai-Chi, Chang San-feng. Published quarterly, Wu-Dang features articles on T’ai-Chi practice and related topics and announces schedule changes, upcoming events, and student milestones.
Our school’s logo, designed by Sifu Ray, is on the banner of our newsletter and on the t-shirts. It is comprised of two parts: the emblem in the center, and the Chinese characters on either side. The emblem represents a saying about the three internal styles: “Hsing-I goes through the center, Pa-Kua goes around the center, and T’ai-Chi stays in the center.” The Chinese characters, drawn by Master Liang, represent Sifu Ray’s Chinese name, Shu Kuang, given to him by Paul Gallagher. This is a translation of his English name, Ray, to a commonly used term in Chinese poetry “shu-kuang,” which means the first ray of dawn, or more opportunities, “Hopeful Conditions.”
Our altar, located on the east wall of the studio, was officially opened by Master Liang in October of ’93. Our altar shows our connection to and our respect for the Yang family T’ai-Chi Ch’uan style, our lineage. Master Liang’s blessing of our altar demonstrates his permission for and recognition of our studio. The altar allows the virtue of the lineage to flow into the school, and the school’s respect and appreciation to flow back to our ancestors.