Category: News

Category: News

Competitors representing Wisconsin Tai Chi Academy in the 2024 Golden State International WushuChampionships Online Competition have been won a total of three gold and three silver medals in various events.

Instructor Ray Gates won three gold in the 42 Movements Taijiquan, 32 Taiji Straight Sword and Other Taiji Fan events, and silver in the 24 Movements Taijiquan and Other Yang Taijiquan events in the 36 to 55 years old males class, while student Debbie Orman won silver for in the 24 Movements Taijiquan event in the 36 to 55 years old female class.

“It’s been twelve years since I last competed,” Ray Gates said. “So I’m pretty happy with my result. It’s also the first time in competition for Debbie so her silver medal is a great result!”

Instructor Ray Gates

The 2024 Golden State International Championships attracted over 2,000 competitors in-person and over 300 competitors in the Online Competition from all around the world. WTCA has had several entries in various competitions over the last twelve months, winning a total of seven medals to date and having one student qualify for the US Team to compete in 2025 in China. It has also recently joined the USAWKF as a member school.

“My hope is that this shows people that Tai Chi is not just a slow form of exercise, but can also be a great competitive sport, and one of the few you can compete in no matter what your age,” said Ray Gates. “I’m hoping this will encourage more of my existing students to consider entering competition, and particularly hopeful this will encourage more younger people to take up Tai Chi. Most competitors at high level are under 30 years of age, so we’d like to see more younger people in our classes learning and training to bring home more medals for Wisconsin Tai Chi Academy!”

WTCA is hoping to enter a team event in the upcoming 6th Ohio International Martial Arts Tournament in Columbus, OH, in August this year.

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Wisconsin Tai Chi Academy (WTCA) is pleased to announce it has become a member school of the United States of America Wushu Kungfu Federation (USAWKF).

“We’ve had several students attend and do well at USAWKF sanctioned competitions recently, and more are interested in competing, so having WTCA become a member school only made sense,” said Founder and Instructor, Ray Gates. “My hope is this will not only encourage more of our students to try competition, it will also give us the opportunity to showcase our Tai Chi to the greater wushu community.”

WTCA members recently competed in the 2024 Golden State International Championships Online Tournament and results are expected to be announced very soon.

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Wisconsin Tai Chi Academy has been successfully nominated for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal’s 2024 Community Choice Awards in the category of Sports and Fitness – Fitness Center/Gym.

Founder and Head Instructor, Ray Gates, said he was very grateful to all those that nominated WTCA for the awards, and looks forward to the voting round.

The voting round is open and will close on May 20th, 2024. Votes can be cast using the following link:

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Wisconsin Tai Chi Academy has launched its new Youth Scholarship Award, with two scholarships being offered for young people aged between 15 and 24 years of age in 2024.

The scholarship covers a full year’s tuition in Tai Chi and Qigong for the year of the award.

“We’ve launched this award as a way of encouraging younger people to experience the benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong, and hopefully become lifelong learners,” says WTCA’s Founder and Head Instructor, Ray Gates. “We want to dispell the myth that Tai Chi is ‘just for old people’. Younger people have a lot to gain by starting Tai Chi and Qigong early in life. I started over 20 years ago and wish I started 20 years before that!”

Gates is a strong advocate for Tai Chi and Qigong classes to be inclusive and accessible to all people, and hopes this new award will open the way for young people from diverse sociodemographic backgrounds to gain the benefits of Tai Chi. “Tai Chi and Qigong are for everyone, however, we need to make it accessible to everyone, so the benefits can be experienced by all,” he said. “I actively encourage young people from all sociodemographic backgrounds to apply for these scholarships, because one day it might be you leading classes for people from your communities.”

“Plus, it’s a lot of fun!” Gates added. “And for those who are interested, it can be quite competitive. There are national competitions held regularly each year, and in 2026 Tai Chi will feature at the Youth Olympics in Senegal. It’s a great time to get involved!”

Applications for the 2024 scholarships are open from now until December 31st, 2023. More information including the scholarship guidelines and application form can be found at the WTCA website on the Youth Scholarship page.

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Wisconsin Tai Chi Academy student, Benedetta Bonacci, has tied for equal first place in the Yang Senior Group Female section of the 2023 US Challenge, hosted by the United States Wushu Academy (USWA) in Lanham, Maryland.

Benedetta Bonacci (center, dark blue) with other medal winning competitors and officials.

Benedetta presented the Beijing 24 Forms (also known as Yang 24 Forms or Yang Short Form) and received an overall score of 8.76, which was the top score received by another competitor in the same group. Her score also qualifies her to join the USA Wushu Kungfu Federation’s (USAWKF) team and potentially compete at the International Wushu Federation’s (IWUF) World Kungfu Championships to be held in Emeishan, Sichuan, China in 2025.

“This is an outstanding result for Benedetta and I’m sure I speak for everyone associated with Wisconsin Tai Chi Academy when I say we’re all very proud of her achievement,” said Founder and Head Instructor, Ray Gates. “This was her first attempt at competition level Tai Chi and she worked very hard to get this result. She deserves this result.”

Having been a State and National Tai Chi competition winner in Australia in past years, Ray hopes this student’s success will inspire others to try competition. “It really encourages you to develop your Tai Chi to a higher standard, and it’s just great fun,” he said. “I would love to see more of my students get involved, and it would be great to one day have Wisconsin Tai Chi Academy represented in a team event at competition. Who knows? Maybe one day we’ll have some of our students performing Tai Chi at the Olympics.”

The IWUF continues to promote wushu for inclusion as an Olympic sport, and has successfully petitioned for the inclusion of wushu in the 2026 Youth Olympic Games in Dakar, Senegal. They see this as a pivotal step in seeing wushu included in the modern Olympic Games.

Wisconsin Tai Chi Academy congratulates all competitors at the US Challenge and looks forward to future competitions.

Category: News

Wisconsin Tai Chi Academy is please to announce that its Founder/Head Instructor, Ray Gates, has successfully joined the USA Wushu-Kungfu Federation (USAWKF).

USAWKF is the official US representative to the International Wushu Federation (IWUF), currently composed of 146 member nations worldwide. Their mission is to organize the sport of wushu and extend its joy and benefits to the American people. They are primarily involved in developing and organizing regional and national competitions and events for Wushu and Kungfu styles, including Taijiquan, and maintain a national ranking system, for both adults and juniors. They also manage the US Wushu Team, which represents the US at international competitions.

“Having previously been a competitor at State and National levels in Australia, I can tell you that participating in competition is not only a great way to develop your Tai Chi skills, but an enjoyable way to explore the many different styles and teaching methods of Tai Chi, and meet lots of great people who share your passion and interest in Tai Chi,” said Founder/Head Instructor, Ray Gates. “It would be wonderful to see WTCA students representing themselves and our school at competition. And if wushu is eventually accepted as an Olympic sport, perhaps one day a WTCA student will represent the US Wushu Team at the Olympic level.”

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Wisconsin Tai Chi Academy is pleased to announce the opening of a new class in Whitewater, WI.

Commencing April 22nd, 2023, WTCA will be offering classes at the Whitewater Seniors Center at Starin Park, Whitewater. While this is a new class to Whitewater, it represents a transfer of the Evansville class to this new location. The relocation of the Evansville class is seen to have a number of benefits, including the ability to offer Beginners weekly rather than bi-weekly classes as well as being more accessible to people living in this region of Wisconsin.

“There has been a lot of interest from the public in having Tai Chi available in Whitewater and surrounding areas, and that, coupled with the great facility we’ve been able to secure, has been the main influence in our decision to move our Evansville class to Whitewater,” said WTCA’s Founder and Head Instructor, Ray Gates.

Registrations for the next term of classes for all locations including Whitewater are now open and details can be found on our Classes page.

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Wisconsin Tai Chi Academy is please to announce it will start hosting workshops in 2023.

It is anticipated that up to six workshops will be held in 2023, with the first two schedule for January 14. WTCA’s workshops will focus on specific aspects of Tai Chi/Taijiquan and Qigong practice, and are aimed at giving attendees a deeper understanding of the principles and practice of Tai Chi. Most workshops will be open for public attendance although some prerequisites may need to be met in order to attend.

The first workshops will focus on an initial examination of the Thirteen Postures and the martial applications of Tai Chi forms. While only these two workshops have been formally announced, future workshops will build on these initial ones, while others will examine other aspects related to Tai Chi theory and practice including qi and Qigong practice.

Further information can be found at WTCA’s workshop page under the ‘What We Offer’ menu or by clicking here.

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Wisconsin Tai Chi Academy’s Instructor Ray Gates has been accredited as an Associate Instructor with the American Tai Chi and Qigong Association (ATCQA).

ATCQA is a national non-profit organization whose aim is to promote Tai Chi and Qigong – in any style, lineage, or application – in the United States for American people’s health, fitness and wellness. In order for Tai Chi Instructors to be accredited with ATCQA they must be able to demonstrate their qualifications and experience in teaching Tai Chi. At the Associate Instructor level an Instructor has demonstrated that they have accumulated a minimum of 200 hours teaching Tai Chi. To maintain accreditation Instructors must reapply every two years.

Instructor Ray Gates has formerly held accreditation with Australia’s Kung Fu and Wushu Federation and is pleased to have achieved accreditation within the United States. He is grateful to all those who supported him during the accreditation process, including his sifu Master Dennis Watts, and his past and current students.

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Category : Classes , News

Wisconsin Tai Chi Academy is changing the timing of its Evansville classes.

Commencing in the final term of 2022, Beginner classes will be held weekly for an hour instead of every two weeks as has been the previous format. The change has been made to make the class more accessible to new students and to bring the classes more into line with other venues.

Intermediate classes will continue to be held every two weeks for an hour and a half at this time, however this is also expected to change in the foreseeable future.

Term 4 commences at the Evansville location on Saturday October 8 – see our class information for details.