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Michael Gilman, a long time teacher in the human potential movement, was born in San Francisco, California in 1943. After graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in Theatre Arts, he worked as a television director, actor, and dancer. Mr. Gilman began his studies of Tai Chi Chuan in 1968 with Master Choy Kam-Man in San Francisco. Master Choy's father, Choy Hok Peng, a long time student of Yang Chen Fu, is credited with introducing Tai Chi to America in the 1940's.
Master Choy taught the full traditional Yang Style Tai Chi curriculum, and that is the system that Mr. Gilman still practices and teaches today.
Mr. Gilman was authorized to teach by Master Choy in 1973. He moved to Tucson, Arizona to begin teaching. Over the next eight years, Mr. Gilman worked with over a thousand people, including such diverse groups as the Tucson Ballet Co., Tucson Opera, Tucson Museum of Art, University of Arizona, Tucson Public Schools, and YMCA.
In 1981, Mr. Gilman moved to Port Townsend, Washington and opened his own Tai Chi studio. Today, he teaches many workshops. Besides his long term association with Master Choy, Mr. Gilman has also studied Tai Chi with Jou, Tsung-Hwa, Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming , T.Y. Pang, T.T. Liang, George Xu, William Chen, Liang, Shou-Yu , Tao Ping-Siang, Fu Shen Yuan, Gao Fu, Ken Cohen, and Sam Masich.
In 1994, Mr. Gilman won the title of Grand Champion at the prestigious "A Taste of China" All Tai Chi Tournament in Virginia. In 1995, he was honored by being chosen as an advanced form judge of Internal Arts at the International Kung Fu Championships in Seattle.
In addition to A String of Pearls, Mr. Gilman has been published in Tai Chi Magazine. He has also written The Tai Chi Manual and produced various videotapes. He has been honored by former Washington State Governor Michael Lowry, Washington State Representative Lynn Kessler, and U.S. Senator Patty Murray for his work with young people.
Mr. Gilman's eclectic interests, study, and teaching include Advita Yoga with Master Subramuniya (Mr. Gilman was Master Subramuniya's personal chef), Hatha Yoga with Swami Vishnudevananda (Mr. Gilman taught Yoga at Vishnudevananda ashram), Zen Buddhism, Arica (Mr. Gilman taught in Tucson), Trager Psychophysical Integration (Mr. Gilman taught for the Trager Institute), and Dependable Strengths (Mr. Gilman teaches for the Dependable Strengths Institute).
Mr. Gilman has also spent much of the past few years developing a new exercise system to complement Tai Chi and is currently working on a book and video teaching the system.