East Midlands Zhong Ding

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Name: Darren Roberts
Email: daz.333@virgin.net
Tel: 07794418108
Interests: Tai Chi

Darren recently qualified as a nurse but prior to that he was a plate welder in engineering for 16 years. He started Tai Chi at the age of 19 and has now been studying Tai Chi for twenty years.

At the age of 19 he was looking for a martial arts class and tried many different ones with friends. One of the classes he tried was a Kung Fu and Tai Chi class attending two classes a week, Tuesdays was the martial aspect and Sundays was form. He originally learnt the long Yang form and later progressed on to the Cheng Man Ching 37 step form.

Darren started his training alongside the late Ian Cassetari. He and Ian were training with Steve Johnson who introduced them to John Higginson (Zhong Dao) who subsequently introduced them to Nigel Sutton the founder of Zhong Ding. From this point onwards the development of Zhong Ding in the East Midlands commenced. Darren travelled many miles back and forth to Manchester with Ian to attend seminars run by Master John Higginson and subsequently became one of his "inside the door" students.

His focus is Cheng Man Ching Tai Chi and has not branched from this into other arts as some of his other colleagues have. He believes this gives him everything he needs and there is more than a lifetime of research and study in this one art.

Darrens current area of research is looking at push hands, taking out the intent and letting things happen with everything working together. He is trying to put aside the training he has done and get down to the core of the art and let the principles manifest from there.

Darren has a number of students and his philosophy is to be as open with them as possible and not to keep any of the art hidden from them. He believes his students keep him motivated and remind him of how good the art is. Each student brings different aspects and thoughts from their own study and is priceless to bounce ideas off each other, to aid everyone’s progression in the art.

"As they discover aspects of the art for themselves on their journey, they are learning things you worked on some time ago and now "just do". By doing this, they remind you how great the art is and inspire you to keep researching"

Darren feels studying Tai Chi can provide different things to each person. It can be deeply spiritual or purely physical. It is a complete system.