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Name: Ken J Mead
Email: jnrmead@yahoo.co.uk
Tel: 07833 346505
Interests: Tai Chi, Baguazhang, Qi Gong, Silat, Shaolin, Xingyiquan

Ken is a full time Tai Chi instructor who has been studying the art for fourteen years. He has obtained five gold medals in Tui Shou which include the Cheng Man Ching Open 2002 in France and the Zhong Ding International Push Hands Competition 2003 in Malaysia.

Prior to taking up Tai Chi, Ken studied Taekwondo and only came to take a Tai Chi class because a few friends were attending and he decided to join them. It was at this point that he met his first Sifu, the late Ian Cassettari with who he studied Chen Man Ching Tai Chi with for 6 years. He subsequently became an "inside the door" student of Ian.

As his experience in the art grew, Ken had the opportunity to travel to Malaysia in 2003 to study with Master Nigel Sutton. This was an opportunity to grow his Tai Chi skills and to also study Baguazang and Xing Yi Quan. He continues with these arts today and they have proved to be useful tools to help further develop his Tai Chi.

A further trip to Malaysia in 2006 provided the opportunity to study Silat Tua with Guru Zainal Abidin and Master Nigel Sutton which has further extended his Martial Arts portfolio. In addition to this, he has also studied Capoeira, Hapkido and Aikido in the UK .

He returned to Malaysia in 2008 for the Zhong Ding 20th Anniversary and had the opportunity to complete additional studies with Nigel and also Master Lau Kim Hong. He intends to return for the 25th celebration next year with his own students to help them further develop their art.

As part of his martial development he has also studied the arts of Shaolin, Capoeira, Hapkido and Aikido in the UK. He is also a Reiki Master, qualified Reflexologist, and Masseur.

Ken is a fully qualified teacher in the lifelong learning sector and currently works with people with physical disabilities, learning disabilities, mental health issues and those recovering from substance misuse. His philosophy follows that of his late teacher, Ian Cassettari and Master Chen Man Ching in that Tai Chi is for everyone.

He believes stress is big sickness in the West and Tai Chi can reduce stress and improve self esteem. He is currently starting a programme teaching children and hopes by teaching kids, it will catch them while they are young and reduce possible health issues occurring as adults.

Ken also teaches his own private classes, adult education classes and also delivers seminars at all Zhong Ding National events. He is the pushing hands coach for the Zhong Ding National Squad which has had a number of successes in competition.

In addition to his martial arts teaching, he also delivers courses in Reiki, meditation, stress relief, film making and singing. He has coached the Sutton Centre Adult Education choir and students within the Skills for Independent Living area of the College to prepare them for the local “Sounds of the Community Event” where he also performed with a number of the groups. His film making courses have led him to work with learners to produce information guides for the County Council and produce event videos for Sutton Centre Community College. He is currently furthering his studies in this area and formalising his film-making skills.

Ken is a highly valued member of his local community and has been described as a "social entrepreneur". He is a member of the Sutton-in-Ashfield town planning group, working on fundraising initiatives to regenerate the local area. He is an accomplished film maker and has produced the video bid for funding to transform the centre of the town.

Since Ian Cassettari's passing, Ken is now an "inside the door" student of Darren Roberts and has three of his own "inside the door" students, who compete regularly and hope to have as many successes in competition as their teacher.


picture courtesy of scot@wopiks.com
picture courtesy of scot@wopiks.com
picture courtesy of scot@wopiks.com