Breaking boundaries with Tai Chi

Forget breaking boards. For the past two months, 20-year-old Shawn Cook has been using the ancient Chinese martial art of Tai Chi to bust boundaries.
Sept. 14, 2010 - PRLog -- Shawn has Renpenning Syndrome, an intellectual disability which makes a lot of the things other people take for granted, challenging for Shawn. Once a week, he attends class for an hour at the Toowoomba branch of the international Chinese Martial Arts and Health Centre (CMAHC). There he learns mental focus, discipline, physical coordination, relaxation and confidence.

Shawn used to play basketball but found the running, jumping and throwing difficult. He says he enjoys Tai Chi.

“I like Tai Chi because I can learn the steps, one step after the other and I’m good at it,” Shawn said.

CMAHC Australia Tai Chi head teacher, Sherrilyn Walters, agrees and says she is happy with Shawn’s progress so far.

“Our Tai Chi classes are set up so that the students can get as much out of them as they are willing to put in. Learning the movements of Tai Chi is a challenge, even for people who think they’re pretty coordinated. Shawn is doing well and improving his knowledge and ability to learn Tai Chi movements.

“The change in Shawn is already noticeable, his confidence and focus has improved and his feeling of accomplishment will only increase as his abilities improve further,” Sherrilyn said.

Shawn’s mother, Joy, said they chose Tai Chi as they thought it would help him deal with his frustrations.

“Tai Chi is good for Shawn as it is task focused and repetitive, which is great for his learning style.

“He looks forward to attending class, he’s constantly improving and he feels good about himself and his progress. The positive effects of Tai Chi are flowing into other areas of his life, you can see him becoming more confident and focused. Shawn has really found his place with Tai Chi,” Joy said.

Shawn’s increased focus is lending itself to his literacy and numeracy studies at TAFE. When he completes his studies he’d like to move to Brisbane and get a full-time job - and continue his Tai Chi of course.

“Shawn can continue to study Tai Chi for as long as he likes. Our curriculum is extensive and many people worldwide study Tai Chi for their entire lives,” Sherrilyn said.

For more information about Renpenning Syndrome, visit

For more information about the CMAHC Australia, Tai Chi or any of the other martial arts offered at the centre, visit, email, or phone 0431 012 048.

Media contact: Lindy Smith, Director, Red ambition – public relations, ph: 0448 431 521 email:

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Source:Lindy Smith - Red ambition
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Tags:Disability, Tai Chi, Karate, Renpenning Syndrome, Intellectual Disability, Chinese Martial Arts And Health Centre, Cmahc
Industry:Fitness, Hobbies, Health
Location:Brisbane - Queensland - Australia
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