Master Gohring's Tai Chi & Kung Fu

The Best Value for your Wellness in Austin Texas Since 1996

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Congratulations on your selection of Master Gohring’s Tai Chi & Kung Fu. As you know our school is one of the largest and most successful Tai Chi and Kung Fu schools in the State of Texas.

Master Gohring’s Tai Chi & Kung Fu currently teaches almost 200 active students. We are located on Airport Boulevard by Highland Mall. Master Gohring’s Tai Chi & Kung Fu has had accredited classes at Concordia University, regular classes at the University of Texas and has offered special programs to Lake Austin Spa Resort and Motorola just to name a few. We provide HIGHLY QUALIFIED, PROFESSIONALLY CERTIFIED INSTRUCTORS for all of our classes.

Our instructors are selected from the most highly qualified Tai Chi & Kung Fu practitioners in the region and then are required to undergo intensive training on an on-going basis for teaching and motivational techniques and in conducting the safest classes possible.

Family Martial Arts AustinAt Master Gohring’s Tai Chi & Kung Fu we have a unique curriculum and class format that is exclusive to Southern States. Our curriculum was designed by Master Teacher Thomas Gohring, based on over 20 years of experience and training with various masters, to bring together the best each has to offer. We believe our classes and methods will satisfy any interest you may have from development of self-defense abilities to physical conditioning to participation in the sport aspect of Tai Chi and/or Kung Fu.

We do many things to provide incomparable service to our students including:

Kung Fu Austin Texas1. Classes divided into separate levels for the most effective learning experience at each level
2. Classes and facility availability five days per week
3. Large, attractive, well kept, mirrored, air-conditioned facilities
4. All classes are conducted with the safety of the student as first priority

All of the above simply means that you will receive the best Tai Chi and Kung Fu instruction available anywhere. The program will quickly and effectively lead to stress reduction, balance, concentration, coordination, grace, muscle tone, strength, flexibility, self-discipline, improved posture and increased self-confidence.

Tai Chi for Wellness

Exercise isn't simply about getting in shape. Keeping fit has positive mental health benefits too. And one of the most effective methods of getting our mind and body in harmony and working efficiently is the ancient Chinese art of T'ai Chi. Dating back at least 700 years, T'ai Chi is a martial art which was devised from the movements of animals and birds and which is performed slowly and gracefully, using smooth and even movements.

It has been described as a combination of moving yoga and meditation, and can be practiced by all age groups, and fitness levels. Unlike Yoga which has mostly female participants, T'ai Chi classes are generally made up of a mix of men and women as it is thought to be beneficial to have a mix of Yin (female) and Yang (male) energy within a class.

The Chinese believe there exists something called Chi, a vital force that animates the body. One of the main goals of T'ai Chi is to increase the Chi in your body, enhancing health and vitality. Chi is said to move through your body in patterns that are closely related to the nerv e and blood system, and so is closely connected to the Chinese practice of acupuncture and other oriental healing arts.
Another aim of T'ai Chi is to promote a calm and tranquil mind that allows you to focus only on the execution of the moves. And these moves will not only tone your body, they will also help improve your balance and alignment, making you better at standing, walking and running, by correcting poor posture or movement patterns which can cause tension and even injury.

As well as the physical benefits, the meditative nature of the exercises is calming and relaxing, which is invaluable in the high stress hectic world which many of us inhabit.

Although many of the exercises and movements are solitary and non-contact, there are two-person exercises called 'push-hands' which foster the idea of being sensitive to and responsive of another person's 'chi' or vital energy. It is also an opportunity to use some of the martial aspects of Tai Chi in a kind of slow-tempo combat.

So, what are you waiting for? Take the oriental route to a fit and healthy body and mind.

Chinese Yoga (Chi-Kung):

Relaxation 101: If you experience stress, take note: relaxation is a skill that can be learned.

 If attaining peace of mind were as simple as reminding ourselves to relax whenever we feel agitated, the majority of us would be blissed-out most of the time. Like any other worthwhile skill, though, relaxation takes practice.

Thankfully, Chinese Yoga (Chi-Kung) can be a good training ground for cultivating this fine art. And the skills we learn in our Chinese Yoga practice can support us in the rest of our lives, helping us manage stressful times with clarity and balance.

What can we do to deepen our ability to drop into a state of relaxation and ease? How can we connect with our inner state of peace when our outer lives are awash in stress and chaos? This class can help you make your way back to balance and tranquility, on and off the floor

One of the best ways to bring yourself back down to earth is to lengthen your exhalations. This form of breathing encourages the nervous system to become calm and quiet, moving the body into a more restful state of being. 

Focus your mind. Sometimes when the world sends us spinning, we want to do nothing more than drop into an easy chair and stare into space. But this approach often gives the brain free rein to continue its obsessive and agitated thinking. Instead, try focusing your mind in a constructive and engaging way. Try Chinese Yoga.

So, what are you waiting for? Take the oriental route to a fit, relaxed and healthy body and mind.

Tai Chi for Older Adults

With its growing popularity in the United States, T'ai Chi has shown to improve balance and flexibility among seniors.

T’ai chi helps to reduce stress, increase circulation, and improve meditation and breathing.

Experts say it also provides resistance to disease, provides energy, and enhances the function of internal organs.

What is Qigong (chee-kung)?

According to Eastern thinking, vital energy (ki or qi) flows continuously throughout the human body. The existence of this flow is the fundamental basis of Eastern medicine, acupuncture, martial arts and meditation. Through this paradigm, the cause of disease can be seen as a blocked, irregular or discontinuous flow, described in Eastern medicine as an imbalance in the system. This imbalance has two origins:

1. Physical injury or degradation.
2. Mental tension, which often leads to poor life habits and subsequent destruction of the body.

The practice of qigong (also spelled "chi kung") develops the ability to apply the mental and physical principles which allow a continuous, regulated and natural flow of qi. It improves our awareness of that flow, and thus gives us the power to control it for the purposes of improving health, as well as physical ability for sports or martial arts. The awareness and control of the qi flow brings us to an experiential understanding of its origin, where we can transcend the functions of the mind and body.
"Qi" means "vital power" and "gong" can be translated as "work" or "effort".

What is Tui Shou?

Tui Shou is the practice of "pushing hands", where we maintain and refine the principles of Qigong and T’ai Chi while practicing with a partner. It provides an opportunity to improve our sensitivity, and to understand better the meaning of Qigong and T’ai Chi by spontaneously and creatively expressing the Qi awareness and martial applications of the T’ai Chi form. Through the practice, we can begin to see that T’ai Chi is more than a martial art so it can become a form of communication that is universal, and based on the intensity of Qi and intentions of the participants. If we view the principles as our grammar, techniques as our vocabulary and intentions as meanings, then we can understand "Qi" as being the overall language.

Pushing hands can be practiced in a variety of ways and is consequently accessible to anybody of any age. The soft way is the most well known, and is the best way to practice for health and to realize the subtle communications between practitioners. It also allows martial techniques to naturally arise, safely and using a minimum of strength, reducing the chance of injuries or tensions.

Once the body and mind have properly integrated the principles, pushing hands can then be practiced in a more dynamic fashion, with progressively more emphasis on martial efficiency. It still remains a soft practice, but it is done with a higher level of intensity.

Shaolin Hung Gar Tiger-Crane Kung Fu

The elegant and elusive movements of the crane as once observed by the ancient Chinese were imitated and combined with the Tiger's fierce attack in combat. The name Shaolin has become synonymous with Kung Fu though the source of Chinese martial arts can be traced back centuries before Shaolin styles emerged.

Situated on Sung Mountain in the Honen Province is one of China's most famous monasteries. Built in 495 AD this huge monastery, which at one time housed up 2000 monks, created a natural atmosphere conducive to the contemplation of and devotion to the Buddha, by those who forsook society and sought spiritual solace.

Nevertheless it was no typical Buddhist monastery, for within its walls, along with the profound silence of monks sitting cross legged absorbed in meditation and the hypnotic drone of others chanting holy sutras was mingled the piercing battle cries of warrior monks engaged in combat. Their refuge, the fabled Shaolin monastery, was a center for men dedicated not only to salvation but also to a secret discipline which was a curious blend of physical toughness and spiritual purity.
The genesis of Shaolin Kung Fu, which because of oral tradition, has become an interweaving of legend and history begins with the appearance of the enigmatic and awesome monk, Tamo. To Buddhists he is revered as the founder of Zen. To martial artists he is considered the father of Shaolin Kung Fu.
In the 6th century AD he departed from his home in India trekking eastward to Canton, up to Nan-king, then further north where upon reaching the Shaolin Monastery he stopped and thereby began to teach spiritual insight through Zen meditation. Tamo created certain exercises after discovering that monks who, not being able to stand the rigorous Zen discipline required for gaining enlightenment, fell asleep during meditation.

To nourish their health and supplement their passive seated meditation he devised three sets of psychological and physical yoga-like exercises called: 18 monks boxing, the sinew changing classic and the marrow washing classic. These active meditational exercises allegedly formed the embryo from which Shaolin Kung Fu evolved.

The martial arts were born out of practical necessity. During holy pilgrimages monks were frequently robbed of religious treasures by marauding bandits. By adapting Tamo's postures into fighting movements they developed sophisticated fighting methods whereby they could protect themselves. With the influence of Zen, what would have been merely a deadly science of combat was elevated into a martial art. A physical and mental discipline created not only for self-defense, but also as a vehicle for spiritual cultivation, this art so flourished over the centuries that the valor and skills of the Shaolin monks became legendary.

In 1736 the fallen Manchu's battle troops attacked the monastery. Vastly outnumbered the warrior monks were annihilated. The Shaolin monastery was burnt to the ground. A handful of survivors fled and openly spread their art to the populace. Today the Shaolin Monastery has been rebuilt and is remembered as the origin of a profusion of Kung Fu styles over the centuries. One such style is Hung, created and named after Hung Hei Guen, a Cantonese master known as one of the Ten Tigers from Shaolin. He was a disciple of the famous Shaolin abbot, Gee Sin, who after escaping the burning of Shaolin became the major figure responsible for spreading Shaolin Kung Fu throughout Southern China.

Combining the fighting movements of the Tiger with the Crane is in accord with the Chinese belief in the necessity of balancing opposite extremes to create a harmonious totality. In Kung Fu this concept is referred to as hardness and softness, the hard, represented by the tiger and the soft, by the crane. Therefore, the elegant Crane's speed and elusiveness in combat compliment the fierce Tiger's tremendous power and directness in attack.

In Hung Hei Guen's Tiger and Crane form the hard elements of combat are subtly wedded with the soft elements in order to create a complete fighting method. Despite the seeming hardness there is a certain absence of rigidity or stiffness, which is replaced by a fluidity or softness in the execution of each move.

This form exemplifies the concepts of the unification of hardness and softness, in that applied muscular tension is subtly balanced with relaxation. The total intensity demonstrates the total concentration of physical and mental energy, which is the key to performing the form correctly.
Usually a form seems like a dance. Yet despite the dance-like qualities a form is not a dance. Every movement is pregnant with hidden meaning. Behind those elegant and intricate hand and fist patterns are deadly techniques that can injure, maim, blind, emasculate or even kill. And behind the ever-flowing graceful motion is a power, which if unleashed can be destructive.

A form is a series of prearranged offensive and defensive techniques, which simulate conflict against a group of imaginary opponents. Contained in the many choreographed movements are the blocks, punches, kicks and various techniques exclusive to that particular style.

To say form is the heart of Kung Fu is not to exaggerate its traditional importance. Everything is in the form for it is the primary method of both instructing and training in the art. A way of transmitting a system of knowledge from master to disciple, an encyclopedia of fighting techniques, application to those techniques, the principles of body dynamics and combat strategy. At the same time, as a formal exercise of Kung Fu, it is an effective way of developing power, speed, footwork and fighting combinations. All that is necessary to pack authority behind movements if they are to be effective in combat.

Simply as an exercise, form conditions the entire body for strength, flexibility, endurance and coordination. Still, on the purely artistic level, a form's beauty and grace of motion is a visual poem or a musical composition, which allows the individual, through his body, a profound means of self-expression. When executed with precision and virtuosity a form epitomizes the esthetics of power. Kung Fu is power concealed in elegance.

The art of Kung Fu actually transcends the necessity of combat. Once the mind has been emptied of all concern for self-defense, physical and psychological energies may be rechanneled into spiritual development. For ultimately as the Shaolin monks well understood, Kung Fu begins with the conquering of the opponent and ends with the conquering of the self.


Family Martial Arts

If you could chart your family's course in life. What would it be? Give your family the proven road map to success.

Let Master Gohring's Tai Chi & Kung Fu help you and your children develop the strength, confidence & self-mastery skills to deal effectively with the challenges, choices & complexities of life.

Allow us to enrich and enhance your lives with…

• Increased attention to courtesy & respect
• Bolstered self confidence & self image
• Improved focus & productivity at work & school
• Better health, flexibility & physical condition

We'll help defend your children from…

• Bad manners & poor grades
• Inappropriate peer group pressures
• Childhood obesity & inactivity
• School bullies & child abduction

We focus our basic martial arts curriculum on children and families, while still providing a highly comprehensive training program for the serious martial artist.

The perfect martial arts school for families

Our entire family has been studying martial arts at Master Gohring's Tai Chi and Kung Fu in Austin, TX for the past two years, and we absolutely love our school. It is one of the best investments we could ever make for so many reasons. Of course, learning and practicing martial arts gives us increased energy and strength, improved posture and bodily control, clarity of mind and focus, and the ability to defend against a physical attack. But, there are some other aspects of Master Gohring's school that have impacted us on other levels. For example, when my husband and I enrolled our two children in the Little Dragons Kung Fu class, we did not know or expect that we also would be able to take Tai Chi or Kung Fu classes at a discount. Because of this generous policy, our family has a common interest that is healthy, active and affordable. We are grateful to Master Gohring for promoting families in this way. I am also impressed with Master Gohring's sincerity. I believe he and his instructors have the best interests of the students at heart. Master Gohring is honest in both his praise and his correction when he teaches. He has a natural style and a true desire to help his students discover their inner teacher. Another thing I admire about Master Gohring is his ability to command the respect and attention of his students, from the Little Dragons (4-, 5-, and 6-year-olds) to the most advanced. I like the way he requires everyone to say, “Yes, Sir/Ma'am” or “No Sir/Ma'am” to instructors or Black Sashes. Because he creates an awareness and healthy respect for authority,we as students are open and able to take advantage of the wisdom of experience. In sum, I feel honored to know Master Gohring and to call him “Sifu” and would vouch for his integrity and ability as a teacher without reservation. I invite everyone to come visit Master Gohring's Tai Chi & Kung Fu!—Mrs. Stroud

Lil' Dragons Kung Fu

Focus • Teamwork • Control • Balance • Memory
Discipline • Fitness • Coordination

Family Martial Arts AustinThe Lil' Dragons is a martial arts program specifically designed for children ages 4, 5 and 6. This program focuses on improving Pre-K aged children's listening and motor skills. These skills will help them enter society with more confidence and enthusiasm.

There are eight major skills our instructors focus on when training children ages four to six, those skills are: focus, teamwork, control, balance, memory, discipline, fitness and coordination.

In each class we cover one of these skills with a wide variety of activities that are fun and at the same time educational. All skills are taught in a safe and supervised environment.

Excellent Experience

In January, my husband and I decided it was time to get our four year old son involved in a social/physical activity. We had heard good things about Master Gohring and thought we should give his school a try. The three of us were given a free lesson together to give us a small taste of what the school is all about. My husband and son were signed up that day and started Kung Fu classes the next week. I, however, hesitated and wasn't so sure about Kung Fu. Then, Master Gohring introduced me to Tai Chi. He invited me to observe the beginner class to see if it was something I thought I'd like to do. I observed then started lessons that week. After the first lesson, I was hooked. I look forward to every lesson. This week marks a month since I started Tai Chi at Master Gohring's Tai chi and Kung Fu and have already noticed a difference in my overall well being. I am more flexible, sleep better at night and the usual aches and pains aren't as frequent or severe. Besides the physical improvements, my family has a common interest we all enjoy. Master Gohring has a saying, "The family that kicks together, sticks together." He is dedicated to strengthening families through martial arts and is sincere about it. I am very happy with our decision to attend Master Gohring's Kung Fu and Tai Chi and would highly recommend it to anyone that is considering studying martial arts.
—Mrs. Minton

Kung fu goes YouTube on martial arts instructor's Web site

Monday, February 11, 2008 - Thomas R. Gohring is not just a master of his Web domains: He's a tai chi and kung fu instructor known by his students as Master Gohring.

In addition to running Master Gohring's Tai Chi & Kung Fu on Airport Boulevard , he has built a new coffee house near by called Kick Butt Coffee , which opens for business today, and also owns a real-estate business.

In creating a Web site for his students at, the martial artist has incorporated more than 600 video clips of extensive instructional materials to supplement his classes. The clips are available through YouTube and provide a place where students (and anyone on the Web) can ask questions about specific techniques from his curriculum. We asked Master Gohring to take time out from kung fu and coffee to tell us about his Web site.

American-Statesman: When did you decide to create a Web site and what work went into getting it started?

Thomas R. Gohring: I first created it a few months before I opened my school, in 1996. I used a template offered by the Internet service provider.

Your Web site offers supplemental videos of your curriculums on YouTube. How are your students using these videos and why did you decide to start posting them online?

Students use them to review and preview what we are covering in class. I decided to offer them to leverage my time spent in class. If the student has been reviewing, then I can focus more on their improvement and less on learning the move in the first place. This extends the efficiency I already provide in class.

How much time and work does it take to create these video clips? How do you balance that with your instructing, running several businesses and managing the Web site?

Oh boy, good question. The key here is that I enjoy what I am doing.

My time with students (30-plus classes a week) is balanced with my time alone uploading the video and creating Web pages. I like to stay on the cutting edge in my school and on the Web. The payoff is seeing students improve in less time.

Do you worry that people will watch the videos online for free instead of paying to take instruction with you in person?

Good luck. It is really challenging to learn (online). In the beginning, you must start with a competent instructor. There are those that can do it just from videos, but it is really challenging.

Also, I should add, we are not selling tai chi or kung fu lessons. We are selling the whole experience of studying Chinese martial arts: the ceremony, the culture and the community. Students come to us to transform their lives, not just to learn some moves. When you join our school, it becomes real.

Did you look to other Web sites or YouTube videos for inspiration?

Yes, constantly. I love surfing the Web and seeing what everyone is doing. For example, last year I updated all my Web sites to "Web 2.0" using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), which helps them have a more modern, clean look.

What are some of your favorite Web sites? Do you spend a lot of time online?

I'll confess, I think I am addicted to and Ron Paul video clips. I also spend time on, a blog site for a yearly tournament we attend in Dallas ,, a blog for our in-house tournament and, my sister's comedy Web site.

Are there any skills that are shared between learning martial arts and learning to build a Web site?

I've earned my sixth-degree black sash in tai chi and kung fu. I still feel like a white sash in the Web editing. The Internet is moving much faster and changing much more quickly than the martial arts world. Skills in common include the discipline to stick with it when it is not as "fun" and figure it out for one's self and make it my own.


Best Martial Arts School

Business Wire – Austin Family magazine and Master Gohring's Tai Chi and Kung Fu announced today that Master Gohring's school won the Austin Family magazine Reader's Poll for Best Martial Arts School in 2007. [and now also 2008]

“Our readers have spoken and declared Master Gohring's school the best in Austin ,” said Austin Family magazine. “We like to hear from our readers and base our awards on their experience. We feel our readers provide the best perspective in terms of what works for them as a family and what doesn't. It is certainly much more genuine.”

“Master Gohring has provided a place where our family can share a common interest that is healthy, active and affordable,” said Tammy Shroud, student. “It is evident, through Master Gohring's sincerity, that he has the best interests of the students at heart. He is honest in both praise and correction. It is clear to us why the school has grown so much over the last ten years.”

The school has evolved over the last ten years to become one of Austin 's premier martial arts academies. Gohring began teaching out of his home and at local companies before opening his own school ten years ago.

Initially, the academy was focused on teaching Tai Chi. Later Kung Fu was added to the curriculum. Today, there are a number of programs for families, children and adults to choose from – including Little Dragons, Family Kung Fu Hour, and Adult Tai Chi and Kung Fu.

“We're honored to receive this award,” said Thomas Gohring, head instructor of Master Gohring's Tai Chi and Kung Fu. “It's especially meaningful when it comes from the people who are taking classes with me. We've worked hard to build a school, a community actually, where both the parents and children feel comfortable and can grow.”

Tai Chi Saves Former Fire Fighter
by Pam LeBlanc

FIT CITY - Disabled and extremely overweight, Thomas Terbay finds mental and physical solace in the martial art

Thomas Terbay stashes his walker along the wall of the mirror-lined studio and shuffles to the center of the room. He raises his arms, moving silently through a series of tai chi positions like a martial arts movie in slow motion. Sweat beads on his forehead, and every few minutes, he pauses to catch his breath. He apologizes, because for the past two months leg pain has kept him from his usual routine of classes here at Master Gohring's Tai Chi & Kung Fu academy.

But Terbay, a former firefighter who credits the mental and physical benefits of tai chi with helping him turn his life around, says he'll be back to his regular schedule in a few weeks. And considering the odds he overcame in getting this far, it's not hard to believe him.

Life crashing down

Terbay, 39, grew up in Austin . He earned a nursing degree and started working as an emergency medical technician at a volunteer fire department in Tarrant County . Even then, he was a big guy, weighing in at 315 pounds.

In 1991, he was working an apartment fire when he missed a rung on a step ladder and came crashing down. He hit the ground feet first, suffering a compression fracture in his mid-back. He wore a hinged cast for 10 months.

"At first I didn't have problems. But as the months went on, it became apparent I couldn't stand for long or run. My firefighting career was over and my nursing career, too," he says.

He started to gain weight. He couldn't stand for long and got out of breath after hardly any exertion.

"I was sedentary and continued to eat like a high-school football player," he says. He got depressed and moved back to his parents' home in Austin . Soon, he weighed 525 pounds and was essentially bedridden. He developed diabetes and heart disease.

When his mother died in May 2003, he was spiritually adrift. Friends suggested he try yoga, but he felt he couldn't do it because of his size. "I couldn't get down on the floor and tie myself into a pretzel," he says.

He saw a flier for tai chi at his doctor's office, and assumed the ancient Chinese martial art was like yoga, only done standing. Maybe he could do that. The thought passed until he saw another ad a few months later. He remembered the karate classes he'd taken as a teenager. He decided to give it a try.

Terbay lasted just two minutes at that first introductory class. Then he sat and watched, mesmerized by what the students were doing.

"When I walked in the door, I felt this positive energy I hadn't felt in years," he says. "The tai chi was beautiful. I wanted to be able to do what those people were doing."

He started attending classes twice a week. In the beginning, he used a walker to get to class. For the first six weeks, he could last only five minutes. He kept at it.

"It took three months before I could substantially participate," he says. His classmates encouraged him. In six months, he exchanged the walker for a cane.

His "chi," or life force, was growing stronger. He started to heal, in many ways. Tai chi was helping him relax, and improving his coordination, flexibility, endurance and strength. It was calming him mentally.

"It gave me, before the end of my first year, my sense of confidence almost back up to where it was when I was a firefighter. I felt like part of a community," Terbay says. "That's all I had in my life — tai chi or doctors. And it was a better place to be than a doctor's office."

Slowly, his weight started to drop. So far, Terbay has lost 130 pounds. He hopes to lose more.

The style of tai chi that Terbay studies has 10 basic postures. Sometimes, the class moves through those postures to the beat of a drum.

Tai chi also incorporates the use of weapons, and Terbay is training to use a fan. In ancient China , the fan's stays were made of sharpened metal instead of bamboo, and were concealed in the user's sleeve. Terbay demonstrates, whipping his bamboo fan out of his sleeve with a pop.

For Terbay, though, tai chi is self-defense only in the sense that he has used it to save his own health. "It's self-defense from yourself — from your own poor choices, your own bad decisions and life pressures — not just someone on the street," he says.

Tai chi skills are measured on a 10-color sash system similar to the belt system used in karate. White is the most novice level; black the most advanced. Terbay's proudest moment came when he earned his white belt. It took six months.

"I never thought I'd get that white sash because I never thought I'd be able to stand through an entire class," he says. "That's when I really felt like part of the school." But even that sash doesn't mark the most important change for Terbay. "It's more about what's happened to me and how I've changed as a human being than how high I can kick or what sash I'm wearing," he says.

Now he's a purple belt, a little more than halfway through the 10-sash system. He's started a program to earn an instructor's certificate, and works a few hours a week for Master Gohring, recruiting potential students.

No limitations— Tai chi is a non impact form of exercise. You don't have to have a sleek, toned body to reap its benefits. People who are overweight, or have arthritis or other physical limitations, can take classes. Some students come to class using canes or walkers. Even people who use wheelchairs can do a modified version of tai chi.

"It's excellent for people who are returning to exercise or who have never exercised," says Master Gohring, a fifth-degree black sash and owner of Master Gohring's Tai Chi & Kung Fu martial arts academy. "It's almost a form of physical therapy."

That's why he encouraged Terbay to keep coming to class.

"It is my belief that everyone can make it to black sash with the right training, environment and program," Gohring says. "That's what we provide here. I didn't consider that Thomas couldn't be successful."

Besides advancing his own training, Terbay has inspired other students.

"When you look at someone who gets up on the floor in his condition and participates and puts himself out there in front of people, your problems seem kind of dwarfed. You think 'Wow, if Thomas Terbay can get up there and do tai chi and live up to the challenges given by Master Gohring, I can do that,' " Gohring says. "To have Thomas get up there and overcome his fears right in front of us is like, well, OK. That's a leader."

Now, when Terbay misses a class or two, the other students at the academy ask about him and want to know when he's coming back.

They've become a sort of support group that rallies around him when he gets frustrated.

Andy Prince, 38, a public relations consultant, started taking tai chi classes at Master Gohring's a year and a half ago to improve his fitness. He met Terbay, and was immediately struck by the former firefighter's persistence. "I thought, 'Here's someone who's trying to better himself, hats off to the guy,' " Prince says.

Eventually he got to know Terbay, who was at the studio nearly every day.

"When he started telling me his story, I was shocked and amazed and impressed," Prince says. "I thought I had a good motivating reason to come here, but I didn't fall off a ladder and get hurt. To think he comes to class every day with the things he's gone through was a tremendous inspiration to me. What would I do in his situation? Wallow in pity, stay in bed all day?"

A mild setback

In the past six weeks, Terbay has experienced pain in the joints and muscles of his legs. Doctors aren't yet sure of the cause. But he can't drive and is once again homebound.

He hopes the setback is temporary. He expects to return to tai chi, and has been visualizing the training even though he hasn't been able to participate at the studio.

Still, he attended a small tournament at Master Gohring's academy last week, watching with interest the competition and assuring fellow students that he planned to return to classes as soon as he could.

Besides continuing with his own training, he has another goal in mind — to encourage people who don't think they can get fit to start a tai chi program. Martial arts, he says, transcends the physical. It can provide mental and emotional tools for life.

"I still want to help people out with their lives, and I want to use tai chi to do it," Terbay says. "My hope is that they can look and see this guy was crippled, he weighed 130 pounds more than he does now. If he can do it, maybe I can."

T'ai chi is a low-impact, strong workout
By: Amy Hadley

T'ai chi is slow like yoga, but centers around self-defense like kung fu.

You don't have to be flawless, graceful or strong, but t'ai chi will get you closer to all these things.

"I used to sit there and think, 'My goodness, these people are so graceful. It's beautiful the way they move. I'm not going to be able to do this.' But he's brought me to the orange belt," student Juanita Johnson said.

This Chinese martial art is known for being slow and steady.

"It's artistic. It's like taking up a musical instrument or something. And it's exercise, too," teacher Tom Gohring said.

But don't think that makes it easy.

"I was thinking, 'Well, this is easy.' Three-fourths into it, I remember sweating. I hadn't sweated in a long time," Johnson said.

Student Andy Prince calls t'ai chi the "thinking person's martial art" because it involves you physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally.

Just watching, it's hard to tell what t'ai chi can do for you. But suit up and try it and you'll see what it takes to get through a class.

"It's become famous for its health benefits -- strength, flexibility, coordination, relaxation, stress reduction," Gohring said.

Johnson used to walk with a cane because of a knee injury. Then, she took up t'ai chi at 63.

"This is the only thing that's worked so far. I'm feeling better. I lost a few pounds," Johnson said. "It builds you up slowly and you acquire strength you don't even realize you get."

So, where does self defense come in if it's slow and gentle?

"It's like someone's attacking you as if they're playing checkers, but you're a master of chess. And so you use strategy, you use your mind. You don't rely on how strong you are," Gohring said.

"It gives you life skills to take outside the classroom. How do we live our lives on a daily basis? It gives you skills to help you understand and react to people in that way," Prince said.

Martial Arts Birthday Parties

We do Amazing Birthday Parties. - We hear this all the time. We get kids that have their parties here two and three years in a row. Every party is different. It's a safe, fun and successful event. And best of all Mom and Dad can enjoy watching the kids in action. Parents bring a camera-its a must. And remember to invite the other parents to stay and relax while they watch and enjoy the excitement and energy of their own child's activity.

The Birthday party has a curriculum just like our classes. Every minute is filled with safe, fun and meaningful activities. Our instructors are educators and therefore you will find a message of positive enforcement in every skill and drill that the children do. You will not see kids running around in a wild uncontrolled environment, or standing around being bored.

The party is a fast paced, action filled, excitement packed, music friendly experience - one that gives us repeat parties time and again.

Kids have fun while they learn safe basic martial arts skills. One of which is a "Black Sash Listening."

Tell your guests that no one needs Martial Arts experience. So everybody 4 & up will be able to join in. The Birthday child is invited to attend one month of free lessons so that he can be an "leader" at his own party if he/she is not presently a student including. This includes a free VIP Kung Fu Black Sash Leadership Lesson.

Your Child's Martial Arts Birthday Party Includes...

VIP Coupon for lessons for each guest
1 1/2 hr Party , Kung Fu Introductory Class
Kung Fu Games, Board to Break for the B-Day child
Martial Arts Themed Paper Products (plates, napkins, and forks)
Tables & Benches , Name Tags , Juice Boxes
Pizza (2 slices per child)
Invitations/Permission Slips - Martial Arts Themed Invitations printed and mailed
Limited to local residents and Limited to Saturday 12:30pm
We do everything Piñata, Goody bags, and Birthday Cake.
All this and more for only $200.00 for 12 children.* ($6.00 for each additional child). Parties run 90 minutes.

*Children should be at least 4 years old to participate in the party. For safety reasons, younger children will need to be accompanied by an adult at all times.

P.S. Remember to bring your camera!

Training Programs

Professional Mentoring Program
The ultimate in personal development. Work directly with Master Gohring to get your whole life in harmony and order. Shine a light on your weaknesses and strengthen your emotional and professional development adding to physical and mental training you are getting. Get the real and honest mentoring to enhance all areas of your life. Limited enrollment.

Black Sash Society
A social organization available to all Master Gohring's Tai Chi & Kung Fu Black Sashs, designed to further their martial arts training and teachings through special events, community activities and charitable projects. Members of this group receive additional high level martial arts, specialized Tai Chi and Kung Fu forms and weapons training from Master Gohring's Tai Chi & Kung Fu Master Instructors.

Apprentice Certified Instructor Training (Now Accepting Applications)
Comprehensive training program for the individual wishing to become a professional Tai Chi and Kung Fu instructor. Covers all aspects of running a martial arts school including teaching techniques, student protocols and basic business systems.

Assistant Apprentice Certified Instructor Training
Foundation work for becoming a professional Tai Chi & Kung Fu instructor. Learn the frame of mind and the details to becoming the best of the best. Spend intense individual training time with Master Gohring and learn to teach all the basic foundation classes of Tai Chi and/or Kung Fu like a Master.

Masters Path
Designed for committed member students wishing to pursue a Path of Self-Mastery. White Sash to 5th Degree Black Sash curriculum including all Black Sash Program training, plus comprehensive instruction in Chen Style Tai Chi, Xing Yi, Baguazhang, Kung Fu and other exotic Tai Chi forms. Also features training in traditional weapons, body opponent bag application, and eligibility (with instructor's approval) for Apprentice Certified Teacher Training and accelerated rank advancement.

Black Sash Training Program Tai Chi
Designed for member students wishing to pursue a Black Sash Degree in Tai Chi or Kung Fu. White Sash to 1st Degree Black Sash curriculum based on the traditional 108 Traditional Yang Style Tai Chi, Yang Chen Fu's original form. A comprehensive training program including self-defense applications of the entire 108 Traditional Yang Style Tai Chi, basic weapon training (flute, saber), Tai Chi push-hands (single, double, quadruple, quadruple walking and free-style), 5 Elemental Leadership Skills and the 8 Life Principles of Success.

Black Sash Training Program Kung Fu
Designed for member students wishing to pursue a Black Sash. White Sash to 1st Degree Black Sash curriculum based on the traditional 108 Tiger and Crane, Five Animal Fist Shaolin Kung Fu form. A comprehensive training program including self-defense application, basic weapons (staff and saber) and iron rings training, sparring, 5 Elemental Leadership Skills, Five Hearts Skills and the 8 Life Principles of Success.

Basic Training Guest Program
Designed for our guest students with or without Tai Chi experience. White Sash to Gold Sash curriculum covering fundamental tai chi skills, including a really cool and powerful set of 10 qigong (chi-kung) or nei kung foundational postures. Also, the first section of the traditional 108 Yang Style Tai Chi form, physical conditioning (balance, coordination, strength, flexibility, focus, relaxation, stress reduction) and Black Sash attitude training (courtesy, respect, confidence). Transfer students welcome.

The Basic Training is a prerequisite for Master Gohring's Tai Chi & Kung Fu Black Sash Training and Masters Path Training Programs.

Basic Training Program is designed to help determine if membership in Black Sash Training and/or committing to Masters Path Training is right for the student.

What do Students Say?

“I started T'ai Chi for several reasons. I enjoy martial arts, but did not want to practice "hard" forms. I appreciate Asian thought, especially some of the seemingly paradoxical concepts dealing with strength, simplicity, and the tranquil mind. Lastly, I needed form of physical exercise that demanded more stamina than strength to recover from surgery. I continue T'ai Chi because, as I suspected, the Asian mindset is slowly revealing itself through practice. I especially enjoy my increasing ability to focus and concentrate, and the way T'ai Chi demands that one release all other thoughts during practice.” – Diane G., 43, Writer

“Doing the movements of the form seems to guide breath and energy through me and soothe my mind and body.”
Glenda K., 52, Internet Service Manager

“This is awesome. The concepts I have learned have been invaluable, and it is what I consider the perfect workout!" – Maria M., 29, Accountant

“I'm glad I made the decision to attend a class, and I'm certainly glad you agreed to accept me into the program (I'm kicking myself for not having done it sooner). I've definitely noticed a marked difference in the way I feel and the way I breathe – it's amazing.” – Andy P., 36, Public Relations Manager

“Over the course of 5 months, I have lost approximately 60 pounds, I have increased my muscle strength and flexibility considerably, and my blood pressure is now well within the normal range without medication. I sleep better, and have more energy during the day.” – Darren S., 36, Application Engineer

After a long search, Tom Gohring's School of T'ai Chi has given me a path to continue my study of T'ai Chi. I've only been practicing in Tom Gohring's School for a short time, but I've quickly recovered the skills I'd lost from taking a long break in study. The insights from Tom Gohring have been stimulating and thought provoking and have helped increase my own understanding. This study is something everyone needs to do.” – Jim B., 57, Retired

“I had tremendous difficulties climbing ladders and would get vertigo. Within a month of starting the class I realized that I was working at the top of a ladder, painting, and feeling quite comfortable about it!” – Sara S., 33, Specialist

“It has been over four months since I first started Tai Chi and my life is a lot different today. My stamina and sense of well being have improved tremendously and my physician is amazed by my reports. I feel healthy and less stressed. I believe Tai Chi has saved my life!” – Erhard G., 48, Commercial Insurance

“I had no idea that this could make such a vast improvement in such a short period of time. I was under the impression that I had to practice for years and years before I would be able to feel this kind of Lightness & Agility! I'm much more flexible now. I can put the palms of both of my hands flat on the floor. I've never been able to do that before!” – Clifton J., 52, Sales

”I was developing many ‘aging' related ailments that included high blood pressure, hot flashes, and arthritic knee pain in one knee. My blood pressure, which was barely maintained at the "normal" level with medication, now averages ten to fifteen points lower. My hot flashes seem to be under better control and I am eliminating the drug I have been taking to reduce them. Best of all, my constant knee pain, that frequently kept me tossing and turning during the night, has all but ceased.” – Patricia T., 54, CPA

“I would recommend a T'ai Chi training program to anyone interested in improving their physical appearance, athletic performance, mental conditioning, or just their overall quality of life. The benefits are numerous. I can truly say that T'ai Chi has changed my life for the better and would strongly encourage anyone at any age or physical condition to give it a try. They will not regret it.” Don H., 28, Systems Engineer

Tai Chi combines the silence and concentration of meditation with gentle (but rigorous) exercise, with the most beneficial results. No matter how stressful a day I have had, I know that I can come to class or practice on my own at home, and I will begin to feel better. The active relaxation that Sifu encourages helps both my mind and body to let go of the knots and tense places that cause damage. The physical exercise invigorates me and lifts my mood. Hope R., 28, Student

I was completely hooked after the first class. It seemed so simple and relaxing when I watched people the first day I walked in. Little did I know that the ten “simple” postures of Nei Kung would prove to be anything but simple. Quite often my muscles are quivering and I am sweating before halfway through class. The movements are beautiful and challenging. Just when I think I have figured out one of the postures Master Gohring comes along and adjusts something.

I have told so many people about the school and the benefits I have found in class. I feel like I'm some sort of unofficial spokesperson. I like to counter the usual impressions they have that Tai Chi is just moving around slowly or that it's just something old people do in the park. I love it. There is something for everyone at Tom Gohring's School of Tai Chi , and I hope more people keep discovering it. Mary G., 30, Auditor

I am so thankful that I decided to join the Tai Chi classes that I can't wait to learn more routines and gain a deeper understanding of Tai Chi. Fortunately Sifu Gohring has a very special way to demonstrate his knowledge in a way that is easy to visualize, understand and, ultimately, learn. – Andrea G., 30, Grad. Student, UT 

The most profound effect has been the Spiritual awareness that has come from a healthy body and clear mind.  In early February I began an Awakening that has had profound effects on my life.  The mental clarity that has come from what I learn in class has helped me put aside delusions--some that I have carried since childhood--and the mental discipline helped me find an emotional equilibrium that I have never known before.  I have the motivation and mental discipline to achieve the goals I had put aside for many years. – Rob M., 34, Computer Tech

Only at Master Gohring's—

New $29.97 Special

The absolute best way for you, your child and/or your family to get started in Tai Chi, Kung Fu or Family Martial Arts is at Master Gohring's Tai Chi & Kung Fu with our New $29.97 Special, which includes a week of classes, a private lesson and a basic training uniform (including pants, school t-shirt and shoes.) Please call Mary Grabhorn or Dixie Cochran right now at 512-879-7553 to reserve your space or use our secure online form right now. Click Here.

Most people that contact a Tai Chi, Martial Arts or Chinese Yoga school do not know anything about Tai Chi, Martial Arts or Chinese Yoga. Our New $29.97 Special gives you the opportunity to:

1. Learn some real Tai Chi or Kung Fu moves;
2. Have a professional evaluation of you or your child and families balance, coordination, focus, concentration, strength, flexibility, stress level and interest level;
3. Get a tour of Master Gohring's Tai Chi & Kung Fu and
4. An orientation to facilitate your and/or your family's transition into the Chinese Martial Art and Yoga world.

Call Instructor Mary Grabhorn or Apprentice Instructor Dixie Cochran right now at 512-879-7553 or fill out our secure online form at


Quick and Easy Access from
I-35, Lamar, 290 (2222) and 183

Conveniently located a block and a half north of Highland Mall on Airport Blvd. in the Yellow Brick Road Shopping Plaza . Next to the China Palace Restaurant and the Arpeggio Grill . Near the Mercedes Dealership .

Visitors Welcome--Come Visit! • 512-422-4245 • 512-879-7553
Master Gohring's Tai Chi & Kung Fu, 6611 Airport Blvd., Austin, TX 78752 Map
Master Gohring