A local man who led the first Irish team to compete in the Tai Chi World Championships in China last year is bringing his expertise in Tai Chi back to Clonmel.
Participants from over 42 countries competed in the world event and under
Niall O’Floinn’s guidance and coaching the Irish team returned with six medals, three silver and three bronze.
Niall is originally from Cherrymount and is son of Noel and Anne. He left Clonmel over 20 years ago and started his journey in Tai Chi.
Over the years, through hard work and dedication, he has had enormous success in building up the Galway Tai Chi Academy to become Ireland’s largest Tai Chi association and one that has gained a reputation for being one of the best in Europe, with thousands of students passing through its doors.
Niall will give a free talk and Tai Chi demonstration at the GAA Centre, Western Road, Clonmel at 6.30pm on Friday evening, September 12. Courses will commence there the following week on Friday, September 19.
Despite over 300 million people practising Tai Chi worldwide, for some in the western world Tai Chi and its benefits as an exercise are still unknown and unexplored.
It differs from other forms of exercise in many respects. It is a low-impact martial art that combines physical activity with mindfulness to offer benefits for both the mind and body. It involves circular movements that are never forced and hence can be practised at any age.
Tai Chi has been associated with reducing stress, anxiety and depression and has been recommended by many health practitioners to help alleviate the stress levels experienced by many people today.
Niall himself is one of the highest qualified instructors in Ireland and not only has he gained a reputation in this country but also on the international front. In the last 20 years he has trained with some of China’s top level Masters of Tai-Chi in Ireland, England, America and China.
Niall’s international success has stretched as far as South America. He was invited to teach Tai Chi in Curitiba, Brazil in 2010 when the organiser of the seminar was the only person in his city who knew some Chen Style Tai Chi. Today there are over 11 teachers teaching Chen Style in Curitiba and over 200 people have already taken classes or seminars with Niall. Students from Brazil have travelled to Galway to train with him, as have teachers from many European countries.
His experience and expert knowledge has seen him invited to teach in Spain, Sardinia, Argentina and India over the past few years.
Niall and some of his students from the academy featured on RTE Nationwide this year in a health-related programme, a clip of which can be viewed on his website, www.chentaichiireland.com