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.
"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"
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
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.