Our Head Instructor
Casey is currently cultivating a version of Tai Chi utilizing elements of both competitive push hands and MMA to appeal to a younger generation. He's also developing a simple set of exercises and principles for people with a variety of backgrounds and experiences. This system allows small groups to increase their skill and cultivate a deeper understanding of the art through regular, unsupervised training sessions.
His Senior Student
Shane Olivo is currently focused on learning the intimate details of the tai chi form and the complimenting exercises. He's been studying under Casey for 4 years and will be in charge of form instruction.
Casey's Background and Lineage
His first taste of martial arts was karate at a local YMCA. When he was old enough to seek out a school and teachers of his own, he found the Chinese Kung Fu Center of Milwaukee. At the time, the school was run by a group of Grandmaster Chian Ho Yin's senior students. Here he connected with his first teacher. Shelton. In and out of class, Shelton trained him in the Northern Kung Fu arts which included stance, form and weapons training. After spending years training under Shelton he was introduced to the idea that tai chi is the "Supreme Ultimate Fist." This sparked a long journey of trying to understand how what outwardly appeared so weak could come with such a mighty title.
This leads us to his next set of teachers. Eddie and Chris. This "trifecta" spent early mornings and late nights experimenting with "hidden gems" from texts, discussing the subtler elements of the art and... pushing. Eddie's years of experience, Taiwan training and contacts he made in the tai chi community led him to an obscure practitioner of the art. Eventually Eddie decided to go visit him. The next he and Chris made the trek. The third year the trifecta was complete and Casey tagged along with them to meet Master Henry Wang for the first time.
Before making the trip, Casey had seen videos (on VHS) of Master Wang similar to the ones that can currently be seen on YouTube. He didn't let their "mystical" nature deter him from his journey to the "tai chi truth." The group met Master Wang 3 days prior to his 2002 summer camp, so they got a lot of personal time with him. These three days convinced Casey that tai chi deserved the title "Supreme Ultimate Fist." He was hooked for life.
He took what he learned and more importantly "felt" with him to Taiwan later that same year and trained with the push hands group in 228/Peace Park. It was in Peace Park that he received another paradigm-shifting "feeling," this time courtesy of Zheng Laoshi (Teacher Zheng). Casey, in his early 20s, and able to leap tall building in a single bound, was invited by Zheng to push. Knowing that he was over 80, Casey started "soft." That softness escalated to a full force push which, much to Casey's surprise, sent him rolling head over heels backwards.
In time, the hustle and bustle of life in Taipei disconnected him from the group in Peace Park. Eager to put his tai chi to the test, Casey signed up for classes at a local Brazilian Jujitsu club. He was initially only interested in testing his stand up game against people that would relentlessly try to take him down. Once down, a whole new world of martial arts opened up to him and he spent a few years training and competing in BJJ, eventually receiving his blue belt.
Upon returning to the US, Casey missed that community of people to train with so Master Wang gave him permission and a name for his tai chi school, "Black Horse Tai Chi." As any entrepreneur knows trying to run a business (even one on the side "for fun") can be stressful along with the regular stresses of daily life. So, in his recent years, Casey has returned to an aspect of tai chi that deeply interested him before learning the martial side. The philosophy. The dao.
This renewed interest in "Deep Mind" naturally led him to Patrick Kelly. Whom Casey visited in person to further understand the concepts surrounding deep mind.
The main influences of Casey's tai chi came to him via different streams, but ultimately from the same source. Grand Master Huang Xingxian.