I began martial arts training 35 years ago, as a student of Karate-Do, later becoming an instructor.
Even back then as a teenager, I researched other martial arts, and was fascinated by Tai Chi, particularly Erle Montaigue's Combat Tai Chi. However, this was not available in Adelaide. I was looking for a fighting art which emphasised fluidity, evasiveness, and using opponents' force against them.
Karate did not really have this, so after some time I started training in Ninjutsu, a combat art with great depth and a long history. This had a lot of what I wanted, although the training approach also brought a few injuries!
In the following years, I continued to practise, study and research. I trained in other fighting styles that I felt had useful elements, including Kickboxing and Wing Chun Kung Fu.
Increased focus on the realities of street self-defence led me initially to Tony Blauer, and then to the Guided Chaos method. This, somewhat to my surprise, referred to Tai Chi as one of it's primary influences.
So, after doing martial arts for 20 years, I thought it was time to finally learn Tai Chi!
I trained in both Yang and Chen styles. I found that Tai Chi not only contained unique elements I had been missing, but also improved my existing technique in 'hard-style' martial arts. I studied with 3 different masters over the years, and gained a broad exposure to Tai Chi principles and teaching methods. From that experience I developed my own approach.
Central to this is my firm conviction that there is no substitute for personal training in learning an art like Tai Chi.
I also know that cost can be a significant obstacle for many people, so I keep the fees as low as possible to encourage students towards private lessons.
That being said, once students have attained a certain level of ability, classes can be of benefit. Dmitri Tai Chi classes are made up of my private students, and scheduled according to numbers and demand in Adelaide's eastern suburbs.