Tai Chi San Diego
San Diego Tai-Chi Academy

Training | Instructors | Location | Guidelines | Movements | Background

Chief Instructors - Nick and Chris Mechling
(858) 748-5829 - internationalselfdefense@gmail.com
12657 Poway Road, Poway CA 92064

On Training

Welcome to the San Diego School of Tai Chi website! We encourage you to look around the site and familiarize yourself with some of the history and benefits of the Yang-style of Tai Chi, as well as come into the school and give yourself a chance to excel at one of the most complex yet rewarding martial arts.

Both the teachers and the students have helped to create a school in which students can acquire all of the martial art's benefits. Please feel free to visit the school and participate in a class with other students in our excellent learning environment.

Members come to the center from all over San Diego especially Poway, Rancho Penaquitos, Rancho Bernardo, Scripps Ranch, Clairemont, Kearny Mesa, La Jolla, Del Mar, Ramona and even Julian

Whether your interest is in gaining self-discipline, better health, self-defense skills, or you just want to have a good time, please know that at our school you will be welcome and able to pursue any and all interests that you have.

-Students of the San Diego School of Tai Chi Chuan

Mechling Brothers

Practitioners and teachers of the popular Cheng Man Ching form of Tai Chi Chuan, the Mechling brothers give detailed instruction in the original form and its applications. Tai Chi has many benefits health, flexiblity and longevity.

The brothers are intent on preserving this important method of self improvement for future generations. They learned Tai-Chi from one of Master Cheng's original in-home students Master M.C. Hsia. Training over years they have refined their teaching style and now make it easy for anyone to learn this powerful life-giving tool.

Master Hsia

Master M.C. Hsia was born in 1913 in China. After college Hsia went to work for an engineering company where he rose through the ranks as a productive member of the company. During his early forties he developed a serious disease that none of the major doctors in Taipei (Taiwan) were able to cure. Because of the tremendous difficulties associated with to disease he was forced to go on to disability with his company

Master Hsia is a resourceful individual who realizing that western medicine might not have all the answers looked into alternative forms of therapy far his disease. He heard about the health benefits of Tai Chi Chuan. Intrigued he looked for books on the subject. While looking for more information he was introduced to Professor Cheng Man Ching.

Professor Cheng Man Ching was a master of five excellences of Chinese culture: poetry, painting. calligraphy, traditional Chinese medicine and Tai Chi Chuan. When one considers the vast learning and diligent study it takes to master even one of these disciplines, Cheng's achievement becomes even more remarkable. His skill as a physician was extraordinary and it is in this capacity that he met Yang Cheng-Fu, the standard bearer and lineage heir to the great Yang Lu-Chan, founder of the Yang Family Style of Tai Chi. Cheng was able to successfully restore Madame Yang to health and in gratitude, Mrs. Yang persuaded Yang to accept him as a Tai Chi student. Cheng studied daily with Master Yang for years to master the Yang family art.

Chang Man Ching taught his method of Tai Chi Churn to M.C. Hsia in daily classes with other students. After a short period the Professor noticed Hsia's dedication to the practice and advised him in how to obtain maximum benefit for his health. M.C. Hsia practiced rigorously, attending all of the classes. After classes he would go home and rest; exhausted from the training.

In time several of the senior students of that period asked the Professor if he would accept them as in-home disciples (teaching them the 'closed door secrets'). The Professor refused but after consistent requests he told the students that if "Hsia will train this way, you can too". Hearing this the students rushed to Hsia and told him the news. After they explained their wish and what it would mean to them, he agreed to participate in the training. The Members of this in-home study group went on to become some of Tai Chi Chuan's best teachers.

Through his diligence in Tai Chi Chuan, M.C. Hsia was cured of his disease and returned to work. This was after six years of practice. During those six years all of his attention was focused on the Tai Chi because his company supported him. Continuing his practice, he eventually moved to the United States and retired. He mastered the techniques and principles of Tai Chi internalizing the practice. At the time of this article's publication he is 92 years old


Rules and Guidelines

  • The attitude is friendly and open.
  • Wear loose fitting clothes like shorts or warmup pants and a t-shirt (if you have a gi wear it)
  • Come in 15 minutes early to go through some fundamentals.
  • In order to help the positive experience, please be respectful to all instructors, participants and observers...
  • You can register online at soon at www.ISDC.net
  • Still photography is allowed from off the mat (no flashs during seminars)
  • No video cameras
  • By participating in the classes you release your image if it is filmed or recorded on that day.

Contact Info

To get to the school please check out the directions below.

San Diego Tai Chi School
Chief Instructors - Nick and Chris Mechling
(858) 748-5829 - internationalselfdefense@gmail.com
12657 Poway Road, Poway CA 92064


About Tai Chi

Tai Chi originates from China's ancient history. While written records did not appear until first millennium during the Tang Dynasty, the art is said to have first developed a thousand years earlier. At that time, Taoist recluses went to the mountains where they contemplated the meaning of action by studying nature. The Tai Chi form was developed from the movements and patterns practiced by these people. The Tao is said to be the natural way of things, and this principle drives the way in which Tai Chi is practiced. Because of the natural basis of Tai Chi, struggling to achieve certain postures with physical effort hinders success. Instead, success is attained by combining body and mind with sincere intentions.

Chang San-feng was a student of a Taoist recluse, studying both in the mountains and at the Shaolin Temple Monastery. However, as with many of the other early teachers of Tai Chi, there is speculation as to whether or not he ever truly existed. Though there is some doubt as to his existence, Chang Sen-feng was credited as the founder of Wudang kung fu. After Chang San-feng studied for nine years at the Shaolin Temple, one day he saw a fight between a snake and a bird. He was impressed by the ways the animals yielded to one another, and saw great martial potential. He revised his current style of kung fu, and added aspects of visualization and the cultivation of energy. This is where the soft styles, like Tai Chi, originated from.

These softer styles were then incorporated into hand-to-hand combat. Around the 1800s, Tai Chi resembled a fighting art more than anything else. Many respected men took these softer styles and adapted it to fit their purposes, and different styles of Tai Chi evolved. However, Mao Zedong, China's Communist government leader discouraged these fighting arts. In 1949, a council was created which produced a style of Tai Chi for health benefits and for competition. This was called the Beijing 24 Step Form, which was essentially condensed from the Yang style.

Yang Cheng-fu, the grandson of the founder of the Yang Style modified his grandfather's style, making the movements rounder, bigger, and smoother. These movements are now a part of what is the Yang-style long form, which consists of 108 postures. Cheng Man-ching, a student of Yang Cheng-fu, took this long form and simplified it to only 37 postures. This allowed the form to be much easier to learn, and Tai Chi quickly gained worldwide popularity.



The images above show the first five movements in the Tai Chi form

While a spectator of Tai Chi may not see it directly as a martial art, movements of the practice can undoubtedly be used as self-defense maneuvers. The "magic" in Tai Chi is the ways in which developed practitioners use the movements of their opponents to their advantage. This principle can also be applied to other martial arts.

In Tai Chi, brute strength is never used. This is partially why it takes so long for the art to become effective in self-defense. In general, the attacker is uprooted as the Tai Chi practitioner shifts weight from one foot to another while using the momentum from the attacker to redirect his movements.

One practice of Tai Chi is called push hands. After learning set forms, students can pair up to practice the movements on one another. This requires both people to yield to the other's motions, have little to no resistance in their bodies, and then attack using the principles of Tai Chi.


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