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In 2011 we completed our 8th Annual Health and Martial Arts Festival.  From my perspective it was pretty incredible, but tinged with a pall of sadness due to the unexpected death of David Elston-Phillips, our beloved Festival Director.  David Elston-Phillips Story

After the Festival, several of the attendees went on-line to TCCList and started talking about it.  You can view the thread here: TCC List Thread
BTW - if you want to join the TCCList, you can do it here: Subscribe to TCCList

In the final analysis, the Health and Martial Arts Festival and Symposium was a smashing success. Click here to read testimonials. Financially, it wasn't so hot. Obviously because of David's death, many people who had planned to come could not do so.  Add to that the ill fortune of competing Festivals, the new remote location, and the poor economic times; it is a wonder that we got anyone at all, much less the 55 people who did attend!  In the end, we did not do too badly, and if you add the membership income to the Festival income we broke even.

Here Are What Other Participants Have Said About The 2011 Health And Martial Arts Festival And Symposium:

  • I participated in classes that were different from anything I had done before. Expanding possibilities help me understand how everything relates and help support my tai chi and qi gong learning.
  • A gathering of friends old and new to explore all aspects of Taijiquan. All levels were represented and new knowledge gained.
  • It was an opportunity to meet with top-notch talent, further develop my own skills, and cultivate riendships with other Tai Chi enthusiasts!
  • It is always fun to meet new friends and practice Tai Chi all day long. The workshops are a lot of fun and full of interesting info. Its's nice to socialize with folks who have your same addiction ;)
  • I made several new tai chi friends. Sharing our experiences inspires me to practice more. The workshops were varied and interesting. Lovely setting!
  • Attending the festival not only exposed me to high level taiji, as I've never even been exposed to live taiji of any level prior, but it also jumped my skill and development level exponentially. The open and generous attitudes of ALL of the higher level players was something I'll never forget and always appreciate. Not only were the Masters helpful and accessable, but they seemed to want to give as much as I wanted to receive. The facilitators of the event were extremely accomodating and enthusiastic making my experience very well worth the 10 hour drive I made to get there. It was the experience of a lifetime and while I may not truly understand the degree of the "jems" I was given by all, I can still appreciate them all the same. It seemed that everyone kept repeating the same phrase to me at one time or another, "you'll never get any better instruction and advice than what you just got from so and so".
  • An exceptional event: Outstanding teachers led quite a variety of workshops in a natural peaceful setting.
  • Participants were friendly and eager to share. Looking forward to the next event. This event quite
  • Strongly recommended for beginning tai chi teachers.
  • Excellent opportunity to meet and learn from many high-level practitioners, and to get personal attention in the small classes.
  • The Tai Chi Enthusiasts Festival is a wonderful opportunity for Tai Chi devotees to come together in community and share in a beautiful venue in the true spirit of Tai Chi Chuan. John Loupos
  • Great way to meet other serious practitioners and experience different styles. Workshops offer techniques and ideas to improve one's practice. Also, teachers learn other teaching methods to try.
  • This festival was a real treat! A chance to get away from your daily routine and devote yourself to Tai Chi and nothing else for 4 days. We got exposed to many new ideas and techniques, met wonderful people and just had fun! Don't want to miss this in the future.



David Elston-Phillips; the Heart and Soul of our Tai Chi Festivals

David Elston-Phillips Our Festival Director

David Elston-Phillips has been fighting cancer for many many years, and although he lived much longer than might be expected (no doubt due to his taijiquan ;->) the endless cycle of life must follow its process.

David spent his last few months working furiously and feverishly with me to pull off this event (Taijiquan Festival in May 2011). He came up with the idea of promotion codes to encourage teachers to share news of the Festival with their students. He and Isse travelled to Mensch Mills to tour the facilities and make decisions about what would be where. He attended t-shirt conventions in Philadelphia to get the best price possible on the t-shirts. He made arrangements to get the t-shirts designed (thanks to Andy Cappuccio) and printed. He solicited dozens of sponsors. He arranged for dozens of additional workshop leaders, and set up the Health Expo plans. As late as the night before he was on the phone with me verifying final arrangements and confirming that he would arrive around noon the next day. He was also finalizing plans for the Tai Chi Picnic to be held in Core Creek State park in September.

Alas, on Wednesday, as the volunteers were gathering to prepare for the Festival, he was struck ill and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. He passed away on Saturday around lunchtime, and we got the word just before the Enthusiasts Awards Ceremony at 6:00 on Saturday evening. Because his family was orthodox Jew, his funeral was pretty immediate - the very next day, before the Festival was even over. Many of the Festival people consoled Isse that evening at her home, and Debra Ann Schmidt and I stayed with Isse late into the evening.

I'm sure, as he returned to being part of the fabric of the universe, he was overseeing our event, and hopefully he was proud of what we accomplished together. He was 85 years old.