What do you do?
Elaine Waters

     Where do you work and what is your title?
       I am a tai chi teacher, currently offering classes and workshops from two Garden of the Gods Road locations. I am called Master Elaine or Master Waters because I won an international tournament in push hands in 1990. Tai chi is a sophisticated martial art using a minimum of effort to achieve maximum results.
      What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
       I offer training in two different styles of tai chi - body mechanics and push hands.
      How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
      I have been in tai chi for more than 40 years, as a competitor, teacher or referee. I have taught weekly on the Westside for over a year.
      What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
       I have a lot of fun sharing this skill. Body mechanics training offers the information that links the esoteric principles of tai chi with the practical aspects of modern physical exercise.
      If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
       I would like to share the body mechanics of tai chi with people who could apply them to other physical activities, such as skiing, horseback riding, tennis, golf or boxing.
      What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
       I never expected tai chi to be so misunderstood as it is. People like the esoteric principles of tai chi, but often cannot have them lead to the practical aspects of modern physical exercise. Simple words used in tai chi are commonly misunderstood. For example, sink and relax does not mean to collapse downward, causing the ankle and knee to sag. Here is an art that uses softness to increase power.
      What makes working on the Westside special?
      So many people coming here and discovering the beauty of this side of town.

      “What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer, geared for people who have interesting jobs on the Westside but don't necessarily live here. If you or someone you know seems like a good fit for this column, please give us a call at 471-6776 or e-mail editor@westsidepioneer.com.

(Posted 3/2/14; Opinion: What Do You Do?)