Manjimup karate sensei Klaus Mueller has taught thousands of students since he first began devoting himself to martial arts 50 years ago.
But local participants in his latest Tai Chi class are proving to be some of the most passionate and dedicated learners the leading Goju Ryu Karate instructor has ever seen.
They are the seniors from Baptistcare Moonya Residential Care, and while most of them have reached octogenarian and nonagenarian status, they are throwing themselves wholeheartedly into their new weekly Slo-Mo Tai Chi sessions.
It was Baptistcare Moonya Lifestyle Coordinator Angelina Reeve who came up with the idea of approaching Klaus to become a visiting teacher after he began instructing her sons in karate.
“I knew Klaus was an incredible, highly experienced instructor with a gentle and inclusive manner and wondered if he would consider running a class here at our facility,” she said.
“Luckily for us he said yes and now after only five months, his 30-minute seated Tai Chi session is without a doubt one of Moonya’s most popular activities.”
Tai Chi is a non-competitive martial art combining gentle physical exercise and stretching with mindfulness.
According to Klaus, it is not only known for its self-defence techniques but its many health benefits making it perfect for older participants.
“There is a lot of research to suggest Tai Chi can improve your balance, help you manage pain better and boost your cognitive function,” he said.
“It can also help you increase your range of movement and give you more energy.”
Filomena Hodgkin (100) regularly attends Moonya’s Tai Chi sessions and said she could feel the health benefits long after each class has finished.
“Klaus has taught me how to breathe better and I’ve noticed significant improvements in both my mood and movement,” said Filomena.
“Even though the classes have only been running for five months, it has become one of my favourite activities.”
Baptistcare Moonya in Manjimup is always on the lookout for volunteers. To find out more, visit https://www.baptistcare.com.au/volunteering/