Ryan Black, Instructor

Photo by pamela Lamp

Photo by pamela Lamp

Welcome to Nashville Tai Chi and Wellness. I'm your instructor, Ryan Black.

I've always had a strong passion for martial arts, ever since I can remember. My first experience as a little guy in my small hometown of North Vernon, Indiana, was with Taekwando and then in my teens, I trained in Wing Chun Kung Fu. As a young Navy deep sea diver, I was stationed in Japan where I trained and competed in Kendo, the Japanese sword martial art. Here I achieved an expert ranking with the All Japan Kendo Federation and was the first American in southern Japan to be recognized at this level. 

Upon returning to the United States, I took a long hiatus to pursue education, get married, and start a new career in teaching, but I never let go of my love of martial arts and the principles of mindfulness that I learned through the practice.

Ten years ago, I decided it was time to re-engage, but this time, I wanted to do something that would support my health as I headed into my 40s. Tai Chi was the perfect path. 

My search for a master with training in the original martial art of Tai Chi (t'ai chi ch'üan) led me to Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming of YMAA. I trained and advanced in the art with YMAA instructors in Boston and then at Dr. Yang's retreat center in California, where I was encourage by Dr. Yang to pursue my desire to teach others Tai Chi.

I'm a strong believer in the health benefits of Tai Chi for people of any age, but I recognize, that as we get older, it becomes an especially powerful practice.

My aim as a teacher is to make Tai Chi approachable and easy to learn. As students begin to progress, I introduce some of the nuances that can feel more difficult at first. As my student, you will start to feel a sense of accomplishment soon after beginning the practice and it won't take much longer to feel the health benefits as well.

I look forward to connecting with you. I hope you will join me on my Tai Chi journey...and make it yours too. 


Photo by Pamela Lamp

Photo by Pamela Lamp

Amy Black, Operations


Welcome. I'm Amy, the other half of the Nashville Tai Chi & Wellness team.

I'm the person you will talk to and email with when you register for a class or a private lesson.

Ryan and I make a great team. I get to handle all the behind the scenes things and he gets to do what he does best: Connect with you, in person, and help you learn how you can strengthen and heal your body with Tai Chi.

I come from a background of working both in the non-profit sector and in business, and for the past ten years, have been a touring singer/songwriter. While I am still actively making music, over the last several years I've experienced a shift in my approach to life and how I see myself and the world around me.

Several years ago I began my journey into the practice of mindfulness and was very (pleasantly) surprised with what I found. I am continuing to learn and grow in that practice daily and have had the benefit of completing Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) courses at Vanderbilt's Osher Center. In 2018 I completed Osher Center's Professional Development for Mindfulness Facilitation (PDMF) program to understand more about how I might be able to help others experience the benefits of mindfulness, and am currently teaching the MBSR classes at Osher and leading mindfulness meditations for Osher’s Mindful Mondays and Wild Heart Meditation Center’s Mindfulness Practice Session.

The "Wellness" in Nashville Tai Chi & Wellness reflects both my and Ryan's desire to provide programs that help the whole person to find balance and peace in their lives, no matter what they may be facing. We look forward to seeing how this unfolds.

Working to make Ryan's dream of teaching Tai Chi in Nashville come true is such a joy for me. He has a gift for helping others and is a gentle and kind teacher. I'm happy to use my skills to find the people who want to learn and connect them with Ryan, who in turn, will help them to have a deeper connection to themselves through Tai Chi.

After years of Ryan trying to get me to do Tai Chi and me saying no, I’m now fully enjoying my own practice. See you in class.