about us



MALCOLM DEAN
founder and head instructor  

Malcolm is the founder and head instructor of the American Hunyuan Tai Chi Academy. He is a formal "indoor student" of Master Zhang Xuexin, with whom he's studied intensively for 30 years. He is the recipient of a Gold Medal in Men's Forms, Beijing, 2007. Malcolm is also Executive Director of LuminousGround, a nonprofit organization focused on environmental education  






ANNIE DEAN
senior qigong faculty 

Annie is co-founder of the Academy, and acts as registrar as well as faculty with a focus on qigong. In addition to her work with the Academy, Annie is Senior Director of Finance and Human Relations for The Well Clinics, which provide integrative psychiatric and family counseling services in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is also a fine artist, an avid reader, and a lover of the outdoors.   


JARRET COOPER
senior faculty

In addition to his faculty position here at the American Hunyuan Tai Chi Academy, Jarret Cooper is the founder and head instructor at the Oakland Taijiquan Academy. He is a formal "indoor student" of Master Zhang Xuexin, with whom he's studied intensively since the early 2000's both publicly and privately. 
In addition to tai chi, Jarret has over 25 years of martial arts training and teaching experience, including Japanese and Okinawan Karate, Kobudo, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
MICHAEL DORGAN
Senior Faculty 

Michael has trained in Hunyuan Taiji for 25 years. His study of the art began in San Francisco under Master Zhang Xue Xin and then continued in Beijing under Grandmaster Feng Zhiqiang and Master Chen Xiang. During his four-year stint as Beijing correspondent for Knight Ridder Newspapers, Michael became a formal disciple of Grandmaster Feng. Upon completion of his posting, he remained in Beijing for 18 months to train intensively with Grandmaster Feng and Master Chen, who also taught him the Baji system. Upon returning from China, Michael opened the Hunyuan Martial Arts Academy of San Jose

MICHAEL XIE
senior faculty

Michael Xie is a formal disciple of Master Zhang Xuexin, with whom he’s studied for over 20 years, both in public classes and in private. Michael centers his tai chi practice around meditation, qigong, and silk-reeling (chansigong), emphasizing energy flow in movements and the connections between form and applications, including qinna (joint-locking). Michael is also a serious long distance cyclist.


MATT HOANG
teaching assistant

Matt has been training in Hunyuan Tai Chi here at the Academy for the past five years. He also teaches a Beginning Tai Chi class several times a week at UCSF Millberry Fitness Center, and another at UCSF Bakar Fitness Center. When not training, Matt is a restaurant manager and bartender — and a proud new father. 
SUSAN SHAW
teaching assistant

Susan has been studying qigong and 

tai chi at the Academy for the past eight years. She began her practice with qigong for health, then added in tai chi three years later and fell in love with it. Susan now acts as teaching assistant at Matt's UCSF Bakar Fitness Center classes, where she leads warm-ups and teaches form to all new beginning students. Susan is a retired school psychologist. When not practicing tai chi, she loves to travel and is an experienced deep sea diver (she marked her 1,000th dive this year).


HAMZA TAYEB
teaching assistant 

Hamza has been studying at the Academy since 2010. He's a musician and singer-songwriter with a BA in Music from UC Santa Cruz, 2007, and he tells us he delights in comparing what he learns about tai chi to music theory and practice, because there are so many parallels. When not practicing music or tai chi, Hamza is a programmer by trade.