So why "Red Panda" Tai Chi Institute? What do red pandas have to do with tai chi? The answer: absolutely nothing!
My whimsical mind is always playing with the name of my tai chi school (just like it plays with awesome band names). In October of 2009, my family and I visited the Chengdu Panda Reserve in China, where we saw red pandas in addition to giant pandas. I thought to myself, "Wouldn't that be a fun name, Red Panda Tai Chi Institute?"
Not only is the new name fun, but it stands out in a sea of martial arts schools that refer to other animals like "Tiger," "Dragon," "Crane," etc. Don't believe me? If you've read this far, I guarantee you'll never forget the Red Panda Tai Chi Institute!
I also wanted to leverage the name of my school for a greater cause. To that end, I will be donating a percentage of my quarterly revenue to the Red Panda Network, dedicated to red panda research, education, outreach, and conservation. If you care to join me, you can donate here.
But it wasn't until Saturday, March 12, 2022, that I decided to act and make the change. That was the day I saw "Turning Red," a Disney/Pixar animated movie about an adolescent young girl named Meilin who turns into a red panda whenever she gets excited or agitated. The film touches on what it means to go through puberty, but also the clash of Eastern (Chinese) and Western (Canadian) cultures. By the end of the movie, Meilin makes peace with and embraces her alter ego.
So a big thank you to Domee Shi for writing and directing such a funny, whimsical, touching, and poignant movie. I viewed it as a sign from the universe. By the following day, I applied to establish the LLC for the Red Panda Tai Chi Institute, and secured the redpandataichi.com domain name.