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YMAA Andover Instructors

Who We Are


Alex Kiesel

YMAA Andover Owner/Director
Tai Chi & Kung Fu Instructor

In 1978,  Mr. Kiesel began his martial arts training in Shaolin Kempo. In 1982, he began to study under the direction of Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming in Shaolin Long Fist, Shaolin White Crane, and Yang Style Taiji (Tai Chi) and is certified to instruct both Kung Fu & Tai Chi programs.

Mr. Kiesel has been a judge at the U.S. National Chinese Martial Arts Competitions and has served as a regional advisor to the U.S. Kung Fu Federation. 


In addition to studying with Dr. Yang over the years, he has also studied with several renowned masters including Liang Shou-Yu in Simplified Taiji, Grandmaster Li Mao-Ching in Shaolin Long Fist and the late Grandmaster Wang Ju-Rong in Long Fist (Cha Chuan).   


Mr. Kiesel is a Tai Chi Master Instructor certified by the American Tai Chi and Qigong Association.

Mr. Kiesel is available for large and small group instruction, corporate sessions, and private lessons.
To contact Mr. Kiesel, email: or call (978) 494.4355.


Meg Holmes

Tai Chi Instructor

Meg Holmes has had a lengthy career as a school librarian/teacher working with students from kindergarten through college. Her expertise as an educator has carried over to her career as a Tai Chi instructor. Meg considers herself to be a life-long learner and on a lifelong journey as a student of Tai Chi.

Meg began studying Tai Chi in 1990 at Yang’s Andover under the tutelage of Alex Kiesel. She has been a student within the YMAA system ever since and has learned from instructors such as Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming, Ramel Rones, and Jeff Pratt.


Meg is a Tai Chi Master Instructor certified by the American Tai Chi and Qigong Association.


Paul Blake

Tai Chi, Qigong Instructor

Paul is a senior Tai Chi and Qigong Instructor at Yang’s Martial Arts in Andover.  He has studied and taught Tai Chi and Qigong for nearly 30 years under the teaching of world-renowned Master, Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming.

Paul is well-versed in both the martial and the health aspects of Tai Chi and Qigong and is excited about the future of these arts for, as each new scientific discovery arises, they validate what the ancient masters were trying to pass along.  

Paul is a Tai Chi Master Instructor certified by the American Tai Chi and Qigong Association.


Jeff Pratt

Tai Chi, Qigong, Pushing Hands Instructor

Jeff began his study of Tai Chi at the YMAA Boston School in 1987 and has reached the rank of Instructor (3rd degree) in the YMAA system. Jeff specializes in Pushing Hands, which is the two-person form of Tai Chi. He has taken extensive training in the spectrum of disciplines comprising YMAA’s Tai Chi program.

Jeff has taught Tai chi professionally for 20 years and is currently also teaching Pushing Hands at the YMAA International headquarters. He has taught at the Tai Chi Farm in New York (under Master Jou, Tsung-Hua) and at Gillette Industries, Sapient Corporation and MKS Instruments. He has conducted seminars in the United States, Poland, Hungary, Portugal and South Africa. Jeff has performed in local and national tournaments and has repeatedly won the title of champion and grand champion in the “A Taste of China” competition. He also took high honors for Taijiquan in the United States Kuo Shu Guo Shu National Competitions, receiving gold medals for Pushing Hands. “Taijiquan has become the path I follow. It leads me to distant places and incredible people. Taijiquan is a continuous adventure of discovery.”

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