This section includes short bios of the Chief Instructor and Assistant Instructors as well as contact information for them.

Teacher Bios

Simu Diane Cannon

Simu Diane Cannon (Ming Mei)

Chief Instructor and Founder of Ming Tao

Diane Cannon (Ming-Mei) began her meditation and martial arts training in 1986 in Newark, DE. She was looking for an art that would help reduce stress and enhance relaxation and a sense of well-being. In 1989, she was accepted as a student of Master Ray Hayward.

In studying with Master Ray Hayward, Diane learned the complete Yang-style T’ai Chi Ch’uan system as well as Pushing Hands, Pa Kua Chang, Hsing-Yi Ch’uan, Praying Mantis and Liu Ho Pa Fa. Diane has also spent some time studying Liu Ho Pa Fa with Master Choi Wai Lun and Taoist Meditation and the Michuan T’ai Chi Form with Master Wang Yen Nien.

Diane was initiated into the Yang Family Lineage in 1998, making her a 7th Generation Lineage Holder in the Yang style T’ai Chi Ch’uan System. As a personal disciple of Master Ray Hayward, Diane continues to study and train with him regularly and demonstrate various forms at his Chinese New Year Celebrations at Mindful Motion T’ai Chi Academy in Minneapolis, MN.

In all her years of training and teaching, Diane has reached many students in New Castle County, Dover, and surrounding states. She gives talks, seminars, and retreats, and welcomes any opportunity to share the benefits of T’ai Chi Ch’uan.

Diane ensures that the traditions of the Ancient Art of T’ai Chi Ch’uan are carried on in her teachings and her instructors teachings. “We focus on the importance of the mechanics of the forms, relaxation of the mind and body, the principles of the T’ai Chi Classics, and refinement of internal energy”. Diane is dedicated to teaching the traditional art as a way to gain balance, confidence, peace of mind and body, self-defense, and enhance one’s state of health.

Sihing Chris Venaccio

Sihing Chris Venaccio

Assistant Instructor

Chris Venaccio obtained his Master's Degree at the University of Delaware in 1994. He has been working for JP Morgan Chase & Co. for over 20 years and currently holds the position as Assistant Vice President of Business Cards.

Chris became interested in practicing a martial art for physical exercise and self-defense. In his search for an art to study, a friend told him about T'ai Chi Ch'uan. "I was not aware that T'ai Chi was a martial art. I thought it was an exercise that older people practiced." stated Chris as his initial idea of T'ai Chi. He began studying T'ai Chi in 1997 and has been studying and practicing the art diligently ever since. Chris continues to be fascinated and exited by the many levels and subtleties of the martial aspects of T'ai Chi.

Chris has discovered that T'ai Chi can be practiced by the old and the young, and that has become one of the things he has come to enjoy about the art and diversity at Ming Tao Studio. He continues to be inspired by Simu Diane Cannon 's knowledge, passion and sense of fun for T'ai Chi. He experiences these qualities as extremely infectious which translate into a learning environment that continues to attract one to want more.

Sihing Will Allen

Sihing Will Allen

Assistant Instructor

Will Allen graduated from Wilmington University with an Associate of Arts (AA) in 2013 and went on to study Computer and Network Security. He currently works for a school district in southern Delaware in the Technology Department.

Will began studying the Art of T'ai Chi Ch'uan with Simu Diane Cannon in November of 2004. What started as "something to do to get out of the house" became so much more. He was introduced to T'ai Chi by Sije Carol Majchrzak — a student at Ming Tao T'ai Chi Ch'uan Studio — while looking for a martial art to learn. As he learned the Solo Forms, C'hi Kung, Meditation, Weapons Forms, and Two-Person Forms, his knowledge and experience deepened as well as his appreciation for the Art.

In 2006, Will began teaching T'ai Chi to students as an assistant instructor at the class held in Wilmington, DE. He teaches with a focus on the mechanics of the Forms, the principles of T’ai Chi, and relaxation that brings many health benefits.

Will is continually inspired by Simu Diane Cannon and Sihing Chris Venaccio. Their dedication, knowledge and passion for the Art of T'ai Chi Ch'uan makes him want to learn and train more.