The Personal Side of C.O.L.

The Purpose of Circle of Life – T’ai Chi Academy is to create a safe space in which the principles of T’ai Chi and Qigong can be learned and applied in a relaxed and stress free atmosphere in the company of family and friends ~ a place where the ancient ways of training are combined with a more familiar “western” approach to physical conditioning.

The Academy teaches an adult oriented curriculum, although classes are open to highly motivated young adults. Students may select from a variety of classes and create a balanced approach to learning and training that best suits their individual needs, goals, and aspirations.

The Academy has been in operation since 1997 and is located in Gilbert, Arizona.


Nick Garboushian, Owner/Director

Nick Garboushian is the Head Instructor of the Academy.  He has been involved as a student of the martial arts since 1976. He began teaching in 1982 while still living in Tucson, Arizona. Since then, Nick has continued to pursue his studies of the Chinese martial arts, and started concentrating particularly on the principles of T`ai Chi Chuan, and Qigong. His teachers include Taoist Master Share K. Lew, Master Lin Zhong Wei, and Master Peter Hill. Nick is also a personal trainer and sports nutritionist, and holds an advanced degree in Oriental Medicine/Bodywork.


Steve Swauger, Assistant Instructor

Steve Swauger has pursued an interest in Eastern philosophy and practices for over 30 years. In 2000, he walked in for a class, and found his passion. Since then, he and his wife, Joline and son Zack, have studied under Nick. Steve began with group and private T`ai Chi Chuan and Qigong classes, but then expanded his study to include Kenpo Karate, achieving his black belt in 2008. He is currently pursuing a teacher-certification in Healing Emphasis Yoga (HEY) from his teachers at Inner Vision Yoga.