You can feel his presence from afar – energetic, incredibly fit and incredibly knowledgeable; we sit with our Director of Education, Daniel Chan,

Introduce yourself, and when you decided to make the switch and why. 

Hi, I’m Daniel chan. I am the Director of Education at BodyTree Academy. I am also a Pilates teacher, Bodyweight conditioning and handstand coach. I have been in the fitness industry for 22 years and am certified in various modalities in Strength & Mobility conditioning, injury management, manual soft tissue manipulation and sports massage.

I started gym training at 17 but studied Mechanical engineering. Intuitively I love teaching my fellow classmates how to workout while studying and enjoyed the experience of coaching. Encouraged by my Aunt, I decided to take up the Fitness Instructor then the Group Exercise Instructor course. 
But when I graduated, I thought it would be logical and wise to work for an engineering firm. That was when I got really out of shape and stiff within one year just by sitting behind the desk drafting the entire day even when I gym regularly. An opportunity presented itself to me when the fitness club I did my internship with during my fitness Instructor course contacted me asking if I’m keen to join the team. I immediately said yes and till this day, had never regretted that decision.

Has the way you teach evolved since then?

Instead of focusing on aesthetic by reshaping my clients’ body as a Personal Trainer, my teaching has evolved to become a motivator to help educate and reshape the mind of the trainees/coaches how to provide a more efficient conditioning for strength and mobility that improves the functionality of their client’s body and movements.

Explain about the program, and the BTA difference.

BodyTree Academy conducts the Teacher training course very differently as we do not just teach the exercises, intentions and purposes, we teach the Science behind each particular exercise. It is simply not enough to teach the trainee the names of muscles and bone. 
From my many years of teaching various Teacher/Instructors training program, we realised the struggle new teachers/trainers/coaches have is the inability to assess the clients dynamic movement alignment.
Our BodyTree programs provides the science behind the movement by incorporating the Prehab Trainer series. It teaches not only Static Postural alignment as it alone isn’t sufficient nor a true indication of how well a joint/muscle could function. It teaches basic Kinesiology and the various joint deviations some that one could cue/coach appropriately to manage clients habitual functional imbalances to move more efficiently and injury-free. 

Advice to young/aspiring coaches?

“Don’t stop learning or picking up new skills”

Sign up for Prehab Trainer – Axial Skeleton, which is created and taught by Daniel Chan himself. All lectures are pre-recorded and can be kept for life!

Not convinced? Register for a FREE PREVIEW of the Prehab Axial Skeleton and received a free 30min Pre-recorded Pilates Matwork Class by Daniel!

Daniel Chan

Co-founder, BodyTree Group

Director of Education, BodyTree Academy

Daniel began with weights training at age 17. While it was Daniel’s childhood dream to be a gymnast, he never had the opportunity to learn and acquire the skills. After his studies, he landed in an engineering job like most. However, driven by his passion in health and fitness, he left his job to pursue a career in fitness in 1998. He started out freelancing as a Personal Trainer and Group Class Instructor for various gyms and clubs before becoming a Pilates Teacher from 2001.

He has 18 years of experience teaching Pilates to fitness trainers and clients in Singapore, Jakarta and Seoul. Daniel started studying with Pilates Master Teacher Ron Fletcher (1921-2011) since 2004. In 2014, he conceived and developed the BodyTree Academy (BTA) Movement Anatomy™ series (now known as Prehab Trainer™) with his BTA partners after recognizing a gap in the education of fitness and movement teachers.

Daniel is also heavily involved in the development of BTA’s teacher training programs and short courses. He is a firm advocate of teaching movement based on a strong foundation and understanding of the human body biomechanics.

He has great love for Pilates but wanted to explore other ways of Upper Limbs conditioning, especially improving the strength and mobility of the Wrist & Elbow. In 2014, he ventured into Gymnastic Strength Training and from there, he gained deeper knowledge on better conditioning and preparatory joint strengthening drills. This venture also sparked his childhood dream of performing handstand and other Gymnastics poses.

Daniel believes that getting older should not stop one from attaining their fitness/movement goals. With his background in Pilates and other Rehab & Injuries management, he believes that strategized progressions coupled with patience and consistent practice is key to injury prevention, especially for those above 40.

  • Co-Founder (BodyTree Group)
  • Director of Education (BodyTree Academy)
  • Won “Fitness Best Elites – Pilates Instructor of the Year 2017” 
  • Creator of Prehab Trainer™
  • Rehab Trainer
  • Functional Range Conditioning (FRC®) Mobility Specialist
  • Functional Range Assessment Specialist
  • Barefoot Training Specialist® Level 1, 2, 3
  • Presented 1 virtual workshop at International Health & Science Pilates Congress(2020)
  • Presented 5 workshops at February Pilates International Meeting Spain (2020)
  • Presented 2 workshops at Asia Fitness Conference & Expo (2017)
  • Presented 2 workshops at Fletcher Pilates® Conference (2011)
  • Fletcher Pilates® Adjunct Faculty (2008-2014)
  • Pilates Teacher (Pilates BodyTree®)
  • Fletcher Pilates® Professional Teacher
  • Clinical Orthopedic Manual Therapy
  • Certified Basic Sports Massage therapist
  • Certificate in Management of Sports Injuries
  • BARE® Workout Instructor
  • Pelvic Floor & Core Foundations (Burrell Education)
  • Women’s Wellness & Whole Body Vibration (Burrell Education)

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