My tai chi and qigong journey started in 2007 when I found myself in a situation which needed industrial level stress relief. After thorough research I decided to learn some form of internal martial art and eventually found a class that was run by Steven Williams, one of Lam Kam Chuen‘s disciples. It featured a form of qigong called zhan zhuang.
Zhan zhuang was at one time kept secret by martial arts masters and at first it seems strange. Rather than move around a lot, as with Western exercise, you just stand still in different postures. Over time your body learns to align itself so that you can hold the postures in a relaxed state.
Keen to learn more and maybe move around a bit, I tried some tai chi classes and then in 2009 started taking private Yang style tai chi lessons with Philip Kubilius, a former private student of Master John Ding, one of the World’s top tai chi practitioners. Philip, by virtue of seeking out the best teachers and spending hours every day in practice (he was also a private student of Michael Tse and Derek Gordon), has a deep understanding of tai chi. I’m still training regularly with Philip and love the fact that I am constantly learning something new from him.
Usually I manage to practice for a couple of hours a day and whenever possible I try to deepen my understanding of internal martial arts. I have gained some invaluable perspectives along the way and special mention should go to Raymond Towers who helped me to relax my right shoulder after something like 35 years of tension. Right now I am also taking some courses in meditation, qigong and stress relief and look forward to learning more in the coming years. I also look forward to helping others in their own journeys with these amazing arts.
Besides my tai chi and qigong interest I also work as a chess teacher having formerly been a professional chess player, gained the International Grandmaster title and won a number of international tournaments. This doesn’t help directly with tai chi except in understanding the kind of dedication needed to make serious progress.