Because I studied with Master Yang Shou-Chung, recently I was asked why Master Yang Shou-Chung had only 3 disciples, each operating in a different region (Asia, America and Europe) and whether there is such a thing called the Yang Family Snake Style Taijiquan, also about Erle Montaigue’s relationship to Master Chu King-Hung. Below is my answer:

I am originally from Sydney Australia but born in China (Guangdong), now living in Berlin. I studied with Master Yang Shou-Chung for 2 years in Hong Kong from 1978-1980 and was offered a chance to become a disciple to take care of the Australia/NZ territory not yet occupied by the other three (Ip Tai-Tak, Chu Gin-Soon and Chu King-Hung). The offer for me (done through Mrs Yang in Cantonese who attends each of our private classes and make sure I’d pay my fees on time; this offer was for me only and I cannot say it is for the others as well) at the time it was a financial proposition and it was an obligation free discussion. In the deal I have to pay a certain amount up front (bishi-laisi money or lucky money for the discipleship ceremony) and afterward to do annual (or there about) training in HK for another fixed fee, then each student I get using the family discipleship tilte, Master Yang will take an annual “membership” fee from them. I was tempted but declined because at that time I have a young family and was struggling with my architectural practice. I knew Erle quite well; we used to practise together every Sunday with some of his students like Tony Ward (who went on to study with Master Huang Sheng-Shyan, much to the displeasure of Erle). As far as I know, the reason why Erle left Master Chu was because he was asked to make similar contributions to be named as Chu’s disciple. Looking back, when discipleship is based on a financial arrangement with a territorial right and not on genuine commitment to the art and skill, it seldom works out well. After Master Yang Shou-Chung died in 1985 I went to see Master Chu Gin-Soon in Boston, Master Ip Tai-Tak and also Yang Ma-Lee (Master Yang’s daughter) in Hong Kong (with Sifu Chen Yong-Fa of Choy Lee Fut) but ended up furthering my Yang Family Taijiquan study with Fu Zhong-Wen’s son Fu Sheng-Yuan from Perth and also with Chen Xiao-Wang (Chen Family Taijiquan) in Sydney (Master Chen Xiao-Wang stayed in my home for a few years). Master Chu King-Hung was the only disciple out of the three who refused to see me in person (“Go learn from Ma-Lee”, he siad). I have never heard of the Snake Style Tai Chi Chuan from the Yang Family and nor from the Fu Family either until recent time from a younger genearation of students. When Master Ip was alive, I went to visit John Ding (Master Ip’s disciple) in London and he did not mentioned the Snake Style at that time as well, so I would imagine it was a made-up thing after Master Ip’s death, by his disciples and not directly from the Yang Family. Master Yang did teach a family long-form, which an ex-pat dentist from Canada was learning from him at the same time I was taking my private lessons.

I might have said things contraversial and made what is private and confidential public, but it is better to write them down now that I am 65, at least there is a first-hand record of what went on in the 70s and 80s as compare to now, from my perspective (needless to say) as one of the few private students of Master Yang Shou-Chung towards the end of his life.

Master Yang Shou-Chung

Master Yang Shou-Chung

We had a Taiji Dao workshop in Munich last weekend and below are some photos taken of some of the techniques we learned in countering an attack with a spear:





Lohan 18 Hands Qigong

October 28, 2011

Choy Lee Fut Luohan Qigong (Lohan Chi Kung in Cantonese) is an internal exercise that uses movement and breath control to manipulate the flow of Qi along the body’s meridians. It is both a physical and mental exercise. Inwardly, it is done to cultivate the “three treasures” of jing (essence), qi (vital energy), and shen (spirit). Outwardly, it is practiced to build a strong and healthy body.

The main purpose of Qigong is to develop one’s vital qi (chi) or the vital energy that keeps us alive. It can help realize the body’s full physical potential, resist sickness, repair damages and balance the bodies’ energy flow. The control of respiration plays a central role in the system. The use of the breath is a fundamental aspect of Qigong practice and is the key to energy control as well as the bridge between the body and the mind. The elderly for its specific therapeutic or rehabilitative properties can practice Qigong. Athletes and martial artists from other systems of martial arts to compliment their other training can also practice it.

It has been established that Qigong stimulates the immune system and is favorable for the healing of inflamed and degenerated tissue. It has a calming effect on the nervous system and is therefore beneficial in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia and depression. Also, for the student of martial arts and Taijiquan it is a means of furthering one’s study and improving one’s skill.

There are altogether 5 Luohan Qigong forms:

1) Sap Ba Lohan Kuen
2) Siu Lohan Kuen
3) Dai Lohan Kuen
4) Tai Git (Tai Chi) Kuen
5) Mo Git (Wu Chi) Kuen

In the coming weekend workshops (26-27 November 2011 and 14-15 April 2012) we will teach the Sap Ba Lohan Kuen or the Lohan 18 Hands Qigong form, which emphasized on using correct postures and movements to activate the circulation of the Vital Qi in our body. It is most suitable for those who are interested in a classical approach to the practice of traditional Qigong as taught in southern part of China within the famous Choy Le Fut Martial Arts School.

You can see a segment of the form as performed me here on Youytube posted up in his Shouyi Taijiquan Qigong website:

I will start teaching the Lohan 18 Hands Qigong in Mulhouse France from 26 – 27 November, 2011, this is the first time I teach this in Elizabeth Sartia’s School, anyone interested please contact her:

Salle Franklin, 48 rue Franklin 68200 Mulhouse France. Tél: 06 21 60 52 52

We made this promo piece to test the water, so any comments would be appreciated, especially the approach we have taken, the aim is to produce a creative expression of the Taiji and Qigong forms based on the artist’s take on the subject.


February 8, 2010

Julius Ebner ( took this picture of me doing Zhanzhuang (Standing like a Stake) and did a photomontage for fun, thanks Julius.

Taiji Spear

November 30, 2009

Some rejected publicity shots for the next year’s workshop on the Taiji Spear in Nantes, France for Thierry Doctinal’s group ( I am looking forward to teach this form since I have not taught it for a long while and that will force me to do some practice!

Some photos of the push hands we did in Munich last weekend (24-25 May).  We took photos using a high speed camera showing students pushing me and then I push them and compare the two sets together to see how important it is to maintain one’s structural integrity as we push:


































Below are some Tuishou photos taken in the last Taijiquan workshop in Nantes with Thierry Doctrinal (, my French workshops organizer and the last picture is with Jerome Touzain (, who met me years ago in Sydney. We have been together for close to 10 years now, on and off, so it is my pleasure to continue to train with these guys, who have become more like friends than students over the years.

Thanks Thierry and Jerome for being there with me every time I go to France, your continual presence is greatly appreciated.




































Taijiquan Class in Krakow

October 20, 2008

Every time I go to teach Feng Shui in Krakow Poland I also take the opportunity to teach a small group of my Taiji students. We don’t meet all that often so it is not easy to find a place to practise, but last week we have been lucky and went to a very nice Wing Chun School run by Sifu Andrezj Szuszkiewicz ( We thank him for his generosity and he also took the pictures of our training below.

The first picture shows us beginning to train in push hands and the usual way is to start with static push to the body, to train the students how to use the body as a conduit to transfer the opponent’s force to the ground by being “fang song” (letting go of the tension in the body). The second picture shows me getting on my knees to show the finer points of posture integrity while the others looked on. The third picture shows a group shot of my dedicated students who gave up their Saturday night to train with me. The last picture show me with Sifu Andrzej in front of a painting of Grandmaster Yip Man. 
































Post Card from Paris

October 6, 2008

I just finished teaching a weekend workshop in Nantes, France, on the Yang Family Sword Form and the Five Animals Qigong Form. Some of the students have been with me since 2001 and it is satisfying from a teacher’s point of view, that some of them have improved noticeably in the last couple of years.

I was talking to one of the workshop participants in the train from Nantes to Paris and it was good to hear that he praised one particular senior students being so solidly rooted and powerfully connected, that no matter how he tried, he was sent flying in push hands! Now he is hooked with what we are doing.

My daughter Anna is turning 30 (we are celebrating the occasion in Paris) and that is how long I have been learning Feng Shui, but I studied Taijiquan, Choy Lee Fut and Qigiong long before Feng Shui; so what do I have to show for nearly 45 years of learning? Nothing much, except vitality and happiness and the fact that I still get a kick out of doing them every morning and that is what matters most to me.

Look at all my students in the photos below, they are all smiling and having fun and they do stick around, we are more like a family then a school and I learned just as much from my students as I have taught them, so what more would a teacher wish for?

I think Heaven and Thierry, my friend and organizer, for this privilege.









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