About the China Tai Chi Guide
This website has come about to meet a need which I (Anthony Fidler) have been aware of ever since I first travelled to China myself in 1997 to find a Tai Chi teacher for myself.
As soon as you realise this desire within yourself as a Western / International student, you have an immediate problem - how to find a good teacher who is able to meet your needs.
China feels difficult to approach, especially in terms of language and so this is not always easy.
There are many other queries that come up immediately and I have been supporting people in this process since 2004 so its familiar ground for me.
For several years I worked with a single school in Yangshuo run by Wang Zhi Ping. I had been learning with him myself and it was an interesting project for a while but very quickly I realised the need to allow students to choose the teacher they learn with. Different people learn best with different teachers.
So the China Tai Chi Guide came into being and its aim is to eventually promote every good teacher in China.
At the same time, it is my hope that this website will act as a kind of 'consumer protection society', actively monitoring the quality of service being offered to students by the schools and individual teachers.
I'm a strong believer in the basic principle that if one helps even one other person in their journey in life, than your own life has a greater meaning and value, even if you don't know about it.
And it tends to come back to you...
About the Site Author
My name is Anthony Fidler. I'm now 41, and have been a serious practitioner of Tai Chi since 1997.
I've been very fortunate over the years to have been able to carry out most of my Tai Chi training intensively in China, on a personal basis with good teachers.
My Tai Chi encompasses both Yang and Chen and I'm passionate about both.
I practiced Simplified Yang 24 & Competition 42 for many years, but switched over to Traditional Yang Long Form in 2009. Yang 85 (108) is a very beautiful form.
My Chen Training has come more slowly. I liked Lao Jia Yi Lu very much for years, in my case with a highish stance, gentle stamping, and some relaxed FahJing. I loved the twisting and turning of the movements around the dantian and the Chan Si Jing.
In 2011 I was introduced to Chen Xiao Jia 64 and have fallen in love with it. A simply beautiful form, which answers my desire of many years to find a Chen form which combined the inner depth and sensitivity that I find in the Yang style taichi, with the circular Silk reeling energy of the Chen Style. Amazing!
I've studied with a few teachers over the years.
First with a teacher called Wang Zhi Ping. We met 1-1 for many years in Yangshuo park and then later at his school. I liked his movement and it inspired me very much at the time.
Next I learnt Chen with Chen Gao Qiang, a young teacher from Wang Xi An's training school in Chenjiagou.
Then in 2008, I switched to Chen Zhao Sen in Chenjiagou and continued my study with him through to 2010.
My root teacher since 2009 has been Yang Dong Bao, a very quiet, gentle man, happily teaching 1-1 Tai Chi with just a few private students. I have learnt Yang Long Form 85 (Xiao Jia - Small Frame) and Chen 64 (Xiao Jia - Small Frame) with him and am really happy with them both.
In 2009 I got a chance to do 85 with Yang Zhi Fang, the grandson of Yang Chen Fu who really opened up Tai Chi to the world.
In the UK I've also studied a little with Grandmaster Chen Xiao Wang at his workshops, and I'm really grateful for the inspiration he gave me to train further in China.
My own journey is still an ongoing process, but Tai Chi is a very rewarding part of my life and one I wouldn't want to have missed for anything.