about me

My name is Phil and I live near Ynys-las by the Dyfi Estuary, on the west coast of Wales between Aberystwyth and Machynlleth. I began studying Yang style tai-chi in 1984 but in 1998 I started studying Chen style tai-chi in my quest for greater understanding.

People are drawn to tai-chi for many reasons. For me the primary interest has always been a love of the movement, yet I can honestly say that it has improved the quality of my life in more ways than I could have ever imagined. The keys to this development are knowledge, perseverance and of course practice.

tai-chi (taijiquan) in west wales

teachers and study background

Since 2001: Grandmaster Chen Xiao-Wang (19th generation head of the Chen family). Chen style tai-chi: loajia yi lu, silk reeling (Chan si gong), sword forms (3), spear form, stick form, yin-yang qigong, push hands, qinna.


1999-2000: Mike Sigman: Internal strength in the neijia.

1998: Master Zhang Xue-Xin. Chen style tai-chi & silk reeling (Chan si gong).

1987-1995: John Kells at the British Tai-Chi Chuan Association, London. Yang style tai-chi: long form (right & left sides), push hands, ta lu, san shou dance, qigong.

1986-1995: Peter Dowding at the Southampton Tai-Chi Chuan Association. Yang style tai-chi: Short form, push hands, qigong.

1984-1985: Si Fu Tay, Southampton. Yang style tai-chi: short form, qigong.


Making the switch from Yang style to Chen style was a painful one. I knew it would be having gone so deeply into the Yang system, so I dragged my heals for a while; but it quickly became evident that this was a more comprehensive and rewarding (albeit more demanding) system. I haven't looked back since. I feel now that my greatest teacher is Chen Wang-Ting (or whoever else it may have been) who developed the movements contained in the laojia (old frame) all those years ago. A rich and transparent reservoir of insight.

interested in private lessons?

Currently I am only teaching private classes on an occasional basis as I do not have the time to do more. These classes are tailored to the students abilities and are aimed at improving understanding and highlighting errors in the students existing repertoire rather than teaching new elements. If you are interested then contact me to start a dialog and we can work out what would suit you best. I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to learn this art or to further their understanding regardless of financial circumstances and so the fees for my tuition are by donation.