Taiji is an ancient Chinese Art developing
the body, mind and spirit.
Some may see it as a nice “dance” but the local Taiji teachers Clive Pankhurst, Graham Fox and Jenny Hardyment from Taiji Hibiscus Coast, soon discovered through their own practice, that there is a deeper aspect of this art, which has in the past been referred to as the “superior” martial art due to the connection of the mind with movement to build sensitivity.
We have all taught Taiji in Stanmore Bay, Whangaparaoa for over 30 years, teaching smaller numbers of students to a higher level. Recently we have been directed to raise the profile of Taiji, possibly due to recent world events and people’s desire to raise their body, mind and spirit awareness.
Meet your teachers
“My first and only Taiji teacher Patrick Kelly, led me first on a Taiji journey,
followed by a spiritual journey via the mind.”
From an early age I had a hunger to understand the reason for my being. I experienced various religions without success, but found an affinity with the indigenous cultures, particularly the North Americans.
The martial arts also attracted my interest at an early age, where it eventually led to Taiji - the name and pronunciation preferred by my master Huang Xingxian, as opposed to Tai Chi Chuan, the English term relating to the more martial aspect of Taiji - Chuan meaning fist.
My first and only Taiji teacher Patrick Kelly, led me on a Taiji journey, followed by a spiritual journey via the mind. I had found the way – Dao and the reason for being. Now the journey could really begin.
The journey began in the early 1980’s under the tutorage of Patrick Kelly who introduced me to Master Huang Xingxian, inheritor of the Yang family lineage and in his day, all China Kungfu champion.
After travelling with Patrick Kelly and Master Huang throughout Asia and China visiting Master Huang’s old schools and his martial art colleagues, we began to teach Taiji under Patrick Kelly’s guidance. In the early 2000’s I was invited to teach in Europe, facilitated by Patrick Kelly’s EU students, where I taught workshops for seven years throughout Europe.
“After reading the Taoist classic the Tao Te Ching I became interested in the profound,
natural and universal principles it expounded. “
I have been practising and teaching Taiji for thirty and twenty-five years. As a young man I developed an interest in esoteric thought, spiritual teachings and philosophy.
After reading the Taoist classic The Tao Te Ching I became interested in the profound, natural and universal principles it expounded. Upon discovering that there was an artform, dedicated to inner refinement based upon those principles, I resolved to learn it for myself.
I trained under Dan Russell in Carlisle, in the U.K. in Taiji, Goju-ru Karate and hypnotherapy. At the same time, I began practising Wing Chun Kung Fu and later Shotokan Karate.
In 1996 Dan introduced me to Patrick Kelly, a long time, close student of Huang Xingxian, lineage successor of the Yang family tradition, whom I have trained under ever since. This led me to giving up my training of other systems in favour of committing fully to the system of Taiji and meditation taught by Patrick.
Before coming to New Zealand, I was a full time Taiji instructor in London and have continued to teach both locally in Whangaparaoa and at Patrick Kelly’s school in central Auckland. I continue to train under Patrick both overseas and whenever he visits New Zealand.
“I find myself drawn to Eastern Philosophies and the Mind/Body connection.“
I first came across Taiji 27 years ago through the local Community Education classes under the guidance of Clive Pankhurst and Wayne Duncan who trained with Patrick Kelly and Huang Xingxian in the Yang family lineage.
I was initially interested for health reasons but soon realised there was so much more to Taiji. After a few years of training in Whangaparaoa and the Auckland School – the first school founded by Patrick Kelly (who now also has schools in Zurich and Shanghai), I travelled to Europe to train with Patrick Kelly in one of his eleven-day intensive workshops, sparking more interest and desire to learn, train and develop.
I find myself drawn to Eastern Philosophies and the Mind/Body connection. Taiji lead me to study Feng Shui and then gain further qualifications into the mind/body connections with Rapid Transformational Therapy and Rapid Transformational Coaching.
I have around 7 years of Taiji teaching experience and love seeing the change in students as they let go and reconnect into their body, relax their mind and expand their awareness of themselves and others.
My classes have also been assessed by Harbour Sport and I am an approved provider of the Live Stronger for Longer programme of strength and balance classes under the umbrella of ACC.
I enjoy demonstrating and teaching to others how to incorporate Taiji into their everyday life. Initially thinking I just wanted to relax and move my body, I soon found the partner work and especially the meditation gave me so much more insight into who I am and how I interact in the world. From those initial days back in 1995, I have never found a reason to stop training. It continues to intrigue, challenge and inspire me and I encourage others to open up to the possibilities that Taiji can bring.