News 2016


18 December: Tai Ji Circle Flash Mob Trafalgar Square!


It was worth a try… and then we got moved along. Shifu Liu’s desire to create a flash mob tai ji event in Trafalgar Square came to pass on 18 December, but not without some problems, without a permit  to perform (from GLA, we were told), we snatched a little time before coming being asked to stop by officials! We moved up in front of the National Gallery which was ok, alongside Yoda and Father Christmas hanging around! Thanks as always to our wonderful students who came along and took part.

3 December: GM Zhu Changhai


Tai Ji Circle with Shifu Liu were fortunate to provide another great opportunity of working with Grandmaster Zhu Changhai at a London Push Hands Workshop. GM Zhu a disciple of Chen Xiaowang, is a 20th Generation Lineage Holder of Chen Family Taijiquan. He is ranked 8th Duan Wei by the Chinese Wushu Association for high personal achievement and worldwide contributions in promoting and developing Chen Style Taijiquan. GM Zhu is Chairman of the Irish National Martial Arts Association and President of the Northern Ireland Wushu Association.

30 October: TJC Students win medals at the BCCMA Tai Ji Championship


Congratulation to Tai Ji Circle students returning from the BCCMA Tai Ji Competition 2016 with their medals, well done! All their hard practice with Shifu Liu has paid off, and given them valuable experience.

15 October: Foundation workshop


Shifu Lui began this workshop by explaining some of the theory behind Chen Taijiquan training and the importance of correct posture and movement, understanding the self through quiet dedicated practice before  taking the students through standing and silk reeling exercises.

8 October: Shifu Liu’s Push Hands workshop











Students practice ‘sticking’ hands/wrists in the different single hand Chen push hands practice, before taking to the floor like ballroom dancers and practicing keeping together and in contact while on the move.

2016: Tai Ji Circle are affiliated with the Chenjiagou Taijiquan Association









As well as being honoured to be members of the Chen Xiaowang World Taijiquan Association, Tai Ji Circle are happy to announce that we are now also officially affiliated with the Chenjiagou Taijiquan Association of China (the home of the Chen style), and Shifu Liu is the only authorised member on the council of the association teaching permanently  in London!

1 October Free Tai Ji in The Park… indoors!


Due to the rain our free tai ji session was in St Paul’s today, thanks to Judy the chaplain for not charging us. Here we take a rest while Shifu Liu demonstrates the opening movements of the Chen Four Direction Fist short form. Thanks as always for TJC student support.

25 September: Tai Chi Session at the Finchley memorial Hospital


Following the Saracens tai chi day Chris was asked to teach tai ji at the Finchley Memorial Hospital Community day the following Sunday. It was a privilege to be invited, and even though Dr Debbie Frost, chair of the Barnet Clinical Commissioning Group, was wearing and dress and heels, she also happily joined in the session.

20 September: Barnet Age UK’s Mass Tai Chi Event at Saracens Rugby Club


Tai Ji Circle’s Lai with Chris meet Barnet’s Mayor David Longstaff and Mayoress Gillian Griffiths, in a lounge at the Saracens club

Although it wasn’t as sunny as last year, we still had a good turn out for Age UK’s tai chi event at the Saracens rugby grounds in North London, with Chris leading on stage and Lai helping with adjustments, the microphones worked and it was a fun morning. Even the Mayor of Barnet joined in, despite wearing his suit and mayoral chain.

13 September: GM Zhu Changhai and Masters, Push Hands London workshop


Grandmaster Zhu and Masters, Shifu Liu and students, working with the bow step, using 5 percent pressure, and chinna, were just some of the topics covered in his excellent Push Hands seminar.


GM Zhu demonstrates bow step and chinna position on the hand.

12 September:
London Presentation of Duan Wei Gradings


Congratulations to all TJC students who successfully passed their Duan Wei gradings in Belfast organised by the Irish and Chinese Wushu Associations. Grandmaster Zhu Changhai (front row right), with his esteemed Masters, Grandmaster Li Derun, Grandmaster Huo Ruiting  guests of Shifu Liu, with TJC students after the Duan Wei grading presentations at the Islington Chinese Association in London.

1 – 4 September: TJC Student Duan Wei test

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The Irish Wushu Association led by 8th Duan Grandmaster Zhu Chang Hai, hosted many visiting tai ji practitioners for the Duan Wei exams, with distinguished visiting top-level coaches from China in each martial art discipline.

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Tai Ji Circle go to Belfast to participate in the Duan Wei exams of traditional Wushu forms, organised by the Irish Wushu Association and the Chinese Wushu Association, where we met esteemed martial Grand Masters over dinner on our first night.

We spent four days staying at the Jordanstown campus of Ulster University, practice on the beach at dawn, cook up impromptu breakfasts when the cafes are closed, train very hard with the wonderful Chen Taijiquan specialist, Professor Xie Ye Lei from Shanghai University, go sightseeing in Belfast, and eat a Saturday night curry.

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After a day of testing there was an grand farewell gala dinner at Belfast’s Red Panda restaurant, with the Lord Mayor and dignitaries from the Northern Irish and Chinese communities. We thank photographer Seamus Loughran, Dominic, Stephen and Paul, and are indebted to Grandmaster Zhu Chang Hai and Richard Brown of the Irish Wushu Association for their hospitality and kindness in welcoming us to Belfast and ensuring we had the best of times.
See our Facebook Album of Duan Wei Grading images

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Tai Ji Circle students with Shifu Liu and the masters from China, 4th in from the right is Professor Xie Ye Lie, Shanghai Sports University, the Chen style Master who taught all the Chen levels to be graded.

16 & 23 July: Tai Ji Performances


This time of year TJC are invited to give tai ji demonstrations in North London and we were really lucky with sunshine as well. Last weekend we held our picnic in the gardens of St Paul’s, and then after some practice with Shifu Liu, went out into the melee of the Camden Square festival. This weekend ‘Go Islington’ in Highbury Fields and we were competing with Birds of Prey in the adjoining arena and Indian Running ducks with their sheepdog! Relaxed and lovely times with great student support as always, thank you everyone.
Summer festival 2016 group

2 July: Free Tai Ji MeetUp with Shifu Liu

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We had a great afternoon in Camden Square, once the clouds had cleared and the sun shone down, a lovely group of people mostly trying out tai ji for the first time. With the help of our more experienced students Shifu Liu explored silk reeling exercises, correct posture, hand positions and some simple applications, thanks to those who came along and those who support us with their invaluable help.
July Meet up pics

24 June: Shifu Liu’s new disciples

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Shifu Liu with Chris seated, and behind the new disciples standing with Lai, who was made one of Shifu Liu’s first disciples in November 2011

Congratulations to Shifu Liu’s new disciples, welcome new brothers and sisters to the Chen family Taijiquan. On the 24 June we held the disciple ceremony in London. We extend huge thanks for everyones enthusuasm and help in the preparations, Shun Au for making the readings, Lai one of Shifu’s first disciples, for all her support and steadfast loyalty, and Lenny for his beautiful calligraphy.
Disciple ceremony

17 June: Tai Chi class at a Primary School

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It was a priviledge to be invited to teach two classes of Chen Tai Ji to the juniors at a Primary School in North London. It was very rewarding and we just could not stop smiling throughout our two sessions! Big thanks to Lai for coming along to help, and the parents, headteacher and teachers at the school for their invitation.
Primary school class

10 June: Barnet Carers Day Class

Barnet Carers Centre asked Tai JI Circle if we would teach another Tai ji Qi Gong class at for The Carers Week, Health & Wellbeing day in Barnet. Shifu Liu with help for translation from Hing taught a lovely class to the carers who spend their time looking after and caring for others.

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Shifu Liu Barnet Carers 10.6.2016

15 May: TJC Chen Demonstration at ICA

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8May demo2_9972smTai Ji Circle’s Chen Tai Ji demo at the Pentecostal parish celebrations for St Gabriel’s church held at the Islington Chinese Association in London. The students performed Sifang Quan in opposite directions facing each other, and then the yang to follow the yin, Shifu Liu performed Xinjia Er Lu, the jumps and fajin producing oohs, and ahs, from some of the young audience. As always huge thanks to our students for giving their time and energy.

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7 May: Free Tai Chi in Camden Square
A day in the life of Camden

Photographer Caroline Fahey who is doing a project on Camden Square coming up in July, joined us on Saturday to take beautiful black and white images of Shifu Liu and students practicing tai ji in the May sunshine.
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4-5 April: Master Chen Ziqiang at TJC London 2016

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Master Chen Ziqing in London


















Master Chen magically squeezed in two seminars in London of the new Chen Routine, Daji Er Lu, (Big Frame Second Form). We were fortunate last year to learn Dajia Yi Lu from him, the first form which is mostly a Yin practice, in this context, ‘soft’ and this year we learnt the exuberant Yang or ‘hard/power’ second form, full of fajin, energy releases from every joint of the body, jumps and stamps… our students loved it!

Many thanks to Master Chen Ziqiang for making the time to spend time with us, Shifu Lu for arranging it, to all the students who came along to participate, and Calvin Liang who helped with arrangements, translation and photography.

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Master Chen Ziqiang correcting posture at the seminar.

2 April: Free Tai Chi Class in Camden Square

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The sun shone on our latest free tai chi class with Shifu Liu, where he taught GM Chen Xiaowang’s 9 Step form which is ideal for new students to tai chi practice. We are very grateful to the TJC students who came along to help.

13 February Chinese New Year Celebrations

Chinese New Year FB groupShifu Liu and Tai Ji Circle students, friends and families joined in for performances of Chen tai ji at the Islington Chinese Association’s London Celebrations. As always we loved to be there and huge thanks to all who came to support us and enjoy the fun.

6 February: TJC’s First MeetUp in Regent’s Park

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This was our first Meetup Group for TJC’s free monthly Chen Tai Ji class in the park, and despite the gale-force winds, a good number of people turned out, many were new to tai chi and several of our more experienced students came along to help out, a great afternoon and the rain held off until the evening when we went to celebrate Chinese New Year down in China Town. As always thanks to our lovely students coming along to help and participate from all over London.

Chinese New Year of the Monkey 2016

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