Peter A Gilligan B.Sc., M.A. Tai Chi Teacher
I was the first person to teach open public Tai Chi Chuan classes in Belfast and Northern Ireland starting in 1990. In 1997 I opened the first and only full time “Qi quan” (Training Hall) for Nei Dan Chinese Internal Arts at 119a Woodstock Road Belfast. I have been teaching continuously in Northern Ireland for the last 20 years.
I‘ve been a student of Taiji philosophy for 43 years. I commenced my physical practice of the Quan form 33 years ago with John Pollex a student of Pyt Geddes who was the first person to teach and demonstrate Tai Chi Chuan in the UK in 1953. Pyt honoured me by recommending me to her students as a resource for qi gong and martial applications.
Prior to my Taiji career I was an Outdoor Pursuits instructor. My last OP job was as Chief Instructor of the NABC Activity Centre on Drakes Island Plymouth, Devon. I have both undergraduate and post graduate degrees in Psychology. I’ve worked at the Ergonomics Department of University College, London and published my work there. I’ve also worked as an Occupational Psychology consultant. But eventually the Taiji and the Chinese Internal Arts took over my professional life due to their practical effectiveness.
I’ve been practicing Yang family style Taijiquan for over half my life. My study and practice has benefited from the teachings of;
John Pollex, Pyt (Gerda) Geddes - long Yang Big Circle style,
Al Huang Chung Liang (friend and associate of Alan Watts) - his Five Element Tai Chi Chuan,
Feng Gia Fu (translator of the Tao Te Ching) - 24 step Simplified Tai Chi Chuan,
Russell Colombo - Wutang style Tai Chi Chuan,
Chu King Hung via Bob Coleman - Yang Cheng Fu Small Circle Tai Chi Chuan from his son Yang Sau Cheng & Xingyiquan and Baguazhang,
Sword master Ssze of Taipei, Taiwan - Yang sword and broadsword,
Prof. Li Deyin of Beijing University Wushu research institute and his son in law and daughter Tary & Fay Yip - Sun style Tai Chi Chuan,
National Champion Zhu Chang Hai - Chen style Tai Chi Chuan
Master Helen Wu – Solo single Taiji fan & Two person Taiji Fighting Fan from the Flying Rainbow Fan series of her mother Wang Ju Rong.
Dr Paul Lam – Tai Chi for Arthritis
I am currently studying Bagui Bagua with Andrea Falk of the Wushu Centre Canada.I firmly believe in the traditional tag "training is endless"
I spent time, in 1986, in the Chinese National Health service studying the therapeutic and medical application of Tai Chi Chuan and Qi Gong in Chinese regional hospitals.
I am the only person in Northern Ireland to have received permission to teach the short form of Sun style Taijiquan from lineage holder Prof. Li Deyin and the Li Deyin Taijiquan Institute.
My experience of Taijiquan includes exposure to all five of the traditional family styles of Taijiquan - Chen, Yang, Wu, Hao and Sun. Although I really think of myself primarily as a carrier of the Yang family tradition. I also teache the related internal art of Xingyiquan (Hsing Yi Quan)plus a variety Qi Gong and Nei Gong at my school of Chinese Internal Arts.
I’ve managed to train four instructors at my school in Belfast so far. I favour an in depth Traditional approach of Quality over Quantity. I strive to preserve all the traditional training including all four traditional weapons, two person practice and functional applications. I lay particular emphasis on basic training in jibengong and the understanding of the application of Taiji theory to all facets of self cultivation through wushu.
Much as I love Taiji and Chinese Internal Arts my personal concern is that, currently, enthusiasm greatly outstrips skill, knowledge and understanding.