Last update: 11/02/2015
In a sea deception, some light and clarity on some authentic and recommended Taijiquan instructors.
If you do not see a particular instructor, it may be due to two reasons: 1) please see if a lineage teacher is there, otherwise we do not know or cannot account for people we have not heard of . or 2) that we’ve excluded some of the people we feel do not represent the art truthfully with woo-woo claims (woo-woo is unrealistic fantasy martial skills that would not work in real self defense situations) and excessively silly compliant demo videos which misrepresent the martial arts.
This list is comprised from networking, seminars, competition events, and interactions with well know masters in the Taijiquan martial arts community. It was done with the help of many teachers, competitors, push hands competitors, full contact fighters, interviews, private messages, and conversations. This is peer choice, the Taijiquan community’s choice to bring clarity and awareness. It is not my list but everyone who chimed in with knowing this is a much needed work.
Top “Cream of the Crop”: Must see Highest recommended Taijiquan teachers! (No particular order)
click on link to enter their website.
Chen style Taijiquan
4 Diamonds of Chen Taijiquan
Chen Xiao Wong– has done the most in getting Chen taijiquan out to the public.
Chen Zhen Lei- a very open teacher, very serious, excellent seminar experience.
Zhu Tien Cai- another very open and friendly teacher, great seminar experience.
Wang Xian- another top master of Chen taijiquan.
Yang Taijiquan’s Top representatives:
Fu Sheng Yuan- 5th generation, is son of Fu Zhongwen and heir of Authentic Yang style.
Yang Jun– is 6th generation and works tirelessly to bring about good Taijiquan, coordinates Tai Chi symposium with masters from Chen, Yang, Wu, Hao, and Sun style Taijiquan masters.
James Fu- is 6th generation master and son of Fu Sheng Yuan.
Dong/Tung Family: very close and long time practitioners of Yang Taijiquan. This family teaches internationally.
Dong Zhen Chen in Hawaii
Tung Kai Ying and Tung Chen Wei in California L.A. area.
Alex Dong is in New York city.
Wu style Taijiquan
Wu Kwong Yu- 6th generation representative of Wu Style Taijiquan.
Wu Chong Him- 1st Zhongson of Wu Kwong Yu.
Ma Hailong descendant from Wu QuanYu and top Wu style master.
Ma Jiangbo- Wu style master that is very well known and descendant from Wu family.
Wu/Hao style Taijiquan
Zhong Zhenshan leading instructor of Wu/Hao taijiquan world wide. Scroll down link to read more.
Wu Wenhan- top Wu/Hao teacher invited to first Tai Chi Symposium.
Sun Style Taijiquan
Sun YongtianHe is the leading representative of Sun Taijiquan. Invited to speak at Taijiquan Symposium. more info in the link.
Cheng Man Ching style Taijiquan:
William CC ChenWorld class instructor, fighter, teacher.
Ben Lo- one of Cheng Man Ching’s top disciples. no link available. Mostly retired these days.
Complete list of instructors of CMC Taijiquan here: Teachers with permission to teach.
Many of these International and National officials have dedicated their lives to the promotion of Taijiquan and are involved in many of the Taijiquan forms, push hands, and San shou competition events. They are masters and experts in both Traditional and Modern Taijiquan: form and function.
A brief list of some masters and experts that teach Yang Taijiquan that we recommend. You may also find a more complete list with Yang family at:
Yang Family Website
Northern Wu: Branch from Wu Quanyu to Wang Maozhai to Yang Yuting to Wang Peishan:
Masters include: Luo Shuhuan, Zhang Deshan, Zhao Zeren, Lu Shengli, Zhang Yun, Gu Yun
Links to Masters and instructors:
Cheng-Man-Ching Taijiquan (CMC)
While we are aware there are many teachers of this style, here is a list of folks who teach and have competed in push hands and san shou fighting events and are also teachers.
Complete list of instructors of CMC Taijiquan here: Teachers with permission to teach.
William CC Chen instructors
There is a large group of teachers in Malaysia. Many more are listed in Nigel Sutton’s books. Malaysia was influenced by Huang Xian Xiong/Hwang Shen Shyan, a white crane master who became a disciple of Cheng Man Ching.
Fu Zheng Song Taijiquan
Fu Zheng Song was a master of the Neijiaquan which is Taijiquan, Baguazhang, and Xingyiquan. His main influence was Chen Taiji, but he also knew Yang Chen Fu and Wudang sword master, General Li Jin Lin, as well as many other renowned masters. Fu Zheng Song was considered one of the “Tigers of Guandong”.
Wudang Longmen USA
While there are other Wudang groups in USA, Some of these teachers are very present in the tournament scene and come from a tradition from Shanghai that practices Taijiquan, Baguazhang, Xingyiquan, and “water boxing”.
Link to teachers and students: http://wudanglongmen.com/studentshainan.html
Wudang Practical Taijiquan U.K.
The most dominant Taijiquan in England as far as i can tell with a large list of fighters and push hands competitiors. Dan Dockerty won full contact fight events in Asia and spread it to Europe. Many of his students became champion fighters.
list of instructors: http://www.taichichuan.co.uk/database/database.html
Chang Dong Sheng Taijiquan
Chang Dong Sheng style of Taijiquan is no joke. Grandmaster Chang was one of China’s most elite and well respected Shuai Chiao (Chinese Wrestling)adepts. His students produce quality level fighters. Grandmaster Chang learned Taijiquan, Baguazhang, and Xingyiquan and modified them to suit how he understood fighting and throws. There was a “Combat Shuai Chiao” full contact fighting circuit at one time in the USA.
Chen Pan Ling Taijiquan
Chen Pan Ling learned from a host of masters including Yang Shouhou, Yang Chenfu, Wu Jian Chien, and took trips to Chen village. His style is unique in that it combines his knowledge on Baguazhang and Xingyiquan as well. This style is found mainly in Taiwan but there are some teachers abroad too. He was a direct at the ‘Central Koushu Academy’ in Nanjing China in the 1930’s.
Guang Ping Taijiquan
Guang Ping Taijiquan came to the USA in San Francisco by way of Grandmaster Kou Lien-Ying. He learned it from an old master who had trained with Yang Banhou, so it is considered a ‘Old Yang’ variation of Yang Taijiquan.
List of Teachers:
Other links to certified teachers:
San Shao Dao Association:
Liang Shouyu instructors:
YMAA instructors (Yang Jwing Ming’s school):
Push Hands Competitors:
Let’s face it, without testing your Taijiquan vs. an opponent training to push and resist against you, you really don’t have much. You can have all kinds of videos of you pushing a friend, student, or girl, but if you can’t get out of your comfort zone, you’re just a ‘handsies pansie’. Many push hands people have gone farther than many who call themselves “Sifu” and we know that push hands can become looked down as a wrestling sumo match. That is a compliment because you still have to use skill against someone using strength and aggression. Competition training takes a lot of hard work non-compliantly.
Mario Napoli- American Top Push hands competitor who went to Taiwan and Mainland China to compete and test skills. Won the Heavy Weight division in push hands in Chen Village China. He is active in fight training with Tai Chi, Boxing, and Judo arts. Mario is from the Cheng Man Ching lineage via Stanley Israel in New York. Mario’s website.
Lenzie Williams is a disciple of Ben Lo and competed in early 1990’s in the “A Taste of China All-Taijiquan Championships.” Lenzie was forms and push hands National Champion for several years.
Dr. David Walls-Kaufman is a disciple of Ben Lo who has competed in many push hands events Nationally and Internationally.
Mike Pekor- Is a National Push hands Champion and Grand Champion. He is an instructor in Long Island New York, and now teaches push hands competitors. He is also an expert in Wing Chun. Mike is from the Cheng Man Ching Lineage from New York with mates Bill Phillips, Avi Schneier, and Fredric Mirer.
Josh Waitzkin- William CC Chen student, 13 time push hands champion, champion chess player, author of Art of learning. Also a Brazilian Juijitsu student under Marcelo Garcia.
Casey Payne at Black Horse Tai Chi has traveled and competed in push hands in USA and Taiwan and is a National and International Champion.
Avi Schneier- of Patience Tai Chi in New York is a champion level push hands player from the Cheng Man Ching style, he has won in many various tournaments in the USA, Italy, and France..
David Chen- DC push hands gathering, competed in Cheng Man Ching event in France. He passed unexpectedly. There is now a Tai Chi park in Washington DC dedicated to his group.
Lee Scheele- Lee is a student of Anthony Ho Nan Jie (http://youtu.be/d8HhLGqDXdo), Ben Lo, Sam Tam and a push hands player in California who has won several Super heavy weight push hands events.
Jeff Justice is another Super Heavy Weight Champion who has done very well in several push hands events from 2007-2009 world and International push hands events. He is from Atlanta Georgia area.
Elaine Waters is a National push hands champion 3x gold medalist in US and Taiwan.
Fernando Bernall- competed in many Taijiquan events including “A Taste of China” , Koushu and USAWKF event in the 90’s, he is also a Acupunturist and ketlebell instructor.
Stephen Watson is a 5x nation heavyweight push hands National Champion. He is from Connecticut.
Kim Kazelberger is a student of Ben Lo who has won light weight championship in push hands in late 80’s early 90’s including “A Taste of China” and several other events.
Don Ethan Miller- National Champion in Heavy Weight push hands. Has competed in USAWKF, AToC, and many other events.
Dr. Xianhao Cheng– Dr. Cheng has written several articles and translated many texts into English for Tai Chi magazine. he has competed in USAWKF push hands events and teaches in Philadelphia PA.
Chris Luth – is a two time national Push hands Champion and founder fo the Pacific school of Tai Chi in San Diego California. He is known for his Tai Chi in Paradise retreats.
Rick Barrett is another push hands champion from the late 80’s early 90’s who is a Cheng Man Ching practitioner.
Richard Anderson from Canada who won several time his weight division at Jiaozuo competitions in Mainland China.
Wu Shen Tao Tai Chi practitioners under Sifu Paul Ramos have won many form and push hands events including the US. Chinese Martial Arts Championships, ICMAC Finals, the Taste of China, USAWKF, and Koushu International Championships. His competition team consisting of George Harris, Charles Cashell, Lan Tran, Sylvia Robinson and Denise Lane dominated Tai Chi form and Push hands in the early and middle 1990’s while other competitors to include Damon Iacovelli, “Alexander Roots” King, Stephen Genus, and Michael Daryabeygi won various major events throughout the late 90’s through the early 2000’s. Paul Ramos won various push hands events at the US Chinese Martial Arts Championships back in 90 and 91, as well as several years at Kuoshu and other national events. Most of these people won yearly at the Taste of China events, NACMAF and or Kuoshu International Championships. Newer students like Stephen Genus, Kenny Chrzanowski, Christine Wells, and Daniel Nightingale won recent events like Kuoshu Internationals, ICMAC Nationals and other local and regional championships.
Bruce Schaub is a Chen, Wu style, and Yang style instructor who competed and won National and International fixed and moving step middle weight division in push hands events.
Tai Chi Full contact
While push hands competitions do not involve striking, San Shou/Sanda/Lei Tai fighting involves punch and kick striking, take-downs, throws, and a ton of courage. You are fighting against someone trained to hurt you and you are in a legal contract to fight and risk getting knocked out. It takes special kind of person to step in the ring. There is a generation of tai chi theory talkers, but these are the generation of tai chi combat walkers, aka the warriors elite. Training for a fight is very hard, getting in there and slugging it out is one of life’s most exciting things you can do. It validates your skill levels. Nervousness, adrenaline, pressure, resistance, attack, and defense….it’s all in there!
Patrick Brady– fought Infinite Class on Lei Tai and is a Tai Chi, Bagua, and Xingyi fighter. He is 2 X National champion in full contact and 3x National Push hands Champion.
Alex Shpigel- now a Doctor of TCM, he won Heavy weight 1st place in Nationals and Taiwan consecutively, fought over 20 times.
Mario Mancini- 1st place in 2000, 1999, 1998 also a Doctor of Chinese Medicine.
Steve Cotter- a famous kettlebell instructor now, won many Lei Tai events.
Bob Reynolds- won heavy weight division. Other members of Mike Patterson’s who had accomplishments- Step Taylor, Ali Cheng (f), Cathy Reddy (f), Steven Zamariar, Michael Corriadino, J.P. Hickman, Doug Gargaro, Robert Marzo, Anna Lagios, Tony Acaldo, Jaime Morgan, Rocky Valentine, William Revak, Louie Addeo, James Lynch, John Butcher, Paul Smith.
San Shou Ireland: Niall Keane, Declan Gannon, Karl Kidd, Daren Lowry, Wayne Marshall, Vytautas Vysniauskas are a Tai Chi team from Dan Docherty’s Wudang Tai Chi Association that fights out of Ireland and is very active in competition.
Robert Ruby- Richmond Va. Wu Tai Chi Richmond Va. Wu Tai Chi Chuan instructor won heavy weight in late 90s and another Wu style team mate won in the middle weight division at the Koushu Lei Tai same year.
Juan Maldonado- is a Taijiquan student from the lineage of William CC Chen in L.A., he has trained at the Muay Thai Academy and with Professional boxers before taking a career of amateur fighting, but maintains the importance of Taijiquan principles.Juan fight clip.
Vasile Ciocoiu– I have known Vasile for many years he has competed in San Shou, MMA, and is currently a purple belt in Brazilian Jujitsu. He is certified in Beijing under Chen Taijiquan and Yiquan associations.
Jonathan Weizhang Wang- Jonathan is a multi-time forms and push hands champion in the L.A. area who is also a Doctor of Chinese Medicine. Jonathan is a student of Jiang Hao-quan.
Dr. Mark Cheng- is a Doctor of Chinese Medicine who in his early training and competitions competed in Lei Tai and San Shou. He is also a Combat Shuai Chiao practitioner. Mark has a kettlebell system that he teaches and certifies students.
Wim Demeere Belgian national champion four times and held the bronze medal at the 1993 Wushu world championships in Malaysia. He retired from full-contact competitions in 2000 when he became national trainer for the sanda team of the Belgian Wushu Federation.
Troy Roy Tai Chi Chuan: competed in Lei Tai and Full contact fighting in USA. Was a member of Tang Shou Tao 2002-2007. Won 2 full contact fight events at “East Bay Rats” Biker smokers.
Matt Stampe Primarily Yang Tai Chi who has fought in Sanda, Lei Tai fight events, and street, coached and cornered fighters in Lei Tai/San shou, amateur Boxing, and Muay Thai events. Matt has competed in IMA forms, push hands, weapons, and fighting in: A Taste of China, USAWKF, US Koushu, IMAC, and Taiji Legacy/Chin Woo Championships.