Crimson Dragon Tai Chi

Paul Carter

I was born in 1947 in the East End of London. I got into a lot of fights when I was young and discovered that I had a temper that needed to be held in check. When I was 16 I set out on a path to add self discipline to my life. I practised Judo and Aikido for a short while. I trained with the Wickford Fencing Club, in foil, epee and sabre. I moved to Daventry in 1970 and started to practice a hard style of Kung Fu - Wu Shu Kwan for a couple of years until I had to give up due to an injury. I also tried competitive air rifle target shooting. For several years I practised on my own while searching for a Tai Chi Chuan club.

In March 1983 I attended a weekend workshop in Chinese Health Arts including Tai Chi Chuan, run by John and Jo Harford. My father had been an amateur boxer; my grandfather, his corner man, had been a “sponge and bucket man” for Arsenal Football Club. Both used massage as a remedy for minor injuries. My grandmother also had many home remedies, and so I was open to what would today be seen as “alternative medicine”. I studied Lee Style with them for many years, studying Tai Chi Chuan, Kung Fu, Weapons and Massage. I met and trained with Chee Soo, their teacher, at day schools organised by them. I achieved a 3rd level instructor grade from the Nei Chia Association before I ceased to train with them. This allowed me to start teaching classes for Northampton County Council, the Daventry Tertiary College and The Marriot hotel chain. I also teach classes that I have set up myself.

Recently I have been accepted as an instructor with the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain, an umbrella organisation for all styles. I have continued my studies with teachers in the U.K. I have also visited China for training trips that were short in duration but intensive, with teachers considered to be amongst the best in China. I have been privileged to train in the Chin Woo Athletic Association hall in Shanghai, in the Beijing University for Physical Culture, the training hall of the Chen family, and the Erpo School in the shadow of the Shaolin Temple.

I have been teaching for many years as a way of giving back to society for the enjoyment and good health that Tai Chi Chuan has given me, and to pass on the benefits to as many people as possible.