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John Roper is an instructor member of the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain He originally qualified as a tai chi instructor under Master John Ding the 6th generation Yang style master. He has practised tai chi since 2003 and continues his personal development in the art through continual study and training.

Although John has only been practising tai chi for a few years his tai chi journey really began in 1978 when he saw a karate instructor demonstrate the use of 'Ki' (chi). Curious, he became aware of tai chi but found no opportunity to practise it. For the next 25 years John studied Zen and Yoga and practised meditation. The opportunity to practise tai chi happened after master  Ding opened The British Tai Chi Chuan centre in Woodford, a couple of miles from where John lives."It was absolutely what I wanted to do, he says. "The author Lawrence Le'Shan once wrote that meditation feels like coming home. For me tai chi was like being sat in the biggest armchair with a glass of my favourite burgundy. They say that when the student is ready the master appears. All I can say is I was ready for tai chi by the time I met Master Ding.


My great interest is the internal aspect of tai chi chuan.  It is something you hear talked about but students are seldom shown how to develop their chi in a practical way. With the right approach, correct teaching, study and practise you discover what you are really capable of and how you can use the abilities you have that you were not previously aware of.


I completed my training as an instructor at the end of 2007 and started Bonsai Tai Chi in 2009 when I began teaching as an independent instructor. I have founded the Bonsai Tai Chi Academy as I feel more able to offer my students a greater depth of instruction in this complex subject.


My investment for my students is to continue my own development by consulting and training with advanced instructors and continually studying the body of literature. I approach my classes from the point of view that we are all students, learning is a continuous process and we all learn together.





All images and text: Copyright © 2023 John Roper