Tai Chi, Chi Kung,Meditation and Buddhist studies
- Little Gompa 11 Church Lane, Sprowston, Norwich, Norfolk NR7 8AY
- Web site
Able to help with:
- Body Harmony
- Healing Arts
- Meditation Classes
- Mind-Body Medicine
- Spiritual Development
- Tai Chi
- Workshops & Classes
Welcome to the Norfolk branch of the John Ding International Academy of Tai Chi Chuan (JDIATCC). Here in Norfolk we pride ourselves on an open friendly approach to the Art of Tai chi and have six tutors all offering classes. For those of you with a little more experience, and as you progress, the opportunity arises to attend the Thursday Class for intermediate students and advanced students under the direction of Cos Stephanides further to travel to London and be introduced and spend time with Sifu John Ding. The level of instruction here in Norfolk is top class with constant reference back to our Sifu and a compassionate and clear approach to the teachings and students.
Tai Chi Chuan
Tai Chi Chuan (better known as Tai Chi) is an ancient Chinese form of co-ordinated body movements, focusing on cultivation of internal energy (called Chi). It aims to harmonise mind, body & spirit, promoting mental & physical well being through softness & relaxation. It is also an effective system of self defence.
When practised correctly, the Tai Chi movements (or Form) seem rhythmical & effortless, forming a continual flow. Unlike most sports & forms of exercise, Tai Chi Chuan does not rely on strength or speed, making it ideal for people of both sexes, young & old. It is truly a unique art.
Value to Health
With a small amount of practice, Tai Chi will:
relax & revitalise mind & body, helping you to combat the stress of modern life.
Gently tone & strengthen muscles
improve balance & posture
build self-confidence & tolerance
ease medical conditions, such as respiratory, cardiovascular & digestive disorders.
Tai Chi Chuan & Self Defence
Often viewed simply as ‘meditation in motion’ or a gentle form of exercise, there have been many misconceptions about the practical use of Tai Chi Chuan for self defence. This is a mistaken view- each movement in the Tai Chi Form has a logical application in combat. It is a very potent & effective martial art system Developing skill in Tai Chi self defence requires dedication & persistent correct practice but unlike other martial arts is not restricted by your sex, size, strength or speed. This is because Tai Chi focuses on developing Chi (internal energy). At a high level, Tai Chi Chuan simultaneously achieves the apparent paradox of effortlessness & tremendous power. The subtlety of such skill cannot be adequately described – only felt. Many Martial Arts attempt to transcend the physical but few achieve it.
Tai Chi is a very subtle art in which detail is vital. it must be taught properly, otherwise its essence will be lost. We are proud here in Norfolk to be students of Master John Ding and to offer the highest level tuition with constant reference back and ongoing tuition from Master John Ding maintaining the highest standards and transmission.
Beginners are instructed in the Tai Chi Form, basic self-defence applications and Chi Kung. More advanced students progress to Push Hands, Broadsword, Sword & Spear Techniques, San Sau, Tai Chi Fast Form etc.
Upcoming EventsHome | Contact
- Opening hours
- classes all week 9am to 9pm
- For men and women
- Car parking
- Off-road parking / Less than 10 cars / Free
- Disabled access
- Disabled parking close to the building
- Near bus stop
Registered intructor John Ding Academy.
Foundation Buddhist Thought study course certificate
Lamrim Study Course certificate
Degree in Politics and Philosophy UEA.
certificate teaching English as a foreign language
level one writers course City college
lessons begin at £12 per hour/2 hours dependent on class.
private tuition is available starting at £10 if a shared class or £20 as an indivdual for one hour at the little Gompa.
I have been practising tai Chi Chuan for 30 years.
Presently I am a student of John Ding and a registered instructor with the John Ding International Academy Tai Chi Chuan. Master John Ding can trace a direct lineage back to Master Yang Sau Chang, he is the first disciple of Master Ip Tai Tak and is recognised as a 6th lineage master of Yang style Tai Chi.
My previous teachers included pupils and instructors who traced a lineage back to Cheng Man Ching one of the first Orientals to teach in the west.
I have also spent time in the Far East with The Henan Shaolin wushu monks under the direction of Master Ma Nian, and in London under the direction of Shi Yan Qing.
At present I am studying with Jamyang Buddhist center in London FBT course and Lamrim Chenmo teachings and continued instruction from master Ding recently completing the sword form and sabre form instructors course.
I began teaching after eleven years of practise, with the permission of my teacher.
Presently and in the past I have taught classes at Center Parcs, for Norwich and Norfolk Dance, Norwich Hospital trust, and Norfolk County Council Education department and social services department, the vauxhall centre and unit 81 and private tuition and classes. Corporate clients have included British Telecom, Norwich Union, Barclays Bank and the RAC.
Coming from a professional performance background, means I have well honed communication skills. I bring to my work a passion and an understanding that comes from the cultivation of humility and patience.
2. Buddhist Biography
I began to meditate at the age of 15 (consciously), and spontaneously, and with a little encouragement from my mother who is also a Buddhist. I was then sent to Claregate College of Esoteric science under the tutelage of Dr. Douglas Baker; although not a Buddhist institution it was my first introduction to Eastern thought and to the concept of enlightenment - a subject which my grandfather and mother were keen to discuss with me. My grandfather spent some time in India from 1939 until 1948 and when he passed away he left me a Buddha. At this time I was at university and the parting gift of my grandfather spurned me on to attend some talks by Venerable Lama Chime Rinpoche, based at Marpa House in Saffron Walden, Cambridgeshire.
Upon leaving university I requested to live at the small retreat centre Venerable Lama Chime Rinpoche ran but was unable to do so as it only had room for 4 people and my level of attainment at this stage was low. Undeterred I went to live at Amaravarti Monastery, a Hinayana establishment in Great Gaddesdon. It was here that I had formal tuition on basic meditation techniques and an opportunity to study in the library and live and breathe a monastic lifestyle. After some time I left and began my career as a circus artiste, however I had discovered Samye Ling Monastery in Scotland and was a regular visitor for courses or simply to spend time there during the 1980’s. This was one of only a few such places in the UK at the time. It is at Samye Ling that I had initiation in Vajrasattva and Chenrezig and met Lama Yeshi Losal Rinpoche, his advice at the time was to remember that I was only human and be gentle with myself.
It was whilst in Norwich (my home town) that I heard that Geshi Tashi was giving a talk, and so I attended. I was attracted to this softly spoken monk and his openness. Further research led me to the FBT course Foundation of Buddhist Thought which I applied to take in 2001 and completed in 2003. I remember very well the letter of acceptance after a profound dream of being a young urchin in Tibet following a caravan of high lamas into a monastery. I cried as I opened the letter and began my serious and most formal instruction. When I completed this course I spoke briefly with Geshi Tashi and asked what I should do next he said “practise” - very good answer. A few years after completion of the course in 2010 I embarked on the Lamrim Chenmo course at Jamyang which i completed in 2012 under the auspices of Geshi Tashi and with the tutor Kay Cooper.
Also during this period (2002) I had the great honour to meet and have empowerment in Guhyasamaja Tantra with Gyumey Kensur Lobsang Tenzin. I continue to work with the text and meditation on a daily basis.
I have travelled in India and attended a number of courses in the Tibetan library in Dharamsala, most recently in 2008 on “The Essence of Superfine Gold”. I have also attended the Losar teachings given by his Holiness the Dalai Lama in Mcleod Ganj. I have met his Holiness on two occasions receiving blessings and in response to my question: “Where do you get your knowledge?” I received his answer: “Where do you get your questions?” Then we both laughed ha!
Whilst in McLeod Ganj in 1995 I took refuge with a wizened old monk from Ladakh - his name I do not know as the only English he spoke was the refuge prayer. I spent a month in his company also learning the correct pronunciation of the sacred mantra of Padmasambhava, he remains an enigmatic and mysterious teacher. I remember at one point he touched my forehead and an amazing pulse of energy swept through my body and a great feeling of bliss came upon me.
Finally I have done a short course on Thangka painting with Ani Semchi at Samye Ling and had the great fortune to meet and chat with Sherab Palden Beru.
I also have made friends with a number of monks over the years. One such monk - Lobsang Yarphel (now lay) - my wife and I, have sponsored him through his further education in India after he completed his TCV education and he will be coming to stay with us in Norwich for 8 weeks this summer.
For the FBT course I read a number of texts extensively, and during my 30 years of practise have read many further texts - the ones that I have studied in depth I list below in no particular order:
The Essence of Superfine Gold (A guide on the stages of the paths to enlightenment) - The Third Dalai Lama.
Highest Yoga Tantra - Daniel Cozort
Mirror of Wisdom - Geshe Tsultim Gyeltsen
The Harmony of Emptiness and Dependent-Arising - Tsong Khapa
The Mind and its Functions - Geshe Rabten
Life and teachings of Tsong Khapa
Guide to the Bodhisattva’s way of Life - Shantideva
Deity Yoga - H.H Dalai Lama
Tantra in Tibet - H.H Dalai lama
Awakening the Mind Lightening the Heart - H.H Dalai lama
Path to Bliss - H.H Dalai lama
Stages of Meditation - H.H Dalai lama
Gems of wisdom - 7th Dalai Lama
Enlightened Courage - Dilgo Khyyentse
The Mahamudra Eliminating the Ignorance of Darkness - Ninth Kar-ma-pa
Tibetan Book of the Dead
Luminous Emptiness Understanding the Tibetan Book of the Dead - Francesca Fremantle
The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (vol 1 to 3) - Tsong Khapa
Heart Sutra with commentary from H.H Dalai Lama
The Four Noble Truths, a Commentary - Rahul
Overview of Buddhist Tantra Panchen - Sonam Dragpa
Path and Grounds of Guhyasamaja According to Arya Nagarjuna - Yangchen Gawai Lodoe
Secret Teachings of Padmasambhava
We have just over 100 Buddhist books in our families Dharma library.
I have been teaching simple meditation techniques twice each week for 15 years at Center Parcs Holiday Centre (mainly mindfulness of the breath) with short Dharma talks, and at the Vauxhall Centre in Norwich - with these being more extensive including: Clarity of Mind, Loving kindness, Emptiness, Body of light, Purification, Inner heat and Impermanence all with commentary.
The continual repetitive nature of the Center Parcs classes necessitated by the fact of having different guests partaking each time, has, I believe, stood me in good stead. It has enabled me to focus in on one specific area of meditation over and over again, and to get to the core, to the central aspects of the practice, whilst at the same time the many varied questions from the participants - often from a beginners level but also a few more experienced meditators - has meant I have had to search deep and wide in order to answer fully, yet in an easy to digest way. Often I have guests return each year and they inform me they were inspired to seek further teachings due to the brief understandings they gained through our short time together.
The classes at the Vauxhall Centre are entirely different as I have mostly the same group of people each week. They are all in some way or other struggling with physical difficulties, often the result of illness or injury, and as such mainly cannot walk, often cannot talk and some cannot respond eligibly, needing constant care to help them partake. These people have humbled me with their dedication and positivity, and they persevere in joining in even through harder periods in their lives, supporting each other and enabling fresh insights for all, along with fostering a deeper level of compassion and understanding.
I spend at least 20 days a year on retreat of some kind, and my wife and I have built a small Gompa at my house for private practise. I do have a few private students who I teach in this special space, again simple meditation and Tai Chi.