Meet our experienced and friendly team of instructors.
They will gently guide you through your learning step by step and will help you cultivate stillness of mind through a series of soft gentle Tai Chi movements.
Colin Orr. B Ed (Bachelor of Education first university degree in teaching)
Profile: Colin is Co Principal Instructor and founder of the TCQC which was established on 5th November – bonfire night 1995. He was introduced to Tai Chi in 1964 while serving in the Royal Navy on a two year draft stationed in Hong Kong. He teaches both the Yang LuChan and Yang Cheng-fu Tai Chi forms, Qigong, Relaxation, Taiji Jo Stick and Broad Sword forms. He heads, organises and runs the ‘Taiji in Action’ display team.
Colin was born on 19th March 1940. After attending Woodhill Secondary Modern School in South East London, he started his working life as an apprentice moulder and core maker in the Woolwich Arsenal Ammunition’s Factory, immediately he disliked the environment and left as soon as he could to become an apprentice Waterman and Lighterman on the River Thames serving onboard one of the Gaselee and Son fleet of tugs called the Agama which had a proud history in taking part in the second world war evacuation of the Allied forces from Dunkirk
1958 brought many changes on the Thames and he foresaw that there was very little work before he had chance to complete his apprenticeship. The river was changing, the docks and wharf’s were almost at a standstill, losing the familiar hustle and bustle he had grown to love. The River by now was painting a bleak future for a young man of 18 years, so he decided to join the Royal Navy in August of 1958.
The highlights of his service included a commission onboard HMS
Bermuda and running twice for the Devonport Field Gun Crew as limber / No:13 slat and bottle screw number.
Interested in Field Gun history? then click here
The definitive part of his Naval career was a 2 year draft, based onshore in Hong-Kong where he was introduced to the culture and philosophy of the Far East, along with his first experience of Judo and Tai Chi in 1963.
He was demobbed after nine years service in 1967 to face the outside world as a civilian.
Knowledge and Skills:
After leaving the services he continued gaining experience in the martial arts based on the foundation blocks laid in Hong Kong; gaining other knowledge and skills within the fighting arts including the practice of Judo, Wu Shu-Kwan, Aikido, Karate, and Kung-Fu. These in turn guided him to the philosophical side of the martial arts. During this ‘searching time’ he found the softer side of the practice of yoga.
In 1985 he was re-introduced to the internal art of Tai Chi and Qigong, since then he has practiced various styles including the Weapons and the philosophical and self-healing aspects of the internal arts.
Continuing Advance Learning & Qualifications:
His own teacher training development is a continuing program through the World Taiji Boxing Association, holding the WTBA 2nd Degree Instructor certificate, this is encompassed with the formal Further and Adult Teachers Certificate, accredited by the City & Guilds 7306 at NVQ level 3 qualification in teacher competence in 1995 which is now equal to a B Ed (bachelor of Education: a first university degree in teaching) since then he has gained a wealth of experience in teaching the internal arts.
He would like to see a National Standard for Tai Chi coaching, incorporating a recognised teachers qualification, thereby establishing a high standard of Tai Chi practice throughout the UK. His own advance training is continuously evolving and ongoing.
Profile: Mitzi is Co-Principal Instructor at the TCQC, she is also the TCQC Secretary looking after the financial and administration requirements of the Club. She is a well respected TCQC co principal Instructor teaching various Qigong sets, the Dayan Wild Goose Qigong 1st and 2nd 64 set of movements and nurtures the Introduction and Foundation groups, she also coaches the ‘Taiji in Action’ team and commentates at community events.
Mitzi was born in Glasgow Scotland in 1934, she remembers clearly the air raids, and especially the bombing of the Clydebank Ship Yards only a few miles from Glasgow. At that time she was evacuated with hundreds of children to the country for safe keeping.
As a young woman she immigrated to New Zealand spending seven years there. During that period of her life she also visited other countries including Panama City, Singapore, Sri Lanka, France, Greece, Italy and Spain.
Her working life has been varied, but the highlight of her working career was as a legal secretary for a firm of solicitors in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.
In 1994 she suffered a massive heart attack during which she was resuscitated twice and was incapacitated for a long time afterwards. While incapacitated she started searching for some form of soft exercise to help her recuperate. In 1995 she discovered Tai Chi and has never looked back. Her studies and hard work over the years was rewarded by the World Taiji Boxing Association level one Instructor Certificate. Since then she has met the requirements of the TCQC Senior Instructor level and now holds the grade of Senior Instructor with Colin. She is also the TCQC Secretary looking after the financial and administration requirements of the Tai Chi Qigong Centre.
In March 2006 she had open heart surgery at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire. She has since recovered with flying colours returning to teaching at the club within three weeks after the operation. She says “the specialists at Papworth believe my recovery was so quick because of my Tai Chi and Qigong practice”. No wonder she’s called the Iron Lady! But Colin still prefers the name of ‘Tai Chi Butterfly’. Mitzi’s hobbies are: reading, anything to do with horses, as she was a keen rider, cross words (easy ones!!!) and Egyptian dance.
Her outlook and tenacity for life can certainly be admired.
Assistant & Module Instructors:
Our assistant Instructors have considerable coaching experience and meet on a regular basis to keep their teaching skills updated to the requirements of the Tai Chi Qigong Centre criteria, aims and objectives.
- Frances Custance
- Profile: Frances joined the TCQC on 27th February 2002 and has been a loyal dedicated member throughout and has rightfully earned the Yellow and Green progressive stage certificates plus the Weapons and Wild Goose Qigong badges. She is also a long term ‘Taiji in Action’ display team member and has proven to be an excellent coach and was awarded the Full Instructors Badge and Certificate of competence on 7th January 2015
- Specialist Skills: Awarded both the Wild Goose Dayan instructors modules, Wild Goose adopted name: ‘Tai Shan’. Awarded the 10 years + loyalty certificate and has been awarded the Yang Cheng-fu instructors, Tai Chi B/sword & Stick modules plus the Qigong instructors module.
- Sid Brady
- Profile: Sid joined the TCQC on 5th November 1997 and is a long term faithful club member, He is a knowledgeable Qigong Assistant and has rightfully earned his Yellow and Green progressive stage certificates plus the Weapons both stick & sword and Wild Goose Qigong badges and has proven to be a excellent coach and always volunteers on those special occasions. Awarded the Full Instructors Badge and Certificate of competence on 24th January 2018.
Specialist Skills: Awarded both the Wild Goose Dayan instructors modules, Wild Goose adopted name: ‘Hua Shan’. He has also been awarded his 10 years + club loyalty certificate. Awarded Yang Cheng-fu & Tai Chi B/sword & Stick and Qigong instructors module.
- Joy Woodgate
- Profile: Joy joined the TCQC on 2nd October 2000 she is a loyal dedicated member always willing to help out when needed and has rightfully earned her Yellow and Green progressive stage certificates plus the Weapons and Wild Goose Qigong badges and is a long term ‘Tai Chi in Action’ display team member.
- Specialist Skills: Awarded both the 1st & 2nd Wild Goose Dayan instructors modules. Wild Goose adopted name: ‘Song Shan’. and has been awarded her 10 years + certificate. Joy has also been awarded the Stick & Yang Cheng-fu instructors modules, with the Tai Chi B/sword & Qigong instructors module and was awarded the full instructors badge and certificate of competence on the 4th February 2015. She is also the clubs social secretary organising club nights out.
- John Harrison
- Profile: John joined the TCQC on: 4th January 2006 he is a loyal dedicated club member with superior attendance at club training sessions and always willing to help out when needed most, He has rightfully earned his Yellow and Green progressive stage certificates plus the Weapons badges covering the Taiji Stick and Broadsword, plus the Wild Goose 1st and 2nd 64 Certificates and badge. He is also a long term ‘Tai Chi in Action’ display team member. He has proven to be an excellent all round experienced coach and was awarded the Full Instructors Badge and Certificate of competence on 13th May 2015
- Specialist Skills: Awarded the Yang Cheng-fu, Tai Chi Stick, Taiji Broadsword, Qigong instructors modules. Awarded both the Wild Goose Dayan instructors modules, Wild Goose adopted name: ‘Heng Shan Huan’
- Dawn Palmer
- Profile: Dawn joined the TCQC on 2nd October 2000 she is a dedicated and resourceful ambassador, and and has been a loyal member throughout. She has rightfully earned the Yellow and Green progressive stage certificates plus her Weapons and Wild Goose Qigong badges. She is also a long term ‘Tai Chi in Action’ display team member and proven to be an excellent coach.
- Specialist Skills: Awarded both the 1st & 2nd 64 Wild Goose Dayan instructors modules, Wild Goose adopted name: ‘Heng Shan’. Has been awarded her 10 years + club loyalty certificate. She has also been awarded the Yang Cheng-fu & Taiji Stick & Broadsword instructors module and was awarded the full instructors badge and certificate of competence on the 4th February 2015. She also applies her knowledge and skill as a qualified occupational therapist at club sessions