About Alan

My first experience of Tai Chi was in the mid 1970’s when I attended a couple of Tai Chi classes run by Beverley Milne. Previously in my teens I had enjoyed exploration of martial arts and this combined with my interest in the practice of meditation.

In September 1980 I started to attend a Tai Chi class run by Flow Fenton of the Rising Dragon Tai Chi School from whom I learnt the Yang-style Short Form. Flow continues to practice acupuncture in Cardiff.

A couple of years later I continued my Tai Chi studies with Jay Jones of Rising Dragon Tai Chi School and later started to assist her. Jay is now based in Carmarthenshire. I then connected with Richard Farmer, the founder of Rising Dragon Tai Chi School by attending weekly classes in Cardiff and going on Tai Chi weekends at Lam Rim Buddhist Centre. Jay invited me to become an RDTC teacher in 1985 and I benefitted from exploring together with Richard and the other RDTC teachers for at least two weekends every year for the next 24 years.

Other work
In 1978, I started work in a Mental Health Day Centre. Initially I was a full-time volunteer and later progressed to being a day centre social worker. The Centre was run on a therapeutic community model with an emphasis on therapeutic and creative groupwork. I am indebted to Nick Mounsey who, along with Carolyn Law and the other staff, created a uniquely supportive and healing environment.

For as long as I can remember I’ve been interested in meditation. I read a few books in my mid-teens and after practising a little TM (transcendental meditation) I went along to a newly formed local Buddhist group. It felt like coming home and I’m indebted to my first teacher, Mala Young.

I’ve been continuing with my exploration of this path ever since.

My principal Buddhist teachers are the western teachers, Rigdzin Shikpo and Lama Shenpen Hookham. Connections to their websites are included on the ‘Links’ page.

Heartland Tai Chi
I founded Heartland Tai Chi in 2009 as a vehicle to teach traditional Yang-style Tai Chi in a way that connects people with a deep quality of relaxed, open attention. To explore the Tai Chi Forms as a way to re-discover the formless.

Over the years I have benefitted from a number of dedicated assistants some of whom have  become Tai Chi teachers in their own right. Currently I am ably assisted by Sue Akehurst and Sheila Simmons.