Questions and answers
with Bùi Xuân Quang
How did you start Tai Chi?
I actually started with " external " martial arts. In 1957,
I followed my first karate courses with Mr. Plée in his dojo,
Montagne Sainte Geneviève street (rue de la Montagne Sainte
Geneviève), the first European dojo. I was then 16 years old.
In November 1957, Master Murakami arrived in France. We were
among the first ones, my schoolmates and I, to discover true
Japanese karate. Michel Hsu also started karate during that
year, but I only met him several years later, in the early
60s. I began teaching karate in 1970, followed by Aikido,
in the middle of the 80s, in a flexible form initiated by
Pierre Lapébie, called Aikijundo.
In 1993, Patrick Kelly went to Europe to teach Master Huang
Sheng Shyan's Tai Chi. I then realised that my research in
external martial arts was over. Therefore I stopped practising
karate and aikido to fully concentrate on Tai Chi Chuan. Michel
Hsu, a then karate and full contact teacher, did the same.
You practised some Tai Chi before meeting Patrick Kelly...
Indeed, I began with Abbot Li Huang Hua. I practised the
form with Pierre Lapébie. But even at the time, I knew the
truth was elsewhere.
What exactly triggered your choice of giving up all the
other martial arts to practise Tai Chi Chuan?
It is a matter of personal evolution. I started with tough
karate, Shotokan, probably like most karate practitioners.
Then Master Murakami, my teacher at that time, followed the
way of Great Master Egami, founder of Shotokai, a very spirit-linked
karate (his pupil, Aoki, was inspired by Shotokai when he
created Shintaido). I thought Shotokai involved too much use
of the body, and did not make the mind evolve enough. I then
modified some details with my knowledge of Tai Chi, which
seemed enough for me at the time. William Lionetti, who is
a former pupil of mine, is still teaching this form of karate.
He is now a high level Jiu Jitsu fighter. The Tai Chi Chuan
form of Master Huang and taught by Patrick Kelly arrived at
the right time. I needed more space, in a figurative way,
to evolve. And Patrick Kelly offers one of the very few open
doors to the world of authentic Tai Chi Chuan.
What is Tai Chi Chuan for you?
Tai Chi Chuan is a fighting art that considers all the essential
elements from the basics. In deep. The position of one's own
body, one's environment, the Earth, the sky. Intuition, sensitivity.
An opening of all your senses to listen to your body and your
opponent's in full awareness. Tai Chi Chuan goes far beyond
the concept of self-defence. We could say that it is the art
of energy control. This is why, thanks to my experience, Tai
Chi practice guides me in my life.
Who can practice Tai Chi Chuan with you?
Those who want to develop their human potential, body, sensitivity,
mind, by energy control and who agree to make efforts to achieve
this goal. Those who want to rapidly learn a self-defence
art, and those who look for the great harmony of the universe
without effort will be disappointed. A lot of people would
like to play Mozart and impress their audience, but only a
few like music enough to make the efforts to the learn of
I do not aspire to teach Tai Chi Chuan
to a great number of pupils, but I do hope that I can help
those who truly like Tai Chi Chuan and who trust me, in order
to develop all the potential of their body, sensitivity, mind,
in the best possible way.