CTGB was founded in 1998 by Chief Instructors David Gaffney and Davidine Siaw-Voon Sim

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david gaffney

began training Asian martial arts in 1980, focusing exclusively on Chen Taijiquan since 1996. He has trained with many leading Chen Taijiquan teachers and since 2003 has been training with Chen Xiaoxing in the Chenjiagou Taijiquan School. His quest to experience the art in the most authentic way has seen him travel to China more than twenty times to train at the birthplace of Taijiquan. He is one of the few westerners to be awarded an Advanced Instructor’s Certificate by the Chenjiagou Taijiquan School and holds a sixth Duan grade with the Chinese Wushu Association. He has three books with Davidine Siaw-Voon Sim: Chen Taijiquan: Masters and Methods, Chen Style Taijiquan: The Source of Taiji Boxing and The Essence of Taijiquan. David publishes the popular Talking Chen Taijiquan blog.

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davidine siaw-voon sim

was born in Sabah, North Borneo and raised in a family with a tradition of Chinese medicine and gongfu. Her Chen Taijiquan training began in the mid 1990s and from that time, she has made numerous study and research trips to China and SE Asia. Davidine holds an Advanced Instructor’s Certificate awarded by the Chenjiagou Taijiquan School and holds a sixth Duan grade with the Chinese Wushu Association. Previously, she was an award-winning editor of Chinatown: The Magazine, a publication dedicated to the positive promotion of Chinese culture and issues in the UK.

CTGB School Instructors


Clive Howells: Clive's interest in martial arts began almost 30 years ago when he studied Karate. He started Taijiquan and Qigong in the early 80's and in Chenjiagou Taijiquan GB (CTGB) School under instructors Davidine Sim & David Gaffney since 1998. He began teaching in 2000. Clive has attended CTGB seminars with some of the leading teachers of Chen Taijiquan including Grandmasters Chen Xiaoxing, Chen Xiaowang, Zhu Tiancai and Chen Zhenglei, as well as in Chenjiagou in China. Clive holds a 4th Duan Grade with the Chinese Wushu Association and teaches in the East Cheshire area.

David Murray: began studying Shotokan Karate in 1963, after seeing a demonstration by Senseis’ Tatsuo Suzuki, Hirokazu Kanazawa and Keinosuke Enoeda at the Albert Hall in Manchester. In 1997 he trained at the Shotokan headquarters in Tokyo, Japan and in 1998 he achieved a 3rd Dan black belt. He first saw Taijiquan in Vietnam in the late 1980s and studied Yang style from... 1995-97. David began practising Chen Taijiquan in 1996. Over the years he has travelled to China many times including attending Chen Zhenglei’s first International Advanced Training Camp in Hebei province in 1999. Since 2005 he has joined all CTGB's trips to Chenjiagou to train with Chen Xiaoxing and continues to attend regular CTGB's classes and workshops. David teaches in Salford area of Manchester and holds 4th duan grade with the Chinese Wushu Association.

Mary McGregor: Mary has been training with David Gaffney and Davidine Siaw-Voon Sim since 2000. She first learnt the Yang Chengfu 108 step form in the mid 1990's, then went on to learn the short Zheng Manqing form. Her principal interest is in practising Taijiquan and Qigong for their health benefits and she completed courses run by the Tai Chi & Chi King Forum for Health in ...order to develop her understanding of this. Mary has trained in Chenjiagou with Grandmaster Chen Xiaoxing and also attended seminars given by Grandmasters Chen Xiaowang and Chen Zhenglei. She has been an instructor since 2003 and teaches in the school as well as her own classes.
Mary holds a 4th Duan Grade with the Chinese Wushu Association, and teaches in the Northwich/Knutsford area.

Crawford Currie: first practised Asian martial arts in the 1980’s, when he trained in Wado Ryu Karate under Sensei Tatsuo Suzuki. Following a layoff to pursue other sporting interests, he returned to the martial arts in 2007 when he started learning Chen style Taijiquan from Mary McGregor. Since 2009 he has been instructed by David and Davidine at CTGB, broadening and deepening his knowledge of the art. Crawford has been lucky enough to receive instruction from visiting masters from Chenjiagou, including Chen Xiaowang, Chen Xiaoxing and Chen Ziqiang. In 2011 and 2014 he visited Chenjiagou in order to experience training at the birthplace of the art. Crawford holds a 3rd Duan Grade with the Chinese Wushu Association, and now regularly teaches in CTGB classes.

Allan Aldridge: Allan’s interest in martial arts began with Shotokan Karate while he was a student in Leeds. Subsequently he trained in Wing Chun, before starting to study Chen Style Taijiquan. Allan has attended a number of CTGB workshops with notable Chen style teachers such as Grandmasters Chen Xiaowang and Chen Xiaoxing and Master Chen Ziqiang and has visited China several times to further his Taijiquan development. Graded 3rd Duan with the Chinese Wushu Association.
Allan also teaches in the Atherton area.

Yvonne Hall: A dedicated student of Chen Taijiquan, Yvonne has been training Chen Taijiquan in CTGB since 2006. Have attended most seminars of visiting Chen masters as well as travelling to Europe and China for further imput. She has been awarded the 3nd duan grade by the Chinese Wushu Association. Yvonne teaches in Nottinghamshire and assists CTGB classes.

Affiliated Instructors:

Viki Lloyd: CTGB's affiliate instructor Viki Lloyd has been studying East Asian martial arts for over 30 years. She is a former British & European karate champion, a senior student of the late Grandmaster Tatsuo Suzuki and holds a 4th Dan black belt. Viki started exploring Taijiquan over 10 years ago, committing to serious Chen Style practice. In 2013 she joined the Chenjiagou Taijiquan GB school's trip to Chenjiagou to train intensively with Grandmaster Chen Xiaoxing, returning for further training in the Village in 2014. She has attended workshops with many of the Chen Taijiquan's leading teachers including Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang, Grandmaster Chen Xiaoxing and Master Chen Ziqiang,etc.. She holds a 3rd Duan Grade with the Chinese Wushu Association. Viki teaches classes and workshops for adults and children in Chen Taijiquan in Reading in Berkshire.

James Lucas: James started his Martial Arts journey in 1984 studying Wado Ryu Karate, complementing this with Wing Chun and Juijitsu in 1988, whilst at University. He started studying Yang style Taijiquan with the Zhong Ding organisation in 1992. He received his instructor grade in 2000 and continued with Yang Style until 2009. His first experience of Chen Taijiquan was in 2000 when Zhong Ding hosted workshops with Zhu Tiancai and Foo Shang Wee. During that time James took the opportunity to train in the Malay/Indonesian martial art of Silat and the internal arts of Baguazhang and Xinyiquan. In 2007 he began studying Yiquan with the Chinese Internal Arts Association. Since 2009 he has devoted himself to the study of Chen Taijiquan, training regularly with Wang Haijun and Chenjiagou Taijiquan GB. He has attended workshops with visiting masters including Chen Xiaowang, Chen Xiaoxing, Zhu Tiancai and Chen Ziqiang. In 2016 he joined the Chenjiagou Taijiquan GB school trip to Chenjiagou to train intensively with Chen Xiaoxing. He holds a 4th Duan Grade with the Chinese Wushu Association. James teaches in West Yorkshire.

International Branches:

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Biljana Dušić - Ljubljana, Slovenia - CTGB (Europe) Instructor - Biljana started training Taijiquan in 1999 when she was introduced to Yang Taijiquan. Shortly afterwards she began searching for a teacher of Chen Taijiquan and started a Chen Taijiquan group in Ljubljana in January 2000. In June that year she met Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang and regularly attended his seminars. In 2001 she began organising seminars in Slovenia with Chen Xiaowang's eldest son, Chen Jun, and travelled to China three times between 2009 and 2011 to train with him.
In 2007 Biljana produced a documentary film "Lively Burning Fire“ featuring Chen Xiaowang and three of his sons. In Chenjiagou in March 2011 she took part in a traditional Bai Shi ceremony becoming an official student of Chen Xiaowang and was awarded 4th Duan by the Chinese Wushu Association. Biljana is President of the Slovenian Association for Chenjiagou Taijiquan and has been training with David and Davidine in Manchester and Ljubljana since 2011. Since then she has also attended CTGB seminars with Chen Xiaoxing and Chen Ziqiang. In autumn 2013 the Slovenian Association for Chenjiagou Taijiquan became a branch of Chenjiagou Taijiquan GB.

Dragan Lazarević - Ljubljana,Slovenia - CTGB (Europe) Instructor - Dragan's interest in martial arts goes back to 1968 when he started practising Karate. Over the next 30 years he trained in both the Budokai and Shotokan styles with several prominent teachers and also trained Ju-jitsu and Aikido. Dragan's Taijiquan journey began in 1997 when he was introduced to Yang Taijiquan and Qigong. In 2008 he began learning Chen Taijiquan. Since then he has worked hard to develop his Taijiquan, including travel to China and working in Europe with a number of teachers including Grandmasters Chen Xiaowang, Chen Xiaoxing and Masters Chen Ziqiang and David Gaffney and Davidine Sim. In 2008 he opened his own Taijiquan School Skriti Zmaj and in 2011 became one of the founding members of the Slovenian Association for Chenjiagou Taijiquan. Dragan was awarded a 4th Duan Grade by the Chinese Wushu Association.

Øystein Alsaker - Bergen, Norway - CTGB (Europe) Instructor - An overseas branch instructor of Chenjiagou Taijiquan GB, Øystein started training Yang style Taijiquan in Bergen Taijiquan Club in January 2001. After feeling drawn to Chen style since 2002 and realizing that training Taijiquan needed some deeper knowledge of Chinese culture, he went to Kunming, China for six months in 2003 to study Chinese and learn Chen style Taijiquan. He studied as an indoor student under Xia Xufeng, a student of Chen Shitong. While in China, he also trained Chinese calligraphy, Wushu, cooking and tea-drinking. He returned for more training with Xia Xufeng in 2009. He has attended seminars by Yang Jun, Huang Kanghui, Chen Xiaowang, Chen Xiaoxing and Chen Ziqiang in Norway, UK, Slovenia and Germany. Since 2010 he has taught Chen style Taijiquan at Sort Drage Taijiquanklubb (Black Dragon Taijiquan Club) in Bergen, Norway where he regularly invites David Gaffney and Davidine Sim over for seminars. He holds a 4th Duan Grade with the Chinese Wushu Association.

Danuse Geletova - Bratislava, Slovakia - CTGB (Europe) Instructor - - Danuse Gelatova oversees the school's branch in Bratislava, Slovakia. Her first love was ballet and Dana reached the level of principal ballerina with the Czech National Ballet. She trained with a number of Taijiquan and Qigong teachers before starting to train with Davidine Sim in 2006. She has attended many seminars with Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang and has travelled with the school several times to Chenjiagou to train with Grandmaster Chen Xiaoxing in the birthplace of Taijiquan. Dana holds a 2nd Duan Grade with the Chinese Wushu Association.