During the spring of his youth in the 1980’s Paul traveled through China, the Himalayan Mountain Range and South East Asia searching out teachers, mystics and gurus. He learnt martial arts, healing arts and spiritual techniques. After decades of practice and training he became Principal of The College of Chinese Medicine and Chief Instructor of The College of Chinese Martial Arts. His books where translated into many different languages for the international market and he sold over 100,000 books worldwide. For the first 50 years of his life he was based in London. Then fulfilling a lifelong dream to return to nature he left the city and went to live in a cottage, in the forest, deep in the countryside. His skills were welcomed by the inhabitants of the nearby villages where he healed patients and taught students even into the winter of his old age.
Information about Paul
Paul was born in 1967, began training in the martial arts at the age of ten in 1977 and began teaching Chinese Martial Arts at the age of 21 in 1988.
Paul with Tan Choo Seng in Singapore in 1988
How Paul met Tan Choo Seng in Singapore in 1988
At the age of ten Paul began his training with many hard/external styles and then when he was 20 years old in Singapore in 1987 he met his first internal martial arts teacher, Tan Choo Seng (1941-2020) Head of The Hua Tiong Pugilistic Art Institute.
Tan Choo Seng was taught by not only Chen Xiaowang and Yang Chen So but also Venerable Abbott Shi Gaocan (Sek Koh Sum) 1886-1960, a legend in south east asia. From Tan Choo Seng, Paul learnt The Old Chen Style of Tai Chi Chuan with a heavy emphasis on the martial applications, pushing hands, sticking hands and many internal principles of movement and combat such as the Chen families famous silk reeling spiraling power and fa jin explosive strikes. From him Paul also learnt the Yang Style Long Form as well as Five Element Chi Kung. From Tan Choo Seng, Paul was also fortunate to have been taught the 13 Postures of the Chen Style and The 13 Postures of The Yang Style, these are the foundation movements of Tai Chi. Traditionally it is said that it is the combination of the Five Elements with the Eight Trigrams that give us the 13 postures.
Paul with Chen Fei in Sydney Australia in 1988
Paul’s next teacher was Chen Fei in Sydney Australia, who was taught by Chiang Yu Kuen and Tung Ying Chieh, from Chen Fei, Paul learnt another version of the Yang Style Long Form, Single and Double Pushing Hands, Da Lu and The Yang Style Two Person Large San Sau Fighting Form. Chen Fei also taught him separate silk reeling exercises and Yang Style Chi Kung.
Paul with Erle Montaigue in Byron Bay Australia in 1988
Paul’s next teacher was Erle Montaigue (1949-2011) Head of The World Taiji Boxing Association, Paul trained with Erle Montaigue from 1988 till 2006. From him Paul learned The Old Yang Style of Tai Chi Chuan, (Below are videos of Paul demonstrating the three main forms of The Old Yang Style of Tai Chi Chuan, these movies where filmed in 1989) Erle also taught Paul- Pa Kua Chang (Bagua zhang) and Wutang Shan Nei Jia Chuan (Wudang Quan).
Old Yang Style Tai Chi Long Form 1989
Old Yang Style Tai Chi San Sau Form 1989
Old Yang Style Tai Chi Pau Chui Form 1989
Within the The Old Yang Style of Tai Chi Chuan Paul teaches the Short Staff Form, Broadsword Form and Spear Form. Within Pa Kua Chang (Bagua zhang) Paul teaches Circle Walking Dragon Staff Fighting and the Circular Flying Dragon Double Sword Form. In 1991 Paul began training in the Wing Chun System in London and as part of the advanced level he was taught The Wing Chun (Eight Cut Blades) Double Butterfly Knives Form.
Training in China
Paul with C S Tang in Canton in 2005
C.S.Tang was a student of the famous Pa Kua Chang teacher, Ho Ho Choi.
Paul with Zhao Xian Ping in Yong Nian 2005
Zhao Xian Ping the head instructor of Tai Chi in Yong Nian, his lineage goes back to Li Yi Yu who was a student of Wu Yu Xiang who learnt from both Yang Lu Chan and and Chen Ching Ping. Also Mr Zhao Xian Ping interestingly learnt from Zhai Wen Zhang who was a student of Yang Zhao Ling the son of Yang Feng Hou, the oldest son of Yang Lu Chan.
Paul in Yong Nian 2005
Paul with Han Hui Ming in Yang Lu Chans House 2005
Han Hui Ming who teaches Tai Chi in the courtyard of Yang Lu Chan s house, he was a student of Li Wan Chang who was the student of Yang Ban Hou who was Yang Lu Chans son.
Paul Brecher in China at Yang Lu Chans House 2005
Paul with Yang Zheng Guo in Handan in 2005
Yang Zheng Guo is the son of Yang Chen Fu, Yang Lu Chans grandson.
Wang Chang Xing in Handan in 2005
Wang Chang Xing, his teacher was Bai Gong Xian who was a student of Yang Ban Hou.
Paul with Mr Lu in Chengdu in 2005
Lu who was a student of Fu Zhong Wen the top student of Yang Cheng Fu. Also many years ago Lu had been in Peking ( Beijing ) and there had learnt the First and Second Old Frame Long Forms of Chen Fa Ke (1887 -1957 ). Chen Fa Ke’s great grand father was Chen Chang Xing who taught Yang Lu Chan. I did a demonstration of the sequence called Sleeves Dancing like Plum Blossom from the Old Yang Style Long Form and Lu said that this section was part of the Chen Fa Ke Second Old Frame Long Form.
Paul with Mr Shen the head of the Emei Mountain Martial Arts School in 2005
Paul Brecher in China on Emie Mountain 2005
Paul with Mr Gao in Yang Shuo in 2005
Gao Yen Tao has passed away, June 2014 at the age of 89. This is very sad news he was a highly skilled and inspiring martial artist and a friendly and positive person. I very much enjoyed having met him and his passing is a great loss to the world of the true old martial arts. Gao Yen Tao combined the Shaolin Chuan that he had learnt from his father with the Wutang Shan Chuan that he had learnt from his grand father to make his own Wudang Shaolin Combination Style. In the video Gao Yen Tao demonstrates the Three Section Rice Flail Form and the Coiling Dragon Long Pole Form, the Dragon Phoenix Long Straight Sword Form as well as the first few moves of Hung Chuan, his son George then demonstrates the whole Hung Chuan Form all the way through. The Gao Family are very highly skilled and are well known internationally, many people come to Yang Shuo near Guliin in Guangxi Province to train with them.
Paul in Yang Shuo 2005
Interviews with many of the above martial artist masters and more information about the Chinese Internal Martial Arts are contained within the following issues of The Journal of The College of Chinese Martial Arts:
Whilst he was furthering his ability in the Chinese martial arts Paul was also developing his skill in the Chinese healing arts. He completed his four year training course with the famous Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine Bernard Kai Lam Lee (1942-2017) from Canton in China in June 1993 at The Fook Sang Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine Practioners Training College.
In 2001 Paul Brecher BA FAcS TCM was appointed Vice Principal of The College of Chinese Medicine and in 2003 he was promoted to the position of Principal of The College of Chinese Medicine.
Paul’s Acupuncture Books are now the standard textbooks in many acupuncture colleges.
Here is an example of Paul treating a patient with severe spinal injuries
Treatment of Traumatic Injury of the Spine
NHS Acupuncture Lecture:
Paul Brecher BA FAcS MPCHM The Principal of the College of Chinese Medicine was invited to give a lecture at the NHS Conferance on Alternative and Complementary Medicine in Primary Care in London on 29 October 2007
Chinese TV Channel interview with Paul Brecher FAcS MPCHM
Principal of The College of Chinese Medicine in 2012
Principles of Tai Chi – Published by Thorsons (an imprint of HarperCollins) in 1997.
Way of The Spiritual Warrior – Published by Thorsons (an imprint of HarperCollins) in 1998.
Tai Chi Directions – Published by Thorsons (an imprint of HarperCollins) in 2000.
Secrets Of Energy Work – Published by Dorling Kindersley in 2001
Tai Chi Fighting and Healing – Published by Jedzac Books 2002
The Principles of Bagua – Published by Jedzac Books 2006
Practical TCM – Published by CCM Press 2009
TCM Clinical Reference – Published by CCM Press 2009
The College of Chinese Martial Arts Training Manual – Published by CCMA Press 2009
A Taoist Way of The Life – Published by CCMA Press 2012
Dim Mak for Martial Arts – Published by CCMA Press 2014
Sacred Turtle Abdominal Acupuncture – Published by CCM Press 2016
Wing Chun – Published by CCMA Press 2019
Paul’s books have been translated into many different languages for the international market and since 1997 he has sold over 100,000 books worldwide, including in mainland China !
Q & A with Paul about A Taoist Way of Life
The 26 Postures of Tai Chi
The Tai Chi Double Broadsword Form
The Tai Chi Long Pole Form
The Tai Chi Walking Stick Form
The Martial Applications of The Tai Chi Walking Stick Form
Chinese Double Short Sword Training and Fighting Methods
Fingertip Healing Volume One
Fingertip Healing Volume Two
A Martial Arts Journey Part One South East Asia
A Martial Arts Journey Part Two China
Interviewed by the Express Newspaper (15 April 1997) full color double page spread with photos of his dynamic Tai Chi style.
Featured in Insight Magazine and Health and Fitness Magazine and Shape Magazine in 1999, Elle Magazine in 2000 and Here’s Health Magazine 2001.
Editor of the English language version of the Chinese governments famous health promoting Chi Kung book Knocking at the Gate of Life in 2000.
Wrote the sections on Chinese Martial Arts, Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine for The Rough Guide to China Travel Guide 2000.
LBC Radio Interview – 11 Feb 2010
LBC Radio Interview – 19March 2010
LBC Radio Interview – 23 June 2010
Demonstrated Tai Chi on Live TV in May 1996
Demonstrated Tai Chi on UK Gold in April 1997 and December 1997
Short Tai Chi film for Discovery Channel in September 2000
Interviewed by Sky TV News on 9 July 2004 to help explain to the public more about Traditional Chinese Medicine
Interviewed by BBC Lunchtime News on 21 December 2004 and demonstrated advanced acupuncture techniques
Paul has written many Chinese Martial and Healing Arts Books.