About Paul

Chief Instructor of The College of Chinese Martial Arts

Paul on mystical Wu Tang Shan (Wudang Mountain)

Paul began training martial arts at the age of ten in 1977 and began teaching Chinese Martial Arts at the age of 21.

During the spring of his youth in the 1980s, 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 the Principal of The College of Chinese Medicine and Chief Instructor of The College of Chinese Martial Arts. 

His books were translated into many different languages for the international market, and he sold over 100,000 books worldwide. 

Tan Choo Seng (Singapore)

At the age of ten, Paul began his training with many hard/external styles.

At the age of 20,  he met his first internal martial arts teacher, Tan Choo Seng (1941-2020), Head of the Singapore Hua Tiong Pugilistic Art Institute.

Tan Choo Seng was taught by not only Chen Xiaowang and Yang Chen So but also by 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 the internal principles of movement and combat such as the Chen families famous silk reeling spiraling power and fa jin explosive strikes.

Paul also learnt the Yang Style Long Form as well as Five Element Chi Kung.

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.

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 Hampshire 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.

Paul with Tan Choo Seng in Singapore in 1988

How Paul met Tan Choo Seng

CHEN FEI (AUSTRALIA)

Paul with Chen Fei in Sydney Australia in 1988

Paul’s next teacher was Chen Fei in Sydney Australia.

Chen Fei 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.

Erle Montaigue (AUSTRALIA)

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, Pa Kua Chang (Bagua Zhang) and Wutang Shan Nei Jia Chuan (Wudang Quan).

Below are videos of Paul demonstrating the three main forms of the Old Yang Style of Tai Chi Chuan. These movies were filmed in 1989.

Erle Montaigue

Paul with Erle Montaigue in Byron Bay Australia in 1988

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

Weapons Training

Within 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. As part of the advanced level, he was taught the Wing Chun Butterfly Swords (also known as the Eight Cutting Blades or Eight Slashing Knives)

Training in China (2005)

CSTang

Paul with C.S. Tang in Canton

C.S. Tang was a student of the famous Pa Kua Chang teacher, Ho Ho Choi.

Zhao Xian Ping

Paul with Zhao Xian Ping in Yong Nian

Zhao Xian Ping is 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 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

Zhao Xian Ping and his students demonstrate many martial arts forms.

Han Hui Ming

Paul with Han Hui Ming in Yang Lu Chan’s House

Han Hui Ming, who teaches Tai Chi in the courtyard of Yang Lu Chan’s house, was a student of Li Wan Chang who was the student of Yang Ban Hou who was Yang Lu Chan’s son.

Paul Brecher in China at Yang Lu Chan’s House

Yang Lu Chan’s house outside the southern gate of Gwan Fu town.

Paul with Yang Zheng Guo in Handan

Yang Zheng Guo is the son of Yang Chen Fu, Yang Lu Chan’s grandson.

Wang Chang Xing

Wang Chang Xing in Handan

Wang Chang Xing’s teacher was Bai Gong Xian who was a student of Yang Ban Hou.

Paul with Mr Lu in Chengdu

Lu was a student of Fu Zhong Wen who was the top student of Yang Cheng Fu. Also, many years ago, Lu had been in Beijing where he learnt the First and Second Old Frame Long Forms of Chen Fa Ke (1887 -1957 ). Chen Fa Ke’s great-grandfather 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. Lu said that this section was part of the Chen Fa Ke’s Second Old Frame Long Form.

Mr Shen

Paul with Mr Shen the head of the Emei Mountain Martial Arts School

Paul Brecher in China on Emie Mountain

Paul with Mr Gao in Yang Shuo

Gao Yen Tao has passed away in June 2014, at the age of 89.

This is very sad news as he was a highly skilled and inspiring martial artist and a friendly and positive person.

I very much enjoyed having met him. 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 grandfather to make his own Wudang Shaolin Combination Style.

Mr Gao demonstrates many martial arts forms.

In the video, Gao Yen Tao demonstrates the Three Section Rice Flail Form, the Coiling Dragon Long Pole Form, the Dragon Phoenix Long Straight Sword Form and 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.

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:

Volume 1 January 2010
Volume 2 February 2010
Volume 3 March 2010
Volume 4 April 2010
Volume 5 May 2010
Volume 6 June 2010

instructors

Qualified Instructors of The College of Chinese Martial Arts

acupuncture

Principal of the College of Chinese Medicine

Whilst Paul was furthering his ability in the Chinese martial arts, he 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 Practitioners 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.

Treatment of Traumatic Injury of the Spine

This video shows Paul treating a patient with severe spinal injuries.

Chinese TV Channel Interview

Interview with Paul Brecher FAcS MPCHM
Principal of The College of Chinese Medicine in 2012

publications

Books

Paul’s books have been translated into many different languages for the international market.

Since 1997, he has sold over 100,000 books worldwide, including in mainland China!

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
Principles of Bagua – Published by Jedzac Books 2006
The College of Chinese Martial Arts Training Manual – Published by CCMA Press 2009
Practical TCM – Published by CCM Press 2010
A Taoist Way of The Life – Published by CCMA Press 2012
TCM Clinical Reference – Published by CCM Press 2013
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

Instructional DVDs

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

Documentary DVDs

A Martial Arts Journey Part One South East Asia
A Martial Arts Journey Part Two China

Online Courses

Learn about Dim Mak
Learn about Iron Shirt and Iron Palm
Practice Taoist Meditations

Articles

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

Lectures

NHS Acupuncture Lecture – Paul was invited to give a lecture at the NHS Conference on Alternative and Complementary Medicine in Primary Care in London on 29 October 2007

Radio

LBC Radio Interview – 11 Feb 2010

LBC Radio Interview – 19 March 2010 

LBC Radio Interview – 23 June 2010

TV

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

Sky TV Interview (9 July 2004)

Sky TV interview with Paul to find out more about acupuncuture, cupping and Chinese herbal medicine.

BBC 1 Interview (21 December 2004)

Lunchtime news on BBC 1 with Paul, Spokesman for the Acupuncture Society, gives a demonstration of his advanced needle technique.

Paul Brecher BBC