Messages from the President

Go to year:   2006      2005      2004      2003      2002      2001      2000      1999


Sept 2006

Hello again to you all. I trust you are enjoying your year embraced in your Tai Chi. It is such a wonderful art that we do, and one with many facets. Remember whatever it is that you want from Tai Chi, if you dedicate the time, you will win it.

I would like to thank those members who came to the TCAA AGM for their input at the meeting. I would also like to thank those present for your vote of confidence in electing me to the presidency for a second term. To all the members elected to the TCAA committee, congratulations. I look forward to working with all the members on the new committee and hope that I can meet all your expectations.

The TCAA committee hopes that you have made good use of the tools that have been presented to you such as the insurance and the workshops. It is hoped that in the future we can present more to you and have them available in your State and, possibly, close to you.

If you would like a specific workshop then let us at TCAA know and we will see what can be arranged.

I would like to draw your attention to upcoming AKWF National Championships in November and to keep in mind TCAA Open Competition for next year. I have published more photos from '06 competition in this Newsletter. Also look to the Tamworth Competition, entry information in the Newsletter.

To you all, good health and train true.

Dennis Watts



March 2006

Hello to all TCAA members and Gong Xi Fa Cai, Happy New Year in this year of the Dog, 2006.
I do trust you have had a great Christmas and start to the New Year. It is hard to believe that here we are already in February. This year we look forward to our TCAA Competition in June and the AGM at the same time for election of new office bearers.


TCAA Competition :

TCAA Competition will be held on June 11 at the Albert Waterways Community Center, Broadbeach on the Gold Coast. Entry forms are on the way out to those who have competed before and again the entry form will be available on the TCAA web site and in this newsletter for anyone interested in coming along to join in. This will be our forth competition and I'm looking forward to seeing familiar faces, and I do hope, some new ones.

We were hoping to hold our AGM last January. Due to the number of officials who were spread out attending workshops and other arrangements it was decide to take it to the competition date so as to maximise as many members present as possible. The date for the AGM will be June 10, in the afternoon the day before the competition.

I would urge members to get involved and to think about taking up positions. Nomination forms in this Newsletter. 


Sword Regulations for TCAA members:
Ken Goh has been busy communicating with the Victorian Police Commissioner in relation to the use of swords and an exemption for TCAA members. 

Remember you are all welcome to submit articles to go into the TCAA Newsletter.




November 2005

Welcome every one. Well the year is really rolling along and here it is the end of October. It has been an interesting quarter with the AKWF holding the Oceania and Australian Championships in Sydney and the selection trials for the team to go to the 8th Wushu Games in Vietnam in December.

Ken Goh has been very busy looking into getting an exemption for TCAA members practicing Sword in Victoria and from the last report the Victorian Police Commission is looking at reviewing the policy right now.

AKWF President, Walt Missingham, has asked for TCAA help in acquiring funding from government for the promotion of Chinese Martial Arts. More on this in the Newsletter.

TCAA AGM to be held in January.

A KWF looking for TCAA help

A recent meeting by Walt Missingham, President of AKWF, with the Federal Minister of Sport, brought to light a clause that may help AKWF get funding for its future events. This is called the "5000 Clause" where if a particular sport can prove that they have at least 5000 members playing their sport then they may be eligible for funding. This is where TCAA can help.

TCAA is an Associate Member of AKWF and, as such we can help provide numbers so as to enable AKWF to gain finance to help promote Chinese Martial Arts. AKWF has asked all TCAA instructors (you don't have to be an AKWF member) to send a list of their current members' names and the suburb they live in to TCAA so as to provide the evidence that there are at least 5000 people practicing Chinese Martial Arts within AKWF.

It dose not matter if you are teaching Tai Chi for Arthritis, Health or Martial Arts, it all counts. Information from AKWF Lawyers has assured me that a person's rights will not be compromised by giving their name and suburb, so your rights are protected and you can help.

I have been asked to gather this information from TCAA Instructors and forward it the AKWF. If you are an AKWF Accredited Instructor you can send your information directly to AKWF. For TCAA teachers you can send you information by mail to TCAA President,

PO Box 1040

Coolangatta 4225

Or E-mail:

Lets get on board and assist AKWF with this matter by getting your information to me by November 30.

Reply to "Should competition embrace all Forms and Styles of Tai Chi?"

After the TCAA Competition in July, an article appeared in the TCAA Newsletter criticising TCAA for not opening its competition to more Tai Chi forms and other arts. The article referred to the late "Peaceful Challenge" 1998-2001 and to the fact that that competition had more events in it. As I was a competitor and Grand Champion in both '98 and '99, a Judge in 2000 and Head Judge in 2001, yes I will agree. The Peaceful Challenge included Wushu, Tai Chi and Push Hands. After the collapse of HIH it was virtually impossible to get insurance to cover the competition and the Push Hands section. It was just too exorbitant to do so, and so the competition folded.

TCAA was asked to hold a "Tai Chi" competition in 2003 and at that time I was asked to organise that competition. As it was being held by the Tai Chi Association of Australia, competition was Tai Chi only. At that time, TCAA could not afford to cover insurance for Push Hands and so it was dropped. As to different styles, the entry form for the TCAA competition specifies the most common forms i.e. 24 Forms, 42 Forms, Yang, Chen, Wu, Sun and Cheng Man Ching Styles and also has an entry for "Other Styles". I'm not sure what styles member is referring to. If you have a style that is not familiar to everyone then the competition is a good place to present it. As to the entry of "other Tai Chi Weapons" the entry form again reads "Other Weapon Forms". It is up to the competitors to enter the forms in this section. judges for TCAA competition are made up of International Wushu Federation qualified judges and National judges trained in Australia by China's top Coaches and Forms examiners from the IWF. They are well qualified to judge these forms.

The Australian Kung fu Wushu Federation looks after Chinese Martial Arts in Australia and this includes Kung fu and Wushu plus Tai Chi as it is a Chinese Martial Art. TCAA gives Tai Chi players the opportunity to enter competition that is directed towards Tai Chi. If a player wishes to try out for selection on the Australian team to compete overseas, then the TCAA Competition is a great opportunity for a player to get competition experience. If you have ever stood on the floor in front of your peers to be judged, then you will know what I mean. TCAA competition is run in accordance with AKWF Events Criteria and the International Wushu Federation rules.

The future will see Push Hands come back into TCAA Competition as TCAA now has insurance that covers all aspects of our art through AKWF's Insurance policy, thanks to the great work done by Walt Missingham. We just need the judges that are qualified nationally to judge Push Hands. Because of the success of the TCAA Competitions held since 2003, all competitions have been sanctioned and added to the AKWF Events Calendar. They are looked forward too by many Tai Chi competitors nationally because of the "friendly atmosphere" and camaraderie.

I look forward to your positive suggestions to help improve the TCAA competition.

Dennis Watts


August 2005

T.C.A.A. Competition 2005

June 12 saw the Tai Chi Association of Australia hold it's third Open Annual Tai Chi competition on the Gold Coast in Queensland. This contest I would have to say was our best yet. venue was the Palm Bch-Currumbin State High School Indoor Basket Ball Hall. From competitors report they enjoyed the facilities in the change rooms with carpet on the floor and space to warm up. A little different from recent years.

Saturday afternoon saw a little army of students from Gold Coast Tai Chi Academy help with the setting up. Putting chairs out, marking the floor arenas, putting up posters and Chinese lanterns and readying the Kiosk for the next day. At 5.00pm Master Charles Tsui-po, Head Judge and the contingent of Judges and Officials arrived. look on their faces when they entered the hall, with the music and the ambience of the room, showed that this was going to be a good contest. Master Charles Tsui-po conducted the judges and officials meeting and all was set for the Sundays Competition.

Competitors started arriving at 7.30am on Sunday, registering in and warming up and preparing for the day competition. It is great to see all the color of the silk uniforms start to mingle. At 9.00am Head Judge addressed the competitors, Judges were introduced to the competitors and public that had come to enjoy the days Tai Chi, and support the competitors. After a short speech from the T.C.A.A. President, Dennis Watts, competition was on the way.

The day ran smoothly with the competitors showing their dedication, great camaraderie and professionalism. For some it was their first competition, other a chance to see how far they had come since the last time they competed together and to renew friendships. Our youngest competitor this year was a young lady of all eight years, Arra Hong from the Gold Coast.

A major asset to the days success was the way the Officials and Assistants handled them selves. It was remarked to me from competitors just how nice it was to see the smiling faces right from the moment they entered the hall and all through the day with people being very helpful. The competition ended around 3.30pm then it was the Masters turn to perform their skills. Hong Chen Style and Hao Style demonstration by Hean Low, Chen 1st Routine by Master Ken Goh, Kung-fu Fan by Master Allan Kelson, Tai Chi Sword Master Tong Low, and Chen Dual Sword Routine with Master Dennis Watts and Gai Wanless. An interesting demonstration of Chi manipulation from Master Allan Kelson of Adelaide left a number of people wondering. The presentation of Certificates, Medals and Trophies followed and the third T.C.A.A. Competition declared closed at 5.00pm.

The results of the Grand Champions are:

Advanced Men's Grand Champions;

1st Andre Vanderputt - 17.76

2nd Gary Hong - 17.58

3rd Jamie Clarbull - 17.48

Advanced Women's Grand Champions;

1st Sue Rule - 17.92

2nd Darlene Beauchamp - 17.78

3rd Pam Riordon - 17.62

Over 45's Men's Grand Champion;

1st Francis Kwok King Choi - 17.66

2nd Malcolm Wood - 17.55

3rd Wayne nankervis - 17.33

Over 45's Women's Grand Champion;

1st Cecilia Yun Ying Choi Chow - 17.64

2nd Lynne Byrne - 17.52

3rd Annette Fletcher - 17.4

All results will be published on T.C.A.A. web site.

T.C.A.A would like to thank all the judges especially those who gave of their time to travel from so far away, Alan Kelson from Adelaide, Charles Tsui-po, Di Logan, Hean Low, Tong Low and Albert Porta form Melbourne and Ken Goh from Sydney. I also congratulate the judges from Queensland Gai Wanless, Chen Yuu Nan, Peter Hunter, Ester Shohet and Ramesh Petal. To you all thanks for your tireless effort.

To all who took part, either competing or as officials and assistants, a great effort and from all reports, we at TCAA, with your help, have set another benchmark. The TCAA competition will be held at the same time and place next year.

TCAA would like to thank Marsha Lloyd for her donation of "Vege Chips" their sale helped with the competition breaking even. Also to the Grand Hotel Southport and Northies Hotel at Cronulla for their donations in helping to fly judges up for the competition.


T.C.A.A. President/Competition Organiser

Presidents Report

Hello to all members of T.C.A.A. The last three months have been very hectic what with the gathering of information to help members with insurance and updating the T.C.A.A. database plus organizing and running the T.C.A.A. Competition.

I would like to thank you all for your participation in the surveys. This will help us serve our membership better. To those who looked at the Australian Kung-fu/Wu-shu Federation insurance package we trust you found it to your advantage to take it up.

To Ken Goh, Anthony Sing and Rosemary Palmer and her band of helpers, I thank you for your tireless effort in drafting the forms and gathering information for the survey.

The running of the T.C.A.A. Competition on the Gold Coast in June was greeted with much applause, not only form myself, but also those who traveled up from the cold down south. Holding competition on the Gold Coast made it much easier for me to make it success that it was. My report is in the Newsletter. The all out response to holding the competition here again next year has not gone unnoticed and will be put the T.C.A.A. committee. Again I would like to thank the other two members of the Competition Committee, Gai Wanless and Ken Goh for their input and advice. The full competition result will be available on the T.C.A.A. Web site,



March 2005

Hello to everyone. I do trust the start of this Rooster year is treating you well. There is a lot going on within TCAA at this point, the insurance situation still on everyone's minds, the upcoming TCAA Competition, plus the updating of all TCAA membership information.

AKWF have presented its new insurance policy to its membership. This policy is very comprehensive and one of the best as far as coverage to members. This policy is available to all AKWF members, and as TCAA is an association member, it is also available to NCAS Accredited Coaches in TCAA. More on the policy in the Newsletter, also an INSURANCE INFORMATION STATEMENT form from AKWF, in relation to this insurance to be filled out.

TCAA Competition 2005
Entry forms have been sent out to all past competitors plus invitations to judges for the competition. If you intend entering competition this year, I would ask you to get you entries in ASAP to help take the pressure off as there is so much to do as date comes around. If you would like to be a judge at this year's competition, we would appreciate your expertise. The hardest part of competition organising is getting enough judges. I would ask you to consider being a judge, and to contact me by phone, 07-55451874 or Email, for information. Competition entries are now available and can be downloaded from the TCAA web site.

TCAA Survey
To help TCAA serve you better, we have enclosed a survey form for you to fill in and return in the envelope provided. This will help update TCAA files, plus help us to present more appropriate and interesting articles to the membership. Please take the time to fill this in and return.

New Secretary
I am please to announce the appointment of Anthony Shing as the Secretary of TCAA and am looking forward to working with him over our time together. Welcome Anthony.

I trust we have been able to cover information that is relevant to you in this newsletter and remember, you are always welcome to submit articles.

Dennis Watts

TCAA President

More On Insurance

As mentioned in the Presidents report, the AKWF has now received their new insurance policy and are in the process of implementation. This policy seems to be the best policy to be presented to the martial arts industry by far. The policy provides a higher level of cover and is underwritten by an Australian Insurer. I will give a rundown on the policy so you can make your judgement if you wish be involved. The brokers are Horsell International P/L.

Insured: AKWF Federation Ltd and affiliated clubs/centres, coaches, voluntary workers, officials and referees.

Description: Principally administration, development and instructing in the Chinese martial arts in its various forms and expressions and including but not limited to kung fu, wushu and tai chi. Also property owners and or property occupiers and or all activities incidental thereto to which the insured may become involved such as seminars or tournaments.

Period of Cover: 4th April 2005 to 4th April 2006

Interest Insured: The Insured's Legal Liability to Third Parties with regard to personal injury/death and/or property damage as a result of an occurrence arising from the business activities of the Insured.

Policy Type: Occurrence Wording

Limit of Liability: Public Liability $10,000,000

                     Products Liability $10,000,000

Geographical & Territorial Limits: Worldwide (Excluding USA and Canada).

Deductible: $1,000 each and every loss.

Extensions: - Property in the Physical and/or Legal Control (Limit $20,000)

- Member to Member, Cross Liability

- Participation Liability

- Property Owners

- Tenants Liability

- Food and Drink

- Car Parks

- First Aid Treatment Risk

Principles Indemnity


Interest Insured: All sums which the Insured shall become legally liable to pay for compensation in respect of personal injury, property damage and financial loss suffered during the period of insurance resulting from a lack of care in connection with the profession of: -

i) Coaching, Refereeing, Administration

ii) Advice and skills in direct relation to the Insured's activity, which are given for a fee.

iii) The policy will also provide indemnity in respect of Training Videos, Manuals and Training Aids.

Indemnity: $ 5,000,000 any one period of insurance.

Policy Type Claims Occurrence.

Extensions: First Aid Treatment Risk

  • Libel and slander

  • Loss of documents

  • Fidelity Guarantee

  • Unlimited retro-active date

  • Trade Practices Act and related legislation

  • Automatic reinstatement

  • Continuous coverage

  • Insured vs insured

  • Fraud and dishonesty

  • Breach of contract

    Wording: As per wording provided by Inter Pacific Underwriting Agencies Pty Ltd

    (AFSL No. 234964)

    Underwriter: QBE Commercial via Inter Pacific Underwriting Agencies Pty Ltd

    (AFSL No. 234964)

    Special Conditions:

    This policy does not apply to Personal Injury arising out of or as a result of the molesting or interfering with any person by -

    - You,

    - Any of your employees,

    - Any person acting on your behalf.

    The insurer shall have no obligation to defend any action, suit or proceeding against you either

    directly or vicariously seeking damages for such Personal Injury.

    Prohibited Weapons Exclusion

    The policy excludes claims for compensation for Injury or damage caused by, arising out of or in connection with the use of illegal weapons prohibited under the NSW Weapons Prohibition

    Regulation (including but not limited to firearms, bows or similar weapons) or equivalent

    legislation of the Commonwealth of Australia or other States of Australia.


    Return the signed Insurance Information Statement

    A premium cost quotation will be forwarded to you together with your insurance agreement

    You return the signed insurance agreement together with the premium cheque

    The Insurance Certificate of Coverage is sent to you within 14 days of receipt of your agreement and cheque. Note: we can 'fast track' certificates in cases of urgent need.


    Must be a financial member of the AKWF or TCAA/NCAS Accredited Coach


    1. Are there exceptions to insurance cover rule?

    Yes. If you are an instructor who works exclusively for a government or community group that insures you, and can provide evidence of same, an exemption may be provided to you. If however you teach privately or elsewhere in addition to your community/government work you will still need to be insured.

    If I am insured with another company does that meet the requirements?

    No. The rule applies only to our organisational cover. This is because our policy provides a higher level of cover and is underwritten by an Australian Insurer. Other policies provide less cover and are underwritten off shore so the same level of protection cannot be guaranteed.

    How do I make the change from my current insurer to the new policy?

    i. Take out the new AKWF policy

    ii. Wait until you have received your certificate

    iii. Notify your old insurer that you are cancelling the policy and wish to have the balance of your premium paid back to you

    What will my new policy cost?

    Each policy will be individually costed but AKWF can guarantee that it will not be any more expensive that your current policy and in most cases it will be less expensive. It also needs to be appreciated that this is a higher level of cover so even if your premium is the same you are getting more value for what you are paying. AKWF also feels that after 12 months of operation the premiums will drop significantly.

    There is an INSURANCE INFORMATION STATEMENT to be filled in if you are interested in insuring through the AKWF/ TCAA that is also with this Newsletter. This form is to be filled in and returned ASAP as the starting date is April 4, plus I will be in China from April 10 to May 1, and would like to get this organized and off to AKWF before I go so you will have the full benefits. This policy is only suitable to AKWF members or TCAA NCAS accredited coaches. When filling in your form you will need to put TCAA No. 4028 at question 2, plus your NCAS No. at question 3. Return your form to Insurance, TCAA, PO Box 1040, Coolangatta, Qld 4225. TCAA will compile an associate form to then send to AKWF with your form.

    I trust this will give you peace of mind in relation to this complex and weighty problem.

    Dennis Watts

    TCAA President


    TCAA Competition Update

    Hi to all those entering or interested in TCAA competition 2005. We are well on our way to this competition, with entry forms and information sent out and also available on the TCAA web site with information on some available accommodation close to the venue. We are still looking for some Judges that would like to be involved. This is always the weak spot in running competition, and we at TCAA would appreciate any assistance in this field from interested parties.

    I am please to announce that TCAA has full sanctioning from AKWF for its competition again this year. Please get your entries in ASAP so I can start to correlate the events as it gets very hectic as we near the date. To those contacted in relation to judging, would you please confirm your availability, again ASAP, so as to enable us to have sufficient judges to have a change over so you are not judging all day.

    I have contacted a local Chinese restaurant about doing small meals at the venue as we did at our first competition. That seemed to go down well with everyone at that event, and now just waiting confirmation from them as to their interest. There are Cafes and restaurants also within walking distance to the venue.

    I will be looking forward to seeing old acquaintances, and also meeting new ones at the competition on June 12, Palm Beach-Currumbin State High School, Thrower Drive, Palm Beach. Keep up your training, and I look forward to seeing your progress from over this year.

    Dennis Watts
    TCAA Competition Organiser




    June 2004

    The Association is still slowly growing. We have been involved in the development of Tai Chi within health industry and have been a focus point for Tai Chi with the AKWF (the government recognised body for martial arts in Australia). But like all things worthwhile we move in slow steps. While this may frustrate some, as a voluntary organisation, the Committee has committed both time and discussion to making sure that the development of Tai Chi in Australia proceeds without degrading the level of instruction and information that is offered to all students.

    It is in line with this and the requirements to protect our teachers and their families that TCAA so strongly recommends to all aspiring and practising Tai Chi teachers the importance of becoming NCAS accredited. There have been a number of discussions in the past suggesting that our Association should be offering its own certification for teacher accreditation. (It is in fact one of the TCAA Aims, from our Constitution. This task requires a thorough investigation and is more complicated than it appears. After initial consideration it seemed that the requirements would replicate what AKWF already have in place and more so since the current Accreditation process has evolved slightly to recognise a Tai Chi background compared to other martial arts. (The NCAS qualification states " Kung Fu/ Tai Chi " now.)

    The importance of being correctly qualified cannot be over-stressed. Because of insurance requirements there have already been teachers who had taught Tai Chi for more than ten years that can no longer use local shire or school facilities since they could not get affordable public liability insurance as they did not have a recognised qualification. At present it is not illegal to teach Tai chi without qualification or accreditation, but you do run a great risk by doing so. Even if you have an insurance policy, unless it recognises in writing that you are 'unqualified' or 'un-accredited' to teach Tai Chi, the insurance company may not back their policy in the event of a claim and you would be on your own.

    I know that I have focused on being correctly qualified but its important to understand the risks. For those unqualified teachers who have managed to get insurance, you need to check your policy carefully as you are most unlikely to be covered if there is a claim and subsequent investigations show that reasonable effort was not used to ensure the participants' safety: and, at present reasonable effort means holding current NCAS accreditation as a Tai Chi coach/instructor. It's not that difficult. Please, if you are teaching or would like to start teaching, make the effort, get qualified and get insurance. The requirement to provide a safe environment for all participants within a Tai chi class is a legal responsibility. As a side point the law is very explicit on safety and this also means that if a qualified instructor is visiting a class run by another school, they have a duty of care to stop any activity that could lead to an injury, even though the class is not under there control or even part of their own school. Life wasn't meant to be easy.




    December 2003

    Firstly I must congratulate the 2002/03 team, for the work done for TCAA this year. As a voluntary organisation the demands placed on the committee equate to many hours and as most of us have full time jobs, out of work hours are extremely precious, so the voluntary effort required to keep TCAA going and progressing is valued indeed. Well done for your combined efforts!

    The committee has been spread far and wide area making it difficult and expensive for every one to get to meetings and this has also led to communication problems. I know that the few system crashes I've had have left me with missing letters and e-mails. The e-mails sent to and between committee members also tend to unintentionally miss people from time to time again causing communication problems. I will propose for consideration at our next meeting that all important communication is through the secretary thus ensuring that information is distributed correctly to all.

    We continue to be focussed on the following areas.

    TCAA has strong, widely spread membership base which continues to grow. TCAA role is not to become the regulatory body but a support body to encourage and develop Tai Chi in Australia. Today the risk of personal suit is much higher than in yesteryear and the insurance bodies recognising this have applied insurance rates 10 fold of what they used to be only a few short years ago. This problem will continue to get worse as costs and extraordinary claims and payouts continue. The only way to protect yourself and family is to become accredited and TCAA committee will continue to promote this value amongst its members as well as in the broader community.

    Lastly, I would like to thank all our membership for allowing me to represent our Tai Chi Association this past year and look forward to its further success in the next.


    September 2003

    As the 5th Annual General Meeting of the TCAA Inc draws near it is appropriate to reflect on the issues and directions that we have been involved with over the past year.

    Insurance has been the biggest issue by far, with constant enquiries in this regard, and is still not resolved satisfactorily. We are currently exploring the option that applicants adopt the MAIA Code Of Practice including an Instructors Code of Conduct. This would be the means of regulating the risk involved if the Association provides either for members to join together under a single broad policy or if it were to administer separate policies between individual member applicants and a broker or underwriter. This seems promising but will require official accreditation.

    Accreditation has also been an 'issue'. TCAA Inc has acted as an advocate in decisions at Federal level to ensure that the Tai Chi Art continues its development in Aust. with due respect to both its cultural heritage and to modern legal and safety standards. These 'standards' link with the insurance issue. Regulating activity undertaken in the public domain is to control for the risk posed in the event of negligent or fraudulent operators being responsible for causing injury or worse.

    As stated previously at present the only recognised Tai Chi accreditation is via the MAIA or NCAS, which requires AKWF membership. I have been personally informed of a case whereby insurance was recently revoked in the absence of accredited status despite that person having been teaching and insured for many years. TCAA has applied for AKWF membership through the President, which gives all TCAA members associate rights and obligations. The latter relate to compliance with risk minimisation strategies that help solve the insurance dilemma also. (To be implemented.)

    I understand that the Tai Chi for Arthritis Program involves health industry professionals with alternate insurance, so are not faced with this problem. Likewise for those relating to the fitness industry a professional course is currently being set up by the Sport & Recreation Training authority to address this shortcoming from their perspective. TCAA Inc played a role in this development.

    Tai Chi Competition continues to see a rising interest in Australia and our own inaugural event generated interstate interest as did the recent and largest so far for the ANWTA organisation in Melbourne. Tai Chi will continue to develop in this area and TCAA Inc supports other groups in these endeavours.

    Another advocacy activity TCAA has been involved with is Vic proposed new Prohibited Weapon Regulations due to be finalised in October 2003. TCAA submitted a case for the exclusion of the Tai chi 'demonstration 'sword' on the basis that the Sword Forms (soon to be featured as an Olympic Event) Practitioners would be seriously impeded if all including would be competitors had to have $135-00 licences and lock-up storage equivalent to 'gun' cabinets.!

    So this year has been a busy one, even if largely behind scenes, and the' fruits of this labour are yet to be fully appreciated by all TCAA members. Finally notices for the upcoming AGM have been sent out to all financial members Fri Sept 26.


    June 2003

    What a challenging period the Association and Committee has had since the last newsletter. Many issues have arisen and others continued to gather momentum.

    These issues brought out the range of diversity amongst us, and I believe this to be a good sign. We need to be ever aware of each others requirements so I believe it is the role of the Committee to always look towards integrating these into the 'big picture' and to always return to our Aims when decisions are being made.

    What we have seen is that some hard decisions sorted out naturally since what is best is what accords with those Aims.

    The Committee has been provoked in taking a stand in the long standing debate of Tai Chi as health and fitness/sport and recreation/martial arts activity. Where do we belong? Could the TCAA uphold the view that Tai Chi is what WE may want it to be?

    The decision became clear for the Committee. We had to examine Tai Chi - its heritage, philosophy and practice- in accordance with our Aims.

    We have taken the view that our Aims are best served by acknowledging that Tai Chi is foremost a Martial Art. What makes it such? Knowing Tai Chi does. Its entire unique characteristic is derived from its development as a Martial Art.

    Being a martial art has tested the ability of Tai Chi to be beneficial to us.

    As a Martial art, Tai Chi is a wholistic practice from which individual goals such as fitness, health, self-protection, meditation etc can be achieved. Therefore without the martial art knowledge, Tai Chi loses its wholistic character and could easily be substituted for any number of similar activities in the fields listed above.

    On the basis of the TCAA adopting this position, then it also naturally aligns with policies which support this.


    An ongoing saga, it became clear that we were simply reinventing the wheel.

    Work would be done and the goalposts would shift - very frustrating but that's the world at present. We were wasting time and energy in ignoring the obvious. Insurance was not a question of numbers but of minimising risk- that's where the world had shifted.

    How does TCAA propose to provide for member insurance? It will promote accredited instructors. Where do they get accreditation? There is only one authorised accreditation authority in Australia for Tai Chi and that is the Australian Kung fu (Wushu) Federation Limited.

    As the result of previous liaison with AKWF re accreditation of TCAA members, it has been decided to renew membership with the AKWF. It has been proposed because in doing so all TCAA members will have associate status with AKWF.

    The benefit for the TCAA member is to receive significantly discounted Accreditation and Update workshops as well as free Risk Management seminars without the proviso of themselves becoming members of AKWF.

    For accredited coaches there exists a wealth of support in the way of risk management policy and assessment, disclaimer development, safe class program development and equipment policy etc. Adapting class practices in line with these recommendations, decreases your liability re insurance risk and leads to the lowest insurance rates.

    (Tai Chi as a martial art, rates in the lowest risk insurance cover, and would only rise if combat tournaments were engaged in. It is an incorrect belief that the status of Martial Arts automatically leads to higher insurance. It is what one does, that may lead to higher insurance that is why TCAA is emphasising the importance of minimising risk.)

    Tai Chi Competition

    Association through membership with AKWF offers another important factor for TCAA, for those members who are involved in competing in or in organising internationally sanctioned competitions. The International peak body recognises the AKWF as the sole authority in Australia for the conduct of official competition in Australia and also for the selection of Australian participation in the official International arena.

    Therefore any one wishing to compete has to be a member of AKWF. This is now achieved as a TCAA member via associate status with AKWF.

    Also of importance to those members involved with Tai Chi Competition is the formation of a TCAA link with ANWTA, the Melbourne based organisation which is working hard to establish world standard competitions in Australia. As we move toward the Olympics in China (2008), it is believed that Tai Chi will be part of those games.

    It is therefore in accordance with the TCAA Aims that we have recognised the importance of these connections to both AKWF and ANWTA. .

    It may look like the current emphasis on insurance and accreditation and related topics, leaves the non-instructor out of TCAA interests. In defence of this proposition, it is held by the committee that we are striving to maintain a necessary standard and control over Tai Chi developments in Australia and that in the end, provides for the best conditions by which a student can undertake the study and practice of Tai Chi. Also, the direction that TCAA has taken will certainly benefit those members interested in competing.

    TCAA aims to provide the maximum benefit to all its members and welcomes any ideas or feedback to the committee.

    Finally, I would like to remind you all, that this is final newsletter of your current subscription and thank you for your support of the TCAA over the past year. I would urge everyone to note the changes adopted regarding memberships/renewals and to please renew your support by sending in your applications before the end of June.


    January 2003

    The year has started with a bang with our TCAA competition in Sydney being a resounding success. I must congratulate Dennis and his team for running the competition and establishing a host of requirements like trophies, structure and events that will see all future events much easier to organise. I must also thank Charles Tsui-Po and his team of judges for the fine work they did in making sure that everyone had a fair go at demonstrating our craft and ensuring that our visitors watching the competition were well informed and part of the days activities.

    TCAA continues to promote Tai Chi wherever possible. With Tai Chi expected to be announced in February as an event at the next Olympics, I expect that our presence on the media and on television will greatly increase as we lead up to the Olympics. This is an opportunity we can all be involved in. I'm sure nationally there will be copious amounts of exposure but local TV and radio stations will also be looking for features that they can use. Don't wait to be contacted by them, but rather contact them. Most radio and TV  stations have libraries of information and usually start storing footage of key activities to be edited and used for future segments. If you have up and coming young students ( or even older students) that can be possible future Olympians, early footage of training and practice will become valuable footage. I suggest that as soon as Tai Chi is announced as an official sport contact your local radio and TV stations and develop a strategy to meet future possible media requirements.

    It's been a great start and your Committee team are still working hard to establish sensible insurance coverage relative to our sport and set codes of practice towards accreditation.. The insurance industry is also undergoing change which has complicated things but we are progressing and will keep people informed of what we are achieving.

    This is the start of another exciting year so keep any news flowing into John Mills ( or post it to TCAA and we will get it to John) for our
    newsletters. Have a safe and happy year.




    Sept 2002

    TCAA Growing, Changing and Evolving.

    n the early days Tai Chi schools were very protective of their teachings and guarded against outsiders (other schools and students). Today, the insulated nature of schools is changing, and the students/teachers that attended these schools are the ones that are bringing about this change. We are lucky in Australia compared to some countries; we have the chance and choice of what we learn and where we can learn it and a great many of us have attended numerous workshops and learnt from various teachers. This has resulted in a broadening and growing of Tai Chi Knowledge and the more we learn the more we seek for further knowledge and skill. There has in effect been a slow revolution and this quest for knowledge was the force behind the development of our association.

    It was Dr. Paul Lams first large workshop that proved to be the catalyst. There was enough drive and energy by so many students/teachers from all over Australia and New Zealand, all calling for a common voice that could provide an umbrella that could assist with a host of requirements that our association was born.

    Our Founding president, Dr Paul Lam brought to our association a strong central focus and an international profile that has seen the establishment of a well-founded, strong collective of Tai Chi schools and practitioners. Our committees have worked hard in the areas of accreditation for all Tai Chi instructors, support for friendly competitions, a newsletter, a Web page to promote various activities and changing insurance prices. My thanks go to Paul, management team and committees who have worked so hard during the last three years.

    In way of an introduction I would like to introduce myself as the new President of our association. My name is Stephen Lucas (Phone 0419106469, Email and I live in the Latrobe Valley 150K East of Melbourne. As an engineer working in the power industry my work has taken me all over the world and has afforded me the opportunity to meet and practice Tai Chi in many parks across Australia and New Zealand. My interest in Tai Chi started on holiday in Hong Kong when early one morning when walking I came across may groups of people doing Tai Chi. This all happened 18 years ago (how time flies when you are having fun). Seeing an advert in our local paper I started classes with Eric Miller in Newborough and since over the years have been very lucky having various teachers from around Australia and China. Indeed, we in Australia are definitely one of the lucky countries as I believe that we have some of the best teachers and schools that can be found anywhere in the world. It must be the Australian way. As we all know Tai Chi soon becomes a way of life not just a sport to keep us active and alert.

    Challenges that lay ahead for TCAA include concluding a sensible realistic insurance deal, fostering state competitions and a network of international judges as we look forward to the inclusion of Tai Chi in the Olympics. With the change in the location of the President and Associations management team I plan to bring a different flavour to association and to develop stronger ties from each of the States. Our quarterly news magazine has been an extremely large commitment and John has excelled in gathering information to keep it interesting and informative and I hope to keep that good work going and introduce a state flavour to each of the publications.

    I thank everyone for affording me the opportunity to be president of our association and in the next magazine I will introduce the rest of the team.

    Stephen Lucas

    From Dr Paul Lam -

    It's been 3 years since the Tai Chi Association of Australia was formed at one of my Sydney workshops, and it's hard to believe so much time has passed. I think I've been privileged to have been part of the team that has worked so hard to set up the Association, and in their continued work and effort to promote tai chi and help all players of this remarkable art.

    I want personally to congratulate the new committee, and to wish them well with the challenges they face for the future. There is an exciting time coming, interest in tai chi is booming all over the world, and an Association like ours has an important and relevant role to play. I wish them luck and thank them for continuing the valuable work the Association has been doing.


    June 2002

    TCAA has been going for three years and it has a solid member base. We are now financially positive and we have enjoyed good support from our members.

    The time ahead will be very challenging. If we take up the challenge, we can become more relevant, useful and effective to our members. The insurance problem is just one of the challenges. All of us can see that Tai Chi has become more accepted and we have more student enrolments than at any other time before. There is more need for such an Association to provide a better and stronger environment for all of us to progress and promote the art.

    My term will come to a close at the next AGM and I would strongly urge you to think very carefully, to explore within yourself and outside yourself, to your contacts, to see who will be the next leader of TCAA. Think of someone who has a vision for Tai Chi Association of Australia, if that someone is yourself, and then think about your vision and how much you are willing to devote your time to take TCAA towards that vision. Very soon, I would like to see the returning office sending you invitations for nominations of different positions. Would you like to put forward your suggestion of our next potential leader, or put forward your vision of TCAA and what you are prepared to do to lead us towards that direction?


    MARCH 2002

    The last committee meeting held in January 2002 was the most representative of the year since most state presidents were presented as they were attending the 1-week January workshop. The martial art industry is now facing a crisis situation with insurance, in such difficult time; the purpose and usefulness of our association became more obvious. Our meeting has been very fruitful; committee members came out with several methods to meet the challenges ahead of us. For example, there are several methods we could approach the problem of insurance to gain better rates and conditions for our members and even the Tai Chi community at large. We have also explored the possibility of update and education on safety precaution and Tai Chi.

    All the subjects discussed were documented in the secretary's report, I urge you to read it carefully and send your suggestions. The enthusiasm and talents within our association has encouraged me. We are becoming more useful and relevant to the Tai Chi community each year.




    DECEMBER 2001

    Firstly let me wish everyone the very best for the Xmas season and a safe and happy new year.

    Recently, many of our members and colleagues teaching tai chi have found great difficulty in obtaining insurance at a reasonable rate. Most of us, Tai Chi instructors, know that if we take care, tai chi (without the sparring) is generally a safe sport. Yet we have been affected by the recent collapse of HIH and cases of injuries from martial arts.

    This is a good opportunity for us, as an association, to work with the insurance industry to obtain a special rate and conditions that would be more amicable to tai chi teaching. The rate would reflect the low risk more consistent with the nature of our teachings.

    This is a time to show our unity and an opportunity for us to use our united strength to benefit all members. Charles Tsui-Po in Victoria is approaching insurance companies on behalf of the the Association, but we would also appreciate any help from anyone who would like to help take up the cause on behalf of our association and work towards the goal of negotiating a favourable insurance rate. Please write to the secretary or voice your opinion on the web site.


    SEPTEMBER 2001

    Our second Annual General Meeting was held in Sydney on 19th August, 2001. This meeting proved to be extremely effective and productive. You will each receive a copy of the Secretary's report detailing specific points/issues raised.

    I would like to thank all members of the Association for their continued support since the founding of TCAA. I specifically would like to thank Charles Tsui-Po from Melbourne and Rosemary Palmer from Adelaide for travelling to Sydney to attend the AGM. Thank you also to everyone who has supported and re-elected me as President for the coming year. Finally I would like to thank last years Treasurer, John Mills and secretary, Darren Cox for putting numerous hours to do such a great job, and each committee member.

    Last year we consolidated our position with an overwhelming membership renewal and continued increase of new members. I can see our association has been effective. At the AGM we discussed ideas to improve our service and promote Tai Chi in general for the benefit of all members in the coming year. Your incoming committee will be working hard on this.

    According to our constitution this will be my last year as President. I am looking forward to the challenge of the coming year and to the new leadership the year after.


    JUNE 2001

    Yang Lu-Chan changed the original Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan into his own style, Yang Style, and, as most of us know, Yang Style has higher stances, is slow, gentle and graceful. It has eliminated the more difficult, fast force delivering movements, punching, and jumping in air of the original Chen Style. For whatever reason, Yang Lu-Chan changed Tai Chi Chuan from an exclusively martial arts practice for the dedicated to a great health exercise. Since Yang Style was created, the other styles followed suit in that they are all similar in terms of being gentle, relaxing and suitable for most people to learn for health.

    The fact that Tai Chi is so popular is largely due to health aspect and if we look at the composition of practitioners and students, the vast majority of us are practising Tai Chi for health purposes. In fact, whether we are learning Tai Chi as a martial art or for health, I believe we need the same components. To be effective in martial arts you need to have a clear mind to assess the situation calmly, a strong stance and good balance. You also need to understand the principle of yielding and advancing at the right time, you need to be strong from within, have strong Qi and you need to be fitter and have stronger muscles, etc. The same components are essential for better health, calmer mind, understanding the principle of balance, understanding the idea of yielding and advancing etc.

    So for whatever reason we are practising Tai Chi we don't need to practise it any differently for health or martial arts except for martial art purpose sparring is essential, which can be dangerous and can result in serious injury.

    I also believe that the more people practise Tai Chi, more it will improve the general level of proficiency, knowledge and depth of the art. For example, years ago, not many people played basketball but now it is one of the most popular sports and so therefore skill of basketball has improved immensely. I believe this can happen with Tai Chi. The future of Tai Chi in the 21st century relies on its incredible almost magical ability to improve health and I think Tai Chi has a huge potential to contribute to the health of the people worldwide. I would like to encourage all our members, and I am sure most of you are already doing that, to devote their time and energy in promoting and advancing the health aspect of Tai Chi.


    MARCH 2001

    Many of our members are Tai Chi teachers. I've had some interesting discussions recently with some of them about professionalism in teaching and how to retain our students. I think being professional and maintain a professional atmosphere means we are serious about teaching and our students will perceive us as such. Studies have showed this as one of the most importance reason to attract and retain students. I'd like to invite the teachers to use this newsletter, and our web site, to share information and ideas on how to run a class "professionally", and on some of the ways we use to stop students losing interest. It could be of great mutual benefit to all of our members.

    I just been advised by Walt Missingham, president of AKWF that our Kung Fu/ Tai Chi level one accreditation course has been formally approved by Australian National Coaching Council. This is a real step forward for TCAA, a significant service we are now offering to our members. I would like to thank David Suker and all member of the accreditation committee who have worked very hard to achieve this task. Also wish to thank the support of the participants who attended the first two accreditation workshops in Queensland and Sydney, and the coming workshop in Melbourne (25th March 2001).




    DECEMBER 2000

    The end of the year is almost upon us already. I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone the best for the Christmas season, and a Happy New Year.

    Our first tai chi accreditation course was successfully run just recently, in a workshop organised in Brisbane by our Queensland president, Dennis Watts. It was exciting to finally get to participate in the course we've talked about and been organising for so long. I would like to to thank David Suker and the accreditation team who have done a great job to construct the course, and Dennis and all his associates for the work they put in for the first course, and I would like to thank again the AKWF for it's co-operation and assistance in achieving our objective of an accreditation course for tai chi instructors. The next course will be run on the Tuesday night, the 16th of January, during my workshop in Sydney. There's some more information about that accreditation course later in this newsletter.

    Once again, I hope everyone has a happy and safe festive season, your Association committee is looking forward immensely to the new year and some new challenges.



    SEPTEMBER 2000

    Hello again everyone. Most of you know that one of the important issues for the Association has been the accreditation of instructors. It's especially important since an accreditation requirement by the government is inevitable. It is better for us to draft the requirements than it come from the government. We've also begun working with the Australian Kung Fu and Wushu Federation, (the AKWF) on the organisation of tai chi for the Olympics in 2008! I know that may sound like a long way off but considering the major task ahead it's not long at all. Remember how many years ago it was we first heard that Sydney was to host the summer Olympics?

    I'm pleased to say that the National Coaching Council (a dept of the federal government) has provisionally approved our application to get Tai Chi accredited in collaboration with AKWF. It will be officially confirmed after the Olympics since it is impossible for the Council to hold a proper meeting before that. On 13th October 2000, I will run the first of these accreditation course in Brisbane. It will be two and half hours in the evening, the next day I will be teaching at the AKWF level one and two accreditation courses in Brisbane. My topic will be Wushu in Olympics and what it can offer to all of us. We will try to run another one in Sydney around January 2001, probably together with the January workshop (see below).

    The Association is supporting some exciting events over the next few months. These annual events have become important in the tai chi calendar and are looked forward to by many participants and spectators. On October (the 7th), there is the Peaceful Challenge. It's an excellent way of gaining experience in the challenge of competition. Henry Murray, one of the event's organisers, has written an excellent article in this newsletter on the philosophy of "playing tai chi" for the Peaceful Challenge and everyone should be encouraged to participate. Another event, on the 12th November, is the Global Energy Field day in Sydney's Domain. This is a day for tai chi practitioners to get together in the park and demonstrate their art to each other and the passing public. Then, in January, there's the workshop my team is holding in Sydney. This year it's in the St Vincent's Girls College in the heart of Sydney and will go from January 8th to January 14th.


    JUNE 2000

    Hello everyone. We have had a busy time this last couple of months working on issue of accreditation for tai chi teachers. We discussed this in the last issue of our newsletter and in his article David Suker mentioned how government legislation is slowly forcing all instructors to be accredited by the Australian Coaching Council.

    The Australian Kung Fu and Wushu Federation, known as AKWF - (formerly FAKO), is the only body empowered by the government to run training and accreditation courses which ultimately lead to certification by the Australian Coaching Council. Until now their course has been directed mainly at the external styles of martial arts and tai chi principles have not been well represented.

    I'm pleased to be able to report that the AKWF has been very co-operative in helping us to revise some parts of their curriculum so that the instructor's course will now be a lot more relevant to what we do in tai chi.

    I would like to congratulate David Suker and the other members of the "accreditation committee" for the work they've done. It is an important issue and we believe it has real benefits for both students and teachers of our art.


    MARCH 2000

    The first thing I want to do is welcome everyone to the New Year, and even to a new millenium! Last year was a very exciting one for us all, because it was now a year ago we started the discussions that eventually led to the formation of the Association. Some important things are happening in the future, including tai chi's inclusion in the Olympics from the year 2008. This presents some challenges to us all, because there is now a great need for us to understand the changes this will bring and to organise ourselves for the greater benefit of tai chi. One of the issues we'll need to address is that of accreditation, particularly of instructors. At our last meeting we formed a committee to formulate and discuss our role with the AKWF, (the Australian Kung-Fu and Wushu Federation) and there is an article inside newsletter from one of the members of that committee, (David Suker).

    The great advantage of an Association like this is that we can all help each other, as it says in our constitution, to promote tai chi. But, there is a need for some more volunteers to help out with things like contacting people that express an interest in joining the Association. In fact we'd appreciate any suggestions as to how we could improve what we do. If anyone would like to volunteer either their suggestions or their assistance, please contact the Secretary, Chris Connor, at our mail address.




    NOVEMBER 1999

    With regard to Health Fund refunds for Tai Chi instruction, we have contacted all major health funds and have received many favourable responses. Several funds appear interested in our proposal but we have yet to receive a commitment. Upon receipt of all responses, we will review our strategy.

    It has been brought to my attention that most insurance companies don't understand Tai Chi teaching. Nowadays most insurance companies group professional indemnity and public liability together as one policy. Many insurance companies don't understand the low risk involved in Tai Chi teaching and subsequently offer unrealistically high premiums. We should look into negotiating a favourable rate for all teaching members of our association. Please send any suggestion to me.

    I have been overwhelmed with enquiries and have received an influx of applications for membership of TCAA. No doubt there is much our association can do to contribute to Tai Chi in Australia.

    I used to think that for our association to do well, we, the members of the committee, needed to find way to deliver benefits to the membership at large. A friend and supporter once told me: "It is better for all members to think of what they can do for the association to benefit all members including themselves." Thinking about it, it makes more sense to me. It is our association, and it is up to all of us to make it work to benefit all of us. I would like to leave you with this thought. Please feel free to give me your comments.


    AUGUST 1999

    I would like to welcome you to the Tai Chi Association of Australia. At the last meeting on 11th July 99 we re-stated the objectives in our constitution, the most important ones being:

    Benefits to members

    Sharing knowledge and skill

    For the association to be effective, it must bring significant benefits to all members and to do this requires support from all the members. Our top priority is to obtain health fund rebates for tuition fees and a list of members'classes. I personally have taken charge of the submission to the health funds for fees rebate, but I will need your help to do this convincingly.

    An effective submission must contain scientific evidence and show how this can benefit the funds. We need to let the funds know how many people we can influence, so that we can tell them that if they offer rebates for our student's fees, we will ask our members to switch funds. Please fill in the enclosed survey form to let us know how many students you have and how many people you can influence (for example if you are a therapist or doctor, you can influence thousands of people per year).

    We will place an advertisement in the YellowPages and other media later. Once the association is better known, it will receive enquiries about the location of classes, so a list of classes will benefit everyone. This is one of the most important services we can offer to the members and the public.

    The August Newsletter will give you some indication of how willing we are to share knowledge. Don't forget the "Peaceful Challenge" is not just a competition, it is an opportunity to share and to learn with, and from each other. The Sydney January 2000 workshop and Sydney Festival are more opportunities to share and learn. Try to participate as much as possible, you will always gain something by getting involved.

    Let us bring our friends and colleagues together to share and progress and to enjoy the Tai Chi bonds between us.


    Paul Lam


    Contact Us - Committee - Constitution - Instructors - Privacy - Copyright - Disclaimer - Feedback - Links

    © Copyright Tai Chi Association of Australia