NAME: - Raymond O'Reilly

STYLE: - Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan

GRADE: - Certified Sifu Tai Chi Chuan & 4th Degree black belt in Kenpo Kung Fu.

YEARS OF TRAINING: - 24 years in martial arts, 7 years in Tai Chi.

PREVIOUS STYLES PRACTISED: - Kenpo Kung Fu, Aikido, Shotokan, Wing Chun, Jujitsu & Weaponís.

HOBBIES: - Rock climbing & reading.

FAVOURITE TAI CHI POSTURE: - Long energy press.

BEST TAI CHI MEMORY: - The first time I experienced the weightlessness of a persons' body when it is in the emptiness. Darren, (weighting 90 kg) and I were practicing push hands in the park. He was playing the attacker and as I yielded he dropped into the emptiness. My fingertips were under each of his elbows and I lifted him off the ground, turned my waist and placed him on the ground again two feet from his last position. There seemed to be no weight on my fingers at all. I thought to myself "this is Tai Chi."


I came to Australia about eleven years ago and after spending most of my life doing martial arts I went looking for a Kenpo school, but at that time their where no schools teaching my style of Kenpo. Kenpo is a Chinese martial art which starts hard and square and as you move through the grades the system gets softer and circular. So it seemed to be a natural progression to learn Tai Chi.

I read a book on Tai Chi called the eight strands of the brocade in which it tells, what to look for when selecting a teacher. So I was looking for someone teaching Tai Chi, Chi Gung, Pushing Hands and who could demonstrate their art. A while later I seen an advertisement for Tai Chi Chuan and the advertisement answered most of my requirements and a few more such as weapons and defense applications. My wife Dee and I attended a class in Rockdale where we met Roman for the first time.

He asked us to join the class and demonstrated how correct structure can increase your strength and balance "knee positioned over the toe" but what really sold me, was when he asked me to grab his wrist. I decided he was not going to get away and locked in tight, two or three seconds later his wrist seemed to disappear and he just turned my arms over and the lock was on me.

The longer I train in Tai Chi the more revelations I experience, Roman explains it as laying one sheet of rice paper at a time, after a while you have a volume. Growing up in the martial arts I remember reading the stories and legends of shaolin monks and taoist warriors defeating ten or fifteen armed men or a priest throwing a man twenty or thirty feet yet not seeming to move, and a mystical energy called Chi which could strengthen your body and be used to defeat your enemy or extend your life. My training in Tai Chi has given me glimpses of this energy and what it can do when issued properly. Iíll have to let you know about the extension of life, if I make it to 105, I will know Iíve been doing it right.

BEST MEMORY OUTSIDE TAI CHI: - The birth of my two children, Niamh & Liam.



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