John Kells

John Kells (born 1940 in Dublin) started Tai Chi in London, 1967, under a student of Liang Tung-tsai (whom John also later studied with) called John Yelenesian. Since then he has had nine teachers of substance, including two Tibetan buddhists, the most important being:

John Kells

Chi Chiang-Tao (1919-1994): the top student of Cheng Man-Ch’ing (1900-1975) and the supreme yielder of his generation. All who met him attest to his saintly character.

Yang Shou-Chung (1907-1985): the son of Yang Cheng-Fu who taught John much about spirit.

Hsieh Chi-sheng: a top student of Chen Wei-Ming with many martial artist friends who helped John in his Tai Chi studies. Master Hsieh also taught John Pa Kua and Hsing I.

Liang Tung-Tsai (1900-2002): full of mischief and humour whose wife introduced John to Chi Chiang-Tao.

Wang Yen-Nien (1913- ): student of Chang Chin-Lin and of impeccable character with whom John studied power.

From 1961 to 1982 John also received internal instruction from a Harley Street doctor of mixed Icelandic and French descent. This man taught from an ancient European lineage (far older than Tai Chi). The teaching was largely without words and was elemental in the extreme – all about power, transformation and particularly HEART.

John opened the British T’ai Chi Ch’uan Association in 1970 and started teaching, mainly to train up people to Push Hands with. In 1977, after his principle teacher, Chi Chiang-Tao (Dr Chi) had spent over a year in London bringing John up to a high level, he started teaching in a big way, with beginner’s classes commencing monthly, until 1993. It is estimated that from 1977 to 1993 John taught over 10,000 students. From 1991 to the present John has spent most his time researching and investigating the new Heartwork – the principles of which have sprung mainly from his Icelandic teacher, though the physical manifestation is still largely Tai Chi.

I studied with John Kells starting in June 1984 at the British T’ai Chi Ch’uan Association in Upper Wimpole St and leaving in May 1993 after the school moved to Archway.

John Kells died in January 2017.       R.I.P