Instructor Profiles

Chief Instructors

Chenjiagou Taijiquan GB was founded in 1998 by David Gaffney and Davidine Siaw-Voon Sim.


David Gaffney

David's interest in East Asian martial arts began in 1980 when he started practising Wado-Ryu Karate, training with several noted instructors including Kuniake Sakagami Sensei. Attracted by the holistic nature of the Chinese martial arts, he subsequently trained in the Shaolin Nam Pai Quan system, attaining black belt status. During this time he was an active competitor in traditional karate and semi & full contact kickboxing tournaments.

Since 1996 he has focused exclusively on Chen Taijiquan and was formally accepted as a disciple by 19th Generation Chen Taijiquan Standard Bearer Chen Xiaowang in 2007. In his quest for authentic training, he travels to Chenjiagou annually to train with Chen Xiaoxing in the Chen Village Taijiquan School, and has also trained a number of times with Chen Zhenglei in China and in Singapore with Zhu Tiancai. He has competed successfully in Push Hands competitions at British and International level, and was awarded an Instructor's Certificate by the Wenxian Chen Taijiquan Research & Promotion Centre. He is also one of the few Western students to have been awarded an Instructors Certificate by the Chenjiagou Taijiquan School. As well as writing his popular blog on Chen Taijiquan, David often contributes to magazines, and has been published in T'ai Chi magazine and The Journal of Asian Martial Arts, among others.

David was awarded 6th Duan Grade by the Chinese Wushu Association in Chenjiagou village in 2011, and teaches in the UK, Europe and USA.



Davidine Siaw-Voon Sim

A long time and dedicated practitioner, Davidine Siaw-Voon Sim has been taught by notable 19th generation Chen Family Taijiquan descendants such as Chen Xiaowang, Chen Xiaoxing, Zhu Tiancai, and Chen Zhenglei, among others, making numerous study and research trips to China and the Far East.

She has competed successfully at British and International level and has been awarded Instructor's Certificates by the Wenxian Chen Family Taijiquan Research & Promotion Centre as well as the Chenjiagou Taijiquan School in Chen Taijiquan's birthplace. As writer and recognised authority on Chinese arts and culture, Davidine speaks and conducts workshops throughout the UK, and has been featured on both BBC and Granada TV demonstrating and explaining the benefits of Taijiquan. She co-wrote "Chen Style Taijiquan, the Source of Taiji Boxing" and "The Essence of Taijiquan" with David, and has translated many Chinese texts on Chen Style Taijiquan to English, including Chen Xiaowang's "Chen Family Taijiquan".

Davidine holds the 6th Duan Grade, awarded by the Chinese Wushu Association. She teaches in the UK, Europe and USA.


School Instructors



Clive Howells

Clive's interest in martial arts began almost 30 years ago when he studied Karate with Terry O'Neill in Manchester. He started to learn Tai Chi and Qigong in the early 80's, learning from several teachers including Michael Tse and Liming Yue. Clive moved to the Chenjiagou Taijiquan GB School in 1998. Since then, he has progressed through the various hand and weapons forms and became an instructor himself in 2000. He has attended CTGB seminars with some of the leading teachers of Chen Taijiquan including masters Chen Xiaowang, Chen Xiaoxing, Zhu Tiancai, Chen Zhenglei and Chen Ziqiang, and has travelled to Chenjiagou to train intensively in Taijiquan's birthplace. He currently works as a freelance interpreter for Deafblind & Deaf people.

Clive holds a 3rd Duan Grade with the Chinese Wushu Association, and teaches Taijiquan in Nantwich.




Mary McGregor

Mary has been training with David & Davidine since 2000. She first learnt the Yang Chengfu 108 step form in the mid 1990's, then went on to learn the short Zheng Manqing form. Her principal interest is in practising Taiji and Qigong for their health and fitness benefits and she completed courses run by the Tai Chi & Chi King Forum for Health in order to develop her understanding of this. Mary has attended numerous seminars given by Chen Village masters Chen Xiaowang, Chen Xiaoxing, Chen Zhenglei and Chen Ziqiang, and travelled to the Chen Village School in 2011 to train intensively in the birthplace of Taijiquan.

Mary holds a 3rd Duan Grade with the Chinese Wushu Association. She is an experienced CTGB instructor and also teaches her own classes in the Knutsford and Northwich (Cheshire) area.




Tim Drummond

Tim began his Taijiquan training with CTGB in 1999, and joined the first British group to train intensively in Chenjiagou with Grandmaster Chen Xiaoxing in 2003. He has trained with visiting masters including Chen Xiaowang, Zhu Tiancai, Chen Zhenglei and Chen Ziqiang.


Tim holds a 3rd Duan Grade with the Chinese Wushu Association, and is now an assistant instructor with CTGB.





Allan Aldridge

Allan’s interest in martial arts began with Shotokan Karate while he was a student in Leeds. Subsequently he trained in Wing Chun with the Tse Qigong Centre, before starting to study Chen Style Taijiquan. Allan has attended a number of CTGB workshops with notable Chen style teachers such as Grandmasters Chen Xiaowang and Chen Xiaoxing and Master Chen Ziqiang, and has visited China several times to further his Taijiquan development, including the school's own intensive training trip to Chenjiagou in 2011.


Allan holds a 2nd Duan Grade with the Chinese Wushu Association, and assists in the school as well as teaching his own class in the Atherton area.



Crawford Currie

Crawford first practised Asian martial arts in the 1980’s, when he trained in Wado Ryu Karate under Tatsuo Suzuki Sensei. Following a layoff to pursue other sporting interests, he returned to the martial arts in 2007 when he started learning Chen style Taijiquan from Mary McGregor. Since 2009 he has been instructed by David and Davidine at CTGB, broadening and deepening his knowledge of the art. Crawford has been lucky enough to receive over 200 hours of teaching from visiting masters from Chenjiagou, including Chen Xiaowang, Chen Xiaoxing and Chen Ziqiang. In 2011 and 2014 he visited Chenjiagou himself in order to train intensively at the birthplace of the art.

In 2013 he was graded 2nd Duan by the Chinese Wushu Association, and now regularly assists in CTGB classes.



David Murray

David began studying Shotokan Karate in 1963, after seeing a demonstration by Sensei Tatsuo Suzuki, Hirokazu Kanazawa and Keinosuke Enoeda at the Albert Hall in Manchester. In 1997 he trained at the Shotokan headquarters in Tokyo, Japan and in 1998 he achieved a 3rd Dan black belt. He first saw Taijiquan in Vietnam in the late 1980s and studied Yang style with Alan McDonald from 1995-97. David began practicing Chen Taijiquan in 1996. Over the years he has travelled to China many times including attending Chen Zhenglei’s first International Advanced Training Camp in Hebei province in 1999. Since 2005 he has joined all the school’s trips to Chenjiagou to train with Chen Xiaoxing.


David holds a 4th Duan Grade with the Chinese Wushu Association, and teaches in the Salford area of Manchester.



Colin Rodgers

First introduced to martial arts at the tender age of 7 with Judo, Colin resumed martial arts training at age 35 with Taekwondo, achieving 1st Dan and entering a number of full contact tournaments.

Colin was introduced to Chen Taijiquan in 2012 by Lee Davies-Conchie, and has advanced his training with David Gaffney and Davidine Sim as well as attending seminars with the visiting teachers from Chenjiagou.

Colin teaches in the Fylde Coast area, in West Lancashire.



Viki Lloyd

Viki Lloyd has been studying East Asian martial arts for over 30 years. She is a former British & European karate champion, a senior student of the late Grandmaster Tatsuo Suzuki 8th Dan and holds a 4th Dan black belt. Viki travelled in Japan with Sensei Suzuki, training in a series of renowned dojos including NichiDai at Tokyo University.

Viki started exploring Taijiquan over 10 years ago, committing to serious Chen Style practice with Karel and Eva Koskuba of the Chinese Internal Arts Association. In 2013 she joined the Chenjiagou Taijiquan GB school's trip to Chenjiagou to train intensively with Grandmaster Chen Xiaoxing, returning for further training in the Village in 2014. Since 2013, she has regularly travelled to Warrington to train with David and Davidine. Viki has attended workshops with many of the Chen Taijiquan's leading teachers including Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang, Grandmaster Chen Xiaoxing, and also Master Chen Ziqiang, Chen Bing and Chen Yingjun. She teaches classes and workshops for adults and children in Chen Taijiquan and traditional Japanese Wado Ryu in Reading. Viki is a trained acupuncturist and Tui Na massage therapist and runs The Reading Acupuncture Clinic.



James Lucas

James started his Martial Arts journey in 1984 studying Wado Ryu Karate, complementing this with Wing Chun and Juijitsu in 1988, while at University. He started studying Yang style Taijiquan with the Zhong Ding organisation in 1992. He received his instructor grade in 2000 and continued with Yang Style until 2009. His first experience of Chen Taijiquan was in 2000 when Zhong Ding hosted workshops with Zhu Tiancai and Foo Shang Wee. During that time James took the opportunity to train in the Malay/Indonesian martial art of Silat and the internal arts of Baguazhang and Xingyiquan. In 2007 he began studying Yiquan with the Chinese Internal Arts Association. Since 2009 he has devoted himself to the study of Chen Taijiquan, training regularly with Wang Haijun and Chenjiagou Taijiquan GB. He has attended workshops with visiting masters including Chen Xiaowang, Chen Xiaoxing, Chen Ziqiang and Zhu Tiancai. In 2016 he joined the Chenjiagou Taijiquan GB school trip to Chenjiagou to train intensively with Chen Xiaoxing.

James teaches in West Yorkshire.


International Branches



Terry Ryan - France

Terry runs the school branch in Bressuire in the Deux-Sèvres department, France. He started his Taijiquan journey in 1974 with Keith Alker, who instilled a continuing love of internal Chinese martial arts and also gave him a practical appreciation of the martial aspects of these arts. In the late 80's he learned Xinjia (New frame) from Michael Tse, and was then introduced to Laojia Yilu (Old Frame first form) by his next teacher Sue Johnson. Terry continued his Laojia Yilu practice with Wang Haijun before he started training with Davidine & David. Over the years, Terry has attended many enjoyable and informative seminars and workshops; most recently by Chen Zhenglei, Chen Xiaowang, Chen Xiaoxing, Chen Ziqiang, and Davidine & David.


Terry holds a 3rd Duan Grade with the Chinese Wushu Association.



Danuse Gelatova - Slovakia

Danuse Gelatova oversees the school branch in Bratislava, Slovakia. Her first love was ballet and Dana reached the level of principal ballerina with the Czech National Ballet. She trained with a number of Taijiquan and Qigong teachers including Marco Pallasini and Otakar Chochola before starting to train with Davidine in 2006. She has attended many seminars with Chen Xiaowang and has travelled with the school several times to Chenjiagou to train with Chen Xiaoxing in the birthplace of Taijiquan.

Dana holds a 2nd Duan Grade with the Chinese Wushu Association.



Biljana Dušić - Slovenia

Biljana started training Taijiquan in 1999 when she was introduced to Yang Taijiquan. Shortly afterwards she began searching for a teacher of Chen taijiquan and started a Chen Taijiquan group in Ljubljana in January 2000. In June that year she met Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang at the Rogla Taiji Camp in Slovenia, and attended those camps a number of times. In 2001 she began organising regular seminars in Slovenia with Chen Xiaowang's eldest son, Chen Jun, and travelled to China three times between 2009 and 2011 to train with him.

In 2007 Biljana produced a documentary film "Lively Burning Fire“ featuring Chen Xiaowang and three of his sons. In Chenjiagou in March 2011 she took part in a traditional Bai Shi ceremony becoming an official student of Chen Xiaowang and was awarded 4th Duan by the Chinese Wushu Association.

Biljana is President of the Slovenian Association for Chenjiagou Taijiquan and has been working with David and Davidine in Manchester and Ljubljana since 2011. Since then she has also attended CTGB seminars with Chen Xiaoxing and Chen Ziqiang. In autumn 2013 the Slovenian Association for Chenjiagou Taijiquan became a branch of Chenjiagou Taijiquan GB.



Dragan Lazarević - Slovenia

Dragan's interest in martial arts goes back to 1968 when he started practising Karate. Over the next 30 years he trained in both the Budokai and Shotokan styles with several prominent teachers. During this period, he opened karate clubs in Postojna, Sežana and Pivka (Slovenia) and expanded his knowledge of martial styles by training intensively in jiu-jitsu and aikido.

Dragan's Taijiquan journey began in 1997 when he was introduced to Yang Taijiquan and Qigong. In 2008 he began learning Chen Taijiquan. Since then he has worked hard to develop his Taijiquan, including travel to China to train with Chen Jun and Chen Xiaoxing, and working in Europe with a number of teachers including Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang, Chen Ziqiang, Davidine and David.

In 2008 he opened his own Taijiquan School Skriti Zmaj and in 2011 became one of the founding members of the Slovenian Association for Chenjiagou Taijiquan. Dragan was awarded an Instructor's Certificate (2nd grade).



Øystein Alsaker - Norway

Øystein started training Yang style Taijiquan in Bergen Taijiquan Club in January 2001. After feeling drawn to Chen style since 2002 and realizing that training Taijiquan needed some deeper knowledge of Chinese culture, he went to Kunming, China for six months in 2003 to study Chinese and learn Chen style Taijiquan. He studied as an indoor student under Xia Xufeng, a student of Chen Shitong. While in China, he also trained Chinese calligraphy, Wushu, cooking and tea-drinking. He returned for more training with Xia Xufeng in 2009. He has attended seminars by Yang Jun, Huang Kanghui, Chen Xiaowang, Chen Xiaoxing and Chen Ziqiang in Norway, UK, Slovenia and Germany. Since 2010 he has taught Chen style Taijiquan at Sort Drage Taijiquanklubb (Black Dragon Taijiquan Club) in Bergen Norway where he regularly invites David and Davidine to teach at seminars. He has also studied two years of Cuban Salsa and almost four years of Aikido. Øystein works as a physics and maths teacher in high school.