Why is Erle Montaigue so famous?
Erle Montaigue is internationally regarded as one of the leading instructors of the "Neijia" or “Internal” arts, namely Taijiquan, Baguazhang and Qigong.
He has been practicing the internal arts since 1968 and can trace his lineage directly back to Yang Lu-ch’an, the founder of the Yang Style.
Erle has taught and given workshops all around the world from his native Australia to the United Kingdom, Europe, America and the Far East. In fact, he is one of a select few Westerners who has taught Taiji back to the Chinese!
As explosive and forthright in his views as his art, and as eclectic and colourful as his teachings, Erle is no stranger to controversy. In fact, since the early 80’s, he has been a lone voice, swimming against the tide, as it were, of modern Taiji practitioners, specifically with his introduction of Yang Lu-ch’an’s original explosive form of what we today call Taijiquan into the public domain.
Erle began his martial arts instruction at the age of 11, training in karate and judo at the local Police Boys’ Club in Australia, as well as wrestling, which later led to a stint as a professional wrestler!
In 1967, whilst taking a telephone maintenance course, Erle met his first teacher of Taijiquan, Mr. Wong Eog. During this period Erle was also involved with the other passion in his life – music! By the late sixties and early seventies Erle had clocked several hit records and albums as well as a No. 1, “Can’t Wait For September” in Australia. He was recently voted as one of the greatest rock voices of the 60’s and 70’s Australian music scene.
In 1974, during a three-year stint in England, Erle met his second Taijiquan instructor, Mr. Chu King-hung – one of only three disciples of the late Yang Sa-chung, the eldest son of Yang Lu-chan’s grandson, Yang Cheng-fu.
In 1981 Erle traveled to Hong Kong, where his form was evaluated by Yang Sau-chung and where he studied with Ho Ho-choy, a direct disciple of Baguazhang Master Chiang Jung-jiao. In 1982, he began teaching Taiji in Sydney and became the chief of therapeutic movement at the NSW College of Natural Therapies. He opened his own school in Sydney in 1983.
The following year, he met Chang Yiu-chun, who would become his main internal martial arts master. It was from Chang, one of only two students of Yang Cheng-fu’s brother Yang Shou-hou, that he would learn the secrets of Dim-mak and H’ao Ch’uan – the original art of Yang Lu-ch’an, as it was known before it became Taijiquan!
In 1985, Erle became the first Westerner to perform at the All China National Wushu Tournament, at which time he was tested for hours by three of the world's leading internal martial arts experts and received the degree of Master. He is believed to be the only Westerner to have earned such an honour.
In his “spare time”, Erle writes his own column for several prestigious martial arts magazines, as well as serving as the editor of “Combat & Healing” – a widely read and highly regarded magazine discussing the internal arts. In addition, Erle has produced several books, including the seminal “Encyclopedia of Dim-mak”, along with over 300 self-produced videos, which have helped change the way people view the internal fighting arts. Many students have learned from these quality tapes in lieu of a teacher in what today is regarded as the “Erle Montaigue System” or as he likes to call it, “Moving to survive!”
Never the “Master” and always simply Erle to his students and friends alike, he is never as happy as when he is talking about his family and music.
Today, Erle teaches alongside his sons, Ben and Eli, and lives in Wales. His son, Eli has now taken over as the head of the World Taiji Boxing Association (WTBA), which has schools in more than 30 countries worldwide! All of these schools have learned or improved their Taiji in some way from Erle Montaigue.
A special thanks to Nasser Butt for allowing us to use content from his website: http://www.fajing-chuan.co.uk