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Black Bamboo Taijiquan

For years we were honored to host LaoMa and his school. He no longer teaches at our facility but still holds classes all over the triangle at various times each week. Check the schedule on his website (link above) for details. Below is a bio of the man himself and descriptions of some of the classes that he offers. He is truly a master and is very knowledgeable about not only Tai Chi, but all martial arts from China. We are sad to see him leave us, but strongly encourage you, if you are interested in Tai Chi, to seek him out and join his school.    

Sifu Lao Ma

 Almanzo "Lao Ma" Lamoureux is Senior Teacher with the Magic Tortoise Taijiquan School in the Triangle area of North Carolina and owner/operator of Black Bamboo Taijiquan. He has practiced Chinese arts for over three decades, and was the founder and chief instructor, from 1975, of the Tidewater Tai-Chi Club (and a co-founder of the Tidewater Tai-Chi Center) in Norfolk, Virginia. From Oct-Nov 1975, LaoMa made his first visit to China, traveling to various Minority Chinese Regions, and having the grand opportunity of playing taijiquan with groups of ordinary people from Beijing to Xian to Kunming, Xishuangbanna, Changsha and Shanghai. He received his M.A. in Asian Studies at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia in 1980. Living and working in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China from 1985 to 1988, he was the first and only foreign student at 91 year old Grandmaster Ding, Hong Kuai's Wuchang Snake Hill Pavilion School. Under Ding "YeYe's" tutelage, LaoMa placed first in weapons competition in Hankou's Hubei Provincial Wushu Tournament in 1987 where he demonstrated guaigun (hooked cane). In May of 1986 LaoMa made his first pilgrimage to Wudangshan in western Hubei Province, the sacred Daoist Mountains of Taijiquan's origin. He has returned to China often, studying with many teachers and visiting sacred sites. LaoMa has served as form and push-hands judge in numerous tournaments sponsored by the U.S. Wushu-Kung Fu Federation, and as chief judge in the U.S.C.K.F.'s United States International Kuoshu Championship Tournaments. Through the Magic Tortoise Taijiquan School, LaoMa has taught taijiquan and qigong at Duke University's Center for Living and Duke Diet and Fitness Center.   


Wudangshan 108 Taijiquan

Wudangshan 108 Taijiquan is one of the oldest forms of taijiquan. Like all taiji forms, it is characterized by a uniform slow pace, low center of gravity, controlled empty stepping and unified whole body movement, etc. This was the first form LaoMa was taught when he studied with 90 year old Ding Hongkui on Snake Hill Pavilion in Hubei Province. Wudangshan 108 is distinctive for the large number of applications within each posture and the variations of applications in repeated postures.

The class consists of three interrelated sections, and begins with "Eight Pieces Brocade Qigong," a deep diaphragmatic/abdominal breathing and upper body stretching exercise, followed by a basic warm-up "Simple Taiji Walking" form. Both warm-up exercises stress fundamentals of taiji principles. All students then follow in a section of  Wudangshan 108 form before breaking up into smaller groups to work on beginning, intermediate, or advanced levels.

Wudangshan 108 tiajiquan students focus on working with the taiji principles, characterized by a uniform slow pace, low center of gravity, controlled empty stepping and unified whole body movement. This class accommodates all three empty hand forms taught by the Black Bamboo Pavilion. Students should speak with the head instructor about their interests.

Class begins with the "Simple Taiji Walking" exercise as a warm up, followed by form.


This interactive engagement with fellow taiji students emphasizes reading (ting) and sticking (nian) energies, and relates these and other interactive elements back to solo forms, regardless of styles. Mostly concerned with two and three person drills and sets, there is some engagement in "free-style" interactions.

The class begins with a series of three person warm-up exercises before advancing to particular drills and exercises


A variety of both Taiji and Kungfu weapon forms including stick (gun), straight swords (jian), broad swords (dao), fan (shan), bian (whip), walking cane (guaigun).

Most of the weapons taught by the head instructor were learned in China where the distinctions between Taiji and Kungfu are not as sharp as in the U.S.  The Stick form exemplifies this intermingling of wushu styles. It originally came from the Praying Mantis style that was adapted to Taiji practice by the well-know U.S. Master T.T. Liang.

The class begins with a "Stance Drill" of the eight basic stances, and a "Simple Walking Form."  The Stance Drill introduces  Taiji students to all the major stances, not just those limited to Taiji forms, and the Simple Walking form introduces Kungfu students to Taiji principles. 

 Liu He Ba Fa Quan and Tang Quan

 Wudangshan 108 Taijiquan, Liu He Ba Fa Quan and Tang Quan "Liuhebafa" is an Internal style that features elements of other neigong styles such as Taijiquan, Xingyiquan, and Baguazhang.  It is unique in its unusual undulating, wave-like motion that is conducive to generating surprising qi low. Because of this distinctive element of movement it is also called "Water Boxing." It's lineage is traced back to the late Tang Dynasty.

 "Tangquan" is a dynamic form of the External style, "Tang System" (2 of the weapons I teach, "Baguajian" & "Taishibian" are also from this System). This form is distinguished by its fast pace and many jumps into mabu and pubu.  Its lineage is traced to the First Tang Emperor's 3rd son, Li Xuanba, as well-know today in China as he was almost 14 centuries ago.

Class begins with the "Simple Taiji Walking" exercise as a warm up, followed by form.



Contact Information:

Tactical Kung Fu and Mixed Martial Arts 4228C Garrett Road Durham, NC 27707 phone: 919-213-1705

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