About us

Marlene Stangier

Early in life I discovered the enjoyment of movement and learnt classical ballet, tennis and Judo as a teenager.

I successfully finished my professional training as a communications engineer and spent four years working in the field before I founded a family. As a mother of three children I learnt jazz dance, hiphop and Flamenco dance in the eighties until I discovered oriental dance in 1989. After many years studying and teaching oriental dance, I began learning Yang style Taiji Quan in 1997. My initial interest soon developed into a passion that has led me ever deeper into Taiji Quan and Qigong, and since 2010 also into Bagua Zhang and Xingyi Quan.

In 1999 I attended my first seminar with master Yang Zhen Duo, and since then have been to China three times where I successfully participated in competitions and intensive training seminars with Yang Zhen Duo and his grandson Yang Jun, the current lineage holder.

I began teaching Yang style Taiji Quan and Qigong in 2002 in Bergisch Gladbach. That year I took an exercise instructor course at the Deutsche Sport Bund (German Sports Association) and further courses at the DSB in 2003 for movement education for children at pre-school age and in 2005 as a spine and back trainer. Since then I’ve attended a number of other intensive training seminars and retreats, studied Yang style Taiji Quan sword and sabre forms, tui shou (push hands), spinal Qigong and Pilates and have expanded my own training.

In 2010 I began learning the two related so-called internal martial arts Bagua Zhang and Xingyi Quan, and due to their dynamic movement forms I gain deeper insights into structure, power and qi in flowing motion. The more I learn, the more I tap into the depth and power of these arts.

Michael Askew

I first encountered physical training when I learned Judo in childhood and later Tae Kwon Do as a young adult.

Only years later in 1994, when I was living in the USA and had started learning Aikido, did I come across the Chinese internal martial and energy arts of Taiji Quan, Bagua Zhang and Qigong. There I learned the basics of these arts with Bruce Frantzis and Bernie Langan. I was also interested in Taoist philosophy and the new perspectives it offered, which I could connect to the discipline of training.

I moved to London in 1997 where I sought a new professional direction, and discovered a promising avenue as English trainer for in-company English language and communication training. Chris Chappell taught Taiji Quan, Bagua Zhang and Qigong in London (the same system I had begun to learn in California) and I continued my training with him for the next couple of years.

I returned to the US at the end of 1999, this time to Colorado, where I worked in the tourist industry and took lessons for Chen and Yang style Taiji Quan, Bagua Zhang and Qigong with Lee Burkins.

I returned to Germany in 2004 and have since lived and worked as a language trainer in Cologne. That year I began learning Yang style Taiji Quan, and visited an intensive retreat in 2005 in China with master Yang Zhen Duo and his grandson Yang Jun, the current lineage holder. Alongside regular classes I have also visited several intensive retreats and seminars in Italy and Germany.

Since 2010 I have been studying Bagua Zhang and Xingyi Quan and regularly attend seminars with Luo Dexiou and other experienced teachers. The more I learn, the more I recognise the scope and depth of these arts. Over the last years my personal training has increasingly developed into a central focal point in life, by which I cultivate my own potential in a self-determined and self-responsible way. As when studying any other art, one discovers one’s limitations, recognises deficits and strengths, and learns to overcome or further these with discipline. This develops character and personality and helps to respond appropriately to life’s demands.