Auckland, New Zealand


By Leon updated 24 May, 2017



1928 - 2012

Grand Master Feng Zhiqiang was well known across China for his internal martial art skill and many legends abound. He had an in-depth knowledge about different Chinese martial arts.

From a very young age he learned Shaolin Quan from his uncle, and when he was 12, Tong Bei Quan from Han Xiaofeng. When he was 20 he was introduced to Xinyi expert Hu Yaozhen, also known as the father of modern Chinese Qi Gong. He was a wise man with a deep knowledge of Taoism, Buddhism, Traditional Chinese medicine and Confucianism. Grand Master Feng learned Liuhe Xinyi and the internal skills from him.

Grand Master Feng's second teacher was the Great Chen Tai Chi Master, Chen Fake (Hu Yaozhen's friend). Master Hu Yaozhen understood the advantage Feng Zhiqiang would have by learning from Chen Fake as well as having the talent for exploring the internal arts.

Grand Master Feng Zhiqiang left behind a legacy that gave all diligent practitioners a more vivid experience and understanding of the intricate movement and behaviour of Qi.


- 2013

Grand Master Liu Fuhao was born in Shanghai and lived there till his passing in 2013 at the age of 99. He was an exceptional martial artist and his internal skill and knowledge of the Chen Tai Chi was well-known in martial circles in Shanghai. His close friends include the Wu Tai Chi Master Ma Yueliang, and Yang Tai Chi Master Lu Guilin.

Grand Master Liu Fuhao's family have a long martial art training tradition, and he studied many different arts. When he was young he was accepted as a student of Tian Zhaolin where he learned Yang Tai Chi and achieved a great skill (only one of his students learned and studied the Yang Tai Chi from him). Later in his life he learnt Chen Tai Chi from Chen Zhaokui and practised it for the rest of his life. His skill was such that the Masters from the Chen village also visited to further their martial skills.

Grand Master Liu Fuhao only taught four students the art he practised. This was his two sons, Master Liu Hongcai, Master Liu Hongfu, Master Li Lulai and Master Ye.



Master Li Lu Lai was born in Shanghai, China. Master Li started training Plum Blossom Tang Lang (Praying Mantis) when he was eight and then trained Bagua Quan and Xingyi Quan. When he was 13 years old in 1968 he was fortunate to be accepted by Grand Master Liu Fuhao as a student. Master Liu Fuhao was Great Master of Tai Chi, well known in Martial Circles in Shanghai and practised Chen and Yang Tai Chi. Master Liu Fuhao only ever taught four "Inner door” students at his home and believed in passing the complicated tradition to only a few hard working students.

Training was brutal to western standards but the result was that Master Li managed to attain a skill that both his teachers were proud off. For the first 20 years Master Li seldom missed a day’s training with his teacher. Being absent was not an option or you won’t be taught. Training started at 2am in the morning till sunrise, every day. While lunchtime and evenings were also used to refine what was corrected earlier the day.

In 1981 Grandmaster Liu Fuhao's close friend from Beijing, and well-known Tai Chi Master, Feng Zhiqiang visited him. During this trip Grandmaster Feng Zhiqiang accepted Master Li as one of his very first "Inner door" students while performing the traditional ceremony with him. Grandmaster Feng was very fond of Master Li, because of his dedication to studying and researching Tai Chi by keeping to a strict daily training regimen over many years.

In those early years he taught Master Li Lulai the Chen Xinjia and Paochui routines, as taught by his teacher Chen Fake. Master Li was regularly taught by Grand Master Feng and when Master Feng developed his Hun Yuan style he taught the Hun Yuan Xinyi Chen Shi routines and the internal details to Master Li. Master Li visited Grandmaster Feng as often as possible and was updated and corrected on the essence of Hun Yuan Tai Chi till Grand Master Feng’s untimely death in 2012. After the death of Master Li's first teacher, Grand Master Liu Fuhao in 2013, the responsibility now falls on the ” inner door” students like Master Li to make sure the lineage skill lives on.

In 1997 Master Li travelled from Shanghai to New Zealand to teach Tai Chi. He decided to permanently stay in New Zealand with approval of his teachers, while sharing the internal arts with all people. Master Li now still lives and teaches in Auckland, New Zealand. He regularly travels to China to teach and develop his skills together with his peers.

Master Li has studied Tai Chi (or Qi as he describes it) for 50 years and still follows the same strict regimen daily that he was taught by his two teachers. Like most internal art teachers, Master Li was also taught Traditional Chinese Medicine and combines it with his training. To develop the internal skill Master Li also practices and recommends practising "Ji Ben Gong" or basic skill exercises. All practices should revolve around feeling what you train instead of just strengthening or stretching muscles. It all comes back to becoming more aware of who you are.


Master Li Lulai first teaches the 24 Step Hun Yuan Tai Chi. To learn the basic movements takes around 3 to 6 months, but a lifetime is spent in researching the energies and developing the feelings associated with the art.

The next routine that is practised is the Chen Shi Tai Chi New Frame 83 ("Xin Jia"). These routines are still practised as taught by Great Master Chen Fake (and both of Master Li's teachers). This means that routines are practised very slow and also very fast (Fa Jin).

Master Li also teaches basic skills training ("Ji Ben Gong" stretching). These stretches help to loosen and lengthen joints, tendons and muscles.

These are not the only training methods and the only limitation is time to practise them all.





Welcome to Chen Tai Chi Academy

At the Chen Tai Chi Academy, we practice "Hun Yuan Xin Yi Chen Shi Tai Chi" (shortened: "Hun Yuan Tai Chi") in New Zealand.

Hun Yuan Tai Chi developed as a natural progression from Grandmaster Feng Zhiqiang's vast knowledge of Chinese wushu and combining the most valuable teachings from his two teachers’ styles. Hun Yuan refers to Master Feng‘s input, while Xin Yi refers to his first teacher Hu Yaozhen, and Chen Shi refers to his second teacher Chen Fake. On a basic level, Hun Yuan refers to the natural tendency of circular movements found in nature. When practising Hun Yuan Tai Chi, emphasis is placed on developing the awareness of these circles. Both of Grand Master Feng Zhiqiang teachers emphasized combining these circular movements into spiral movements the internal arts. Master Li Lulai also stresses the importance of practising Hun Yuan in all internal martial arts.

To get a better understanding of Tai Chi, it is important to find a teacher who understands "Gong Fu". Secondly the teacher should be willing to teach you and see the potential in you. The rest is up to your hard work and your time spent with this art. Master Li was fortunate enough to learn the internal arts ("Nei Jia Quan") from two Great Tai Chi Masters, Grand Master Liu Fuhao (Shanghai) and Grand Master Feng Zhiqiang (Beijing). He became competent at fighting and participated in no-rules fighting for many years with constant correction from his teachers. Once attained this skill stays with you for life and if a teacher's fighting skill does not improve with age, they have not been taught or don’t understand the essence of Tai Chi.

Tai Chi is more than a fighting skill and is a “How To Manual” for experiencing happiness, love and health in your life. Unfortunately it is not done in “three easy steps” but a daily commitment for a lifelong journey.


+64 27 462 1445

Auckland, New Zealand

[email protected]
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