Photo Credit:  ms.akr

Photo Credit: ms.akr

Learn a wide range of taiji (Tai Chi) empty hand and weapon forms.  While the majority of classes focus on a traditional hand form, these offerings are rounded out by two other hand forms, several weapons forms, and different approaches to push hands.  Taiji classes are offered on weeknights as well as longer seminars held every Saturday.

 Mongo!  The black bamboo pavilion school's mascot!   ...."rest posture" on stone pathway...

Mongo!  The black bamboo pavilion school's mascot!

...."rest posture" on stone pathway...


The Magic Tortoise Taijiquan School has always stood for the rich experience that study with teachers from various styles and backgrounds can offer. Dr. Jay began teaching in the Triangle area in 1979, and adopted “Magic Tortoise” as his dba (doing-business-as) after co-teaching a workshop in 1984 with LaoMa, then founder and chief instructor of the Tidewater Tai-Chi Club in Norfolk VA. LaoMa's 26 years teaching career as a Magic Tortoise Senior Teacher began in 1989 after returning from a 3 year sojourn of working, training and living in Wuhan, Wuchang, Hubei China.  (Kathleen, coming from Illinois, became the third Magic Tortoise teacher in 1990.) It has been a fruitful association. In this Monkey year, LaoMa has decided to step back, accept a new role as Teacher Emeritus, and entrust much of his teaching burden to Violet Anderson, his “number one,” and other senior students.

In consultation with Dr. Jay and Kathleen, LaoMa has also decided to continue his legacy by establishing his own school. Therefore, we jointly announce the formation of his Black Bamboo Pavilion Taijiquan School, which will function independently, yet as a brother/sister school to Magic Tortoise. We will co-host the annual Chinese New Year/Spring Festival family potluck, and continue the established tradition of encouraging students to study with both schools.

To keep up with LaoMa’s classes and activities, you may “like” the new Black Bamboo Pavilion Taijiquan School’s Facebook page, and visit his new website, To stay informed about Magic Tortoise classes and activities, you may “like” the Magic Tortoise Taijiquan School’s Facebook page and visit



Taiji Class and workshop schedule

Weekly classes are held throughout the triangle.  Longer workshops are held monthly on Saturday mornings.

Private lessons

Meet one on one with our teachers for corrections on forms, to learn a new form or to explore tai chi fundamentals and practices in dept.

Student Corner and LaoMa's Blog

Student Corner is a blog that explores taiji concepts and encourages critical thinking in our students.  

LaoMa's blog documents his time in China and other stories and experiences he's had along his taiji journey.