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Almanzo "Lao Ma" Lamoureux
Almanzo “Lao Ma” Lamoureux is Senior Teacher Emeritus with the Magic Tortoise Taijiquan School (靈龜太極拳家) in the Triangle area of North Carolina. He has practiced Chinese arts for over four 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 (太極拳) 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 (武漢), Hubei Province (湖北), China from 1985 to 1988, he was the first and only foreign student at 91 year old Grandmaster Ding, Hong Kuai's (丁鴻奎) Wuchang Snake Hill Pavilion School (Shéshān 蛇山). Under Ding "YeYe's" tutelage, LaoMa placed first in weapons competition in Hankou's Hubei Provincial Wushu Tournament in 1987 where he demonstrated guaigun (枴棍, hooked cane). In May of 1986 LaoMa made his first pilgrimage to Wudangshan (武當山) 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 (氣功) at Duke University's Center for Living and Duke Diet and Fitness Center. Since 1994 he has also been the principal internal martial arts instructor at the United Martial Arts Center, Raleigh NC, and the U.S. Tae Kwon Do Institute, Durham NC.
Violet Anderson has studied with LaoMa for 14 years and is his number one student. Her studies include Wudangshan Taiji quan and several weapons forms. She also plays push hands and practices three of the Tangquan hard style forms. Violet has taught a wide variety forms under LaoMa for the majority of her years of study.
Garry Williams has been with LaoMa for 14 years and is a senior student that has been teaching with him for the majority of that time. He heads up the Tuesday night class in Raleigh. He is also push hands player.
After practicing karate in 2 different styles for a total of 15 years, I discovered taiji, which is loads of fun. I've been Lao Ma's student since 2007; enjoying the history, applications and smooth graceful movement. I am happy to teach beginners what I have learned and am grateful to my teachers; especially Lao Ma and Violet, as well as to my fellow students who have kindly helped me.
Black Bamboo Pavilion Taijiquan gives classes in tai chi, tai chi weapons, push hands and shufa (chinese caligraphy) in Durham, Pittsboro, Raleigh and the surrounding area.