Classes are taught by LaoMa with assitance from his senior students Violet Anderson, Garry Williams, Dorothy Wright and Bob Ingram.
Almanzo “Lao Ma” Lamoureux is the director and founder of Black Bamboo Pavilion. He is also a 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 17 years, has been involved in the teacher training program for the past 14 years. She has taught classes for 10 years and has been a full partner in Black Bamboo Pavilion Taijiquan School since 2016. She teaches all of the school’s forms, including the three open palm forms, Wudangshan Taiji quan, and Liuhebafaquan. She also teaches several weapons forms and push hands. She enjoys two person work and playing push hands!! Violet has taught a wide variety forms under LaoMa for the majority of her years of study . She currently teaches some Black Bamboo classes out of her pavilion, The Laughing Mountain Taijiquan Pavilion, located in Durham, NC. Violet is available for private lessons upon request.
Garry Williams has been studying taijiquan for 20 years, and has been studying with LaoMa exclusively for the past 17 years. As a senior student, he has assisted with teaching for many years. He has learned several weapons forms, and is an experienced push hands player. Garry teaches the Tuesday night class in Raleigh.
Dorothy Wright has been attending Black Bamboo Taijiquan School since 2007 and an assistant instructor since 2014. Before discovering taiji, she did hard style karate (american and shitoryu). Dorothy enjoys the Wudangshan style of empty hand form as well as weapons (sword, dao, stick, fan, cane). She leads the Thursday morning class as well as assists with Monday and Wednesdaay night classes.