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Our School

We started Qilin School of Tai Chi Chuan in 2016, motivated by a desire to offer something different for our local area. Our experience is that Tai Chi creates community, and enables people to be physically and socially active where they may not otherwise be. Many people enjoy Tai Chi as a relaxing exercise that engages the mind. Others may wish to go further and learn its application as a martial art. We can teach all aspects of the art. Health, wellbeing, fitness, balance, vitality or confidence, whatever you're looking for, we can help you find it.


Karen Clarke (Head Instructor)

Karen began her Tai Chi training at the age of 7 at her father's school, and began teaching at the age of 14. Now in her thirties, Karen has over 20 years of teaching experience in Tai Chi. As a young woman Karen achieved a very high standard and took part in Australian National Wushu and Tai Chi competitions, winning numerous gold and silver medals for her hand and weapon forms.

Karen is a qualified research scientist, working professionally in the education and government sectors. She is also an active volunteer with Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Dogs.

Michael Clarke (Assistant Instructor)

After several years training in Tae Kwon Do with forays into full contact competition, Michael made the switch to Tai Chi Chuan in 2001. He has attained a high level of proficiency in fast boxing and long weapons, and has a particular interest in the sticking (adhering) techniques of Tai Chi sword.

Michael is an environmental scientist and educator, and an accomplished bass player. He's also done hard time as a Scout leader and a State Emergency Service volunteer.

John Yuen (Grand Master)

John Yuen is the school's Grand Master, with over 40 years experience teaching Tai Chi. John was a disciple of Great Grandmaster Cheng Tin Hung, and is one of very few masters in Australia that can teach Tai Chi as an effective martial art.

John will visit our school to share his knowledge and encourage our students. John may also preside over any gradings students may wish to pursue (see Curriculum).

*Sister* Schools

Karen is the youngest of three sisters who, having learned the art from their father, are now all running Tai Chi schools of their own.

The other schools in our family, teaching the same style are:

Karen (right) with father John and sister Maria. A third sister, Selina, also runs her own Tai Chi school.

Qilin (麒麟)

The Qilin (pron. Chee-lin) is a magical creature in Chinese mythology.

A powerful beast, but one that walks softly on the earth. The Qilin is said to appear only to the virtuous, and is a protector of all that is good. However, if you're an evil doer, look out, because the Qilin will eat you.

Symbolising our practice of Tai Chi, the Qilin is a good omen, a bringer of health and long life. It also the embodiment of great strength and fearsome power tempered by a gentle and compassionate intellect.

Read more about the Qilin.

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