Back to Basics
Erle Montaigue is regarded internationally as one of the leading
instructors of the internal arts of taijiquan, pa-kua chang, and
qigong. He has been practicing the internal arts since 1968 and
can trace his lineage directly back to Yang Lu-ch'an, the founder
of the Yang style.
He has taught in Sydney, London, and Hong Kong (in fact, he is
one of a select few Westerners who have taught taiji back to the
Chinese in Hong Kong) and has given workshops all around the world.
In 1985, Erle became the first Westerner to perform at the All China
National Wushu Tournament, at which time he was tested for hours
by three of the world's leading internal martial arts experts and
received the degree of master. He is believed to be the only Westerner
to have earned such an honor.
Erle began his martial arts instruction at the age of 11, training
in karate and judo at the local police Boys' Clubs in his native
Australia. His forte in these early years, however, was wrestling,
which later led to a stint as a professional wrestler!
An eclectic and colorful character who has never allowed himself
to be pigeonholed into any one art, pursuit, or career, Erle is
also an avid musician. He has always "marched to the beat of
a different drummer," and his somewhat rebellious nature can
be traced back at least as far as 1966, when he was expelled from
school for painting the building yellow, among other "small"
In 1967 he took a telephone maintenance course, where he happened
to meet his first teacher of taijiquan, Mr. Wong Eog. By the late
sixties, Erle was married with two children. He was performing in
stage plays and in a band, and he already had a No. 1 hit record,
"Can't Wait for September," to his name. When he was "expelled"
from the telephone job for dyeing his hair green and singing on
the job, he took up music as a profession and became a rock-'n'-roll
star, producing several hit records and albums by the early seventies.
In 1974, Erle went to England, where he met his second taijiquan
instructor, Mr. Chu King-hung, who took Erle on as one of his first
students (if not the first). Chu King-hung is one of only three
disciples of the late Yang Sau-chung (1909-1985), the eldest son
of Yang Lu-ch'an's grandson Yang Cheng-fu. Erle continued his acting
career while in London, performing in several plays, musicals, and
films before returning to Australia at the end of 1977.
In 1981 Erle traveled to Hong Kong, where his form was evaluated
by Yang Sau-chung and where he studied with Ho Ho-choy, a direct
disciple of bagwazhang Master Chiang Jung-jiao. In 1982, he began
teaching taiji in Sydney and became the chief of therapeutic movement
at the NSW College of Natural Therapies. He opened his own school
in Sydney in 1983. The next year, he found his main internal martial
arts master, Chang Yiu-chun, from whom he learned the secrets of
dim-mak and h'ao ch'uan (taijiquan). Chang Yiu-chun was one of only
two students of Yang Cheng-fu's brother Yang Shou-hou.
In his "spare time," Erle writes his own column for the
prestigious British martial arts magazine Fighting Arts International
and for Australasian Fighting Arts Magazine, one of the longest-running
quality martial arts magazines. His photo has appeared on the front
cover of both of these publications, as well as that of Karate/Kung-Fu
Illustrated, published in the United States. He also serves as the
editor of Combat & Healing magazine. In addition, Erle has produced
several books and a video with Paladin Press. Erle's magazine articles
and books have helped change the way people view the internal fighting
arts, and his 150 self-produced video titles have helped students
learn from quality tapes in lieu of a teacher.
Today, Erle teaches primarily in Australia, and he serves as head
of the World Taiji Boxing Association (WTBA), which has schools
in more than 30 countries. All of these schools have learned taiji
in some way from Erle Montaigue.
Check out Erle Montaigue on the World Wide Web at: You can also
contact Erle as follows:
MTG Video and Books
P.O. Box 792
Murwillumbah NSW 2484
Fax: + -61-66-797028