Why does Tai Chi Renegade exist?

Colin Power (left) and Nasser Butt Taiji Renegades
Al Krych, Colin Power, Erle Montaigue, Nasser Butt (L to R)
Erle Montaigue and Nasser Butt

If you look up the modern definition of a ‘renegade’ you may come up with a derogatory explanation rather than a flattering one. We prefer for you to make up your own idea about the content on this website.

One of the older definitions of ‘renegade’ is ‘rebel’…it is more aligned with our mission.

We think of ourselves more as ‘gentleman rebels’…rebelling against the ‘Western’ mainstream belief that Taijiquan is a soft health art and nothing more. Yes we are biased towards the view that Taijiquan is a martial art and always has been. If you disagree, that’s OK because we are not here to change your mind.

We don’t have time to pick a fight in the comment section and neither should you so we have disabled comments to avoid that regrettable waste. No matter what your style, flavour or beliefs regarding Taijiquan we hope that you find something useful to further your study of your art.

Our History

Tai Chi Renegade website

Our chief editor Colin Power and his instructor Erle Montiague, a well known author and Taiji master, started collaborating in 2009 on re-editing a number of Erle’s previously published books to make them freely available on the internet. This website was created to promote the lifelong work of Erle Montaigue (The Erle Montaigue system) and was maintained until shortly after Erle’s passing in 2011.

Erle Montaigue was originally labelled as the “Tai Chi Renegade” in a Black Belt magazine article by Ron Baker. We used this as the title for the website but Erle in a quiet moment stated that he would have preferred not to be that renegade…it was a necessary role he had to play so he could get the information out from behind closed doors.

Ten years after the passing of Erle Montaigue we decided to republish Tai Chi Renegade…it is time to provide the next chapter.

With the collaboration of ‘Lift Hands’ magazine and editor Nasser Butt we will be providing you with content designed to assist you in your studies of Taijiquan and associated martial arts.

Our Lineage

Nasser and I (Colin Power) hold the same lineage as we share Erle Montaigue (Masters degree, China) as our chief instructor. We are not named disciples of Erle as he did not go for that sort of thing being brought up in an Australian culture that bestowed mateship rather than titles.

We are products of the Erle Montaigue system of fighting and healing that included Taijiquan, Baguazhang, Wudangquan and Qigong. The image below walks you through the Yang family members and the influence upon our Taiji side of the system. We both study the Yang form (Thirteen Dynamic solo set & Long Boxing) as expressed through the Yang Shou-hou lineage as our main form, however we also have extensive experience in the Yang Cheng-fu solo set.

Erle Montaigue Yang Taiji Lineage

Nasser Butt

Nasser Butt Senior Instructor

Senior Instructor, 5th Degree and personal student of the late Erle Montaigue (1949-2011) and has been studying Chinese martial arts for more than 35 years. He resides in the county of Leicestershire United Kingdom, teaching regular classes and workshops locally and Internationally.

Training in Wing Chun for several years before moving onto study The Erle Montaigue System of Fighting & Healing, comprising of Taijiquan, Baguazhang, Wudangquan and Qigong. He has continued to evolve and study, referring to the system that he teaches as: “Move to Survive”!

His study of the internal arts, particularly the ‘Old’ Yang Style of Taijiquan and Baguazhang began in the late 90s. Lucky to have found an instructor who introduced him to the neijia and the work of Erle Montaigue he was hooked from day one.

Up until then, like most people, I had considered Taijiquan as a health exercise for the elderly or for those who weren’t interested in learning a ‘real’ martial art and not a brutal fighting system!

Nasser Butt

He finally met Erle Montaigue in 1999, and from thereon trained directly under him until Erle’s untimely death in 2011. Erle regarded Nasser as one of his “most highly trained instructors in the UK” for his system of fighting, as well as a personal student and friend.

In 2006, Erle asked Nasser to begin teaching on a full-time basis. He teaches regular weekly classes as well as local and international workshops. His teaching is relevant to the modern times while maintaining the lessons of the past.

He is also the chief editor of the multi-award winning martial arts magazine “Lift Hands”.

Colin Power

Colin Power Editor Tai Chi Renegade

I live in Hervey Bay, Australia and integrate Taijiquan and Qigong into my podiatry practice. It is a fun way to provide rehabilitation exercises for my patients and achieve lasting results. Understanding the martial aspects of my art assists me in the healing aspect of my clinical work.

I was a bit of an odd bode as a kid and always felt out of place until I walked in a local primary school hall to take my first Tae kwon do lesson. I was not a naturally gifted student, just an average Australian 14 yr old boy that chose to work hard and be the best I could be. I had a good honest instructor that encouraged me. I continued with Tae Kwon do until going to university to study podiatry.

Luck had it that the closest martial arts dojo to my university accommodation was a Bujinkan Ninjutsu school and I was accepted as a student. The instructor had just returned from living in Japan for a few years…this was the early 80’s. We fought full contact in every training session and in every thing we did. For 4 yrs I don’t think I had a week without a bruised something and my nose may not be as straight as it should be. It was also the first time that meditation and healing was introduced to me in a formal way.

The next chapter in my martial arts training was a number of years later.

Australia’s best martial art magazine of the time “Australasian Fighting arts” often had articles written by Erle Montaigue. These were always interesting so one day I called him up on the phone to see if he had any instructors in my area. Sadly he didn’t but we chatted for a while and he said if I didn’t mind a bit of a drive I could come and train at his place. It was more than a bit of a drive but my lovely wife pointed out it was “only” 6 hours drive each way…and that started my time training with Erle and my introduction to Taiji.

It was 1997 and I had found my next instructor. I would do a lot of driving to train with Erle and when he left Australia I would do a far amount of flying to visit him in Wales and train with him in Germany and USA. Erle awarded me my Instructor certificate in 2000 for dedication and hard work…it is the only certificate that I really need. I have a Masters Degree in Podiatry but my patients don’t come for the piece of paper on the wall and I feel the same way about my martial arts grading. If you want to train with me great but don’t come for a piece of paper on the wall.

Martial arts is an extension of family and my family blended in well with the Montaigue family and we still keep in touch on a personal basis.

I found Nasser Butt…he says he found me, in Germany in 2007 after Erle suggested we meet and he has been in my extended family ever since.

Martial arts has been important to me for a very long time but the people I meet through Martial arts are more important. I’m still “just an Aussie boy doing the best he can”…nothing special.

Chief Editor Tai Chi Renegade – Colin Power