On Friday the 6th January 2017, our Grand Master John Kells sadly passed away. He lived from 1940 to 2017 and was without a doubt one of the greatest Tai Chi masters in his time.
John opened the British T'ai Chi Chuan Association in 1970 and started teaching, mainly to train up people to Push Hands with. In 1977, after his principle teacher, Chi Chiang-tao (Dr Chi) had spent over a year in London bringing John up to a high level, he started teaching in a big way, with beginner's classes commencing monthly, until 1993. It is estimated that from 1977 to 1993 John taught over 10,000 students.
We will possibly never experience the likes of this type of Grand Master again as he was very lively, humorous, serious, dedicated, direct, but always put his training first regardless of what was going on around him.
Sometimes we meet people in life, that we don't always fully understand, but for some reason they are worth following and Grand Master John was one of these people, they have something unique in them and this is why he had so many people pass through his school. Sadly John never made it to Cyprus, though we tried to organise it several times, he just wasn't able to make the journey, but that doesn't mean he didn't know you all.
I will pray for him to have a safe and enlightened journey to the other side, where his ancestors will be waiting for him. I have in the years I have known John had some discussions with him and one in particular came home to me after he passed away. We were talking about living to a hundred years old and after hearing his words I said to him that he would most probably live longer than the all of us, he quickly replied that, this was his plan to out live us all. He was right, he will outlive us all as he teachings will be remembered by so many people for so long and for a man that never searched out the spot light, his teachings have found a way into many peoples hearts. He was my Tai Chi teacher for many years and I know I will meet him again.
Rest in peace John and may the ancestors and the great spirit embrace you forever.
Master Vasilios 2017