Kaj Westersund

1 . How (and when) did you start?
I started in November 1989 on a seminar in Turku, Finland arranged by Ilpo Jalamo, a famous martial arts teacher in Finland. I had done some Yang style under his guidance before.

2. Why Practical Tai Chi Chuan?
I have been practicing many other martial arts and was interested also in the martial side of tai chi, including weapon techniques.

3. What is your favourite technique - and why? (in 50 words)
I can´t think of any special technique that would be a favorite, rather it is the concepts that are trained in pushing hands, sensitivity, listening, adhering, following. These concepts are important in all martial arts.

4 .One piece of advice or knowledge you would like to give to fellow practitioners:
Especially to beginners I would like to say: Don´t give up so easy! Too many quit in the beginning because they find it difficult. Give yourself time to learn.   To more advanced practitioners I would say: Remember that even a master is a student for the rest of his life.

5. How do you train now?
Now as a retired martial arts instructor I still train almost every day, doing forms, also weapons and nei kung at least three times a week. I am still teaching two tai chi classes weekly. Due to an old leg injury I spend less time on free style pushing hands and more rigorous applications than before. I do more form practice as I have discovered that it is very helpful in rehabilitating my leg.


I started with Wado-ryu karate and jujutsu in 1978. Two years later I started escrima under London based Jay Dobrin.

I became a professional martial arts instructor in 1995, teaching mainly jujutsu and escrima and also some Practical tai chi.

1997 I started doing Pekiti-Tirsia (Philippine martial art) under Tuhon William McGrath from New York.

I have also studied Okinawan classical weapons under Ilpo Jalamo in Finland and Katori Shinto ryu swordsmanship under Tetsutaka Sugawara.

For shorter periods I have also studied Japanese and Western archery, pentjak-silat, tae kwon do and ninjutsu.

I also do different forms of firearm training. I have specialized in the use and defense of edged weapons. I have

instructed special groups in the Finnish police force, customs, prison guards and certain groups in the Finnish defense forces.

I have also taught police in Germany, Belgium and Estonia.

I have been teaching edged weapon and stick techniques also at international tai chi camps in Hungary and Scotland.