Instructors 2023

In this, our 26th event, in addition to our usual high level instructors we have invited some special new guests to join us for the weekend. We have a total of 12 instructors joining us, 8 for the full week’s duration and an additional 4 as weekend guests. As a bonus we have one of them bringing back, by popular demand, the early morning Baguazhang session each day from Sunday through Thursday.

As usual we consider ourselves very fortunate to be able to host a selection of high quality teachers, from Europe and beyond, offering an interesting and varied range of workshops, something which we believe offers valuable educational material for all tastes and approaches to these arts.

Full Week Instructors

Chiara Vendettuoli

Chiara Vendettuoli

Paul Silfverstrale

Paul Silfverstrale

Margherita Padalino

Born in Catania in 1977, Margherita Padalino started studying Taijiquan in 1996 under the guidance of the Master Gianfranco Pace. Since 2002 she has attended ITKA (International Taijiquan Kung fu Association) instructor courses held by Master Pace, dedicating herself constantly to the study of various aspects of Chen style Taijiquan (health, philosophy, martial etc.). She is also involved with various initiatives offered by ITKA: Qigong/Nei Gong, ‘Classic Chen Style Taijiquan’ (adults program and children program), TSD System (Taijiquan Self Defense System) and Taiji Match. The latter gave her the opportunity to participate in Kickboxing, Sanda and Tui Shou competitions.

She has successfully participated in national and international competitions. In 2016, at the official Taijiquan world championship in Poland, she won the gold medal in the traditional Chen Style sword form and the bronze medal in the traditional Chen Style bare hands form.

Nowadays she continues practising and studying with Master Pace. She is also a member of the ITKA Technical Committee which has the aim of spreading the ITKA System all around the world.

She travels frequently with Master Pace during his national and international seminars, collaborating with him and creating relationships with people and schools which want to follow the ITKA System.

She also helds her own Taijiquan seminars, courses for children and adults, and collaborates with Master Gianfranco Pace, Master Giovambattista Scavo and Daniel Romeo in the ITKA ‘Taiji College’ project.

Javier Arnanz

Javier Arnanz was born in 1975 and has practised Chinese martial arts for 20 years. An internal student of Sam Masich he teaches the Masich Internal Arts Method in Spain. Javier has successfully participated in national and international tournaments as competitor and coach. Javier combines his teaching in Taichi and Health Qigong with his practice as an osteopath and his experience as sport psychologist training coaches in pedagogy and training techniques.

John Bolwell

John Bolwell began his journey into Tai Chi and related arts, 50 years ago in Manchester with Danny Connor and Rose Li.

He has been particularly interested in exploring relationships between martial arts, healing arts, and performing arts. To this end he has complemented Tai Chi training with study in such areas as Beijing Opera ‘warrior role’ and Thai Theatre stage fighting. Also, with the study of weapons systems from various cultures. He has travelled extensively to both learn and to teach and looks forward to sharing some of these skills and learning some new ones at Caledonia this year.

John is an Honorary President of the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain; he attended the very first Tai Chi Caledonia as a participant and last taught at the event in 2002.

Pim van den Broek

Pim van den Broek has been practising Tai Chi Chuan since 1999, and previously practiced Kempo, Tae Kwon Do and Pencak Silat. He trains and has trained with various teachers in the Netherlands and abroad and has stayed in Asia multiple times for longer periods for further deepening his Tai Chi Chuan, Qigong, Reiki and Yoga knowledge and experience. He is co-founder of the North Sea Tai Chi Festival (, an organization that tries to promote tai chi chuan, and especially pushing hands, in the Netherlands. Pim has also been a guest teacher in the programme for government approved teachers in Martial Arts for a number of years. In addition to the lessons, he regularly organizes workshops in the business sector where tai chi is used to clarify communication processes.

Gianfranco Pace

Born on 15th June, 1969 in Catania (Italy) Master Gianfranco Pace started studying Chen style Taijiquan when he was a teenager under the guidance of M. Shi Rong Hua, who instructed him with a ‘family’ sort of teaching. After about ten years of learning from him, in 1998 he travelled through China seeking the effective qualities of Taijiquan. Under the advice of his teacher, in 2001 he went to Chenjagou, cradle of Taijiquan, to study with M. Chen Xiao Xing, living in his home. On his return to Italy, he attended the seminars of several Masters of the 19th generation of the Chen family.

In 2003 Gianfranco founded the ITKA, International Taijiquan Kung Fu Association, presenting the entire traditional technical program, enriched by other exercises and his own method of teaching developed from his own practical experience.

His knowledge and abilities have led to him being invited to teach in different countries all around the world. For five consecutive years he has taught in New York, as well as holding seminars in Florida, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Chile, Argentina and Brasil. In the latter four countries he was able to establish ITKA schools for South America.

In 2015 he was appointed by the Italian Federation of Wushu Kung Fu as Master responsible for the entire field of Taijiquan.

In June 2016 he presided over an international seminar together with Gran Master Yang Jun, great grandchild of Yang Cheng Fu, direct descendent of Yang Lu Chan. The theme of the seminar was: ‘Chen style meets Yang style’. In March 2017 he presented another international seminar together with master Zhou ZhongFu (Wu Style) in Genova.

In 2009 he carried out the dream of building a school where it is possible to study and live for long or short periods: the ITKA’s main school is situated close to Catania. This allowed a new project, called ITKA College, to be started and now many people from many countries (even from Scotland), are studying intensively in order to reach a high level in Taijiquan.

Although having been been invited by several exponents of the Chen Style’s XIX generation to represent their school, Master Pace has never accepted these requests in order to continue developing the ITKA System. This a traditional and innovative method recognised in many countries all around the world, and since 2017 even in China, when the Wang Academy invited him to teach along with M. Wang Zhi Xiang and at the Sanya International Camp.

Yanira Jigetsu Rodriguez

Following a high-performance national-level athletics career, Yanira began her taijiquan studies in 1996 at the National University in her native México. In 2002 she became an instructor in the University taijiquan program. As Taijiquan expert she teaches Taiji in Europe and North America. With a further certifications in Physiotherapy, Point specific Acupuncture, Therapeutic massage and Meditation, she helps students to follow their heart through art.

Guest Instructors

Lucia Ring-Watkins

Lucia Ring-Watkins

James Carss

James Carss

Helmut Oberlack

Helmut Oberlack

Early Morning Baguazhang

Luigi Zanini