The Association and its Founder

The Zhong Ding Association is a worldwide organisation that was established in 1987 by its Chief Instructor, Nigel Sutton at the request of his teacher Tan Ching Ngee of Singapore. The two main bases for the organisation are Europe and the Far East, but there are also instructors available in India and the USA.

The purpose of the association is to promote and research Tai Chi Chuan and other traditional martial arts. As such, the association runs classes and seminars throughout the year at a wide range of locations. These include special seminars conducted by visiting instructors who are renowned experts in their field.

Zhong Ding International is the mother organisation and is based in Malaysia where the association was born. This is led by Tan Mew Hong, who is also a committee member for the Penang Wushu Association and Vice Chairman of the Traditional Wushu Section. She teaches and promotes martial arts throughout Penang with a strong focus on this development within local Schools.

Malaysia is also the location for the Zhong Ding Training Academy which is the headquarters of the Zhong Ding International and the Zhong Ding organisation as a whole. The training academy offers short or long term residential training opportunities for Zhong Ding students to further their art.

The organisation hosts two residential training camps a year and an annual competition in the UK to further promote the arts. In addition to this, the organisation has a national squad to develop the next generation of martial artists. The squad competes and trains together regularly building a strong base for the organisations future.

As well as promoting through teaching, the association encourages its members to write for periodicals and related publications. Nigel himself has had articles published in a number of magazines and is the author of several books on Tai Chi Chuan.

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Nigel Sutton

Nigel has studied Martial Arts since he was thirteen years old and has trained extensively and intensively with a number of different teachers. He is a lineaged disciple of:

  • Tan Swoh Theng (wuzuquan and taijiquan)
  • Tan Ching Ngee (Zhengzi taijiquan)
  • Lee Bei Lei (Zhengzi taijiquan)
  • Lau Kim Hong (Zhengzi taijiquan)
  • Ho Ah San (Zhengzi taijiquan)
  • Gao Ji Wu (baguazhang, xingyiquan, yiquan)


He is also:

  • Senior student of Liang He Qing (traditional wushu, taijiquan)
  • Student of Fu Chang Hui (Chen style taijiquan)
  • Khatami under Md. Hasyim (Silat Lian Padukan)
  • Student of Azlan Ghanie (Silat Melayu Kris Lok Sembilan)
  • Initiated student of Zainal Abidin (Silat Tua, Krabi Krabong)
  • Student of Eric Olavides (Eskrima DECampo JDC-IO)


Nigel has studied, researched and taught in Europe, China and Southeast Asia and is the author of a number of books. He has also written articles for most of the major international martial arts magazines.

He currently, lives in Malaysia, where he practices a wide range of traditional martial arts and makes a living as a writer. This is also the location for the Zhong Ding Training Academy in Penang, where Nigel delivers residential training courses, in a range of disciplines, throughout the year.

Nigel also visits the UK regularly to train with his students, delivering seminars and overseeing competitions.

Photographs courtesy of and copyright of Scot Baston Photograhy
Nigel Sutton
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