Originally from Massachusetts, James began his study and practice of martial arts by focusing on the lost fighting traditions of Medieval and Renaissance Europe. Over a twenty-year career, he worked as a researcher and museum curator in the US and UK, most notably as the Royal Armouries Curator of Arms and Armour at the Tower of London. He later earned a Ph.D. showing how studying surviving medieval weapons, artwork, and treatises on combat can help us to understand (and even sometimes recreate) the now-lost fighting arts of Europe. More than just a scholar of the subject, James is an active practitioner (and the occasional teacher) of the medieval sword.

He met and started training with Shifu Zhou in 2014 through the free Taiji classes offered by Daoist Gate on Boston Common. He continued his Taiji training in both the 28 and 108 forms while also learning Qigong, meditation, and some foundational Kung Fu practices. He eventually began assisting Master Zhou and other senior students in running the free classes on Boston Common.

James later returned to the U.K., where he continues to practice independently the Wudang Arts he learned in Boston and occasionally trains with Master Zhou remotely. He also began training in Four Seasons Qigong during this time. James currently lives in Ascot, in southeast England. He is excited to finally fulfill his promise to Zhou Shifu to help establish the Daoist Gate lineage in Britain and share the Wudang Arts with his community.