Ian Burgess 理山 Uncarving the Block

About Ian – 理山 (Li Shān)


Contemplative, Observant, Problem Solver

Who am I?

Well, that’s a complex question. I believe that our identities are shaped by how others perceive us, but there’s also a fundamental essence of who we are that remains constant. To some, I’m someone who brings clarity and understanding, helping them navigate through the complexities of life.

Throughout my career, I’ve held Director roles in various sectors like Professional Services, Non-Profit Organizations, and Tech Startups. These experiences have given me a wealth of knowledge and expertise, allowing me to excel in each industry.

But my focus is not limited to the business. I also have a passion for teaching Tai Chi, and practices that promote stillness and self-awareness. By teaching young children how to stand in tranquillity, I encourage them to explore their own existence and develop a deeper understanding of themselves.

In addition to physical practices, I also teach meditative practices and engaging discussions, to facilitate personal growth and introspection.

In conclusion, my diverse experiences have moulded me into a versatile individual who brings value to various aspects of life. Whether it’s untangling complex business challenges or guiding individuals towards self-discovery, I strive to leave a lasting impact on everyone I encounter.


I started off in online tourism but quickly transitioned into consulting roles within the international sector. I’ve worked on global projects and collaborated with technology and strategy investors. I even had the privilege of serving as Chairman at the Institute of Consulting in Scotland, where I contributed to industry qualifications and strategic initiatives.

Later on, I became the Director of the technology division of a multinational in the legal industry. After many years, I decided to invest my capital and venture into the digital realm, joining the professional services firm called Civic.

I am also actively involved in supporting the UK Open Source Industry through my participation in OpenUK. I’ve also invested my time and resources into various other projects while continuing my private consulting work.

My journey has taken me through different avenues within online services and consulting, ultimately leading me to where I am now. I’m passionate about contributing to progress and innovation.

Martial arts

It all started when my parents enrolled me in a local Tae Kwon Do class as a child. That decision ignited a lifelong passion for martial arts. I was captivated by the discipline and skill displayed by the instructors, and I became determined to become proficient in this art form.

Martial arts is more than just combat techniques. It encompasses virtues like respect, self-discipline, perseverance, and humility. These values have shaped who I am, impacting every aspect of my life.

Over the years, my dedication led me to explore different martial arts disciplines. I’ve constantly sought new knowledge and honed my skills, embracing the transformative power of martial arts.

My interest in martial arts expanded to include internal styles like Tai Chi. Through the practice of Tai Chi, I’ve developed self-awareness, physical balance, and the ability to recognize and manage mental and physical stress. It has become a source of solace and release for me, especially as someone with neurodiversity.

During my journey, I had the opportunity to learn Tai Chi from Adam Mizner. Under his guidance, I deepened my understanding of this art.

In conclusion, my exploration of martial arts has been transformative. From my initial scepticism to the profound benefits of Tai Chi, I’ve gained a deeper understanding of the body and mind.

Oh, and let’s not forget about Sumo! Inspired by the intensity and skill of sumo wrestlers, I decided to embrace this ancient Japanese sport as a new challenge. It pushed me outside of my comfort zone, but I embraced it wholeheartedly.

The Dao (Daoism)

I encountered Daoism during my martial arts journey as a teenager. As I delved deeper into the principles and practices of Daoism, it started shaping my worldview. I sought out Daoist masters who could guide me on this profound journey.

Through training and correspondence with these masters, my understanding of Daoism evolved. I engaged in enlightening discussions with Lao Zhi Chang, who eventually became my Sifu. Under his tutelage, my practice flourished, and I was given the name 理山 (Li Shān), which means Principled Mountain.

Daoism has become an integral part of my life, and I now share it with others while continuing to learn from select teachers. It has profoundly impacted my existence, guiding me on a path of personal growth and self-discovery.

So, who am I?

I’m a multifaceted individual who brings value to every area of life. Whether it’s through my diverse career experiences, my passion for martial arts, or my exploration of Daoism, I strive to make a lasting impact on the world around me.

Ian Burgess 理山 Uncarving the Block