Wednesday

c/o Shammi:

“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”

Roald Dahl

Saturday

I feel stronger and much more supple. Get less aches and pains, flexibility greatly improved. Also feel mentally stronger and more relaxed.
 More relaxed when dealing with attackers. Unlike other martial arts, Sifu Waller's tai chi is extremely pragmatic with regards realistic attacks.

 The training is friendly and relaxed yet still effective. There is no pressure put upon the individual. You train at your own pace and progress as you wish. Everyone in the class is treated the same, there are no favourites or cliques like most martial arts classes.

 
(Paul B) 

Friday

The student as a boxer, not a fencer.
 The fencer's weapon is picked up and put down again.
 The boxer's is part of him. All he has to do is clench his fist.
 

 (Marcus Aurelius)

Tuesday

We want to scale the steepest cliffs to lofty heights.
 But forget about ambition;
 get on with the work of climbing,
 this is what the sages tell us.
 Vinegar has its own sweetness.


 (Loy Ching-Yuen)

Monday


Beyond intention

When a person attacks you unexpectedly, you cannot have a plan in mind. You must simply respond and move appropriately. This is a condition that transcends intention.
Intention may be present insofar as you have no wish to be injured, but beyond that there is no fixed plan. The event happens and you are part of that happening.

Friday

Concentration?

Intention is not concentration. You are not narrowing your field of focus. It is quite different to that. 
Your gaze must remain expansive and peripheral, with the eyes receiving information rather than seeking it. Intention is the beginning of the movement, the middle and the end.
It is the way of the movement, the process. Do not mistake intention for planning. You must remain adaptive, flexible, changeable - preconceived notions are not the Way.

Thursday

Broadcasting yourself

The need to broadcast stems from insecurity. By marketing your lifestyle and accomplishments you are seeking approval and envy.
If you seek attention, you will find it. But attention-seeking is less about courage than insecurity.
A person who dresses or acts to court attention is not bold; they are lonely. They want to be noticed. Their performance is intended to seduce you into adopting the role of audience.
Resist the urge to parade your accomplishments. Showing-off only attracts unwanted attention in the form of jealousy and resentment.
Chuang Tzu argues that it is foolish to advertise your wealth or your fighting skills.

Wednesday



Not talking

Instead of using conversation as a means of self-promotion, try listening and observing. Watch your own tendencies carefully.
Why are you speaking? What prompts the need? Are you talking for the sake of it? Do you have anything to say?
Are you softly spoken and polite, or are you loud and attention-seeking?

Tuesday

Soft

Sensitivity is a real challenge. Become attuned to your sensory realm: see, hear, smell and feel. Quieten your mind through meditation exercises and be here, right now.
Make everything you do soft. Your presence, your interactions with people, your physical manipulation of everyday objects, your voice, your manner.
Softness is not weak or ineffectual. It is subtle and elegant, graceful and powerful. In combat training, softness offers faster response times and less overt actions.

Monday

Slow

Moving slowly does not alert the nervous system. The mind ignores slowness. It is not seen as being a threat.
Watch how a cat moves. It is silent and stealthy, cautious and vigilant. It takes a lot more effort to move slowly. It taxes the muscles and enhances the nervous system.
You need to be in the immediate moment; aware of what is happening right now, of what you are doing right now. 

Friday

Deception

Deception is a major theme in The Art of War. It encourages the martial artist to avoid being showy and obvious in all facets of life.
If strong, appear weak. If capable, appear inept. Encourage over-confidence and provoke carelessness.

Thursday

Anonymity

Modern culture encourages the individual to parade themselves publicly, to broadcast their fighting skills and draw attention.
This is not what The Art of War and The 36 Strategies recommend. It is not good to be noticed.
Anonymity is a common Taoist theme. By remaining humble and quiet, unremarkable and unnoticed, a person can proceed through life freely.
Drawing attention is perceived as being unwise because you cannot determine whether the attention is good or bad.

Saturday

I am so glad to have found such a fantastic club to learn and train in tai chi. Both the teachers, Sifu Waller and Rachel, not only possess significant martial skills and knowledge regarding tai chi, but are also very patient with beginners like myself. I like the fact that in this club, tai chi is taught in a structured method ensuring beginners develop a solid foundation as they progress further. I like that even though there may be a lot of students training, the teachers have time to see how one’s own practice is developing and have time to make suggestions, give explanations, correct any bad practice and give encouragement. I like the fact that the club caters for students of all abilities with beginners like myself to highly experienced individuals who also help beginners.
I would recommend this club to any one interested in tai chi not only as a martial art but also for its health benefits. It is really a superb club.


(Mayur)

Monday

I feel fortunate to have found the Newcastle Tai Chi School. Its membership is diverse in age, background and experience. Students are friendly and respectful, and the teachers, positive and supportive. This safe learning environment - testimony to Sifu Waller’s authentic leadership – offers generous access to truly uncommon knowledge.

I study Qigong with Rachel whose teaching of form is comprehensive with elegant explanations and adjustments. Recently, as a beginner Taijiquan student, I have also experienced Sifu’s incisive teaching. Sifu is an engaging teacher who openly imparts his hard-earned knowledge through deft demonstrations and lucid instruction.

The classes are excellent value for money and time well-spent. In my short time at the school, I’ve noticed improvements in my physical ability and mental awareness. I’m learning how to use my body optimally and as a result, glimpsing the vastness of its capabilities.


(Shammi)

Wednesday

Isn't tai chi just slow motion exercise?

No. Some of the training methods are slow, and some are not. As the student gains greater skill, their movements become fluid and dynamic. They move at whatever speed the situation demands.

Slow motion movement, chilled out exercise or dance cannot be considered tai chi. Tai chi is more than this. It adheres to certain parameters, guidelines and rules of practice.

Monday

Sustainable exercise

In the longevity book The Blue Zones, Dr Robert Kane emphasised the fact that many forms of exercise, especially sport, have adverse side effects that impede long-term practice. 
By contrast, as a milder form of exercise, tai chi can be practiced throughout your entire lifespan, making it a safer, sustainable choice.