Jeet kune do

Why did Bruce Lee develop jeet kune do?

Bruce Lee had studied wing chun and felt that wing chun did not fully address certain aspects of combat such as grappling, kicking and floor work.
To resolve this, Bruce Lee sought to develop his own martial arts system.

Many modern martial arts focus on certain aspects of combat and neglect other considerations.
Typically, an art is concerned with grappling or striking/kicking.
Broadly speaking, judo, ju jitsu and aikido are grappling arts... whilst karate, wing chun and tae kwon do are striking arts.


Sifu swords

Contrast the colour of Sifu's jian scabbard with the handle?
The rayskin has gone white from years of use.


Learning any skill

Learning to drive a car, speak a foreign language or play a musical instrument involves time, patience, practice and expense.
A night school college course requires commitment.
Joining a gym often involves becoming a member.




Questioner: My mother has been dead for some years. Quite recently I have lost my father also, and I am full of remorse. My sorrow is not only remorse, but also the feeling of suddenly being left alone. What am I to do? How am I to get over it?

Krishnamurti: If one may ask, do you suffer for your father, or does sorrow arise from having no longer the relationship to which you had grown accustomed?

Questioner: I don't quite understand what you mean.

Krishnamurti: Do you suffer because your father is gone, or because you feel lonely?
You are suffering, surely, not for your father, but because you are lonely, and your sorrow is that which comes from self-pity.




Businesses seek to make money. They accomplish this in many ways.
One method is 'abstraction'.

Instead of handling money with your hands, you are encouraged to use 'electronic' methods of payment:
  1. Credit card
  2. Debit card
  3. Store card
  4. Standing order
  5. Direct debit
  6. Mobile phone contract

These all serve to distance you from the transaction itself.

Common health problems

Students frequently come to class with backache and tight shoulders, or they simply cannot relax.
Our training releases the muscles, calms the nerves and dissipates tension.


No neigong

The way most people do tai chi, it's not a martial art. They could never use it the way they're doing it. Everything's in their hands, they just fill in the rest with fantasy talk.
 (Paul Gale) 



To heal, we must commit ourselves to a healthier life.

Every day we waste in idleness is gone forever.
Time will not wait.


Our classes make people feel more alert.

Students are required to be open to new ideas and explore the material for themselves.
There is the joy of discovery, of finding out for yourself what works.

Self defence training increases your physical and mental awareness; you become more receptive and you notice more.
Your body suddenly seems to be telling you things. This is not new. What's new is that you are listening


Other forms

We teach a number of forms derived from the Yang Cheng Fu form, including sword, staff and 2-person sets.

This song is great at bedtime

Such blissful sleep... zzzzzzzzzzzzz



Long-term tai chi chuan training has been proven to radically affect many ailments/illnesses and conditions.
It is a serious investment in terms of health.
Your health should be prized above all else.
If you have poor health, your quality of life will be poor.

Looking after your body takes time, patience and commitment.


Small circle

The term 'small circle' refers specifically to the degree of waist rotation.
Inexperienced students must always exaggerate the waist movement in order to train the correct nerve and muscle usage.
Large circle becomes small circle with time.
It cannot be forced.



The second form is actually a sword form using movements derived from the Yang Cheng Fu form.
This heavy weapon offers a notable workout.
It develops upper body strength, whole body movement and wrist flexibility. Students learn how to extend their energy through the blade.
The sabre was designed for use against multiple opponents.

We do not teach the sabre as a self defence tool.


Sifu's approach

The highest level of tai chi chuan practice is high stance and small circle. In high stance and small circle you can conserve your energy to a maximum level. This is very crucial in battle. Endurance has always been the crucial key to survival in a long battle. Moreover, due to high stance and smaller posture you can reach to the deepest relaxed stage, the mind is highly concentrated, and the sensitivity and alertness can be extremely sharp.

 (Yang Jwing-Ming)


Daily training

If you attended lessons for 4 years, and trained every day at home, how much practice have you done?

180 training sessions in class (45 x 4) + 4 years daily practice at home (365 x 4) = 1640 training sessions.
That is almost 10 times the amount of practice relative to simply attending class.

Naturally, there are other considerations, such as: how many minutes or hours of daily training do you undertake?
What is the quality of that practice?
But you get the general idea...



Students of tai chi chuan learn how to relax and rest.
They become more capable of managing stress and conflict in a constructive manner.

The supplementary reading promotes change and flexibility, freedom and receptiveness. The mind is opened and the consciousness expanded.
The quality of life is enhanced.


The paradox of our age

We have bigger houses but smaller families; more conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees, but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgement; more experts, but more problems; more medicines, but less healthiness.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but we have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbour.

We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication.

We have become long on quantity but short on quality.

These are times of fast foods but slow digestion; tall man but short character; steep profits but shallow relationships.

It’s a time when there is much in the window, but nothing in the room.

(Dalai Lama)


At the heart of all things is a simple quality.

Clarity arises when we are capable of seeing this simplicity. When we notice small things. The details.
Instead of pursuing greater and wider experiences, we are content to remain where we are and notice what is in front of us.

What does the word 'taijiquan' mean?

Taijiquan means supreme ultimate fist and is pronounced 'tie jee chwan'.

or tai chi is usually translated as 'supreme ultimate'; this is a reference to the yin/yang process.
Quan means fist, boxing, or martial art and indicates combat.

It is important to remember that a complete understanding of taijiquan requires expert knowledge of self defence.


5 styles

There are 5 recognised styles of tai chi chuan:
  1. Yang
  2. Chen
  3. Sun
  4. Wu
  5. Hao


Stress relief

It is important to let go of stress, to relax and slow down.
The pressures of everyday life can easily make you feel tense and depressed.
Tai chi chuan is an opportunity to take a break from how you normally operate.

Although the training is restful, it also invigorates you - leaving you feeling calm yet alert.

What is the protocol for learning baguazhang in our school?

Any student can learn baguazhang providing they have the aptitude.

Baguazhang is mandatory for dan-level students but optional for other students.
To qualify:
  1. You need to have passed your yellow belt
  2. You must know Yang Cheng Fu form (section 1) pattern to a reasonable standard
Ideally, a student should only learn baguazhang if their tai chi chuan is coming along well and they can demonstrate some aptitude at baguazhang.
It is important to see baguazhang as an extra, a bonus.
Baguazhang cannot be trained at the expense of your basic skills: qigong, Yang Cheng Fu form, partner work.



The principles, tactics and skills of tai chi are radically different from those of the much greater number of external martial arts styles. Although all martial arts styles are designed to be effective in combat, the internal martial arts styles and tai chi in particular, emphasis efficiency as much as effectiveness. Efficiency is measured by the ability to achieve success by using the absolute minimum amount of effort necessary.

(Zhang Yun)


Since tai chi chuan was developed from the teachings of taoism, there is a significant reading requirement as students move through the syllabus.
It may be necessary to buy one or two books a year.

Learning baguazhang

Sifu Waller teaches the 1st palm change and then it is up to you.
If you do not show short-term competence when assessed by Sifu Waller, you cannot train baguazhang.

This may seem strict, but baguazhang is both hard to learn and hard to teach.
Unless you have got initiative, a willingness to train between lessons, and some aptitude at form... you must wait until later in the syllabus.

Show skill at the 1st palm change and Sifu Waller will teach you the 2nd and so on.



Nothing beats home practice.
It energises the body, makes you alert and increases acuity. You become relaxed, supple, agile and responsive.
Internal power grows gradually.

In lessons, you become an excellent practice partner.

Skill is never acquired suddenly. It is the result of countless hours of patient practice.


It is counterproductive and dangerous to seek shortcuts. There are none to be found and the futile search for them will distract you and make it less likely that you will ever achieve a high level of expertise.
(Zhang Yun)


Slow progress

A student may train for 4 years and wonder why they are still tensing-up and clumsy.
Ask yourself: how were those 4 years spent?

Did you train at home every day?
Did you employ the skills and insights in your everyday life?
Or...did you just attend lessons once a week and do no training at home?

Attending weekly lessons is one thing. Practice daily at home is another thing. Putting the principles into your daily life something else entirely.

Self discovery

To understand your tai chi chuan you must become a pragmatic person, a scientist and learn how your body works in relation to everything around you.
You must begin with your feet planted on the ground.

Spirituality refers to the journey of self discovery.
It is concerned with the values and meanings by which people live.


Traditional tuition

Sifu Waller was asked to train palm changes for 30-60 minutes every day for 10 years before learning how to apply them.
His form was regularly and extensively corrected throughout that time.


Modern tuition

Modern students expect to attend a one-off bagua workshop and just pick up the skills.
This is naive.

We do not expect our students to train palm changes in the traditional way, but it will take time to learn them correctly.
It is necessary to have the form regularly corrected, so that a process of ongoing refinement and improvement takes place.
Accurate positioning, attention to detail and a growing awareness of nuances is vital.

Once the form pattern has been learned, it must also be mirrored.



Of all the people who begin the discipline of tai chi, only a handful will continue past a year or so. Humility, compassion, lack of ambition, non-aggression, spontaneity and silence are not qualities that our societies value. There is no more difficult journey than the journey to the self.

(John Lash)


Children at play

When a child plays, they seldom behave in the manner that adults equate with play.
A child at play is usually engrossed in whatever they are doing; their minds are in the here and now.

It can be quite difficult to distract a child who is playing.

Natural things

Zen cultivates a taste for natural things.
Instead of glossy, flamboyant, outward show, it turns the attention inward.
You begin to notice the small, the seemingly insignificant, and you see the wonder of the ordinary.

This way of looking at things seems most appropriate for a martial art that conceals its power so skilfully.
The tai chi chuan is not ornate.
It is simple, direct, flowing and natural.
Within the slow spirals, curves and gentle steps can be found a grace that is difficult to articulate.

A description of Sifu in action

His responses to attacks of any kind achieve a flowing spontaneity that is alive and vibrant. There is no prior thought necessary, no calculation, yet even so, his actions have about them a magnificent celerity and deadly acumen.

 (Dave Lowry)



Students have the opportunity to learn the sister art of tai chi chuan: baguazhang.
The 8-part form is challenging and enjoyable.


Congratulations on your outstanding website.
 My name is Ron and I currently live in Melbourne Australia.
 Studied and practiced martial arts as a young man in the 60's and 70's.

 Was fortunate to study Classical Yang style tai chi in Montreal Canada with Lee Shiu Pak disciple of Chen Wei Minh in Shanghai prior to cultural revolution. Studied with Master Lee for over 10 years. His concept was that to truly develop the tai chi student must study the following four areas: Form, Boxing, Healing & Philosophy.  I moved to Australia in 1980 & Master Lee died in 1982.

 The reason for this e-mail is to congratulate you on your website content. Your approach is very impressive & thoughtful. You remind me of Master Lee, and that is the greatest compliment I can give. Good Luck with your school. If I were living in Newcastle I would love to attend your school.


Business address

Newcastle Tai Chi
St Andrew's Church
Station Road
NE12 8AW
0750 3604568