Lineage students

Not many students will get to be indoor students.
It is not a matter of playing favourites. It is a question of priorities and commitment.
Ultimately, the choice lies with the student.

The keenest students will be asked if they are willing to make the commitment to learn everything the teacher has to offer.
Are they prepared to work harder than any other student?
Are they willing to be pushed harder than any other student?


Living the tao

My husband has been reading zen and taoist texts for a very long time. The teachings and lessons are part of his everyday life.

He keeps a very low profile, does nothing to attract attention to himself, remains modest and quiet. He is anonymous, bland and indistinct. No one would imagine what skills he possesses or what insights he is capable of.

This is not an act, a conceit or some perverse kind of pride. There is literally no desire whatsoever to be famous, noticed or special in any way at all.


Leaving without grace

No matter why you feel like leaving, you make up your mind that you want to go.
This is not a problem.
But consider how you are leaving...

If you simply stop attending without a word, or try to start an argument (in person or by e-mail) with the instructor... this is not good.
It is rude.
Your teacher has committed time and effort tutoring you.
They have endured your personality foibles and attempted to re-shape you into something better.

Disgruntled students can be malicious or hostile.
They resent the teacher.
They may feel jealous or competitive.

This kind of reaction shows the worst side of your character.



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 self defence training, softness offers faster response times and less overt actions.


What is condition?

Consider this situation:

You decide that you are unfit and you commit to a 3 mile daily walk every morning.
On the first day when you complete the walk, you are out of breath and your limbs are shaky.
After two weeks you can finish the walk without losing your breath and you feel pleasantly energised.
Eventually the walk feels too easy and you look to try a more challenging route.

Your friend joins you on the walk because they too want to get in shape.
They finish the walk exhausted and marvel at your stamina.

What has changed?

The walk is just as hard. You need to use just as much energy to complete it.
Yet, your body has grown stronger.
More efficient.
You can undertake the hardship of the walk without undue difficulty.

This is what condition means.
Increasing your strength, stamina, endurance and fitness.
Compared to somebody who does not undertake daily training you will be far more capable of sustained exercise.



Most students eventually reach a point where they leave a martial arts class.

The rare few stay indefinitely and learn everything that can be taught.
It is far more common for a student to quit.

Why you quit and the way in which you quit says a lot about your character, about who you are.


Fake Friday

Thursday nights are much more fun if you pretend that tomorrow is Saturday...
Let your hair down, stay uplate, forgety about work, over-indulge.

When you wake on Friday morning, act like its Saturday. Take a walk, relaxed, go slowly.

Friday at work will feel like its really Saturday.
And guess what?
Tomorrow night will be Real Friday...  so you get to do it all over again!


Going bad

It is quite common for students to sing Sifu's praises during their first year or two of training. He gets lovely e-mails saying how wonderful his teachings are. Then, for no apparent reason the student goes bad. They become surly and resentful in class, they start missing lessons and then they quit with a chip on their shoulder.


Copyright infringement

One of my husband's ex-students had stolen his class logo and was using it as his personal avatar on Myspace. The student in question refused to reply to Sifu's polite e-mails asking for the logo to be removed. Sifu was forced to press for "copyright infringement" with Myspace and the logo has now been removed.


Girls don't lose out

External martial arts such as karate, ju jitsu, wing chun or kickboxing are all about strength and speed.
Strength is pitched against strength and the stronger, faster person usually wins.
This means that women often lose out.

Tai chi was designed to be a soft martial art. Strength is circumvented. We rely upon sensitivity and gravity rather than brute force.

Sifu Waller's classes ensure that you know what 'self defence' means and how to use your body effectively in difficult situations featuring multiple opponents (and ultimately armed attackers).

We will not patronise women.
If you are not pulling your tai chi together, we will tell you.


Cost of instructor training?

Instructor training is free of charge.

You only need to pay for the assessment and the certificate:

Level 1 costs £100
Level 2 costs £150
Level 3 costs £200=