Washed away

Footprints in the sand provide the illusion of permanence. Yet the tide always washes them away - as though they never existed at all.

Gravestones mark the burial ground of those who were. And in the centuries to come, what will they mean? Who will remember or mourn the passing of so many?

We are like impressions in the sand, and no matter what our contribution, the world will forget us once we are washed away.


What does your school offer?

Our school offers:
  1. Lineage
    - this is about who taught who
    - your instructor's knowledge can be traced through generations of teachers, right back to the founder
  2. An experienced instructor
    - Master Waller trained with Peter Southwood for 20 years
    - he has been teaching tai chi since 1995
    - he has been training martial arts since 1975

  3. A qualified instructor
    - Master Waller holds a post-graduate certificate of education
    - he is registered with The Tai Chi Union for Great Britain
    - he taught under Peter Southwood's close guidance and supervision for several years

  4. A fully-differentiated syllabus
    - a syllabus offers an incremental learning program that enables all students to become skilled at tai chi
    - the layers and levels of the syllabus are interlocking and interconnected
    - there is an ongoing accumulation of both knowledge and skill

  5. Assessment
    - regular, consistent, thorough assessment is essential to ensure quality and understanding
    - progress can be proven

  6. Grading
    - this ensures that all students study material appropriate to their own ability level


In the moment

One of my friends studied judo for years and years. She was waiting for a chance to use it, but for a long time nobody tried to attack her. Then one day somebody grabbed her in a parking lot - and she slugged him with her purse!

And then she thought, "Oh! What happened to my judo?"

She must have been practicing judo as if it were an isolated thing. We should always practice to let the immediacy of the moment come through. Then you always have a sense of what you are doing now.

(Chungliang Al Huang)


Chinese New Year 2012

Marc & Yu-chun


Eddie, Marc, Yu-chun, Leigh

Leigh & Rob

Mrs Waller

Eddie, Marc, Yu-chun


Dominic, Brian, Graham

Barny & Rachel



Andy, Eddie, Marc, Yu-chun





Etiquette literally means 'prescribed behaviour'. It refers to how you should act when in class.

Many parents send their children to martial arts classes in order to learn good manners and respect.
As an adult, you are already assumed to possess these qualities.

Training hall etiquette serves to ensure a harmonious training environment.



The first impression a new starter gets of Master Waller's class is how professional it looks. Students are in uniform and there are people actively teaching the syllabus and practicing. There is a very comprehensive program of study to work through.



Preparation for the new year

Chinese families usually spend weeks before the new year cleaning their homes and business premises.
Some people give their houses a fresh coat of paint every year.

I am planning to be a little bit more modest in my preparation.



He was a young man,
but completely the master of the seven strings and of the complex music.
He would improvise before each song;
then would come the song,
in which there would be more improvisation.
You would never hear any song played twice in the same way.
The words were retained,
but within a certain frame there was great latitude,
and the musician could improvise to his heart’s content;
and the more the variations and combinations, the greater the musician.


Rest & relaxation

Rest is not the same as relaxation.

Whilst relaxation can take many forms, rest is more straightforward.
When you stop doing altogether, you rest.
An example of rest is sleep.


Peter Southwood's tips #19 Respect your instructor

Even if you do not agree with your instructor, do not be tempted to argue.
Inevitably you lack the entire story.
Your hostility and contention only serve to make you look narrow-minded and foolish.

Bide your time and let the lesson unfold.


Is baguazhang better than tai chi chuan?

It is a different tool designed to do a different job.
Baguazhang is intended with multiple opponents in mind.

Tai chi chuan is the better art to learn overall because virtually anyone can study tai chi.
The skills are sophisticated and subtle, but accessible for the patient student.
As a combat system it is pragmatic, versatile and functional.
There is very little risk of injury.
The art is gentle on the body.

Baguazhang is not so easy to learn, arduous on the body, harder to understand and not straightforward to apply.
It is not so good for people who have health problems.

So why bother?
Because it is effective, fun and challenging.


Baguazhang application

We gauge the effectiveness of an application by its ease.
If you can apply baguazhang effortlessly - without resistance or force - then it is acceptable.

At no time should it be necessary to struggle with the attacker.


Master Waller's wife

Rachel attends classes twice a week and trains most days with her husband.

In addition to tai chi chuan, Rachel is also studying baguazhang.
Rachel is not very fond of shuai jiao but enjoys chin na and jing a great deal.

Thank you

I would like to thank Eddie and Barny for their assistance recently; giving Sifu valuable, constructive feedback and help.


Black belt

Rachel has been interested in martial arts training for most of her life and passed her first taekwondo black belt in 1994.
She went on to become president of the club.