External practice

Qigong can be performed externally or internally.
Taijiquan is the same; although in the case of taijiquan... external training renders the Art inauthentic and martially non-viable.
External practice might be more accurately considered 'performance art tai chi'.
It is possible to perform taijiquan in an external manner that is aesthetically pleasing but not actually internal.


Hard training

Conventional martial arts usually involve rigorous, punishing warm-up routines, challenging stretches, extended body postures, high repetitions...
Demanding exercise is pretty much standard.
Willpower and forceful behaviour drive the body into condition.


'External' attitudes

A lot of taijiquan practitioners begin by studying an external martial art for some years before switching to taijiquan.
Both Rachel & Sifu Waller did this.
The danger with training an external martial art first is that it encourages the student to see things in a certain way.

Our class is like Alexander the Great teaching Dad's Army. Sifu Waller's not even trying. It's unbelievably powerful and looks like nothing. It's beyond impressive. 


Wear & tear

 Suppose you buy a car in 2010 and use it very rarely. In 2016 you decide to sell the car and take it to a dealership.
 The mileage is unusually low for a car of its age. Yet the car is still 6 years old chronologically.
 In terms of wear and tear the car is 6 months old.

 Taijiquan is about spending your life energy (qi) frugally.
 That way, as you get older, your wear and tear is unusually low for a person of your age.


Meditation, reading & rest

Beginners commonly neglect meditationreading and constructive rest.
These 3 aspects of your training will great enhance the quality of your taijiquan and your everyday life.

Studying a book from the reading list (or this website) may not be as exciting as a weapons form, but it is necessary.
Please do not think to replace actual physical work with reading. You need to do both.


Quality, not quantity

Instead of doing a lot, do less but do it well. 
Even 10 minutes a day is worth doing...
If you are short on time, why not stagger the training across the week or do more on a weekend?


Little & often

Rather than train for a lengthy period of time, aim to practice little & often.
20-30 minute increments, with rest breaks in-between is ideal.
Instead of pushing your body hard and putting it under duress, just do a little exercise.Resting will keep your concentration sharp and offset fatigue.


Committed to learning taijiquan

A student who does a moderate amount of practice every day at home has made a major commitment to improving their health and gaining powerful martial arts skills.


Matcha is interesting because you are consuming the tea itself rather than an infusion from the leaves.


The role of qigong in the internal martial arts

Taijiquan, baguazhang and xingyiquan use forms to practice combat movements, build strength and gain agility.
The forms are highly intricate, with many different levels of skill.

Yiquan (mind fist)/dachengquan (the great accomplishment) - an offshoot of xingyiquan - does not use forms.
Instead, it uses static standing qigong postures in lieu of form.

Xingyiquan uses form(s) for power development.
Dachengquan uses standing qigong.
See the difference?

What should a tai chi school do?
The answer is somewhat self evident, isn't it?

Taijiquan is not dachengquan.
It uses forms, not standing qigong postures.
Read The Tai Chi Classics... There is no mention of standing qigong but a whole lot of information about movement.

Building blocks

Internal qigong is the foundation of taijiquan.
It trains the body to perform simple whole-body movements which underpin everything else.
Standing qigong increases strength whereas moving qigong is concerned with coordination and balance.


When and why did UK taijiquan practitioners start emphasising standing qigong?

Lam Kam Chuen's Way of Energy book was published and popular.

If you read material published before that time there is typically no mention of standing.
Lam wasn't even teaching taijiquan...
He was doing dachengquan/I chuan - a xingyiquan variant that utilises static postures rather than forms...
There is no static standing in taijiquan.


Committed to class

A student who attends lessons every week has made a strong commitment to improving their health and wellbeing.


Which qigong method?

The 2 qigong approaches can be distinguished by applying a slight push to the frame...
The external method feels hard and brittle whereas the internal method is pliable.Our school only employs the 'internal' method.


Internal qigong

Internal qigong features dropped scapula, heavy elbows and only a minor stretch.
Some of the exercises are essentially the same as external qigong, however, the way/manner of performing them is altogether different.


External qigong

Some qigong methods are 'external' in nature; involving large postures and stretching.
They have an expansive appearance.
Lam Kam Chuen's book The Way of Energy features a selection of external qigong exercises.


Research could save you time & money

would-be student should take the time to learn a little more about taijiquan before attending a class.
Do a little research.
The time spent will be worthwhile.
You do not want to waste years of your life learning something useless... 
The Tao Te Ching is a lucid masterpiece on the art of living.

(Doug Marsh)

David Cousin's Masterpiece

David Cousins made a truly fantastic cake to mark Sifu Waller's 41 years of unbroken training.
He made impressive model's of Sifu Waller's sword and jade pendant.
Look at the dragon's teeth!
David spent weeks modelling the sword. It is a very accurate miniature.

Well done David!

Rachel x

41 years of unbroken martial arts training celebration meal

We had an informal celebration meal with our martial arts students to mark Sifu Waller's 41 years of unbroken training @ Dabbawal in Jesmond.