Santa Claus

Santa Claus was not always a mythical Hollywood character.

St Nicholas was born in Patara on the southern coast of Turkey. He was raised as a Christian and used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering.

No reindeers. No North Pole. No elves. No present lists. No Christmas cards, tinsels, trees, cakes, holly, mistletoe or carol singing.

Deviate from the essence and all is lost.
Most of us experience a sense of being 'on edge' or jumpy. This is really a habitual over-reaction to our environment. One way of deepening your understanding of this is to experiment with habitual patterns of reacting to a familiar stimulus, such as a door-bell or a telephone ringing.

 (Michael Gelb)


 It would be terrifying to actually confront Sifu Waller - his power is remarkable and I've likely only had a glimpse. More remarkable is that he is willing to teach us his Art.


Final class of 2016


Re-discover Christmas

In the 1970's Peter McNally (the local Scout leader) used to take large gangs of children and adults around the village on Christmas morning.
He'd found out which old people were alone and had no family. He'd filled shoe boxes with presents and asked people to sign cards.

Then he took everyone to visit each and every lonely old person. We would all stand and sing outside their houses.
The expressions on the faces of the old people said it all.


If you think that's tacky, come and have a look around where we live...

One house has that Santa you described, plus Blackpool illuminations, plus new addition - 7 foot mock snow-globe with Santa scene.

That's just one house, I think they're aiming to be seen from space.

Up My Street)


Christmas - the media spectacle

Christmas is a marketing triumph.
The inane catchy jingles played constantly, the lights and the decorations, the kitsch, the sentimentality and nostalgia, the peer pressure, the overindulgence...

People willingly spend money they do not have on things they do not need.
They do this for no reason whatsoever.  


You can also understand Sifu Waller's insistence on a certain level of fitness for the martial side. Anyone that thinks Taiji is for old people has clearly no idea what the total art is about.



Sifu Waller frequently gets asked to write a book on Taoism, Zen, taijiquan and/or baguazhang... Why doesn't he?

Because the mainstream perceptions of these subjects is quite simplistic. Think of Google or Wikipedia? Which results are favoured? The popular ones.

People want to hear what they expect to hear.


Everyday Zen

Zen koan:

One day Banzan was walking through a market. He overheard a customer say to the butcher, "Give me the best piece of meat you have." 

"Everything in my shop is the best," replied the butcher. "You can not find any piece of meat that is not the best." 

At these words, Banzan was enlightened.


What does this mean? Sifu Waller will help you here. The butcher maintains that all the meat he sells is his best. This cannot be true because by definition, best requires worst as contrast; a duality. One defines the other.

It is akin to having 'priorities'. You cannot have multiple priorities since the word priority literally means that which comes first. Everything that comes next is therefore of secondary concern?

Similarly, the phrase 'multitasking' is an IT term adopted by mainstream companies to suggest that a person juggle several priorities simultaneously. As the koan indicates, this is impossible.

In IT, multitasking is the illusion of simultaneity, not the practice of it. Now, that is ZEN.



Physical Education at school should actually educate people on physical matters:

• How to use your body in a healthy manner
• Sport is relegated to an after school club for those who are 'sporty'
• Kids who have postural/gait/movement issues should be given specialist rehabilitation in order to restore healthy body use
• Personal hygiene and cleanliness should be taught
• Ergonomics - sitting, lifting, good usage
• Anatomical knowledge; leverage, balance, strength, stance, poise etc
• How to avoid strain, discomfort, injury
• Everyday body use


You often say, "I would give, but only to the deserving."

And who are you that men should rend their bosom and unveil their pride, that you should see their worth naked and their pride unabashed?

(Kahlil Gibran)
Greetings Sifu Waller: I like your Xmas views.

Margot & I decided no presents for each other this year.
Well that is not strictly correct. I give Margot $210, she gives me $210.
We then pool the $420 & send it to India where a Tibetan Buddhist Monk's father will have an operation and regain his sight.

I think I am starting to get that Christmas feeling again.



Not so Christian Christmas

If Christmas is intended to celebrate the birth of Christ, how come its a commercial holiday?

Jesus said, "Take everything you have and give it to the poor."

The modern Christmas is not very Christian.
4 oz is the result of internal strength. A cat touches lightly because it is already buoyant. An average person, trying to give 4 oz, collapses their frame. Without internal strength, 4oz is conceptual.

(James French)


Why is the student's point of view unimportant to the instructor?

The instructor has spent thousands of hours training.
They have considered all options and possibilities, and discounted everything that is not practical.
They are a master of the art.
A student’s point of view will bring nothing new to the situation.
If the instructor listens to your point of view, they are probably just being polite.

(Andy Urwin)


I have been attending the Newcastle Tai Chi school for almost 7 years now. The class is very welcoming and friendly. Master Waller has an in depth knowledge of the art and is willing to share it with his students. He really is a great teacher. I would strongly encourage anyone interested in martial arts to try this school! 

 (Marc B)