Qigong, pushing hands and form?

Most tai chi people simply do qigong, pushing hands and form.
They balk at a more varied training regime.
Why? Because they are lazy.
Giving your body a comprehensive workout takes effort: stretching, floor exercises, cardio work...
News is irrelevant. In the past twelve months you have probably consumed about 10,000 news snippets - perhaps as many as 30 per day. Be very honest: name one of them, just one, that helped you make a better decision - for your life, your career or your business - compared with not having this piece of news. No one I have asked has been able to name more than two useful news stories - out of 10,000. A miserable result.

(Rolf Dobelli)


There is no teacher but the enemy.
 Only he will tell you where you are weak,
 where he is strong.

 (Ender's Game)


We choose our leaders, political or spiritual, out of our own confusion, and so they also are confused.
We demand to be coaxed and comforted, to be encouraged and gratified, so we choose a teacher who will give us what we crave for.
We do not search out reality, but go after gratification and sensation.



The only way to become accurate, precise and controlled is to practice between classes.
Once a week training in class simply isn't enough.
Your prevailing physical habits are just too ingrained.
The body requires a daily reminder.



Receiving correction is vital in any martial art but especially so in taijiquan.
 Careless, sloppy practice places stress on the joints.
 Your body quite literally cannot reasonably perform the demands being placed upon it.
 Also, it is not enough to simply copy/mimic - you must have some understanding of why you are doing things in a particular manner.
 This is why the lower grades are all about physical fitness and health.


"I read the muscle magazines, muscle websites, tried all sorts of workout machines, dozens of routines I saw others doing, and wound up straining my shoulders and elbows, back and knees. (Ever wonder why there is such a turnover in the fitness club memberships?)"
"Most guys can’t touch their toes in their twenties"
(Men's Health magazine, 2017)
Earthquake in Sumatra. Plane crash in Russia. Man holds daughter captive in cellar for thirty years. Heidi Klum separates from Seal. Record salaries at Bank of America. Attack in Pakistan. Resignation of Mali's president. New world record in shot-put. Do you really need to know all these things?

We are incredibly well informed yet we know incredibly little. Why? Because two centuries ago we invented a toxic form of knowledge called 'news'. News is to the mind what sugar is to the body: appetising, easy to digest - and highly destructive in the long run.

(Rolf Dobelli)


It was around the beginning of the industrial revolution that the idea that human beings were like machines came into being. The body was seen as being like a clockwork toy, capable of being taken apart, parts replaced and then put back together again. Although this perspective has produced powerful life saving procedures, this view also limits our awareness of the wonders of the human body and life itself.

 (Liz Koch)


Rather light a candle than complain about darkness.



The student has nothing to offer but an absolute willingness to follow the teacher's instructions and direction without question or comments or personal improvisation.

(Dave Lowry)


Everyone exists. There is nothing meritorious in existing. Fight for something. Even if it is simply to get fit. Fighting requires effort; a purpose and a choice.
THE RAINS HAD washed the skies clean; the haze that had hung about was gone, and the sky was clear and intensely blue. The shadows were sharp and deep, and high on the hill a column of smoke was going straight up. They were burning something up there, and you could hear their voices. The little house was on a slope, but well-sheltered, with a small garden of its own to which loving care had been given. But this morning it was part of the whole of existence, and the wall around the garden seemed so unnecessary. Creepers grew on that wall, hiding the rocks, but here and there they were exposed; they were beautiful rocks, washed by many rains, and they had a growth of green-grey moss on them. Beyond the wall was a bit of wilderness, and somehow that wilderness was part of the garden. From the garden gate a path led to the village, where there was a dilapidated old church with a graveyard behind it. Very few came to the church, even on Sundays, mostly the old; and during the week no one came, for the village had other amusements. A small diesel locomotive with two carriages, cream and red, went to the larger town twice a day. The train was almost always filled with a cheerful, chattering crowd. Beyond the village another path led round to the right, gently going up the hill. On that path you would meet an occasional peasant carrying something, and with a grunt he would pass you by. On the other side of the hill, the path led down into a dense wood where the sun never penetrated; and going from the brilliant sunlight into the cool shadow of the wood was like a secret blessing. Nobody seemed to pass that way, and the wood was deserted. The dark green of the thick foliage was refreshing to the eyes and to the mind. One sat there in complete silence. Even the breeze was still; not a leaf moved, and there was that strange quietness which comes in places not frequented by human beings. A dog barked in the distance, and a brown deer crossed the path with easy leisure.

Suppose we estimate the strength of a man in units of one. Let us say that the strength of this man is 10 units, whereas my strength, less than his, is 7 units. Then if he pushes me with all his force, I shall certainly be pushed back or thrown down, even if I use all my strength against him. This would happen from opposing strength to strength.

 But if instead of opposing him, I leave him unresisted, withdrawing my body just as much as he pushes, at the same time keeping my balance, he will naturally lean forward and lose his balance. In this new position, he may become weak (not in actual physical strength, but because of his awkward position) as to reduce his strength for the moment, say to 3 units only instead of 10 units. But meanwhile I, by keeping my balance, retain my full strength, as originally represented by 7 units.

 Here then, I am momentarily in a superior position, and I can defeat my opponent by using only half of my strength, or 3 1/2 units against his 3 units. This leaves one-half of my strength available for any other purpose. If I had greater strength than my opponent, I could of course push him back. But even if I wished to and had the power to do so, it would still be better for me first to give way, because by so doing, I should have greatly saved my energy and exhausted my opponent's.

(Jigoro Kano)


Tai chi for health

New students learn how to relax, to move, to coordinate, to be strong, to be sensitive, to connect their separate-seeming body parts together...
This is tai chi for health.
Very few students last long enough to even commence martial training


Starting out

Taijiquan students cannot begin lessons by immediately engaging in combat.
They have no internal skill whatsoever.
What would be the pointThe fighting would not be 'taijiquan'. It would be a waste of time.


6 ways to improve your balance
In many martial arts schools the practice was carried out in secrecy and the school's very existence was frequently concealed from the authorities. For example, taijiquan is based on body of theory known to be around 2000 years old yet it was not revealed until 1750. 
When a master of taijiquan faces an opponent he brings to the confrontation thousands of years of philosophical, martial and practical thought. He has lived most of his life according to the principles established centuries ago and in the process, he has strengthened his body and probably earned a long and healthy life.
(Howard Reid)
Sifu Waller has a tendency to want to train everything he knows every day. This sounds OK until you consider just how much material is involved and how much time it takes. It would mean literally training all day long.

  Sifu reluctantly concedes that he's nearly 50 years old, and that there's more to life than kung fu. So he compromises, and staggers the material across the week...

This is amusing because it's the polar opposite of a student. The average student cannot even summon the self-discipline to train at home whereas the instructor must force himself to stop.



8 hours

Sleep cannot be neglected. Your body uses sleep to regenerate, recuperate, rest and recover. Modern culture is filled with things that spoil your ability to sleep properly. If you want good sleep, you must be willing to change your habits and attitude, and be prepared to treat it as a commitment.



You get out of the Art what you put into it.
For the earnest student, taijiquan is a lifelong journey: a fascinating adventure of discoveryinsighthealthlongevity and martial power.
I joined Sifu Waller's class around two years ago, I wanted to join a school where I could learn and practice an original form of kung fu. I’ve been meaning to write a review for a while but since there are so many great facet’s to this class I struggle to do it real justice, you’ll have to come and try it for yourself! I’ll try to give a flavour of the benefits of the class, but what’s the use in reading the ingredients of a cake, you have to eat it to appreciate it.

 Newcastle Tai Chi is a hidden gem, not only as the class is unpretentious and friendly but because we have a true master teacher who teaches us to use our body in the most optimal way to achieve maximum results with great ease. With correct application, a skilled student of Sifu Waller’s class will never have to brawl as they can finish the aggressor's intention and ability to fight without prolonged combat.

 I can with confidence say every week Sifu Waller amazes even the most experienced of students, by the depth of his knowledge and insight plus the masterful execution of efficient applications with such ease that it is often humorous.

 If you have the good fortune to spend a little time with Sifu Waller you will quickly realise that Sifu Waller has sincerely dedicated his life to acquiring knowledge and mastering skill in Kung Fu, Baguazhang and Taijiquan. His dedication also translates to providing a dynamic framework for willing students to gain more than just knowledge and skill of this secretive internal art.

 Sifu Waller teaches a great syllabus and classes complemented by a variety of focussed workshops, a web site that is like the encyclopedia and guide to not only Taijiquan but many aspects of personal victory and most importantly an earnest teacher that will continue to inspire.

 I’m truly grateful and honoured to train under Sifu Waller, it is truly a great opportunity to learn from the ‘cream of the (martial world's) crop’.



Looking for a challenge?

In taijiquan, the main challenge lies with understanding Ancient Chinese principles of combat and body use, and putting these into practice.
Sustained, on-going training and a high degree of commitment make this Art both physically and mentally engaging.


Hard work?

Unlike most martial arts, taijiquan does not involve any exertionstrain or undue sweating.There are no press-ups, no sit-ups, no circuit training, no weight lifting and no running.
However, taijiquan still requires a lot of work. All martial arts require the student to be fit for combat.


Meaning & purpose

Every taijiquan movement, exercise and drill has a purpose.
The student must understand what they are doing, otherwise the training is meaningless and most likely incorrect.
What is the exercise forHow does it operate? We ensure that our students gain a comprehensive grasp of the Art.


The Tai Chi Classics

The application of taijiquan always follows the guidelines presented in The Tai Chi Classics.
Even though many of the fighting skills are common to different styles of martial art, a taijiquan student must perform them in a taijiquan way.