Karen is the assistant teacher for the tai chi for fitness syllabus.
She has been with the school for 5 years. Her main interests are tai chi, qigong, Taoist Yogamassage, core strengthcardio work and psoas exercises.
When Karen first came to class she had very stiff elbows and really bad back/shoulder ache from her job as a screenwriter.
After working with Sifu Waller (and taking responsibility by practicing every day) Karen was able to release the tension from her elbows entirely and rid herself of the back/shoulder pain.
As a consequence of her enthusiasm, Karen has significantly increased her strength, suppleness, flexibility, balance, as well as improving her poise and mobility.


Rachel I want to thank yourself and Sifu Waller for the school. The art is taught in such a surprising and lively way, every class feels like a new and wonderful beginning!




Assistant teachers all possess qualities necessary for tai chi instruction:
  1. Friendly and personable
  2. Interested in other people
  3. Caring
  4. Reliable
  5. Earnest
  6. Committed
  7. Trustworthy
  8. Genuine
  9. Punctual
  10. Motivated
While the teachings of a martial tradition may be recorded in scrolls or expressed verbally, those outside the tradition who gain access to this information have little chance of learning much of practical value.

Such instructions invariably consist of vague references or riddle-like aphorisms.

These cryptic axioms suffice for the conveying of deep secrets because the martial artist who receives them properly has spent an enormous amount of time apprenticing under his master.

They have in common, teacher and student, the specialized vocabulary of their tradition, as well as similar experience in the physical actions demanded in learning it.

The teachings, however, opaque they may appear to the outsider, have meaning to the initiate and his master because the two have endured the long process of training together.

(Dave Lowry)
Good morning Rachel,

I just wanted to again express my thanks to you for inviting me into your home and to Sifu Waller a truly inspiring workshop. I can say that it was one of the most educational and enjoyable workshops I have ever attended, and I've been doing martial arts since I was 15!

Please pass on my thanks to Sifu Waller for allowing me to attend even though I am ungraded, I really appreciated the opportunity.



Marc is the assistant teacher for the tai chi for health syllabus.
He has 10 years practice behind him. A good friend of Sifu Waller, Marc likes to attend boot camp, workshops and private lessons.
By gentlypatientlymoderately working on his taijiquan over many years, Marc has succeeded in developing a considerable amount of whole-body strength.
In class, Marc likes to help beginners work through their form pattern and partner work.
Easygoing and modest, Marc is very approachable and friendly to work with.


Most studies agree that there are a number of key personality characteristics that are important for healthy aging: easygoing, cheerful, self-confident, adaptable, active, independent, creative, happy, relaxed, satisfied, calm, open, agreeable, conscientious, sociable and having a high tolerance for frustration being mentioned most often.

 The traits that lead to an unhealthy, shorter life? Being repressed, dogmatic, stubborn, hostile, neurotic, angry, guilty, sad, fearful, anxious, depressed and aggressive.

 (Dr Bradley Wilcox, Dr Craig Wilcox and Dr Makoto Suzuki)
The website is truly a thing of wonder. I get lost in it - it’s a bit like going travelling and constantly coming across unexpected delights that enlighten and open up further doors to different pathways. It has a beautifully organic feel to it.



In this world there are two times.
 There is the mechanical time and there is body time...
 The first is unyielding, predetermined.
 The second makes up its mind as it goes along...
 Each time is true, but the truths are not the same.



Can I just thank Sifu and yourself for continuing to make the sessions so enjoyable on so many levels.... 



With today's round-the-clock access to news we can now receive a twenty-four-hours-a-day parade of mostly negative information about random shootings, drug wars, environmental disasters, racially motivated hate crimes, rampaging serial killers, and gruesome sex crimes. As they say in the world of television news production, "If it bleeds, it leads." The news, in fact, has become so stressful that health experts recommend 'news fasts' to improve psychological health.

 (Dr Bradley Wilcox, Dr Craig Wilcox and Dr Makoto Suzuki)



Dr Michael Greger (author of How Not To Die) recommends 90 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every day.
Tai chi neatly fulfils this requirement. 


Lazy students are often after quick results and will happily cut corners. Taijiquan is not an “easy pastime”, it requires hard work and commitment to learn effectively.

(Alex House)



There are 3 areas of fitness:

1. Cardio
2. Strength
3. Flexibility

In order to exercise the body properly, you need to gain aptitude in all 3 areas.

Many people can lift heavy weights but they are not flexible/breathing hard after mild cardio.
This is not good enough for a comprehensive training approach.


Fine motor skills

The repetitive nature of many 'adult toys' (mobile phones, tablets, video games) dulls the nervous system; causing a decrease in sensitivity.

If you want to improve fine motor control, you would be better off washing the dishes by hand rather than playing with your smart phone.

Doing craft work or building and painting a model demands fine motor skills.
By contrast, tapping a screen is simply not the same...


People often like to fiddle with things.
Fiddling reflects an agitated, bored, restless state of mind.

It is quite common to believe that fiddling with electronic devices such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets or video games will improve your motor skills...
But is this true?

Chapter 6 details the immense benefits of daily tai chi practice