Monday



I've been attending Sifu Waller's class for a year now and I can honestly say that it's been amazing. He teaches a complete syllabus which develops body mechanics, martial application and mental development in a way which I would not have believed before starting! His insights are amazing and I have certainly noticed the benefits of my learning and practice in daily life, even though I am very much in the early days of my study. The class offers teaching in a ruthlessly effective martial art, but much more besides. Like so many others in the class, I just wish I had found it earlier!
(Ben)

Exercise is boring

http://www.newcastletaichi.co.uk/exercise_is_boring.htm


Does exercise need to be boring?

Does exercise need to be hard work?

2 reasons

There are 2 simple reasons why most people don't exercise:
  1. Boredom
  2. Hard work

Common knowledge

Most people know that eating healthily is good for you. They know approximately what to eat and how much. 
But how many people really eat well?

The same is true of exercise. Virtually everyone is well aware that exercise can significantly improve your health.
So why doesn't everyone exercise?

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.
 
When standing we should have a sensation of being more in our heels than the front of the foot. However, there should be no tendency to tighten the toes or lift them off the floor. Let the toes lie freely and allow the whole foot to 'soften'. Let the weight go down 'into' the floor so your feel grounded. This gives a firm base from which to think of lengthening upwards. Free your ankles so there is a little sway available to help discover upright balance. In order to enjoy standing without strain we should never get fixed in position.

(Noel Kingsley)

Saturday

Imagine waking up each morning full of energy and vitality yet also feeling calm and relaxed about the day to come. It sounds like a miracle yet this state of abundant health and wellbeing should be our birthright. In our natural state we would face each day with joy, peace, and a deep connection with our bodies.

(Jane Alexander)
 

Complete martial art

The training is thought-provoking and insightful; with lessons about living, as well as about fighting.
There is nothing machoaggressiveconfrontational or competitive about taijiquan.
Health, wellbeing, character development and philosophical study are just as important as combat skills.

Friday

Invest in your wellbeing

Taijiquan offers a balanced approach to the cultivation of healthvitality and wellbeingThere is gain without pain.
The benefits of taijiquan are significant, medically proven and long-lasting:
  1. Stay calm
  2. Develop your memory skills
  3. Boost energy
  4. Increased brain activity
  5. Cultivate an unusual form of strength
  6. Improved joint function
  7. Feel balanced
  8. Increased stamina and endurance
  9. Release deeply-held muscular tension
  10. Increased flexibility
  11. Learn to relax naturally
  12. Improved poise and posture

With reaction time virtually nonexistent, the internal martial artist is able to change fighting techniques faster than an opponent can, and is able also to combine the normally separated areas of the body into one integrated, unified and powerful whole.
(Bruce Frantzis)

Thursday


Not all tai chi is equal. Just as there are different models of cars, makes of computers and universities of varying calibres, so too are there different kinds of tai chi.

(Bruce Frantzis)

Varied exercise

There are no press-ups, no sit-ups, no circuit training, no weight lifting, no running, no sweating or straining.
Instead, we offer a comprehensive range of exercise methods designed to increase strength, balance, mobility, ambidextrous body use, alignment and coordination.
Students learn how to use their body in a healthy, natural, balanced and comfortable manner.  

Exploring self defence in our classes

Our martial students study a wide range of proven self defence fighting skills:
• Disarm an opponent
• Gain 
confidence
 See situations differently• Avoid entanglement• Avoid panic when faced with the unexpected
• Become mobile and nimble
• Use everyday objects as improvised weapons
• Understand how to use the human body to your advantage
• Cope with gangs
• 
Adapt, change and improvise
• Strike rapidly and effectively

• Manipulate balance
• Lever joints, apply pressure and seize painfully
• Gain situational awareness
• Understand the nature of commitment and the value of non-commitment 
• Use gravity to your advantage
• Read body language, dress code and manner
• Deal with intimidation
• Maintain composure when working with others
• Give up the need for control and go with the flow
• Cultivate your sensitivity; feel rather than think
• Protect yourself from kicks whilst on the ground
• Use distraction advantageously

Rachel teaches women-specific self defence as an optional extra...

Wednesday

Meaning & purpose

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

A person who is considered to be fit in the West may be able to do over 100 push-ups, run a marathon, possess a beautiful, muscular physique – and yet not be internally healthy.
He or she may have a bad back, damaged joints, liver problems, unbalanced emotions, an inability to handle stress and sexual weakness or dysfunction.


(Bruce Frantzis) 

 

No sweat

If your training causes you to sweat, you are pushing and this is not the Way.
Ease off. Do less. Rest.
Patiently build your strength.
Whether you know it or not, you have come across a truly unique and special opportunity. You will not find teaching like this anywhere in the UK and, in all seriousness, probably nowhere else in the world. How fortunate is that?! You are among a lucky few who have the chance to learn real taijiquan. Don't squander the opportunity!
(Rob Veater) 

Everyday conflict

Life presents us with many situations that can be unpleasant:
  1. Hostile/dangerous motorists
  2. Macho behaviour
  3. Gangs
  4. Intimidation
  5. Bullies
  6. Problems at work
  7. Assault
  8. Threats
  9. Personal relationships
  10. Verbal abuse
Sometimes you may feel vulnerable and alone. You may feel helpless, afraid, angry and frustrated.

Tuesday

Taijiquan

Taijiquan (supreme ultimate fist) is an advanced martial arts method based on the yin/yang principle.
This exciting martial art involves weaponry and unarmed combat.
The art is physically and mentally challengingbut in a very different way to mainstream martial arts.There are no press-ups, no sit-ups, no circuit training, no weight lifting, no running, no 
sweating or straining.
 Nothing can substitute for serious practice. Practice seriously, correctly and patiently. Use your brain, not just your body. Don't hide weaknesses in your training. Don't lie to yourself. If you cheat, you only cheat yourself.

 (Adam Hsu)

Naivety

Most people are not capable of defending themselves, their loved ones or their belongings.
This is a disturbing fact.
Although society still offers the same dangers it always has, the general public's attitude towards personal protection has changed.
People are unable to protect themselves and imagine that a cocky 'attitude' and a big mouth will work against a real life assailant.

Monday

What is tai chi?

When most people say 'tai chithey mean tai chi for health.
Tai chi for health is a simplified, non-martial health exercise adapted from taijiquan. It is intended to improve fitness and wellbeing.


Working with Sifu Waller is excellent, we really enjoy it and it is so interesting to see how the form and foundation work develops into the martial work. It's interesting that the more you learn the more everything makes sense!  It sounds weird but since we started taijiquan, I feel like it has changed my thinking completely and made a real difference to my everyday life. I find it really great working to a syllabus and having structured learning that challenges me. A lot of activities you can pick up as an adult are very basic and stay at an low level so I tend to feel a bit stagnant.
(Amelia)

Saturday

Dylan

We were training weapons in the park at 6:00 AM... 
It was dark and there are few dog walkers around. 
It felt like night. 
Sat a short distance from the basketball court was a large silent Labrador dog named "Dylan".

Dylan often comes to watch.
He sits without moving or lays full out and just watches the taijiquan. 
His owner tries to move Dylan sometimes but Dylan just sits watching. 
He is neither friendly nor unfriendly.

Friday

WE WERE FLYING very high, over fifteen thousand feet. The plane was crowded, without an empty seat. people from all over the world were in it. Far below, the sea was the colour of new spring grass, delicate and enchanting. The island from which we had taken off was dark green; the black roads and the red paths, winding through the palm groves and the thick, green vegetation, were clear and sharp, and the red-roofed houses were pleasant to look upon. The sea gradually became grey-green, and then blue. Now we were above the clouds, and they hid the earth, stretching mile upon mile as far as the eye could see. Overhead the sky was pale blue vast and all-enclosing. A slight wind was behind us, and we were flying fast, better than three hundred and fifty miles an hour. Suddenly the clouds parted, and there, far below, was the barren, red earth, with but little vegetation. Its red was like the glow of a forest on fire. There was no forest, but the earth itself was aflame, not with fire, but with colour; it was intense and startling. Soon we were flying over fertile land, with villages and hamlets scattered among the green fields. The earth was now divided after man's heart, and each cultivated section was held, possessed. It was like an endless multicoloured carpet, but each colour belonged to somebody. A river wound its way through it all, and along its banks there were trees, casting the long shadows of the morning. Far away were the mountains, stretching right across the land. It was beautiful country; there was space and age. Beyond the noise of the propellers and the chattering of the people, and beyond its own chattering, the mind was in movement. It was a completely silent journey, not in time and space, but into itself. This inward movement was not the outward journeying of the mind within the narrow or extensive field of its own making, of its own clamorous past. It was not a journey undertaken by the mind; it was an altogether different movement. The totality of the mind, not just a part of it, the hidden as well as the open, was completely still. The recording of this fact, here, is not the fact; the fact is wholly different from the words which record it. That stillness was not in the measure of time. Becoming and being have no relationship with each other; they move in entirely different directions; the one does not lead to the other. In the stillness of being, the past as the watcher, as the experiencer, is not. There is no activity of time. It's not a remembrance that is communicating, but the actual movement itself - the movement of silence into the measureless. It's a movement that does not start from a centre, that does not go from one point to another; it has no centre, no observer. It's a journey of the total being, and the total being has no contradiction of desire. In this journey of the whole, there is no point of departure and no point of arrival. The whole mind is still, and this stillness is a movement which is not the journeying of the mind.

Monday

A keen new starter may attend 24 classes over a 6 month period.
Sifu Waller took 1500-2000 lessons in taijiquan and baguazhang over a 25 year period. This helps to provide perspective. And perhaps humility?

Then, there's the home training to factor in?

(Rachel)

Friday

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)