Taijiquan was designed to be an advanced kung fu method. It cultivates whole-body strength, whole-body movement and whole-body power. The muscles do not tense up and the student remains calm and composed.
THE SUN WAS very clear in the sky, and there was a cool breeze from the sea. It was still fairly early in the morning; there were but few people in the streets and the heavy traffic had not yet begun. Fortunately, it wasn't going to be too hot a day; but there was dust everywhere, fine and penetrating, for there had been no rain during the long, hot summer. In the small, well-kept park, dust lay heavily on the trees; but under the trees, and among the bushes, there was a stream of cool, fresh water, brought down from a lake in the distant mountains. On a bench by the stream it was pleasant and peaceful, and there was plenty of shade. Later in the day, the park would be crowded with children and their nurses and with people who worked in offices. The sound of running water among the bushes was friendly and welcoming, and many birds fluttered on the edge of the stream, bathing and chirping happily. Big peacocks wandered in and out of the bushes, stately and unafraid. In deep pools of clear water there were large goldfish and the children came every day to watch and feed them, and to take delight in the many white geese which swam about in a shallow pool.
Leaving the little park, we drove along a noisy, dusty road to the foot of a rocky hill, and walked up a steep path to an entrance which opened into the sacred precincts of an ancient temple. To the west could be seen an expanse of the blue sea, famous for its historic naval battle, and to the east were the low-lying hills, barren and harsh in the autumnal air, but full of silent and happy memories. To the north towered the higher mountains, overlooking the hills and the hot valley. The ancient temple on the rocky hill stood in ruins, destroyed by the brutal violence of man. Its broken marble columns, washed by the rains of many centuries, seemed almost transparent - light fading, and stately. The temple was still a perfect thing, to be touched and silently gazed upon. A small yellow flower, bright in the morning light, grew in a crevice at the foot of a splendid column. To sit in the shadow of one of those columns, looking at the silent hills and the distant sea, was to experience something beyond the calculations of the mind.
One of the good things about the class is the atmosphere of respect and camaraderie. It is good to feel safe when practicing a martial art. It has affected my day to day life in the fact that I'm more aware of how I use and misuse my body on a daily basis which is particularly relevant to me because I have a physical job. It has also helped me to remain calmer in certain stressful situations. (Marc)
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.
The longer I train the more I see in the web pages.
It's like peeling back the layers of an onion...although the words stay the same. It's my experience and understanding that is evolving. (And I have so much more to grow!!)
I enjoy working with people that are obviously further along the journey. Especially people like Andy, who is such a nice guy but also at a higher level of the art.
And then training with you is another leap from there!
But training with Sifu is monumentally humbling. You get the impression that you are only still standing because he's decided you can learn more by being upright. 😊
Doing pushing hands with Sifu teaches so much and shows how much there is to learn. It doesn't matter how much I feel I've progressed, I always feel like I've only just started! And yet Sifu is able to determine your level and be just out of reach rather than dominate.
For me that just fills me with the desire to learn more and to train for longer!
I always leave a session eager for the next one.
I want to say thank you to both you and Sifu for helping me on my journey and constantly challenging me.
Sifu Waller is not only an exceptional martial artist, he's also a skilled and very patient teacher. His approach to teaching is structured and methodical but is also rational - founded on physics andbiomechanics rather than mysticism and esoteric concepts of energy flow. His taijiquan works, he can explain why it works, he proves it works, and he can teach you to make it work too! It's like an onion, and Sifu Waller keeps peeling back the layers to reveal things in more depth.(Eddie)
We walk, and our religion is shown (even to the dullest and most insensitive person) in how we walk. Or to put it more accurately, living in this world means choosing, choosing to walk, and the way we choose to walk is infallibly and perfectly expressed in the walk itself. Nothing can disguise it. The walk of an ordinary man and of an enlightened man are as different as that of a snake and a giraffe.
Kung fu styles like taijiquan
have become widespread and popular. It is important for all practitioners to
understand a major weaknesses in the transmission of all Chinese arts; a lack of
basic training. In fact, step-by-step training program, standardized
terminology, clear explanations and correct interpretations are either entirely
missing or woefully scarce.
I specifically looked for a taijiquan class as I wanted something with that could also provide some mental stimulation in order to maintain long term interest. I certainly have not been disappointed! The training has led to me being physically more relaxed yet stronger. I also feel mentally more relaxed, resilient and better able to cope with demanding situations. From an interest point of view, there are seemingly endless opportunities to draw from Sifu Waller's incredible depth of knowledge. A major strength of the class is that whilst students are always encouraged to work hard and progress, they are allowed to do so at their own rate as their circumstances allow. (Martin)
I have seen
schools where some of the students show disrespect to the teacher by not
paying him on time, by being frequently late to class, and by not informing
the teacher when a class must be missed.