Talk is cheap

If you like to talk politics and watch the news, you probably shouldn't consider kung fu. It is not for you.

Kung fu is all about tangible, concrete action. Putting your money where you mouth is: training hard, integrity, resolve, commitment, sacrifice, dedication, focus, earnestness, clarity, proof, results.

There's no room for talkers. You cannot defeat a punch with hot air...Talk truly is worthless.

What exactly did learning at school involve?

  1. Lessons in class/explanations
  2. Reading text books
  3. Practice in class
  4. Heavy repetition of basic elements e.g. times tables, alphabet, spelling tests
  5. Homework
  6. Revision
  7. Exams
  8. Levels of proficiency
  9. Regular feedback 

Somehow as adults we expect to pick things up easily and skilfully without undertaking the process of learning necessary as a child. Why is this?


Many people are so uncomfortable in the absence of noise that they will leave the television on even when no one is watching.

 I have passed people on lonely mountain paths carrying radios that were blasting out rock music. They like the scenery but fear the silence.

 We are overwhelmed by noise pollution which keeps us from being able to relax and which wreaks havoc on our nervous system.

(John Lash)

Beyond the beginning

Many people join a tai chi school with lofty ambitions only to reach a rudimentary level of skill and simply remain there. 
Remaining a beginner forever is pointless. No matter how much you learn it is still at the first level of skill. Years of practice don't mean anything if you're still a beginnerThere's been no progress.
If you are sincere about trying to slow down the aging process, you're going to have to keep going. Don't stop at the beginning. Climb.


The root of ignorance itself is our mind’s habitual tendency to distraction.

(Sogyal Rinpoche)


Anyone considering taking up Tai Chi for health, fitness, or martial need to attend this class if they are serious about learning the art. Sifu Waller has a wealth of experience which he imparts with humility and humour. His wife Rachel is equally passionate about helping you through the early stages with checking and constructive pointers. In addition to the training they have a comprehensive website which is a wealth of information covering every aspect and that alone is worth the fee. I am 9 months in (a mere beginner ) but I have learnt so much with the prospect of extending my learning indefinitely. The members are all like minded people who make you extremely welcome, one of the best decisions I have made regarding training my mind and my body. 


Switch off

Try switching the TV off.
Suddenly the day is yours to do with as you see fit.
Switch off the PC.
The phone.
Go around the house and unplug every electronic device you are not using.
Wow; no more background hum.
Your electric meter is no longer spinning fast.


Ed Parker says, "The only reason men fight is because they are insecure; one man needs to prove that he is better or stronger than another. The man who is secure within himself has no need to prove anything with force, so he can walk away from a fight with dignity and pride. He is the true martial artist - a man so strong inside that he has no need to demonstrate his power."

The Chinese word for this kind of confidence is 'sai', which can be defined as 'presence'.

(Joe Hyams)


Junk is the ultimate merchandise. The junk merchant does not sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to the product.

 He does not improve and simplify his merchandise, he degrades and simplifies the client.

(William S. Burroughs)


I've found the baguazhang teaching to be fascinating, and very challenging. I find Sifu Waller's teaching very clearly demonstrates how studying the art demands a pre-existing naturalness in body use and a very high level of control. The exercises we have done have been reasonably simple, but very difficult to do! I am very much enjoying it, and what little martial application we have experienced is brutally effective. I can see shared principles with taijiquan but it looks and feels very different.
(Dr Ben Beattie)


Joan Kay and I had decided that we both needed to look at a form of exercise for the over 60's - however as we are moderately fit this taxed our minds for a number of months - until Joan came across this school in Newcastle run by Sifu and Rachel Waller.

The first 3 weeks are run as a taster session and to give an insight into the ways of QiQong - pronounced Chi Gung. How could I sum this exercise up, well after a 2-hour session your body is aware you have had a thorough work out.

Its now been 2 months and as we slowly begin to understand the moves, its all beginning to click and feel natural.

Having been involved with sport all my life - I only wish we'd found this 30 years ago. Its all about being calm and at one with yourself whilst exercising.

There's a group of 40 students who are the most friendly group of people I've come across in recent years. We have been made to feel very welcome and special - so if you think you are too old !!!! think again. If however your in your 20's / 30's jump at the chance to meet these great teachers. They get my 5* + rating and thats been rarely given out in the past.

(Martin Kay)


If, like me, your desired outcome is to learn Tai Chi, then you will need a Tai Chi teacher who can practice what he teaches and can teach what he practices. Sifu Waller is such a person. If you want to practice for health, for fitness or as a martial art it is possible to do it all under his guidance. If you are content to remain a “beginner” forever or to totally immerse yourself in the art then the choice is yours.

The school is well organised, has a clear syllabus and at each class I receive individual feedback about specific aspects of my practice that I can work on between classes.

Sifu Waller’s wife Rachel is as committed as he is to teaching students. The classes are very business like with a clear expectation that you will work hard and make progress - yet at the same time they are relaxed and good fun.

Driving home after class I am always pleased to find myself in a heightened state of awareness, a most enjoyable state that is probably due to the meditative aspects of the practice. The usual constant stream of thoughts is slowed down to a dribble and I notice things previously deleted from my consciousness. I’m anticipating that the more I progress the more “awake” and “here and now” I will be able to be more of the time.

I was attracted to Newcastle Taichi School after searching the internet for local classes and coming across their website. If you are looking for an excellent teacher and want to make positive changes in all areas of your life then don’t just listen to me, I’ve started my journey, I’m seriously biased - check out the website yourself, be aware, however, that members of the school have access to a fuller, vaster website.

The website has a reading list and wider study in Taoism, personal development and martial arts is encouraged. I have always found books useful tools for learning and the website along with the recommended reading is enhancing the whole experience for me.

There is a saying that the person with the most choices in any given situation is the one most likely to get what he or she wants - the choices available at the Newcastle Tai Chi School so comprehensively cover every aspect of Tai Chi and Taoism that if you join and make use of what is on offer you will get what you want. I am.

(Peter Hobson)


Sifu Waller is one of these men that you respect as soon as you meet him just by his behaviour. I remember the first time I entered his school I had been in the UK for 2 days, Rachel was very comprehensive and I felt very-well welcomed. Sifu is very invested in his art and knows what he is talking about. Going to this school is one of the most enriching experience I had so far. Many thanks to Rachel and Sifu.



Many thanks to you and Sifu Waller for a most enjoyable and stimulating evening. I really enjoyed the workshop, particularly the way that Sifu Waller weaves together theory with demonstrations and hands-on exercises that prove each point. Your enthusiasm for the art is very infectious!

  If you start off working out too hard, causing exhaustion, injury and pain you are more likely to give up.

(Amelia Freer)


There are many definitions of both sympathy and empathy. And presumably people have constructed careers out of the debates. I think sympathy can be shown to people but empathy cannot - it can be felt, and your response to what you feel manifest in compassion for instance.

Some people are more empathic than others, that is they are more sensitive to their own emotional changes when they encounter someone in distress for instance. You may feel sad when a friend is sad, and so there is alignment in this. However, you may feel anxious when they are sad but it is still an empathic response. So yes, you don’t feel their pain but rather your own, if you are open to it. It applies to joy as well and that is a key point.

Sympathy is almost invariably with respect to negative states and loss, but empathy applies to any emotional state.

(David Cousins)


I hated PE at school and I can't stand being inside a gym.

(Amelia Freer)


Have you noticed, in newspapers and magazines, the amount of space given to politics, to the sayings of politicians and their activities? Of course, other news is given, but political news predominates; the economic and political life has become all-important. It is so much easier to throw oneself into social and political activity than to understand life as a whole; to be associated with any organized thought, with political or religious activity, offers a respectable escape from the pettiness and drudgery of everyday life.

With a small heart you can talk of big things and of the popular leaders; you can hide your shallowness with the easy phrases of world affairs; your restless mind can happily and with popular encouragement settle down to propagate the ideology of a new or of an old religion.




Most adults have undertaken virtually no physical exercise or serious study since leaving school.
Their brains and bodies are somewhat rusty and neglected.
You may know the saying "Use it or lose it"