Monday, 27 July 2015


In the internal martial arts the term 'pre-birth' refers to the natural condition of suppleness and flexibility you started life with.
A baby does not have sore knees, a bad back or arthritis.
The limbs can move comfortably within their natural range of motion.

Sunday, 5 July 2015


Over-use and wrong use of the hands can cause immobility and arthritis.
Main culprits:
• Computer mouse
• Mobile phone 
• Tapping a touch screen
• Unnecessary application of force
• Gripping too hard
• Knitting 
• Sewing 
• Repetitive activity
• Using a keyboard
• Playing video games  

Tuesday, 30 June 2015


The main culprit for loss of mobility in most adults is sitting on their backsides too much.
Sitting causes:
• Strained neck
• Sore shoulders 
• Upper back pain
• Lower back pain
• Loss of circulation 
• Joint compression  
• Swollen legs 
• Heart disease  
The solution is easy.
Switch off the PC, the TV and walk whenever possible rather than drive. 

Friday, 15 May 2015


Rachel offers a wide variety of tai chi skills:
  1. Qigong
    - standing qigong (various)
    - moving qigong (various)
  2. Form
    - slow form (regular & mirrored)
    - sabre form (regular & mirrored)
    - 2-person stick form (regular & mirrored)
    - staff form (regular & mirrored)
    - walking stick form (regular & mirrored)
    - jian form (regular & mirrored)
  3. Self-massage
  4. Psoas exercises
  5. Neigong (whole-body strength)
  6. Taoist yoga (tao yin)
  7. Women's self defence (including syllabus design)
  8. Martial skill (kung fu)
Rachel is also proficient with Jiang-style baguazhang.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

An ancient art

We offer the traditional form of tai chi.
The ancient art.
It was developed by another culture, in another time.
Students can learn remarkable skills not widely known or practiced in the modern era.

Friday, 8 May 2015

The principles, tactics and skills of tai chi chuan are radically different from those of the much greater number of external martial arts styles.
Although all martial arts styles are designed to be effective in combat, the internal martial arts styles and tai chi chuan in particular, emphasis efficiency as much as effectiveness.
Efficiency is measured by the ability to achieve success by using the absolute minimum amount of effort necessary.
(Zhang Yun)

Monday, 4 May 2015


Unlike other martial arts, tai chi chuan is concerned with the means rather than simply the end result.
The how rather than just the what.
Pragmatism. Effectiveness. Economy. These are our focus. Minimum effort produces maximum effect.

Body use is very important.
Neigong (whole-body strength) and jing (internal power) enable tai chi chuan students to generate kinetic energy, which we employ in combat.

Saturday, 2 May 2015


Martial arts are quite demanding to learn; requiring the student to significantly increase their strength, agility, endurance and speed.
The challenges are both physical and mental.
A casual approach will not work.
Body, mind and emotions need to be conditioned and honed through sustained, regular practice.
The training must involve a wide range of challenging martial concerns; increasing in difficulty as the student becomes more adept. 

To possess combat skills, you must train combat skills.

Monday, 27 April 2015

What is tai chi chuan?

Tai chi chuan/taijiquan is a style of kung fu once practiced by the Manchu Emperor's elite palace guards.There are 5 traditional styles of tai chi chuan: Chen, Yang, Wu, Hao and Sun. 
The art is quietly challenging; requiring patience, hard work, commitment, mindfulness and composure.
Students work towards the cultivation of a high degree of physical skill and can reasonably expect to practice the art for most of their lives. 

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Does tai chi chuan combat take place in slow motion?

To quote the Tai Chi Classics: "If the opponent's movement is quick, then quickly respond; if his movement is slow, then follow slowly."
Some of the training methods (i.e. form) are slow; this is to develop strength, accuracy, balance and control.
New skills are often slowed down for safety until the student gains familiarity.

As the student becomes adept, the kung fu speeds up considerably.
Combat is usually fast.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Why don't people know that tai chi can be a martial art?

The combat methods and principles behind tai chi chuan have been a well-kept secret in China for hundreds of years.
Very few members of t
he general public understand how to use tai chi chuan as a martial art.Classes offering the complete tai chi chuan martial syllabus are rare in the UK. 

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Can combat be healthy?

Every martial artist in the world seeks to defeat their opponent in combat.
But at what price?Blocking, struggling, forcing, striking a balanced opponent... these are also harmful to your own body.
In defeating your opponent you may also harm yourself.

Tai chi chuan is different.
All movements are performed in a manner that ensures the greatest effect for the least amount of effort.
The internal martial arts aim to incapacitate the opponent without sustaining any injury to yourself.
Additionally; emotional composure is maintained at all times.
There is no aggression or macho, cocky behaviour in tai chi chuan.
This is good for your health and wellbeing.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Can I study baguazhang?

Baguazhang is physically and mentally challenging, with a complex form, unique training methods and counter-intuitive tactics.
A high degree of balance and coordination is necessary.

There is no beginners or intermediate level in baguazhang.
A student gains the foundation skills through the study of tai chi chuan
sensitivity, footwork, timing, biomechanical awareness, whole-body movementjing, root...
Baguazhang employs a considerable amount of shuai jiao and chin na applications, so a thorough grounding in these skills is a must.
A potential baguazhang student must show considerable aptitude with tai chi chuan if they want to study a second art.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Yang style has something of the feeling of 'killer energy' about it; it is more martial in appearance.
A spectator can see the applications of the movements when they watch the form.
(Master Xu Shu Song)

Thursday, 9 April 2015

What are the martial skills (kung fu)?

In combat, tai chi chuan uses evasion, stickiness and sensitivity rather than brute force.
The muscles remain relaxed at all times and the body moves as one whole unit (neigong).

There are many tai chi chuan martial skills in the syllabus, including:
  1. Shuai jiao (take downs)
  2. Chin na (seizing)
  3. San sau (fixed sets)
  4. San da (freeform combat)
  5. Form application
Even though many of these skills are common to different styles of kung fu, a tai chi chuan student must perform them in tai chi chuan way.
The application of tai chi chuan always follow the guidelines presented in the Tai Chi Classics.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

What are the benefits of learning tai chi chuan?

Tai chi chuan is not just about combat.
Daily practice offers a wide range of benefits that will affect your everyday life:

• Get fit
• Stay calm
• Feel balanced
• Increased stamina and endurance
• Stress-relief
• Gain functional combat skills that rely upon intelligence rather than brutality
 Off-set the effects of aging (e.g. sarcopenia)
• The release of deeply-held muscular tension   
• Boost energy
• A way to use millennia old Chinese wisdom in everyday life  
• Meditation
• An unusual form of strength
• Emotional composure in the face of confrontation and crisis
• Philosophical study involving some of the most influential books ever written 
• Cultivate confidence and resourcefulness

Wednesday, 1 April 2015