Wednesday

Girl's Night

Rachel has designed a women-specific self defence syllabus which offers realistic scenarios and a wide range of practical skills that work.
Students learn how to intuitively target vulnerable areas on a man's body.
Counter-intuitive but logical, the training methods explore effective ways to 'reverse' dangerous situations.

Learn how to become dominant, rather than the victim.

Tuesday

What is strength?

This is an interesting question.
In the
internal martial arts, the idea of 'strength' encompasses a wide range of physical and mental abilities.
Strength is the ability to
cope, to endure, to sustain, to see alternatives, to move skilfully, to deliver power, to see harmonious options instead of conflictive ones.

In
kung fu, having strength of character is as important as physical prowess.

Monday

Stamina & endurance

Kung fu training is renowned for improving stamina and endurance.
Students can concentrate longer and sustain prolonged physical activity without fatigue.

They gain the ability to withstand hardship and cope with difficulty.

Sunday


Having looked around for tai chi lessons for mainly health but also martial applications, what I found immediately obvious with Master Waller was the practical "real" teaching. None of the flowery waving arms about, but real scientifically provable methods to aid health and engage martial capability.

In my life free time is in short supply; I want a class where I get value for money and concentrated pure teaching, Newcastle Tai Chi meets both these objectives.
(Damian)


Saturday

Comparing schools

Martial arts schools may appear to be offering the same arts as one another: tai chi chuan, kung fu, self defence, baguazhang, shuai jiao, chin na, qigong...But are they offering exactly the same arts? Are they teaching the same skills? The same syllabus?No.
Every teacher is different. Every school is different. The chances are that you are not comparing like with like.
Consider:
What is the school's speciality?
Do they have a detailed syllabus in place?
Is the art authentic?
Can you read
reviews/feedback?
Are they interested in the
philosophical side of the art?
What is the
age group in the class?
Does the school seem to be welcoming and friendly?
Is the school macho?
What is the emphasis: sport/competition/MMA/self defence/traditional teaching?

Friday

Don't know something?

Don't know what something means? That is fine, and good. 
See it as an opportunity to grow and expand.

Simply saying that you don't know and then stopping signifies an unwillingness to change, to evolve as a person, surely?

We all encounter things every day that we don't understand or don't know about.
Be curious. 
Explore.
Learn.
Expand your horizons.
Dare to grow, to change.
Don't just talk.

Confucius said:

"I do not enlighten those who are not eager to learn, nor arouse those who are not quick to give an explanation themselves.

If I have presented one corner of the square and they cannot come back to me with the other three, I should not go over the points again."

See this as a friendly challenge. An invitation to broaden yourself?

In friendship,

Master Waller

Yoga & tai chi

People sometimes muddle-up tai chi and yoga.
It is common to see yoga postures labelled "tai chi" on Pinterest, Facebook etc.
Such confusion is only possible when a person has studied neither yoga nor tai chi chuan, for the arts are very different indeed.

Yoga is about stretching, balancing and physical unity. Tai chi chuan is a style of kung fu; a martial art.
The differences significantly outweigh any superficial similarities.

Thursday

Is tai chi easy?

If tai chi feels to be easy, then you have not been training the authentic art.
No form of exercise is easy
.
If it isn't a challenge, then it isn't exercise. And it sure isn't tai chi.
Tai chi works your body at a greater intensity than your usual level of daily activity.You become fitter and stronger.
As you adapt to meet the demands of the training, the tai chi becomes more difficult; encouraging constant growth and development.  

Wednesday



Is tai chi chuan easy?

Tai chi chuan is a martial art, and martial arts are particularly demanding; requiring the student to significantly increase their strength, agility, endurance and speed.
The challenges are both physical and mental.

Tuesday

Tai chi for free...

A lot of people in the UK expect to learn tai chi for free. In fact, there are a number of teachers who offer free tuition.
It may be worth looking closely at what is on offer:
Are they offering tai chi chuan (martial art), tai chi for health, tai chi-style exercise or qigong?
Is it tai chi for the
over 50's?
When did the teacher start practicing tai chi?
How long has the teacher been offering lessons?
Who did they learn the art from?
Is the school teaching a recognised style of tai chi?
Do they offer the
8 areas of study?
Are you discovering the
essence of the art?

Free does not necessarily mean authentic.
When something has
value, people seldom want to give it away for free.

The perfect exercise

In modern life, time is in short supply and a person wants to get the best possible benefits from any new endeavour they undertake.
Harvard Medical School suggests that taijiquan may indeed be the perfect exercise.
It combines 8 crucial ingredients:

  1. Awareness (including mindfulness & focussed attention)
  2. Embodied spirituality (including philosophy)
These 8 taijiquan components offer a multi-layered approach to the cultivation of health, vitality and wellbeing.
The depth of study available within a bona fide system of taijiquan is incredible; a student can quite literally explore the art for their entire lifetime and still discover new mysteries, secrets and skills.

As a martial art, taijiquan is unparalleled in its sophisticated biomechanics, diversity of combat skills and variety of application.

Monday

Sport

Sport can be significantly more expensive than martial arts training. And sometimes cheaper too.

How much does the clothing cost?
How much are running/training shoes?
Gym membership?
Pilates lessons?
Personal trainer?
A season ticket?


As with all things, the cost of something is relative to what you think is appropriate and what you are prepared/willing to pay...

Sunday

Expenses

Martial arts lessons typically involve a range of expenses. Some are obvious, some are not.
Usually you should expect to pay for some (or all) of these items:


  1. Monthly tuition fees
  2. Annual membership
  3. Quarterly grading
  4. Affiliation with a third party organisation/federation
  5. Insurance
  6. Licence
  7. Competitions
  8. Uniform
  9. Patches/badges
  10. Equipment/weaponry
  11. Instructional DVDs
  12. Books/training manuals

Many classes expect new students to buy a uniform within a month of starting a class. The new starter is often asked to pay annual membership, insurance and commit to a monthly standing order.

Thursday

Horse riding squats

Take three deep breaths.

Begin by placing your feet as wide apart as you can comfortably balance. Relax your neck and shoulders.

Place your hands on your waist and slowly bend your knees to drop into a 'horse riding' stance. Aim for squatting as close to the ground as you can. Hold the squat for 1-2 seconds then slowly return to standing straight.

Repeat the squat 20-30 times, or as your strength will allow. It is better and more challenging the more slowly you do this exercise.

Eventually you will build up leg muscles and increase your stamina to the point where you can hold the squat position for ten seconds or more.
Photo: Horse Riding Squats 

Standing in mountain pose, feet together with arms at your sides, take three deep breaths. 

Begin by placing your feet as wide apart as you can comfortably balance. Relax your neck and shoulders. 

Place your hands on your waist and slowly bend your knees to drop into a 'horse riding' stance. Aim for squatting as close to the ground as you can. Hold the squat for 1-2 seconds then slowly return to standing straight. 

Repeat the squat 20-30 times, or as your strength will allow. It is better and more challenging the more slowly you do this exercise. 

Eventually you will build up leg muscles and increase your stamina to the point where you can hold the squat position for ten seconds or more.