Is tai chi a martial art?

Originally yes; it was developed as a system of kung fu and was employed by the Chinese military.

The true science of martial arts means practicing them in such a way that they will be useful at any time, and to teach them in such a way that they will be useful in all things.

(Miyamoto Musashi)
In modern times tai chi is typically taught for exercise.Martial classes offering a complete range of skills are very rare in the UK.

We offer our students the option of practicing tai chi as a martial art.


It can be hard to say no when I really DO want to go and do something, but I know my body and some days the fun is worth paying the price for, some days I just can't. People don't understand to go to their 2-hour "event" will cost me at least 48 hours.

Is tai chi just form?

Form is just 1 area of practice in tai chi.
8 areas of knowledge and ability provide a balanced comprehension of the art:
  1. Qigong (energy/breath work)
  2. Martial skill (kung fu)
  3. Neigong (whole-body strength)
  4. Instructing (optional)
tai chi student should work towards competence in each of these areas and also uncover the essence of the art.


I want to learn tai chi as a martial art, why do I need to become a member?

Taijiquan is more difficult to learn than tai chi for health.
It cannot be approached haphazardly.
A clear, structured syllabus must be in place, along with a logical step-by-step teaching plan determining just how the syllabus is implemented.

Students who attend weekly and are willing to practice between lessons will find taijiquan to be a challenging learning experience.



We offer a very high standard of tuition from instructors with decades of experience.There is a syllabus in place to ensure that the tai chi is taught in a consistent, structured, methodical way.
Students work towards a comprehensive understanding of tai chi, whole-body strength and the ability to use their body in an intelligent, healthy manner.

Have fun in a calm, vibrant, training environment; free from bullying, cliques and politics. The atmosphere is friendly, pleasant and relaxed.
Personal safety and individual wellbeing are important to us.


Is tai chi easy to practice?

The movements are not physically strenuous and will not strain or tax the body.
However, easy or difficult are relative to the individual.
It depends on memory, coordination, patience and how committed you are.
Also, there is the question of how fit you are to begin with.

You cannot reasonably hope to master tai chi overnight.
The art is very 
in-depth, with many levels of skill and achievement.
There is always more to uncover...


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 tai chi may indeed be the perfect exercise.

Tai chi offers a multi-layered approach to the cultivation of health, vitality and wellbeing.
The depth of study available within a bona fide system of tai chi 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.


How can you tell what a tai chi class is offering?

(i) Most classes are health classes
Virtually every tai chi class in the UK is teaching 'tai chi for health'.
Classes offering taijiquan (the martial art) are very rare indeed.

Some classes may advertise themselves as 'taijiquan' but are in fact teaching tai chi for health.

(ii) Martial proof

It is easy to determine if a taijiquan martial arts class is bona fide.
Ask the instructor about:
  1. Their syllabus
  2. Teaching methodology
  3. Tai chi principles (4 ounces, 6 balanced pairs, 13 postures, fa jing, folding, groundpath, opening & closing, reeling silk, shen, softness, substantial & insubstantial, sung, yielding etc)
  4. Martial theory and application
  5. Form application (7 applications for every posture)
  6. Examples of shuai jiaochin na and jing skill
A genuine taijiquan instructor will be able to prove their skill to you quite convincingly.


Can I pick the subjects/topics that appeal to me?

Cherry picking has serious drawbacks.
Our syllabus offers a balanced, step-by-step approach to gaining a thorough and comprehensive understanding of tai chi.
Emphasising the parts that you like best or omitting the aspects you do not care for is self-indulgent and will lead to major gaps of knowledge and skill.

Consider: you want to learn French but you have no interest in verbs... You want to be a chef but do not care to chop... You seek to drive a car but do not like to turn left...
See how ridiculous this seems?


Who can study tai chi?

It is important to discriminate between taijiquan and tai chi for health.Anyone can study 'tai chi for health' and age is not an issue.
Taijiquan is 
not suitable for everyone.If you fancy discovering the martial skills (kung fu) you need to be realistic in terms of expectations. 
We reserve the right to decline tuition:
• if we feel that a student is physically unable to study taijiquan safely• if an individual demonstrates the wrong attitude for taijiquan study 


Our classes

We specialise in teaching:

• Tai chi chuan (martial art)
• Tai chi for health
• Qigong   

We have been practicing since 1975, teaching since 1995.
Both of our 
instructors are registered with The Tai Chi Union for Great Britain.


Perpetual beginners

Most tai chi students in the UK never get past the preliminaries of the art.
They lack the knowledge and/or the tuition opportunities to explore tai chi properly.

Training at a beginner's level long-term is not good for your health and wellbeing. A crude understanding of tai chi can potentially lead to injury.
To avoid this, students need to make progress in a healthy, safe, fun environment.
They must continually develop their insights, skills and awareness. 

A proven, fully differentiated syllabus should be in place and the opportunity for each student to learn tai chi relative to their own ability.


Most people come to our classes because they are seeking to learn tai chi properly and recognise that this is by far the best tai chi in the North East.