When taijiquan people talk about qi all the time it makes me leery.

I’d sooner hear them speak of Newton’s Laws of motion, the 3 dimensions, human biomechanics, jing and The Tai Chi Classics. Then I’d want to see how they apply these things in a taijiquan way; congruent with the classics.

Qi talk seems to be a catch-all. It often masks a severe lack of knowledge and skill.

You will begin to feel that your taijiquan practice goes beyond simple form training, and you will be able to perceive things as energetic combinations, rather than as static physical objects. Your training partners will appear to your senses as dynamic patterns of energy, rather than as clumsy physical bodies. When this happens, you can skilfully switch strategy and tactics in any situation.

(Yang Jwing-Ming)


10 questions to ask a tai chi teacher

Try asking these 10 questions:

1. Which treatise(s) would you consider to be The Tai Chi Classics? Which author is most accessible to you? And which parts do you struggle to put into your practice?

2. What role does ‘shen’ play in tai chi?

3. Explain the significance of ‘folding’.

4. The name of the art refers to the ‘yin/yang’ diagram… So, how does tai chi use yin/yang?

5. Illustrate the difference between ‘jing’ and ‘li’. What bearing does this have on ‘peng’?

6. What does the expression ‘invest in loss’ refer to?

7. Explain the difference between the first 4 powers and the second 4 powers.

8. Which of the taoist classics do you find most relevant/pertinent to tai chi? And why?

9. What is ‘mutual arising’?

10. How does ‘4 ounces of pressure’ operate in practice? What are the active/passive manifestations? And how do they differ?

If a tai chi instructor cannot answer every question comprehensively – verbally & physically – they are not skilled enough to be an instructor.
Look for somebody who can provide good answers.

How to gauge your tai chi teacher…

Quite a lot of people claim to ‘know’ tai chi.
Typically they mean ‘tai chi for health’…
Yet, if you ask them a few simple questions, they almost always flounder.

When faced with a potential charlatan, most people ask all the wrong questions: teacher, style etc.
Who cares?
This is not the root of tai chi.
Focus on the essentials.

Happy New Year from the Wallers

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Classes resume 4th January

The student asks a question and the instructor explains.
Does the student understand the answer?
This is a tricky point…

Would a lack of student understanding reflect poor teaching?
The level of attention the student is paying?
Ability level?

No instructor can give the art to the student.
At best they can explain, illustrate, revise, repeat, show different examples and situations.
Ultimately the responsibility for learning lies with the individual.
This is what learning means.

Modern tai chi

People are so accustomed to images of friendly tai chi for health practitioners that they forget the origin of the art.
There are smiles, blissful expressions and a certain element of posing.
The onus is upon relaxation, calm and stress relief.

None of this has anything whatsoever to do with taijiquan (martial art).
Taijiquan originally came to fame as a military art.


Most tai chi people in the world are health students.
Combat training is entirely different to tai chi for health.
You will be hit, thrown on the floor and hurt in various ways.
There is no way to avoid this.

DIY Toner for Acne Recipe 3/4 cup strong green tea 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar That’s it! Simply pour the green tea and apple cider vinegar into a glass bottle or jar with a lid. Use a cotton ball to apply your homemade toner after cleansing or as often as desired. Store this toner in the refrigerator–it should keep for about two weeks this way.


If you repeat something often enough it becomes unconscious. Unconscious behaviour is known as ‘habit’.
We all develop habits throughout our lives.
Some help us to avoid making mistakes and forgetting things.

Other habits are not so useful. They can actually hamper your health.

Hall closure

The class will be closed Monday 19th October for one night only.

Your 7-Day Conscious Detox

How Did You Sleep Last Night? [INFOGRAPHIC] #sleep

I just...love everything. I seriously feel like this could solve all my self-imposed woes.

Banana benefits

Check out this health #infographic that explains the 10 foods that naturally #detox. Foods like beets, cauliflower, grapefruit, steel cut oats, lemon, seaweed, green tea, artichokes, cilantro, lemons and lentils are have properties that can help your body take care of itself. Read more here:  http://www.healthcentral.com/dailydose/cf/2014/03/3/10_foods_that_naturally_detox?ap=2012