Martial eligibility

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To train taijiquan (supreme ultimate fist), weapons training, self defence, chin na, shuai jiao or baguazhang you must be a school member paying by monthly standing order.

Learning a martial art

When learning a martial art there are essentially 3 stages:

  1. Physical fitness

  2. Technical skill

  3. Combat

Most students want to do 3 but flounder on 1.
The beginner's syllabus and intermediate are about physical fitness.
The experienced syllabus is about technical skill.

Having never had any martial arts experience I was really interested in starting classes with Newcastle Tai Chi. The classes are so well organised and structured that you feel each week you are making progress and developing. Sifu Waller's level of skill in martial arts is astounding and learning from someone of such advanced knowledge is humbling. The work is challenging but incredibly rewarding and you can supplement the weekly lessons with workshops to really enhance the experience. I am really excited to keep training each week and would recommend the classes to anyone interested in martial arts.

(Amelia House)

Not for everyone

Tai chi for health is usually suitable for most people.
Kung fu training is different.
It is
subject to fitness and attendance.
Should a student struggle badly or miss a lot of lessons, we will move them to tai chi for health.

Are you fit enough?

You need to be realistic in terms of expectations.  
During grading, s
tudents undergo a fitness test/physical to confirm their condition.
We test stamina, flexibility, suppleness and cardiovascular health.

Each grade requires an improvement in physical condition.

Mandatory factors

To ensure personal safety and meet our insurance requirements certain factors must be taken into account:

  1. School member

  2. No medical/health problems *

  3. Age (over 18)

  4. Good attitude & humour

  5. Weekly attendance

  6. Prepared to practice at home between classes

  7. Not studying another martial art

* this includes being notably overweight

Asking to do martial training

There are 2 steps: a liability questionnaire and a physical assessment:

Step 1 - Liability q

Martial candidates complete a liability/health questionnaire before being considered for the physical.

Step 2 - The physical

Martial candidates are offered the chance to undertake 'the physical' - subject to attendance, attitude and performance.
If a student can pass their physical they can start learning taijiquan.

If the answer is No...

Do not be offended if we say "No".
Not everyone is offered martial tuition and not everyone passes the physical.
If you have a notable medical/health problem, we are not allowed to do combat with you.
If you have are just out of shape, we will help with this (but you will have to do the work).

Kung fu

Martial training is entirely different to tai chi for health.
You will be roughed-up in the course of training. There is no way to avoid this.


Some people like going to the gym and expect to be able to train taijiquan alongside the gym.
This will not work.

Fitness & attitude

We reserve the right to decline martial tuition:

• if we feel that a student is physically unable to study taijiquan safely
• if an individual demonstrates the wrong attitude for taijiquan study

Rachel will always act with the
wellbeing of the student in
Insurance regulations prohibit a student from training material that is unsuitable for their fitness/ability level.

Like many, I discovered Newcastle Tai Chi through the excellent website and was encouraged by the positive and swift response from Rachel when I enquired about classes.

Having trained in martial arts in my youth, I was keen to revisit Tai Chi as a gentle option better suited for long term training as the years march on. I have since come to learn that in this opinion, and many other things, I was woefully short of the mark. This is not a class for pretentiously wafting your arms about in the park and musing on the wonders of mystic chi.

Sifu Waller’s art is sophisticated, subtle, rigorous and devastatingly effective. It rekindled my passion for martial arts. The syllabus is internal and comprehensive beyond compare. Training is hard if you commit to it, but not punishing on the body (quite the opposite in fact).

This class will tax you physically and mentally but you will be rewarded greatly. If you leave your ego at the door, you’ll be amazed at what you can learn.

(David Cousins)

Worth reading

• Adult learning
Are you a martial artist?
• Are you strong enough?
• Common misconceptions
• Differentiation
• Learning an internal martial art
• Martial expectations
• Self-differentiating
• Strong mental attitude
• Tailored learning

Page created 2 March 1995
Last updated 12 February 2017