Taijiquan and the art of living

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This is an on-line database exploring taijiquan, qigong and their related concerns.
It provides a brief introduction to some of the concepts associated with taijiquan and the way in which Sifu Waller approaches these arts.
This site offers a crude outline of taijiquan and Taoism. It does not aim to tutor anyone.

Visitors are welcome

We offer this website for our students to read. It is a source of background information.
Non-students are quite welcome to read the material, but should note that the content was designed to supplement the lessons taught by our school. Not everything will make sense to non-students.
Not everything will fit with what you think, or know.


Different coloured words are hyperlinks. A navigation bar can be found at the top of each page. We use an A-Z and a category list rather than a conventional site map.


A conversation naturally drifts wherever it may lead, like water following any route it is offered. Our website works on the same principle.
Every page is littered with hyperlinks that take you onto associated topics and themes.
You can simply read each page through from top to bottom, or just follow your inclination and sidetrack as often as you want to.


Tai chi (tie jee) is spelled in different ways on this website, relative to context and meaning:

Taijiquan - supreme ultimate fist; an advanced martial art
Tai chi for health - a popular form of exercise derived from taijiquan
Tai chi - refers to material, principles or insights common to both taijiquan and tai chi for health e.g. The Way and Its Power

Some of the words on this website follow the Wade-Giles spelling and others are pinyin. We have chosen the most popular spelling/usage on each occasion.


With the advent of the internet, people have become impatient. They want a headline, bullet points, but not necessarily the details.


In modern society, subjects are often dumbed-down for learning purposes. Whilst this is sometimes useful it can also result in many misconceptions. To truly understand, you must do some research...

Professional swimmers don't have perfect bodies because they train extensively. Rather, they are good swimmers because of their physiques. Similarly, female models advertise cosmetics and thus, female consumers believe that these products make you beautiful. But it is not the cosmetics that make these women model-like. Quite simply, the models are born attractive and only for this reason are they candidates for cosmetic advertising. As with the swimmers' bodies, beauty is a factor for selection and not the result.

(Rolf Dobelli)

Beneath the surface

Tai chi is more than simply an exercise or a martial art; it addresses how we live and the quality of our lives.
Practitioners are encouraged to find out more about the art, to dig deeper, to explore the principles that determine how and why taijiquan functions.
With a deeper sense of the art, your understanding of the system will grow and the benefits will increase.


Tai chi is a journey of discovery, so start with an open mind, not a conclusion or fixed goal. Mysteries are fascinating; the deeper you look, the more curious you become.
Unexpected avenues lead to unanticipated places.

Who is best?

People get caught up comparing taijiquan teachers, styles and approaches... They even become emotionally invested in their own method.
This is pointless: every teacher is different and individual skill/ability is far more important than style.

What about you?

What really matters in taijiquan is what you can do personally. How well do you understand The Taijiquan Classics, the essence of the art, the taijiquan principles?
Do you use your body in an internal way in class? At home? At work? Martially?

Do some taijiquan

To understand taijiquan you must do taijiquan. It is a physical art and it requires professional tuition. Talking is not the same as doing. A real grasp of the art necessitates many years of rigorous practice.
Switch off your PC/phone/tablet and do some training.

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Page created 9 January 1995
Last updated 26 July 2022