Lesson format

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A balanced class

We aim to offer students a balanced class:

  1. 6:30 PM - qigong

  2. 7:00 PM - pushing hands (taijiquan beginners)

  3. 7:30 PM - form

  4. 8:00 PM - partner work

  5. 8:25 PM - cool-down

The purpose of this format is to give your mind and body a healthy workout.

Rachel teaches

Rachel teaches inductees, taijiquan beginners, tai chi for health and tai chi for fitness students:

Form (square version only)
Remedial form
Introductory qigong
Introductory partner work
Induction course
Administration & registration

Sifu Waller teaches

Sifu Waller teaches martial students:

Taijiquan (supreme ultimate fist)
Form in greater detail
The function of form
Brain work (meditation, awareness, metacognition)
Martial principles
Neigong (whole-body strength)
Jing (whole-body power)
Self defence
Martial skill
Chin na (seizing)
Shuai jiao (take downs)

Taijiquan beginners

Rachel works with taijiquan beginners, but a teaching assistant may help with the qigong ticksheet.

An hour of qigong?

Students who are not adept with taijiquan need to do a lot of qigong.
It will provide the necessary fitness benefits by serving as a stopgap pending higher level taijiquan skill.

6:15 PM

We recommend that students aim to arrive with a view to commencing training at 6:30 PM. This reflects Asian punctuality and enables you to get the best value for money.
Students are welcome to knock on the door from 6:15 PM onwards in order to gain entry.


We ask students to try not to be too boisterous or excitable when training. Tai chi is best practiced in an atmosphere of calm.


Talking about the training at hand is fine if your focus is on the exercise. Stopping to chit-chat is another matter entirely and breaks the Code of Conduct:
- no chit-chat
- continue to practice until told to stop


Students are encouraged to bring their own water and to drink about a litre during the lesson.

Personal possessions

Put your valuables out of sight. Switch-off your phone, or set it to 'silent' mode for the duration of the class.

Remember where you are

A training hall (kwoon) is 'niwa' - a pure place. Avoid swearing or messing-about when in class. Do not consume food. Being courteous to other people ensures a more pleasant training environment.


The slight formality of a martial arts class encourages good character. You behave with dignity and show respect to people who are placing their trust in you.
Adopt the appropriate frame of mind for tai chi training.

Addressing the instructor

Remember to call the instructor "sifu" when addressing him. Failure to do so breaks the Code of Conduct.
If you think that you have parity with the instructor you are deluded and should seek tuition elsewhere.
The term sifu is not "Sir" or "Boss". It's more akin to saying Mum/Dad. It's friendly and recognises the fact that you have a personal relationship with the instructor.


You may not think that etiquette matters, but the instructor will notice your disrespect and remember it.
The instructor is not your mate, your buddy, or one of the lads. He has trained for decades. Respecting the instructor (and other students) is vital in a martial arts class.

Dress the part, act the part...

By wearing the uniform and signing the registration form you are agreeing to follow the Code of Conduct.
Dressing like a student and acting like a student are the first steps on the road to actually becoming a martial arts student.
You are not at work, the gym, at home or at the pub.

End of class

Please aim to pack away and leave the hall expediently. The caretaker lives nearby and will charge more for the hall if we linger too long after the lesson.


If you have any questions for Rachel, please ask her at 6:30 PM or by e-mail... not at 8:30 PM. Maybe show some initiative by looking for the answer on the website?
There is a Google search bar on the School Database page. Sifu Waller spent 20 years writing the website for students to read... at least take a few minutes to read the site.

school database

Page created 18 April 2007
Last updated 13 January 2020