Lessons with Sifu Waller
Written by Rachel

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Students who have attained a degree of skill with the taijiquan work directly with Sifu Waller rather than Rachel/shido-geiko students. He becomes their
Training with Sifu Waller assumes a more serious commitment to learning taijiquan the martial art.

What do you need to do?

There are a number of things you must do when moving across to the martial group, so please be prepared:

  1. Standing order
    increase the standing order payment to 50 a month

  2. Book
    - buy Adam Hsu's book The Sword Polisher's Record for your assignment

  3. Weapons
    buy a practice weapons from CIMAC
    - rubber knife
    - navel-height foam-covered practice stick (thin bore)
    - weapon case

Everything in one night?

If you take a look at our syllabus, you can immediately see that we offer a broad range of taijiquan skills. We cannot realistically teach everything to every grade in one night.
No martial arts class can feasibly do this.

I have seen schools where some of the students show disrespect to the teacher by not paying him on time, by being frequently late to class, and by not informing the teacher when a class must be missed.

(John Lash)


If a student wants to plod, take things calmly and proceed at a moderate pace... this is just fine. It is not our responsibility to motivate students. We will not pressure anyone.


If a student is seeking a faster rate of progress, they need:

  1. Frequent exposure to the material

  2. Heavy repetition of basic elements

  3. Practice in class with a variety of partners

  4. A commitment to daily home training

There are no shortcuts, quick fixes or secret methods to assist you. There is just practice.

High exposure

The sheer volume of material being offered by martial arts classes requires frequent, detailed tuition and home practice.
In real terms, this means attending more than one lesson per week whenever possible.

Greater attention

Higher-level instruction is often so detailed that it cannot conceivably be taught in a classroom scenario; so smaller groups are required.
Eventually your progress necessitates one-to-one instruction. But for most people, this is a very long way off...

Limited interest

We used to offer an extra class on a second night but unfortunately there was very limited student interest. The class was discontinued.

Martial expectations

People often have good martial ambitions but fail to acknowledge the reality of the trade off.
They want the same skills as a judo student without committing to an equivalent 2-3 times a week training regime. This is somewhat naive.

If you don't do martial arts, it may be hard for you to understand the importance we place in the people that teach us. They are not like schoolteachers or lecturers, where the tuition is compulsory. In the martial arts the teaching and the learning is voluntary. It's a shared passion. The rewards of your instructor's lessons go deep.

(Goran Powell)

Trade off

Taijiquan is far more sophisticated than judo. You want the skills? There must be a trade off. Time, money, sacrifice, practice, patience, persistence.
People commonly believe that they can have it all without having to give anything up. To have one thing you must give up something else.


Unless you are attending a second night, students must recognise that your tuition and progress is far from ideal.
At present, we do the best that we can under the circumstances.

Home practice & workshops

In lieu of a second class, a student should have a well-established daily training regime at home. Students should also aim to attend every possible workshop and boot camp.

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Page created 2 March 1995
Last updated 11 September 2019