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Please read this feedback from people who have recently joined our school:

I love classes/the school. I feel I belong. Even in the moments when I have felt clumsy, or have made mistakes, out of the vulnerability I have got the impression that actually itís ok, just being human. People have been really accepting. The workshops and boot camps too have been very humbling. Seeing Sifu Wallerís baguazhang blew my mind.


Sifu Waller is one of these men that you respect as soon as you meet him just by his behaviour. I remember the first time I entered his school I had been in the UK for 2 days, Rachel was very comprehensive and I felt very-well welcomed. Sifu is very invested in his art and knows what he is talking about. Going to this school is one of the most enriching experience I had so far. Many thanks to Rachel and Sifu.


I find the Classes and the School educational, entertaining and an excellent vehicle for creating change in myself. I appreciate the following about them: Relaxed, friendly and good-humoured feel to them along with an attitude of letís get on and practice. All this within a clear structure that encourages attention to task and a sense of safety. Each class I have attended has given me very specific feedback about what I need to do differently. The class is split into either groups of similar ability or individuals working on their own set goals. I like that. There is a clear and detailed syllabus outlining progress through the grades. I have become seriously "hooked" in the best possible way!


Having been involved with sport all my life - I only wish we'd found this 30 years ago. Its all about being calm and at one with yourself whilst exercising. There's a group of 40 students who are the most friendly group of people I've come across in recent years. We have been made to feel very welcome and special - so if you think you are too old !!!! think again. If however your in your 20's / 30's jump at the chance to meet these great teachers. They get my 5* + rating and that's been rarely given out in the past.

(Martin K)

Anyone considering taking up Tai Chi for health, fitness, or martial need to attend this class if they are serious about learning the art. Sifu Waller has a wealth of experience which he imparts with humility and humour. His wife Rachel is equally passionate about helping you through the early stages with checking and constructive pointers. In addition to the training they have a comprehensive website which is a wealth of information covering every aspect and that alone is worth the fee. I am 9 months in ( a mere beginner ) but I have learnt so much with the prospect of extending my learning indefinitely. The members are all like minded people who make you extremely welcome, one of the best decisions I have made regarding training my mind and my body.


Joan and I had decided that we both needed to look at a form of exercise for the over 60's - however as we are moderately fit this taxed our minds for a number of months - until Joan came across this school in Newcastle run by Sifu and Rachel Waller. The first 3 weeks are run as a taster session and to give an insight into the ways of QiQong - pronounced Chi Gung. How could I sum this exercise up, well after a 2-hour session your body is aware you have had a thorough work out. Its now been 2 months and as we slowly begin to understand the moves, its all beginning to click and feel natural.

(Martin K)

The way Sifu integrates Taoist/Zen principles and reading into the lessons, whilst constantly actualising them, is much appreciated.


The people who attend the classes are all friendly, respectful and genuinely interested in what we are learning which makes attending the classes really enjoyable.


Before I came to Sifu Waller three years ago I had spent six years at four different classes trying to learn tai chi. None of them had a syllabus of any kind. Most were offering tuition of the simplified 24 step Yang style tai chi, with no self defence and no regard for the health of knees or back. The classes were for one hour only and cost about the same as ours.


The workshops are most beneficial. They offer material not available in the wider class and also go into much greater detail. I know that some it is too advanced for me now, but there is more than enough useful stuff to make them well worth the investment in time and money. After last night I was able to fill an A4 page with new things to practice as well as how to do things I already "know" differently and thus more effectively. I appreciate that efforts were made to make the workshop as relevant and accessible as possible for a beginner like me. It is also beneficial to spend 2 hours doing partner work, especially with the more experienced senior students as partners. The business like work ethic is well balanced by the humour - Sifu Waller is to be complimented on his ability to generate good learning states in students.


I like that there's no macho, aggressive attitude in the class, and that everyone is helpful and respectful of one another. I also like the structure of the class, and the clear syllabus that lets you see how you're progressing.


What I like most about Newcastle Tai Chi is learning about 'why' things are done, not just 'what' or 'how'. This gives the practise more legitimacy and makes me feel like I'm learning something important.


Sifu Waller and Rachel treat everyone in the class with great politeness and respect.


I'm thoroughly enjoying the training; it is on a completely different level to anything I've done previously.


What I really like about the class is its friendly atmosphere with excellent teaching and a clear syllabus that means everyone makes progress. Itís challenging but accessible. Everything is explained to the level you want and obviously Sifu Waller really demonstrates what is possible in the art. What I find most amazing about the syllabus is how everything is interlocking and interconnected.


The website is a wonderful cornucopia of information and advice. Finally my smartphone has a genuinely useful purpose (as well as making phone calls). Throughout the website there is an up front message that what you get from tai chi is very much dependent on how much time and energy you are prepared to commit


My strength has increased tremendously. I can now garden without getting backache.


I like the classes because I know I'm entering a healthy zone. I've done a lot of travelling, learning, and philosophizing in my life and what I like about your classes is their integrity. I like the total absence of bullshit. By observing the way my body does or doesn't move each week, I'm able to see where the problems are in every other aspect of my life. For this I'm very grateful.


I just wanted to again express my thanks to you and to Sifu Waller a truly inspiring workshop. I can say that it was one of the most educational and enjoyable workshops I have ever attended, and I've been doing martial arts since I was 15!


Can I just thank Sifu Waller and yourself for continuing to make the sessions so enjoyable on so many levels....


I wanted to join a school where I could learn and practice an original form of kung fu. There are so many great facetís to this class I struggle to do it real justice... Whatís the use in reading the ingredients of a cake, you have to eat it to appreciate it. Newcastle Tai Chi is a hidden gem, not only as the class is unpretentious and friendly but because we have a true instructor who teaches us to use our body in the most optimal way to achieve maximal results with great ease. I can with confidence say every week Sifu Waller amazes even the most experienced of students, by the depth of his knowledge and insight plus the masterful execution of efficient applications with such ease that it is often humorous.



We asked new members to offer advice/suggestions for newcomers:

Top tips for new starters:
- Expect to be somewhat confused initially and accept that the confusion will fade as you learn more material and gain a sense of perspective.
- Spend time reading the website. Especially the pages highlighted for beginners.
- Sign up for the 3 week induction course, you need to commit to this as a minimum to even begin to get a sense of how useful studying tai chi can be for you.
- Read "Peak" and "Grit" early on and start with the mindset of being in for the long haul.
- Do "deliberate" practice between classes from the beginning
- Buy the "Qigong: follow along with Rachel" DVD.
- Talk to students who are more experienced.
- Bring along your senses of curiosity, humour and wonder, and use them.


My tips for new starters:
Seek your deep inner core that calls you to practice the art.
Dedicate yourself to practice every day.
Aim higher than what you expect you can achieve.
Read the website well and often... select some books from the recommended reading list... let yourself be inspired.
Sometimes you may feel out of your depth, and thatís healthy.


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Page created 18 April 2005
Last updated 21 June 2018