Weapons eligibility
Written by Rachel

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Martial practice

It is important to remember that weapons training is by definition 'martial' and therefore not tai chi for health.
To practice weaponry in our school a student must demonstrate a certain degree of physical aptitude and a mature, responsible attitude.


Taijiquan students encounter knife drills and stick drills (3 sets). There is no martial component whatsoever in the tai chi for health syllabus.

An opportunity

Sifu Waller allows students to have a weapons taster ahead of their grade. This is an indulgence. Do not abuse it or take it for granted.

Not for everyone

Weapons training is not suitable for everyone. To study weapons a student must be healthy enough to undertake the training.

Mandatory factors

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

  1. Taijiquan membership

  2. No medical/fitness problems that impede flexibility and coordination
    - arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive strain injury etc

  3. Good attitude & humour

  4. Prepared to practice at home between classes

Cause for concern?

If Rachel feels that a student is
unfit for weapons practice, she may ask them to undertake a physical. We reserve the right to decline weapons tuition:

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

Rachel will always act with the
wellbeing of the student in

When you come to the dojo, it is a recognition the teacher there has something you want. He will give it to you in his own way. You must accept that. If you do not, you are free to leave. The dojo, however, is never run by consensus.

The sensei is not a therapist. The goal of the dojo is to make healthy people healthier, physically and psychologically and spiritually. It cannot be expected to repair badly damaged human beings. As so if a member exhibits serious personal problems, the sensei's job is to get rid of him, gracefully if possible, forcefully and definitively if necessary.

(Dave Lowry)

If the answer is No...

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

3 tests

A weapon must be handled with control, accuracy and ease. Safety demands that students are capable of moving their fingers and wrists without impediment. There are 3 tests to prove this:

  1. Baoding balls
    - comfortable ability to rotate the balls using either hand

  2. Wrist spiral
    - through the full range of motion
    - with a juggling ball placed on the palm

  3. Stick drill #4: Swing over, swing under
    - with no difficulty executing the required action

Kid in a candy store

The danger of having an extensive syllabus is that some students behave like a kid in a candy store. I want that. I want this...
Frequently they lack the skills required for the level of training their ambition desires. Eligibility is essential. Paying fees and attending lessons does not equal competence.

Please read

Weapons night

school database

Page created 2 March 1995
Last updated 29 April 2020