Rachel Waller
Qigong & tai chi teacher

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43 years old

Rachel is a very healthy example of what daily taijiquan, a good diet and a balanced lifestyle can offer. She doesn't look 43, does she?

Taekwondo black belt

Rachel was born in Kuching, Borneo. She is from Chinese/Kayan descent. Brought up on a steady diet of Chinese martial arts movies,
Rachel has been interested in martial arts training for most of her life.
She began learning taekwondo with the Sarawak Taekwondo Association (ITF), passed her first taekwondo black belt in 1994, and eventually became the president of the club.

Living in the UK

Rachel competed for a scholarship from Shell, and won. This enabled her to study at the prestigious Kolej Tuanku Ja'afar school before gaining a place at Durham University in 1997.
After passing her degree with Durham, Rachel became a permanent resident of the UK.

Kung fu

By her late twenties Rachel had lost interest in taekwondo and was looking for a more advanced fighting style. She'd heard good things about Newcastle Tai Chi and attended the induction course.
Rachel was so amazed by Sifu Waller's high level of skill that she joined the class immediately. It was quite a surprise to find bona fide kung fu skills of this standard in the UK.

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.


Qualified taijiquan teacher

Rachel is an advanced-level
instructor with The Tai Chi Union for Great Britain. She has been Disclosure and Barring Service checked so that she can teach adults of all ages and has an up-to-date First Aid qualification.

The benefits of taijiquan #1

Rachel's taekwondo practice put tremendous strain on her joints. The training was exertive, strenuous and damaging. Her hips and shoulders clicked and often felt painful.
By contrast, the taijiquan taught by Sifu Waller uses the body in a very different way to taekwondo. Soon after commencing taijiquan, Rachel's joints stopped clicking and hurting.

The benefits of taijiquan #2

In 2007 Rachel sprained her knee whilst helping move office furniture at work. It got worse all day. The following morning Rachel was unable to walk properly... She experienced serious shooting pain.
The doctor told Rachel that it would take up to 6 weeks to heal up. Rachel contacted Sifu Waller and he asked her to show him what she had been doing at work.
He then explained what she was doing incorrectly.

Sifu Waller physically mimicked Rachel's habits so that she could see them, then showed her a better way to do each action and examples of functional biomechanics.
A day later the painful knee was improving. After that, Rachel experienced a fairly rapid rehabilitation of her injured knee and a full recovery. It didn't take 6 weeks. It took 1 week.

A lady of taijiquan

Rachel offers a wide variety of skills:

  1. Qigong
    - standing qigong (various)
    - moving qigong (various)

  2. Form
    - Long Yang form (regular & mirrored)
    - walking stick form (regular & mirrored)
    - sabre form (regular & mirrored)
    - jian form (regular & mirrored)

  3. Pushing hands/pushing legs/monkey paws/da lu

  4. Meditation

  5. Self-massage

  6. Psoas exercises

  7. Constructive rest

  8. Leg stretches

  9. Core strength exercises

  10. Taoist Yoga (tao yin)

  11. Principles

  12. Biomechanics

  13. Neigong (whole-body strength)

  14. Self defence

  15. Women's self defence

  16. Martial sets

  17. Stick drills

  18. Sword drills

  19. Asian tea appreciation


Rachel handles the registration of students in class, writing a blog, administrating class, inducting new starters, preparing the hall for class, organising (and sometimes hosting) social events and answering e-mails.
She is responsible for locating venues, photography and filming. Her creative input has resulted in many positive changes for the class.

Tea appreciation

Since childhood Rachel has been an avid tea enthusiast. She likes to taste different flavours of Asian tea and is happy to share her knowledge with any student seeking an introduction to tea appreciation.

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


Hobbies & interests

Malaysian people are obsessed with food and Rachel is no exception.
She has other interests too... meditation, gardening, walking, cooking, baking, photography, reading, crochet, sewing, knitting, cycling, old movies, sci fi, graphic novels, the countryside, pop culture figure collecting, pin-up art, nature, holistic beauty/health care and cuddling her husband.
Rachel likes to explore traditional Japanese culture e.g. haiku, ukiyo-e, literature, calligraphy, textiles, pottery, tea ceremony, furoshiki (the Japanese art of wrapping things using fabrics), yosou (the Japanese art of food arrangement) along with modern anime.


married Sifu Waller in 2010...


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Page created 2 September 2007
Last updated 15 July 2021