Rachel gains ‘advanced’ instructor membership

Rachel has a black belt in taekwondo, a purple belt in kung fu and now an instructor rank in taijiquan.
Please join me in congratulating Rachel!

This morning Rachel received confirmation from the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain to say that they have awarded her an ‘advanced’ instructor membership.
Their decision is subject to final approval/ratification at the next general meeting.

Qualifying criteria:

- 5 years as assistant instructor
– taijiquan slow form (regular & mirrored)
– sabre form (regular & mirrored)
– 2-person stick form (regular & mirrored)
– staff form (regular & mirrored)
– walking stick form (regular & mirrored)
– jian form (regular & mirrored)
– qigong (various)
– pushing hands (various)
– meditation (various)
– theory & philosophy
– neigong (various)
– stick drills (20)
– broadsword drills (15)
– self defence
– small san sau, silk arms, penetrating defences
– shuai jiao applications
– chin na applications
– form applications
– baguazhang palm changes (form), circle walking, mother palms, 9 palaces etc
– women’s self defence (including syllabus design)
– bag work
– floor work
– self-massage (100)
– tao yin
– psoas exercises
– blog
– creating webpages
– administrating class
– registering new starters
– inducting new starters
– preparing the hall for class
– organising social events
– hosting social events
– arranging ang pow

Rachel is currently working to improve her form, neigong, martial skill (kung fu), along with theory & philosophy.

The TCUGB membership means that Rachel can acquire her own insurance if she wanted to teach students/classes independently.

It also means that our students now have the benefit of 2 qualified instructors in the one training hall.

What do school members get for their money?

• Attend once or twice a week 
• Train up to 2 hours a night

• Fully-differentiated syllabus 
Authentic skills 
• High quality tuition
• Professional learning environment

• Extensive range of skills available
• Address individual health concerns & training requirements
• Extremely thorough exploration of the art(s)
• Study new material every week

• Work through the 
full curriculum
• Receive regular corrections, tips & pointers
• Request bespoke tuition

• Access to highly detailed school DVDs
• Discuss taijiquan theory and related philosophies with Master Waller
• Attend workshops, boot camp and class social events
• Advanced level of understanding
• Follows the teachings of the Tai Chi Classics
• Explore
1300 page on-line taijiquan database with guidance from Master Waller

I don’t like to teach too much.
You can find the way by yourself, naturally.
Like when you learn to walk.
And you just need to have a guide to say be careful,
to say don’t do this to impress people.
Just follow your way, follow your instinct.

(Sebastian Foucan)

12 weeks

Harvard Medical School reports that most tai chi medical trials last at least 12 weeks. They involve instruction once or twice a week supplemented with home practice.
By the end of the trial, most participants experienced an improvement in health.

This highlights a major consideration for new starters; it can take some weeks for the health benefits to occur.


Pay-as-you-go students focus upon qigong, form and partner work exercises.
The benefits will affect your everyday life:

• Get fit
 Increase stamina and endurance
• Gain an unusual form of strength 
• A calm mind and composed emotions
• Mobile joints, relaxed muscles and natural movement
• Boost energy
• Improved balance
• Use millennia old Chinese wisdom in everyday life   
• Confidence and resourcefulness
• Improved skeletal alignment, poise and coordination 

The exercises are low impact, do not strain the body and can be practiced by people of all ages. 
The training starts simple but becomes more challenging as you progress.

One size fits all?

All things being equal, anyone should be physically capable of performing any tai chi movement from any style of tai chi.
In reality, things are not equal, and a twenty year old person with a supple body can usually manage postures that a
forty year old could not.
It is important to train tai chi relative to your own individual level of condition.


Although there is no formal or informal grading for taijiquan and tai chi for health students, there is some manner of assessment required.
For example: If a student has learned single pushing hands and seeks to learn double pushing hands, they must demonstrate the necessary level of competence and understanding.

You are where you are

Taijiquan without grading puts the onus for progress squarely in the hands of the student.
If the person is seeking to learn new skills, they must gain competence with their existing skills and then proceed to acquire more.
If the person is unmotivated or misses many lessons, progress will be slower.

Ultimately, the student is simply wherever they happen to be in the syllabus.
Unlike a kung fu student, there is no rank attached. No expectation of progress. Nothing is asked of you.

You are free to proceed as you will.


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