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For those of us whoíve been involved in martial arts for some time, and have some experience of Chinese arts and teachers, I feel we can be confident that with Sifu Waller we have stumbled upon a treasure trove of authentic Chinese martial arts. Itís tremendously exciting as the lineage and history is abundantly clear in his approach. It struck me, the first time I saw Sifu Waller demonstrate it, that 5000 years of Chinese culture and history is somehow woven into the lethal beauty of his art.
In todayís very fast paced world, sometimes you need to find a way to switch off and focus on training your mind and your body focusing on long term benefits rather than just here and now. Newcastle Tai Chi has enabled me to do just that! I stumbled across this school after reading the reviews and I was blown away by the induction classes that I just had to continue on. Itís a very friendly school built on years and years of experience gained by Rachel and Sifu that can be easily seen in both health and martial syllabus the school teaches.
If you are looking to improve your overall health and wellbeing or study a form of martial arts, look no further than Newcastle Tai Chi. I would highly recommend it.
From my experience the school provides the best opportunities to learn tai chi whether the reason one has to learn is for health and fitness purposes or as a martial art for self defence.
The instructors (Rachel and Sifu) are very experienced and one can tell that they know what they are talking about. The students are taught practically and in a way that helps the students understand how the skills and movements that are taught are incredibly useful to them in everyday life. Every exercise that is taught is based on the extensive experience and in contrast with other tai chi schools there is no talk of chi or other esoteric concepts, instead the instructors discuss biomechanics and mention what muscle groups work in different exercises.
The quality and the effect of the exercises is incredibly beneficial to both the mental and the physical health of the students. In contrast to some other tai chi schools the joints of the students do not experience strain or discomfort as the experience of the instructors and their understanding of biomechanics makes sure that exercises taught do not have downsides for long term health and longevity but instead promote the healthy use of the body.
Iím enjoying Sifu Wallerís classes, I find them quite different but then again I was expecting that. I think itís more a case of there is so much more to cover over and above the health class.
I find Sifuís instruction so fascinating and insightful. Thereís so much information Iíve felt a little overwhelmed at times but at the same time trying to listen and take in as much as I can from what Sifu is telling and showing us. I love being shown and trying to understand how the movements and mechanics of tai chi totally change the western view of strength and power, among other things.
I originally came to tai chi class thinking it would be something like an exercise class, something once a week that I would turn up to and feel a bit better. I was pleased to find myself completely incorrect, it is so much more than what I first believed. I would urge anyone to browse the website to get a taste of how much knowledge is on offer. Sifu and Rachel are really welcoming and passionate about what they do which really shows in their teaching. Anybody who would like to give tai chi a try, I canít recommend Newcastle Tai Chi enough!
Following some diligent research on-line and in the library I identified the handful of most highly qualified teachers in the country. Then was amazed to find one such teacher was right here in Newcastle. Having attended the school for a number of months now what is happening for me is nothing short of incredible. I've increased strength and muscle tone similar to when I attended a gym for years. But, without one drop of sweat! My energy level has also dramatically increased and sense of well being. As well as improved flexibility and movement, which I had expected. All this with only the right attitude and regular practice, no fancy equipment required.
What is required however is the right teaching. The quality and standard of the teaching at my school, and their whole approach to health and well being, is done with a level of integrity I would only have expected to find in the best schools in China itself. Not just teaching the movements but also the understanding behind the movements, which is necessary to properly benefit from Tai Chi. Their relaxed and friendly environment are helping with learning and practicing what can be a challenging skill to master.
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.
Iíve found the class a very positive experience and one which I want to commit to. I have felt welcome from the outset and the class is remarkably collaborative. The class seems really fresh and perpetually interesting! Itís refreshing to find people who practice and embody the art they are studying, and none more so than Sifu Waller. With Sifu Waller there is a sense of Ďdeep timeí.
Some teachers spend hours labouring points superficially but Sifu Waller gets right to the heart of the matter and can convey meaningful and stimulating guidance in a brief interaction. It would be terrifying to actually confront Sifu Waller - his power is remarkable and I've likely only had a glimpse. More remarkable is that he is willing to teach us his art.
(Dr David Cousins)
Really appreciate the fact that I am learning a lot of things in the class. I am very happy as I am learning. It is not so usual in our society to find people willing to give.
(Maria Valassia Peppa)
Newcastle Tai Chi: 5 stars
Coming home from my first class at the Newcastle Tai Chi school, feeling whole, relaxed and grounded as if I had had the most intensive massage, is something I never expected. And it happens every week.
I was recommended to take up Tai Chi by a friend and I chose Newcastle Tai Chi simply because it was the nearest to me and it seemed to be very well organised. On my very first attendance I adjusted my expectations upwards. I became aware of the significance of Sifu Waller, the leader of the school, in the ethos and high standards the school sets; I became aware of his amazing credentials as one of the most highly qualified teachers in the UK. His wife, Rachel, is equally amazing in her years of experience, her grace and elegance, providing inspiring, knowledgeable, inclusive guidance that is somehow personal to you, while at the same time she keeps a 360-degree eye on the rest of the class.
I was new to Tai Chi and haven't studied Tai chi before attending the first class. School instructors and the other students made me feel very welcome. It is immediately apparent that the instructors possess profound understanding on how a body works and have many years of experience practising and teaching the art. Each class is very well structured, follows an in-depth syllabus with great focus on practical applications, and the website offers a lot of background information. Each student receives a personalised corrections and guidance. Plus, each class is a lot of fun, and the time just flies by. I highly recommended signing up for the induction course if you are interested in focusing on your health, self-defence, and/or the martial art.
Your class is well organised and very informative and you both made me feel very comfortable and welcome. I know I have so much to learn and Iím enjoying the challenge and the journey. I couldnít believe how easy some of the techniques were.
The school has far exceeded my expectations. Sifu and Rachel have indepth knowledge of the art, excellent teaching skills and very supportive. The students at the school are friendly and encouraging.
I've been attending Sifu Waller's class for a year now and I can honestly say that it's been amazing. He teaches a complete syllabus which develops body mechanics, martial application and mental development in a way which I would not have believed before starting! His insights are amazing and I have certainly noticed the benefits of my learning and practice in daily life, even though I am very much in the early days of my study. The class offers teaching in a ruthlessly effective martial art, but much more besides. Like so many others in the class, I just wish I had found it earlier!
(Dr Ben Beattie)
Our class is like Alexander the Great teaching Dad's Army. Sifu Waller's not even trying. It's unbelievably powerful and looks like nothing. It's beyond impressive. I think it's the ease and speed at which Sifu Waller does it. It's like a magician with a sleight of hand but obviously with potentially deadly consequences. It's amazing to watch and utterly awe inspiring. Sifu Waller is incredibly quick sometimes it's impossible to get your head around it. The more I get into this, the more I realise how lucky we are as a class. Most people could look their whole lives and never find anything close. I find the class to be very empowering.
Like a lot of people, I thought Tai Chi was just something that old folks did in the park, but the depth of information on the website grabbed my interest, so I gave it a try. So glad I did. This is real Tai Chi taught to an exceptional standard. At the health and fitness level it teaches you to move efficiently, minimise stress on your joints, and restores flexibility, strength and balance. But if you want to take it further it opens up the martial art of tai chi, which teaches you to read your opponents and use their own strength against them. When you see this demonstrated by Sifu Waller you forget any preconceptions. I admire the way that Sifu Waller constantly adapts classes to fill the gaps he sees in our practice.
I enjoy every class and workshop and really appreciate the skill and thought (not to mention patience) that goes into preparing and adapting them to suit the class.
The health group was so useful in building my confidence and getting used to some of the concepts - like relaxing muscles etc. The tai chi group is very different. It was great to have a good laugh! It was good fun! The class is excellent - I thoroughly enjoy it and looking forward to the many months and years ahead of learning!
Its such an honour to be able to learn from someone who has such a vast amount of knowledge and skill that I canít even begin to comprehend. If I can learn, retain and apply even a tiny amount of what Sifu shares with us hopefully Iíll make progress. Starting from zero martial arts knowledge less that 2 years ago, Iím enjoying being a 'sponge' and soaking up as much as possible. Can I do justice to whatís on offer? No I suspect not, but all we can do is try and not squander whatís offered!
I have been interested in the internal arts, specifically Taiji for many years but realised how hard it is to find someone teaching the authentic art. With Sifu Waller I finally found what I was looking for! An amazing functional system taught by one of the best instructors in the world. Sifu Waller's understanding and knowledge is outstanding. The syllabus is both deep and broad allowing a structured development of each student as they progress. This is a martial art that is subtle and effective, using body structure and biodynamics to achieve success. Anyone that thinks Taiji is for old people has clearly no idea what the total art is about. I can highly recommend this class for anyone with the passion and dedication to learn a true martial art.
Sifu Waller is an incredibly insightful teacher... able to give very small corrections and get very good results from students. He seems to know exactly what to say to each of us to get the best results. Also clearly showing his very in-depth understanding of the art.
Iíve met quite a few instructors or so called masters but I have never met anyone the embodies the art in their every moment like Sifu Waller!
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!
Sifu Waller is not only an exceptional martial artist, he's also a skilled and very patient teacher. His approach to teaching is structured and methodical but is also rational - founded on physics and biomechanics rather than mysticism and esoteric concepts of energy flow. His tai chi works, he can explain why it works, he proves it works, and he can teach you to make it work too! It's like an onion, and Sifu Waller keeps peeling back the layers to reveal things in more depth.
I specifically looked for a tai chi class as I wanted something with that could also provide some mental stimulation in order to maintain long term interest. I certainly have not been disappointed! The training has led to me being physically more relaxed yet stronger. I also feel mentally more relaxed, resilient and better able to cope with demanding situations. From an interest point of view, there are seemingly endless opportunities to draw from Sifu Waller's incredible depth of knowledge. A major strength of the class is that whilst students are always encouraged to work hard and progress, they are allowed to do so at their own rate as their circumstances allow.
When you watch somebody perform Sifu Waller's tai chi it looks like nothing special is happening, but the power being produced is incredible. Surprising and very exciting! The biomechanics are remarkable; you learn so much about how to use your body in a healthier, more dynamic way.
(Dr Adriana Chilińska)
Page created 6 June 1996
Last updated 19 June 2023