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For those of us who’ve 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. It’s 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.
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.
I wanted to join a school where I could learn and practice an original form of kung fu. I’ve been meaning to write a review for a while but since there are so many great facets to this class I struggle to do it real justice, you’ll have to come and try it for yourself! Newcastle Tai Chi is a hidden gem, not only as the class is unpretentious and friendly but because we have a true master teacher who teaches us to use our body in the most optimal way to achieve maximal results with great ease, with correct application. 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.
I have been interested in the internal arts, specifically Taiji and Bagua 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.
Many thanks to you and Sifu Waller for a most enjoyable and stimulating evening. I really enjoyed the workshop, particularly the way that Sifu Waller weaves together theory with demonstrations and hands-on exercises that prove each point. Your enthusiasm for the art is very infectious!
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’ve 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! It’s 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 ‘deep time’ - 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)
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 let’s 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. There is acceptance that some people may choose to remain beginners forever whilst others can make relatively rapid progress up the grades. I have become seriously “hooked “ in the best possible way!
Everything about Newcastle Tai Chi is spot on. The teaching is brilliant. Sifu Waller not only shows and teaches the form and different techniques but shows and tells why they are done in a certain way. Sifu Waller teaches in a way that is clear and is explained so all understand. I would highly recommend Newcastle Tai Chi to everyone. I finish one class and can't wait for the next one. One more thing I would say to anyone thinking of starting is try out the classes. Find out for yourselves. You won't be disappointed.
The level of knowledge Sifu Waller has as a martial arts teacher is profound to say the least. Whether you are an absolute beginner to any martial arts (which I was) or more experienced, Sifu will teach you not only how to train physically but mentally also. His approach is by far the most authentic in the North East, but does not come without hard work. If you want to improve your health, gain insights into body/mind & eastern philosophy and throw someone across a room with little to no effort -- this is the school to go for. It may just change your life for the better. It certainly has for me.
Rachel I want to thank yourself and Sifu Waller for the school. The art is taught in such a surprising and lively way, every class feels like a new and wonderful beginning! Last night’s workshop was fascinating and I hope to deepen into the teachings with practice. I love classes/the school. I feel I belong. Even in the moments when I have felt crazy, or have made mistakes, out of the vulnerability I have got the impression that actually it’s ok, just being human. People have been really accepting. The workshops and boot camps too have been very humbling. Seeing Sifu Waller’s baguazhang blew my mind.
Sifu Waller is a teacher of unquestionable knowledge and experience. His classes and workshops are friendly, safe, inclusive and fun. The syllabus that he has created is structured, balanced and inter-connected. His teaching is clear, in-depth and incredibly practical. The exercises and the form do not consist of meaningless or empty movements - everything is done and practiced for a very practical reason (or, usually, multiple possible reasons). The more I learn, the more I'm amazed at both the depth and simplicity of what we're being taught, and also Sifu Waller's depth of knowledge and understanding - there seems to be no end to it.
One of the good things about the class is the atmosphere of respect and camaraderie. It is good to feel safe when practicing a martial art. It has affected my day to day life in the fact that I'm more aware of how I use and misuse my body on a daily basis which is particularly relevant to me because I have a physical job. It has also helped me to remain calmer in certain stressful situations.
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 taijiquan 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.
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.
I specifically looked for a taijiquan 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.
Page created 6 June 1996
Last updated 30 January 2018