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What do we teach?

• Qigong
• Tai chi
• Fitness exercises
• Kung fu (Chinese boxing) -
chin na, self defence, shuai jiao, tai chi chuan

Qigong & tai chi

Qigong and tai chi are suitable for most adults who can stand and walk without the aid of a stick.

Fitness exercises

Fitness is different to health. Being fit entails a wider range of concerns e.g. increased flexibility, suppleness, strength, cardiovascular health/fitness, agility... These considerations are addressed at length in the fitness syllabus. The fitness exercises are more challenging than qigong & tai chi.

Kung fu

Kung fu is another matter entirely. This is subject to eligibility criteria.

What don't we teach?

• We don't teach other martial arts e.g. karate, MMA, wing chun or judo
• Tailored sessions, such as: tai chi for the elderly, tai chi in a chair, tai chi for children, tai chi for people with mental health issues or tai chi as performance art
• We cannot teach kung fu to children or the elderly

These are not areas that we specialise in. We are not trained or qualified to teach these approaches, nor is our syllabus or insurance geared with these in mind.

You need a good tai chi teacher to adjust your posture physically, to help calibrate your alignment, to point out where you are holding tensions, and to note any musculoskeletal imbalances. The nonverbal physical adjustments you get from your teacher help you develop a level of self-awareness not accessible through solo practice alone.

(Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publication, May 2009)

Access for all?

The aim with differentiation is for all students to access the curriculum relative to each individual's ability. This means that those who struggle are assisted, those who do fine are developed and those who do well are challenged further.


Flattering the skilled and patronising the awkward is not the tai chi approach. Each student must be treated with
respect and courtesy. Everyone comes from a different mental and physical background, and brings with them a unique set of quirks and habits. Shedding these takes time.

Equal opportunity

Someone may struggle to begin with and then blossom later. Others may always struggle. This is simply the way things are. We treat all students equally.

Is everyone in equal condition?

How fit and healthy are you? But what condition are you in? Are you fit or fat? Do you have back problems? Knee problems? Do you take any form of medication on a regular basis?
Aging badly is nothing to be proud of. You may want to get out of your big car, switch off your fancy phone, your laptop (and all the other devices) and get off your backside. Before it is too late.

How healthy do I need to be to do tai chi?

You don't need to be fit to start tai chi classes. But you do need to be able to stand up, walk and step without the aid of a stick. The qigong & tai chi classes are designed to cultivate a greater degree of fitness: stamina, balance, endurance, flexibility, mobility and coordination. In some respects the exercises will be just as challenging as yoga, but not exertive. Please bear in mind that you will be on your feet and moving around for approximately 90 minutes.

Fit for combat?

In martial arts, if you attend the lesson, the assumption is that you are fit enough to train. If there's anything preventing you from training properly that night, a kung fu lesson is not suitable for you.
Traditional kung fu does not offer concessions or tailored lessons. Nor does it offer age, gender or weight-specific concessions/classes. Everyone trains together. The only differentiation is


Even if we wanted to be charitable with students, what could you expect from us? We cannot carry you through the form movements. We cannot download skills into your brain. We cannot cure laziness or apathy. We cannot make you brave. We cannot make you tall, small, rich or happy.


Page created 18 April 1995
Last updated 19 September 2023