FAQs (class members)
Written by Rachel
     

classes     taijiquan     self defence     qigong     tai chi for health     about us     reviews     a-z


Common questions

Beginners
send
e-mails with a variety of questions. This is a sample:

  1. How do you pronounce Waller?

  2. What exactly am I paying a monthly fee for?

  3. Why have I been moved to tai chi for fitness?

  4. Why doesn't Sifu care about YouTube clips?

  5. How much training should I do at home?

  6. Should I train when sick?

  7. How can I speed up my progress?

  8. Why don't you produce more DVDs?

  9. I have backache, what can I do?

  10. How long will it take me to become an expert?

  11. Can I train the 3-tier wallbag?

  12. Why do taijiquan students pay more money to work with Sifu Waller?

  13. How do I move up a grade?

  14. I want to move from tai chi for health to taijiquan

  15. I want to move from taijiquan to tai chi for fitness

  16. How do I become an instructor?

  17. Do you offer boot camp?

  18. Do you offer evening or weekend private tuition?

  19. I want to be an indoor student

  20. Will background reading help my practice?

  21. I don't want to train at home in case I do it incorrectly

  22. What inspired Sifu Waller to study taijiquan?

More information:

  1. School database

  2. A-Z


How do you pronounce Waller?

It is common for students to mispronounce their own instructor's name. This does not look good. It makes the student look stupid. People often say "Wol-ah" or some other erroneous mispronunciation.

Sifu Waller was named after his ancestor Nicholas de Valer.
Waller is the Anglicised version of the Norse name "de Valer". Consider: caller, taller, smaller, hauler, mauler, brawler, Waller.
http://rhymebrain.com/en/What_rhymes_with_waller.html


What exactly am I paying a monthly fee for?

See the list... It is not a tuition fee. The  membership fee is paid regardless of attendance/class availability.
Members are paying for the hall rental, the hosting of this website, the authoring of these pages, opportunities and personal attention, in addition to tuition.


Why have I been moved to tai chi for fitness?

Taijiquan students who do not attend lessons frequently will be moved to tai chi for fitness. This is for your own wellbeing rather than a penalty.
We must also adhere to the TCUGB insurance requirements. It is not possible to train any martial art with a low level of commitment. All martial arts have a risk factor attached.
Poor attendance coupled with limited home practice is a recipe for injury
. Students who are moved should change their T-shirt to white.


Why doesn't Sifu care about YouTube clips?

If you e-mail Sifu Waller to say that you have been watching YouTube clips, what does that say to your instructor? It tells him:
- that you have been sat hunched over the PC rather than practicing tai chi
- that rather than read this 500 page website you are trawling for examples of other people's tai chi
- instead of working on your own tai chi you are watching somebody else's practice
- you are watching YouTube instead of studying the books from the reading list


This is not an auspicious e-mail to send.


How much training should I do at home?

That depends upon you. If you have enthusiasm and want to train, then do so. If you do not want to train, then do not train. Nothing should be forced.
 

How long does it take to learn to play the guitar? How many lessons are needed to speak Japanese? Obviously it depends upon your purpose. Do you want to be the next Segovia or Clapton, or just to play a few simple tunes? Do you intend to translate haiku, or are you simply preparing for a two-week vacation? Although the skill of your teacher and your talent level will certainly influence your progress, the duration and intensity of your study will be determined ultimately by the level of expertise that you seek.

(Michael Gelb)

More...


Should I train when sick?

This depends upon what is wrong with you and whether or not it is appropriate to be exercising. In Asia you would try to go to classes even if you had broken an arm or leg.
It may not be possible to practice, but you can still learn through observation (mitori geiko). In the West, you must do what you feel is best for you.
Sifu Waller trains no matter what. He was very ill in Malaysia, has suffered broken bones, torn ligaments, migraines, various injuries, wisdom teeth extraction etc... and he never stopped training at home.
On many occasions Sifu Waller has taught lessons whilst being quite ill and no one even noticed.


How can I speed up my progress?

Learn the foundation skills thoroughly.Know all of the qigong exercises, the entire pattern of the Long Yang form and all of the beginner's partner work drills. Competence with the basics is the key.
Practice, practice, practice. Get to class early, attend workshops, train at home, watch our DVDs, read the books, find a home training partner, become an indoor student.


Why don't you produce more DVDs?

DVDs take a lot of time to film, produce and burn. We have a very small number of students to sell them to and virtually no chance of making a profit from DVDs.
Besides, many students fail to make use of the titles we are already offering...



I have backache, what can I do?

Go see a doctor. Constructive rest every day for at least 20 minutes each time.



How long will it take me to become an expert?

Expertise requires 10000 hours of good quality on-going practice. Improving, deliberate practice, with regular corrections and continuous progress. Calculate:

  1. The number of hours per year you attend class

  2. How often you train at home

  3. How much time is spent on research and study

Do the maths...


Can I train the 3-tier wallbag?

Yes, taijiquan students can train this. Buy a 3-tier wallbag and open finger bag gloves first.
Explore the 3-tier wallbag with Sifu Waller 15 minutes before any workshop you have signed-up for (weather permitting).


Why do taijiquan students pay more money to work with Sifu Waller?

Surely the question answers itself? Rachel teaches qigong, tai chi for health, tai chi for fitness and taijiquan (intro).

Sifu Waller teaches:

  1. Chin na (seizing)

  2. Shuai jiao (take downs)

  3. Taijiquan (supreme ultimate fist)

  4. Neigong (whole-body strength)

  5. Jing (whole-body power)

  6. Weapons

  7. Martial skill

  8. Biomechanics

  9. Self defence

  10. Martial principles

  11. Qigong

  12. Form

  13. Pushing hands

  14. Principles

  15. Taoism

  16. Brain work (meditation, awareness, metacognition)

  17. Zen

  18. Taoist Yoga

  19. Core strength

The practice, assessment and tuition is significantly more in-depth. Also, Sifu Waller is a master of taijiquan. Rachel is not.


How do I move up a grade?

Get to class as early as you can. Print off the progress page for your current grade and ask Rachel (beginners) or Sifu Waller (taijiquan only) to tick off the items you are competent with.
Seek tuition for unfamiliar topics. Practice between lessons. Aim to train with other students between lessons.
Remember that your progress is your responsibility, not ours: "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink".


I want to move from taijiquan to tai chi for fitness

Just let Rachel know about this.


How do I become an instructor?

Tai chi for health:
- practice daily at home between lessons
- a track record of long-term weekly class attendance
- show aptitude with all items in the tai chi for health syllabus
- be capable of answering detailed questions concerning the principles and wisdom of tai chi
- extensive shido-geiko experience in class
- private lessons with Sifu Waller
- regular workshop attendance
- a good relationship with other students
- be a strong communicator
- have patience
- a sense of humour is essential


Taijiquan:
- as above but much more earnest
- show aptitude with all items in the taijiquan syllabus
- internal martial arts combat skill
- courage and compassion

We offer an extensive teaching training program that is free of charge.



Do you offer boot camp?

Yes.



Do you offer evening or weekend private tuition?

No.
Boot camp and indoor tuition take place at the weekend.



Will background reading help my practice?

Sifu Waller believes that mind/mental training is paramount. He commits a considerable amount of time to this endeavour.
 Although the mind leads the body, reading must supplement (not replace) the
physical training... Compliment practice with principles and insight.
The greater your understanding, and the more receptive your mind is, the more easily you can learn.


I don't want to train at home in case I do it incorrectly

This is a very neat piece of reasoning but it is also flawed.
When a child learns how to write stories at school, do they quit because they make spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and cannot express their thoughts skilfully?
When a person learns a new language, do they expect to be fluent immediately? Do they quit because their French is not as good a natural-born French person? Or do they persevere and improve?



What inspired Sifu Waller to study taijiquan?

Sifu Waller watched David Carradine in the TV series Kung Fu in the early 1970's and this prompted him to commence martial arts practice.
It also inspired an interest in the philosophical/spiritual side of training.
He later saw The Silent Flute and eventually the BBC documentary The Way of the Warrior.

More...


school database


Page created 26 November 2007
Last updated 27 April 2020