Full strength

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A lot of new starters have a fantasy idea of themselves performing complex martial arts movements involving excellent choreography, strength and skill.
There is just one problem with this... Their own body lets them down.

Paying for it

People imagine that paying for tai chi lessons equals the ability to do the art. This is insane. It is akin to paying for a piano lesson and expecting to suddenly play Mozart

We are checking our smartphones on average 221 times a day. Recent research found that 80 percent of millennials look at their phones upon waking; this addiction is a strong one. As a result, our cognitive processing has become shallower and we have become so distracted that we play directly into the hands of the autopilot. Digital devices are the modern day equivalent of tranquillisers. They instil a trance-like state almost immediately as they are anchors for our subconscious to take over. 

(Chris Barez-Brown)

What can we give you?

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 martial skills into your brain. We cannot cure laziness or apathy. We cannot make you brave.
We cannot make you tall, small, rich or happy.

Learning a martial art

When learning a martial art there are essentially 3 stages:

  1. Physical fitness

  2. Technical skill

  3. Combat

Most students want to do stage 3 but flounder before they even reach stage 1. White belt is an introductory grade. It is not stage 1. It is preliminary health training.

Get fit

The best way to make progress in any martial art is to get fit as quickly as you can. A strong, flexible, coordinated, agile body requires an equally supple mind.
The sooner you become fit, the easier the martial art will be to learn.

By whose standards?

A lot of people like to determine for themselves whether they are fit or not. The student has absolutely no understanding what the syllabus involves.
They self-determine their own physical suitability based on an idea of what tai chi entails. This is naive.

Full strength routine

This qigong and stretching routine is about increasing strength, stamina and flexibility. It achieves tangible results very quickly.
Daily practice:

  1. Massage

  2. Standing qigong (10-20 minutes)
    - 4 postures

  3. Ba duan jin

  4. Reeling silk exercises & standing post balance exercise

  5. Moving qigong

  6. Stretches & joint work

  7. Psoas exercises

  8. Leg stretches

  9. Constructive rest

The full strength routine is easy to learn. Virtually any student could learn these exercises with ease and gain remarkable results. You only need determination and commitment.
Duration: 90+ minutes approximately.

A new you

We can tell immediately when a student practices the full strength routine. They look tall, sturdy and strong. Their arms comfortably reach to 70% without the use of tension.
There is a nimbleness to their step and a keen look in their eyes.


A student who does the full strength routine at the start of each day feels clear headed, composed and focussed. Their body is resilient and strong. It responds easily to the dictates of the mind.

Slow down

One big focus of tai chi is slow motion movement. Now that you are making progress it is necessary to address the pace of your exercises.
Qigong, form and solo drilling should be performed at a notably slower pace in order to attain full strength.

An investment

Most people are just too lazy to do this kind of routine and satisfy themselves with whatever commitment feels comfortable to them.
Sadly, they never get the benefits of qigong, tai chi or moderate stretching. If a student manages 100 consecutive days of the full strength routine, they do not stop. Instead, they want more.
They add form, drills, weapons into the routine. Their strength continues to grow..

Page created 21 May 1995
Last updated 30 November 2023