Health comes first

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The Tai Chi Union for Great Britain has a very clear insurance policy. It states that students must study material appropriate to ability.

Tell us

We ask students to discuss health problems with Rachel when joining the school. It may be that certain exercises are not suitable for you. Should any new problems develop, please let us know at once.

Health is the priority

Injuries and health problems should never be dismissed as unimportant. Besides the insurance considerations, we must take into account your day-to-day wellbeing.
An existing injury or health issue is unlikely to improve from unsuitable training. In fact, it is apt to get worse.

Many beginners think that they do not need to warm-up. Skipping a warm-up will automatically result in pain later on, and that will restrict your fighting abilities. A good pre-workout warm-up protects against future aches and pains. Furthermore, it is also an immediate factor in improving performance.

(Frederic Delavier)


If your health problem is serious enough to require outside therapy (i.e. physio), it is bad enough to be a problem for you. This is reason enough to refrain from certain exercises.


If you suffer from an injury and need to rehabilitate, then please do so. Should your injury persist or you require outside treatment, you will continue to take things easy.


Heal yourself slowly, thoroughly and carefully. There is no rush. Avoid pushing yourself. Be patient.

Undisclosed health problems

If we discover that a student has an undisclosed medical/health condition or is undergoing therapy, we will regard this as serious misconduct and act accordingly.
Our decision will conform to the insurance policy requirement and will be in the best interests of the student. Health problems must take priority.


If you an unsure what is a relevant health concern, please consider these examples:

  1. Overweight

  2. Knee problems

  3. Back problems

  4. Inflexible

  5. Anxiety

  6. Depression

  7. Stress-related condition

  8. Chronic fatigue syndrome

  9. Arthritis

  10. High/low blood pressure

  11. Diabetes

  12. Asthma

  13. Heart condition

  14. Hearing

  15. Visual

  16. Old injuries

Please note that the list is not exhaustive.

Common sense

Use your common sense when it comes to exercise.
Example #1: if you have arthritis in the hands and wrist you are not able to safely undertake weapons drills; you might hurt your hands or lose control of the weapon
Example #2: most health issues would exclude you from taijiquan practice

You are here to get fit

Ignoring health issues could significantly worsen your situation and ultimately prevent you from doing taijiquan training. You are in a taijiquan class to get fit, not to deteriorate. 
Discomfort or pain should never be ignored. If in doubt, speak to Rachel.


Martial arts students must attain a necessary degree of physical fitness. To accomplish this, regular attendance is necessary, along with regular home training.

The risk of injury in combat sports is especially high. To prevent injury, do the following: 1) Learn to warm-up well before any exercise, 2) Do everything possible to accelerate recovery between workouts.

(Frederic Delavier)


There are certain aspects of the syllabus that require a higher degree of fitness i.e. shuai jiao. If fitness becomes an issue and there is a risk of injury, Sifu Waller speak to the student about this.
He will give the student an opportunity to get in shape.

Returning to taijiquan

If you have recovered from an injury/health problem and feel that can resume martial training, please speak to Rachel or Sifu Waller about it.
They will evaluate your health and see if they agree with your own assessment. A letter from your doctor may be requested.


The insurance company have said that Sifu Waller has final authority regarding eligibility for martial arts training. Not the student. Not their doctor.
The student does not know or understand the syllabus, any more than the doctor does. They usually fail to recognise the seriousness of taijiquan martial practice.

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Page created 18 April 2008
Last updated 5 November 2013