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Is tai chi appropriate for me?

We receive a lot of e-mails from people who ask if tai chi is suitable for them. This is a rather tricky question...
We have never met the inquirer. We know nothing about them. We don't know what their tastes, expectations, requirements, personality is like...

We don't really know what they are looking for
or what kind of exercise they are even capable of doing.

Aah... stubborn. Thinking that the body is still functioning like a 40 year old.

(Henry Kajana, aged 68)

Standing, stepping and walking

When people say 'tai chi', they usually think of form. Form involves walking around the hall whilst performing a series of smooth, flowing, dynamic movements.
It involves quite a lot of stepping, mobility, balancing, motor skills and coordination (we teach this).
One of the main areas of concern in tai chi is balance - and in order to work on this, you need to be standing up, walking and mobile.

Physical contact

Pushing hands (and other forms of partner work) requires you to touch other students. If you are not comfortable with physical contact, we recommend that you consider an alternative form of exercise.

Is tai chi appropriate for my medical condition?

If you have any medical questions, your doctor is the person to speak to. A tai chi teacher is not qualified (or permitted) to give advice on your unique medical condition. Go see your doctor.


How healthy do I need to be?

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. 

An exercise class

Please bear in mind that you will be on your feet and moving around for approximately 90 minutes.
Tai chi is a workout.
The training is
gentle, but if you're unfit, you may find it tiring at first.

What do we teach?

Rachel specialises in teaching qigong and tai chi. Tai chi involves simple movements, mild stretches and cooperative partner work. The onus is upon relaxation, balance, good poise and coordination.
Students learn how to move their body in a healthy, comfortable way without the risk of injury.

Sifu Waller teaches martial arts classes that explore: taijiquan, biomechanics, neigong, jing, chin na, shuai jiao and self defence. He specialises in teaching the old/classical Yang style taijiquan.
This is a very old style of kung fu (Chinese boxing). Authenticity is our primary goal; we teach a pragmatic, functional martial art.

Its crazy. I never thought Id be getting more powerful as I got older!

I used to be able to hit pretty hard in karate but it was 100% effort. More than a handful of full power hits and I was getting fatigued. With Tai chi Im hitting as hard, probably harder but no effortI could carry on striking all day! Its nuts! Also, with karate there was wind up or at least fist at waist or head so had space to travel before contact. Now I can almost hit as hard from touching the target!

The fact Sifu Waller has been able to transform my power generation as I age into my 40s is all the proof I will ever need of both the art and Sifu as the real thing. I almost feel sorry for those that continue with slow old people taichi or wushu style. They are missing the essence!

(Chris Young)

What don't we teach?

Even though our syllabus is comprehensive, we cannot conceivably teach everything e.g. we don't teach other martial arts.
Occasionally, people ask Newcastle Tai Chi to tailor the syllabus to suit their own area of interest/needs, such as t
ai 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
new starters above the age of 60
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.

Research could save you time & money

A would-be student should take the time to learn a little more about what the class is offering before attending any sessions. Do a little research. See what is on offer and if suits your requirements.
In the case of Newcastle Tai Chi, why not read this website a little? The time spent could be worthwhile.

Do you have any questions?

If you cannot find the answer on the website, just e-mail your questions and we will endeavour to answer.

Further reading

Yang style
Preventative healthcare
Finding a tai chi class

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Page created 18 April 2005
Last updated
9 December 2012