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5 mins = £100

Imagine if you were told that 5 minutes tai chi training would earn you £100... Would you do the exercises? Of course you would.
Yet, people are told that daily home practice = good health, fitness and better quality of life... and they dismiss it. Curious?
This illustration shows how many people value an obvious monetary reward but are unwilling to appreciate the value of health, vitality and fitness.

Bargain hunting

When people consider which tai chi class to attend they often treat it like bargain hunting. They look for free taster sessions or the cheapest class.
This may be fine if you are undertaking a supermarket 'price comparison'
. It is not so good for tai chi.

Blasť attitude

A lot of modern people buy prescription spectacles off the shelf in a supermarket. They essentially self-diagnose.
Lacking the expertise of a qualified, licensed medical professional, this seems to be a reckless course of action.


Buying a pair of shoes, a jar of coffee or a loaf of bread is not the same as seeking medical treatment or exercising mindfully.
To make matters worse, people do not always buy clothes that fit (or even suit their body/skin/hair colour). Health is not shopping. It should be handled with caution and care...

Lifestyle bias

People invest in expensive technology, a car that they have to buy on 'hire purchase', bottles of wine, trips to the coffee shop and expensive holidays.
Yet, they are not willing to spend money on their own fitness and wellbeing. A mobile phone will probably date in a couple of years... how long will your body be with you for?

Short-changing your health

Cheapskating on health whilst enjoying a lavish lifestyle is essentially
"penny-wise and pound-foolish" (idiom). Health should be your priority. Not an afterthought.

Professional skill

Is bargain hunting a good approach to adopt when considering health, fitness and good body use? Cut price lessons or quick fix methods may sound good.
The danger is that you may be placing your wellbeing in the hands of an amateur. If you choose badly (or for the wrong reasons) you may be wasting money or even damaging your body.

Subjective quality

Quality is the measurement of worth you apply to something, how good you consider it to be... What this means will differ from person to person, as we all have different values.


We are educated to discriminate: this/that, mine/yours, here/there, good/bad, right/wrong, more/less, hot/cold... This capacity to pass judgement is cultivated from a very early age.
Few people think to question its validity.


In Taoism the pretence of certainty is highlighted. We are invited to ask:

  1. By what criteria do we make the judgement?

  2. In what way are we fit to judge others?

  3. Are we without fault ourselves?

  4. How do we know that we are correct?

Confirmation bias

Imagine that you have a belief
such as - 'people are generally good'. This belief causes you to notice information that confirms your belief and discount information that disputes it. See the problem?


A belief introduces a bias, a perspective, and it alters how you look at the world. You essentially see what you want to see. Having opinions, ideas and preconceptions can make you narrow-minded.


Once we determine what is important, we set out to find something that fits our criteria. But what if our values are askew? What happens when we encounter things that we don't really understand?

I very much enjoy your sessions - without any false flattery, you have been one of the best instructors I have had for any martial art. Your commitment, patience and dedication to the art and your students is something that I believe many instructors should aspire to. To your credit, Sifu Waller, you have shown me something that has I did not expect to find in tai chi... a comprehensive fighting system in itself. I wish the rest of the MA community would wake up and see what you see.



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Page created 18 June 1997
Last updated 04 May 2023