Our Classes and Courses

Links to sections on this page


Academy Class Times

Academy Class Fees

Academy holidays and closure times

Beginning Tai Chi Chuan

The following are links to pages with more details of the classes we hold.

Eight Week Beginners Foundation Courses

Free Taster Classes - dates

Personal (1-2-1) Classes

Weekend Workshops

Residential Courses info

Children's Classes

Classes in Wanstead

Classes in Muswell Hill

About the syllabus

Beginners Classes

Intermediate Classes

Advanced Classes

Instructor Training

Beginning Tai Chi

Tai Chi Chuan is unlike other forms of exercise. It is not just a 'workout', mindlessly following instructions simply to burn up calories. It is not specifically developing or working a group or groups of muscles to add bulk or build up muscles. It is not trying to move gracefully just for the purpose of looking good. It is hard work that involves creating dialogues between body, mind and spirit. It requires (and trains) balance, coordination, relaxation, focus, development of kinaesthetic (movement) and intellectual memory, as well as persistence and perseverance. It is about achieving physical and mental harmony and a more relaxed outlook on life and much much more besides. It is a long journey of self development and increasing awareness.

Benefits of Taking up Tai Chi Chuan

However don't be daunted by what may now seem like a hard task, there are many benefits that come from practising Tai Chi Chuan, it is worth it in the end, just be aware that the benefits are not instantaneous. Although students new to the art do report noticeable changes as a result of taking up Tai Chi Chuan.

People who have attended our beginners' courses say that after only eight lessons say they have experienced such things as

  • better, more restful sleep
  • better breathing
  • improved balance and focus
  • general feeling of being more relaxed

The beginners level is complete when the student successfully passes an assessment by the Chief Instructor. The assessment is made after the student has learned the entire 108 movements and can perform them unprompted and unaided. After a successful grading the student can attend intermediate level classes. Assessments are relatively informal and a way of ensuring uniformity and completeness in the teaching and a forum for the students to give feedback about the teaching.

Beginners classes

Beginner Level emphasises perhaps the best known aspect of Tai Chi Chuan - The Form - which is a sequence of movements made up of individual movement sets or forms. The Novice beginner is introduced to Tai Chi Chuan by learning a simplified form - the 12 step form - during the foundation course. A demonstration of the 12 step form can be viewed here. On completion of the foundation course the beginner is taught the full set of Tai Chi Chuan forms during the on-going beginners' classes. The forms are learned individually week by week and played sequentially in an invariant sequence to constitute the 12 step form in the case of novices or the standard form or 108 movements of Wu's style Tai Chi Chuan for the on-going beginners. To see a video of our 108 Form being performed by Grandmaster Wu Kwong Yu click >here.

Intermediate Classes - expanding the syllabus

At the Intermediate level more emphasis is placed on refining and developing Tai Chi Chuan Practice and the quality of movement in The Form which should become smoother, more continuous, softer (i.e. less angular) and more circular. This is aided by the learning of the competition form. In addition to refinement of The Form, the varieties of Pushing Hands, introduced at the beginner level, is expanded and extended to introduce new co-ordinations and more complex movements.

Pushing Hands is a partner exercise and essentially the beginning of martial training and awareness of another's movements. It is a two person exercise that develops the student's awareness. Awareness in terms of neutralising an opponents force, using the hands and arms to stick with the opponent and sense his or her intentions through "listening" by the sensation of touch. This is aided by the learning of two person sparring forms or San Shou.

The range of exercises is extended as is learning of a number of martial applications of the forms.

In addition there are various Qi Gong (Chi Kung) or breathing exercises and exercise sets included in the syllabus.

Advanced Classes - reaching the upper levels

Weapons training begins at the Senior level but a lot of emphasis is also placed on the cultivation of Qi or vital energy and its circulation as well as use in the different Tai Chi Chuan forms.

The use of weapons allows the student to explore the extension of Qi into an external object such as a weapon. However each weapon has a different character depending on its purpose and application and therefore poses different challenges for the user in learning the intricacies of its Tai Chi Form.

Further refinement in the quality of movement in the hand forms continues as well as learning, Sabre, Spear and Double-Edged Sword forms. In addition there is more emphasis put on Qi Gong and power generation through specific Qi Gong and exercise sets.

In addition to learning new Forms, the range and variety of Pushing Hands is extended once again introducing new co-ordinations and more complex movements.

There are No assessments at the Senior level.

Instructor Training

To be eligible for instructor training candidates must have completed the beginners level and been at intermediate level for at least one year. The instructor course consists of 24 hours of workshop tuition in the practical and theoretical aspects of teaching Tai Chi Chuan and at least 64 hours of classroom teaching in a mentored situation. The end of the course is a one to one oral examination which lasts about an hour and which if successful leads to certification by the International Wu's style Federation, and inclusion on the database of registered instructors. As a registered instructor each candidate receives their own web page on the Wustyle.com website where they publish their profile and any details about their classes.

The previous instructor course ran from September 2015 until July 2016. There is no Instructor course planned for 2022

Regular Class Times
Date & Time Class/Level Instructor
Monday 6.30p.m. - 8.00p.m. Beginners Class Chris Curtis
Monday  6:30 - 9:30p.m. Combined Intermediate & Advanced Class Dave Mighall & Don Spargo
Wednesday 7.00p.m. - 8.30p.m. Beginners class Gillian Goodchild
Wednesday  8:00p.m. - 9:30p.m. Intermediate Class Don Spargo
Thursday  5:00p.m. - 6:00p.m. Children's class Don Spargo
Thursday  6:30p.m. - 9:30p.m. Advanced class Don Spargo

Class Fees

Fees Current for 2022

Class Fee Concessions
Eight Week Course £85 None
Beginners Classes £60 pcm 50% for unwaged
Intermediate Classes £70 50% for unwaged
Children's Class 1st Class Free, thereafter £5 per class per child None
Advanced Class £70 50% for unwaged
Weekend Workshops Usually £20 but Price may vary None
Residential Course No course yet planned in 2022 None
Instructors Course £240 (instalments) None

Holidays & Closures Info

The dates below are planned closures, what ever closures there may be due to Covid19 and variants we cannot predict!

Holidays & Closure times
First Class 2023 Wednesday 4th January 7:00 pm
Easter Closures 2023 No Class Monday 10th April
Children's classes 2023 No class Thursday 6th April
Early May Bank Holiday 2022 No Class Monday 2nd May
Spring Bank Holiday 2022 No Class Thursday 2nd June
August Bank Holiday 2022 No Class Monday 29th August
Last Class 2022 Thursday 20th December
Christmas Closure 21st December until 4th January 2023

Design by Don Spargo ©2016 The Tai Chi Chuan Association.