Our Classes and Courses

Our next beginners foundation courses start @ 6:30pm and @8:00pm on Monday 13th January and at @6:30 pm on Wednesday 15th January. To book a course click here

Our next free 'Taster Class' is on Wednesday 8th January at 6:30 - 8:00pm

Eight Week Beginners Foundation Courses info
Free Taster Classes - dates
Weekend Workshops
Residential Courses info
Classes in Wanstead
Class Times
Class Fees
Children's Classes
Beginners Classes
Intermediate Classes
Advanced Classes
Instructor Training
Academy holidays and closure times

Class Fees

Fees Current for 2020

Class Fee Concessions
Eight Week Course £85 None
Children's Classes £5 per child per class none
Beginners Classes £55 pcm 50% for unwaged
Intermediate Classes £65 50% for unwaged
Advanced Class £65 50% for unwaged
Weekend Workshops Usually £20 but Price may vary None
Residential Course £175 None
Annual Membership (insurance) £25 None
Instructors Course £240 (instalments) None

Book an Eight Week Foundation Course

To book a course click on the blue link above. You can pay on line with a debit or credit card or Paypal account if you have one using the Paypal secure payment system. Alternatively pay in class by credit or debit card, cheque or cash.

Foundation Course Info

Our Next Eight Week courses start Monday 13 January @6:30pm and 8:00pm and Wednesday 15th January @6:30pm. The free Taster classes before the courses are at 6:30 pm on Wednesday 8th January

Our course is specifically designed for people with little or no knowledge of Tai Chi Chuan. It will give participants a good foundation in the principles and practice of Tai Chi Chuan.

The course costs £85 which gives 8 weeks temporary membership at a 20% discount and allows access to any or all of the beginners classes in those eight weeks. It is possible therefore to have up to 36 hours tuition during the course. You will also receive an accompanying course booklet "Fundamentals of Tai Chi Chuan".

Foundation Courses & Taster Classes Dates 2020

Course Week Starting Week Finishing Status
Course #1 13th January 24th February Open - booking now
Course #2 24th February 20th April Booking not available yet
Course #3 20th April 8th June Booking not available yet
Course #4 7th September 26th October Booking not available yet
Course #5 26th October 14th december Booking not available yet
Taster Class Date & time booking availability
Class #1 2020 Monday 8th January 6:30pm Booking now
Class #2 2020 Monday 17th February 6:30pm Not available yet
Class #3 2020 Wednesday 19th February 6:30pm Not available yet
Class #4 2020 Wednesday,15th April 6:30pm Not available yet
Class #5 2020 Monday,2nd September 6:30pm Not available yet
Class #6 Monday, 19th October 6:30pm Not available yet
Class #7 2020 Wednesday, 21st October 6:30pm Not available yet

Follow this link for a more detailed description of the foundation course

Follow the link to see a Video clip of the Tai Chi Form movements you will be taught during the Foundation Course.

Weekend Workshops

A program of weekend workshops for 2020 will be published soon

Children's classes

Follow this link to get the full details of our Children's classes which are held on Tuesday afternoons 4. - 5pm every week during school term times. Parents may join in the class (for a fee) or just sit and watch. The Children learn the 15 step Children's form, as well as rolls, break falls, pushing hands and meditation. All of which is good for their concentration, balance, coordination, physical fitness, confidence and self esteem.

Beginners classes

Beginner Level emphasises perhaps the best known aspect of Tai Chi Chuan - The Form which is a sequence of 108 movements, made up of individual movement sets or forms. The forms are learned individually week by week and played sequentially in an invariant sequence to constitute the standard form or 108 movements of Wu's style Tai Chi Chuan. To see a video of our Form being performed visit the video gallery pages.

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.

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.

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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 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 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 gradings 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.

The previous instructor course ran from September 2015 until July 2016. There is no Instructor course starting 2020

Residential Course

We are holding a short residential course at the Cudham Environmental Activities centre in Kent between 5pm Friday August 23rd 2020 and 3pm Monday 26th (bank Holiday) 2020. The course is led by Sifu Don Spargo, Chief Instructor at the Archway Academy. For full details and booking form visit our Residentials Page.

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