Senior Instructor with the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain
Fully insured through the TCUGB
When I first started Tai Chi over 25 years ago (thank goodness it keeps people looking young) it was because my body was in poor shape. I had been on crutches several times with foot and ankle injuries, ripped my back muscles and had internal bleeding; sawn off the tip of one of my fingers (although I like to tell small children it was a shark!); been run over by a transit van as it span off the road; injured a shoulder (it’s still a bit clicky) and had a few whiplash injuries from car accidents; impaled my foot on a spike; come off my bicycle in a variety of painful and amusing ways... and the list goes on. In short, I’ve had more injuries than a squirrel has nuts!
I had loved my Judo (started way back in 1974), was passionate about Aikido and enjoyed Ju Jitsu – but my body was too broken to continue with those arts. Initially, I only saw Tai Chi as a way to get my body fit and healthy so that I could get back to training again. However, as I continued there were other changes...
My mind became calm and still. As you may be able to work out from the list of injuries above I had been the kind of person who trained hard, played hard, generally lived life in a “hard” way. My emotions became more stable. I’d had enough relationships to have learned, but hadn’t learned. My question became not, “Is there a relationship”, but “What is the relationship, and how is it happening?” And there were other changes, too. The promise of Tai Chi became real to me through a series of profound experiences. I realised this was a journey in wisdom.
Simon shares the teaching with Cher at classes in Shoreham, Brighton, Steyning, Hove, Worthing and Upper Beeding as well as leading weekend workshops on broader and deeper aspects of curriculum than can otherwise be covered at class alone.
Indoor student with Master Sam Masich since June 2018
Advanced Instructor with the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain.
First Aid trained
In June 2018, my generous and highly skilled teacher, Master Sam Masich, accepted my application to become his tudi or indoor student. This position is a great honour and responsibility.
So, how did I get here? As a kid sitting still was the hardest thing anyone could ask me to do. Hockey, netball, gymnastics and judo were the loves of my young life. I grew up surrounded by boys, so martial arts was a natural progression from the rugby and wrestling that I had grown up with. Unfortunately, a bout of ME/CFS laid me low for 16 years, but as soon as recovery was in sight I began studying yoga and qigong and finally, I started tai chi with Simon Robins in 2003.
In my own study I am passionate about pushing hands and weapons study, starting with the simplified system and then how it deepens and develops with the traditional forms and drills. However, the aspect of tai chi which keeps me intrigued and curious enough to find time every day to practise and ponder is the internal qualities or energies of the body that allow the movements to become fluid and effortless over time.
As a secondary school teacher, my love of teaching naturally led me to teach tai chi. I enjoy watching my students gain confidence in their body, develop strong and supple movement and become passionate about this wonderful art we share. If you would like to come and share it with us, I look forward to seeing you at class.
1-2-1 and small group classes are available for tai chi in pregnancy. (In this picture from 2010, I was 6 months pregnant and trained all the way through both my pregnancies and after.)
Cher's regular Sunday morning training for students of the school is from 10.30 - 12.30 every weekend at Upper Beeding Village Hall. All aspects of the curriculum are touched on so come prepared to try new things and have a go at partner work - it's a great way to broaden your weekly study. She also shares the teaching with Simon at classes in Brighton, Hove, Shoreham, Worthing, Steyning and Upper Beeding as well as leading weekend workshops on broader and deeper aspects of curriculum than can otherwise be covered at class alone.
Intermediate Instructor with the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain.
I have been training Tai Chi and related arts since 2008. Originally, I came to class because a friend said it would be good to help with my lower back and knee pains. In a matter of weeks, I felt so much better; I was getting to know my body and what I was capable of in a way that I never knew was possible… and by then I had caught the Tai Chi bug!
Having studied substantial chunks of the traditional Yang Style curriculum in my Tai Chi journey so far, I love how they all suddenly join together and then spawn a load of new questions to continue my learning.
My classes are fun and engaging; expect to work hard and get homework! The 5 Section Solo hand form that all students start with is such a great foundation to all other aspects of Tai Chi – whether you are looking for a space to relax and be more calm, or begin your journey to becoming a kick-ass martial artist. Mix in some Qigong, stretching and jue shou (partner work) and my lessons are jam-packed full of goodness.
Alignment and structure are two key elements of successful Tai Chi, so I spend a lot of time giving personal adjustments to enable you to make your Tai Chi suit you. There is a lot of exciting stuff to learn. I love teaching and I can’t wait to share it with you. See you in class!
Caroline runs tai chi and qigong classes on Tuesdays in Lewes and assists at Wednesday evening's Hove class.
Intermediate Instructor with the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain.
07584 055306 / 01903 879507
I started studying with Tai Chi Wisdom back in 2000 and at first had little understanding of what Tai Chi was. I had no idea that it was a martial art. The first time I saw Simon demonstrating pushing hands with one of his senior students the thud as my jaw hit the floor was almost as tangible to me as the thump of Will bouncing off the back wall! At first I felt reluctant to get involved in pushing or even touching people I didn’t know – it went against all I had been taught as a child. Over the years I have grown to love pushing hands and weapons training. I’m particularly fond of sabre and try to practise my drills daily. It’s great for balance and stability and has the additional benefit of toning the arms and sorting out bingo wings!
For me, the biggest attraction of Tai Chi and Qigong are the health benefits, both physical and mental. There is an ever-increasing body of research which evidences improvements to posture, stability and breathing. Tai Chi lowers heart rate and blood pressure and boosts the immune system. It calms the mind and the body and leads to an overall sense of well-being.
I now feel privileged to be teaching with the school, helping others to start to learn the language of Tai Chi. Almost anyone can do it. If you practise you will improve and will start to feel the health benefits in a relatively short time. It’s really great fun – but beware Tai Chi is addictive!
Una's classes are on Friday mornings in Brighton (Seven Dials) and she assists at classes on Monday (Brighton), Wednesday (Hove) and Friday (Upper Beeding).
I started training with Simon and Cher in 2008 when I was at University in Brighton and have been training in tai chi ever since. In addition to Sam Masich's Yang Style Curriculum, I have also trained in Chen Style.
Lizzie's classes are on Wednesday evenings from 7-8pm at Arbour Park Community Sports Stadium, Stoke Road, Slough, SL2 5DE . Visit her Facebook page for more details.
Maybe like yourself, I was attracted to Tai Chi for a combination of reasons.
I wanted to get fitter and healthier. I wanted a pastime that would take me away from the mundane world of work and responsibilities. I wanted to keep my brain active by learning something interesting - and I wanted calm. An "Oasis of Sanity" in my busy schedule.
Little did I realise how completely Tai Chi would fulfil these requirements.
I was captivated from my very first lesson – my first, baby-step towards a destination of mind and body mastery - but there was so much depth to this art that confusion was common. I was repeatedly assured however, that this is just a phase of learning, so I became okay with it and besides, I was hooked, and my journey continued.
As I persevered, insights and discoveries came to light like breadcrumbs on a well-trodden path. I was able to work through minor issues with my stance, or form, or footwork. I began to relax more, my old injuries began to fade, and years of bad habits regarding walking, standing and sitting were replaced by more resourceful ways of using my body.
I describe my training as a journey, as it reminds me not to focus purely on my destination but to enjoy my progress. Regardless of how fast or slow, or how far, I travel.
I believe we are all on the same path. Some of us have travelled further. Some are going faster, some of us need to rest occasionally. When we stumble, those around us help us onward with counselling and encouragement, and when we take a leap forward we can bring our companions with us. If we step off the Tai Chi path, that path doesn’t disappear, it is there waiting for us to return when we are ready.
Brian teaches beginners with Simon and Cher on Wednesday nights and also assists at Friday class (Upper Beeding)