About Us

A few questions and answers about

The Tai Chi Club

Where do we practise, when and how much?

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Clubs & Classes

Ripley Leisure Centre

What is the age range?

Our youngest member is 16, the most senior 80+. Younger people tend to go lower and step out longer, senior students tend to keep higher take shorter steps and be more relaxed. Everybody does it to their own physical situation and ability which tends to improve with practise.

What Is T'ai Chi Chuan and how do you say it?

T'ai Chi Chuan originates from China. The style we practise is the Yang Traditional Hand Form. The emphasis is on keeping you fit and healthy and improving balance and co-ordination. It has the added benefit as a means of relaxation and de-stressing. The spelling varies because one is written in Wade-Giles, while Tai Ji Quan is written in Pin Yin (without the tone marks). Both have the same pronunciation

What is Qi Gong?

Qi Gong or Chi Gung means Breath Work and is pronounced 'CHEE GUNG'. Qi Gong is much older and was designed for improving health, well being and fitness by practising breathing exercises. The style of Qi Gong we practise is selected to be easy to learrn and leads on to the Tai Chi Form it can be practiced standing up or sitting down.

Is it suitable for me?

Generally some Qi Gong can be practised by everybody as it can be done as purely a breathing exercise similar to static meditation. Tai Chi Chuan is preformed standing up and moving around the area, but the movements are slow and thoughtful. However if you feel it wise, you should consult with your doctor or other medical advisors before starting ANY exercise routine.

What do you practise in a class?

The Tai Chi Club practises Tai Chi Chuan both as a means of improving health and with a basic explanationof what the 'Form' moves mean.

Introduction Exercises

Health based exercises (Quick to learn)

Qi Gong exercises (Not too difficult)

T'ai Chi Hand Form (Easy to learn one move at a time)

Demonstrations of what we imagine. The 'Meaning' of moves


16 Form / Sword Form / Sabre Form / Push Hands / 2 Person Partner Set

Who are the instructors?

Sue Wain / Neil Bradley / Ken Hazelgrove / Chris Parker / Frank Frost (Tai Chi Union for Great Britain). In addition we have a number of Coaches and those attending are encouraged to help others with advice based on their own practice and experience. Also amongst our students are people with experience in other styles.

Sue Wain

Sue Wain

Neil Bradley

Neil Bradley

Ken Hazelgrove

Ken Hazelgrove

Chris Parker

Chris Parker

Frank Frost

Frank Frost

What if I'm completely new to Tai Chi?

That's fine, everybody has to start sometime.

How long does it take to learn?

If you practise for ten minutes every day, you get the point and learn quickly. If you just practise once a week (while still enjoying it and very welcome) it will take you longer. A good approach is to practice what you do remember for a couple of minutes each day and build up. You'll soon have ten minutes.

I have studied Tai Chi / Qi Gong before.

If you have studied other forms of Tai Chi Chuan there is a lot of overlap between different styles. But we do Yang Family. There are even more variations of Qi Gong, but the breathing methods we do lead to the Tai Chi Form.

I have studied a Martial Art.

Martial artists often study T'ai Chi Chuan as an addition or to compliment their own main style. Most people with previous martial experience find that experience is a short cut to learning T'ai Chi Chuan. You will also progress more quickly as you will be familiar with the concept of 'Train every day'.

Do the clubs spar or enter competitions?

No. The emphasis is on the hand and weapons forms.

Do we Grade or Rank?


What is the history of the club?

Ripley Tai Chi Club was opened in 2010 by Neil Bradley in Ripley, Derbyshire. Neil was the first in his family to take up martial arts and practised Sankukai Karate at the EM Sankukai Ilkeston Club for eight years and Tai Chi Form from Helen Thomas at White Cloud Tai Chi Club In Long Eaton for seven years. Helen retired in 2008, but continued to make visits to the club for a further two years after that announcement. She awarded Neil a Black Sash in 2008.

Yang Family Seminars / White Cloud Tai Chi

Yang Family Seminars / White Cloud Tai Chi

At the time, Helen posted details of her journey over a thirty year period, which included attending sessions with Tony Henrys, Christopher Pei, Peter Yeung, John Ding, Grandmaster Yang Zhenduo & Yang Jun and Tom Baldwin.

The styles taught were the Cheng Man-ch'ing 37 Postures Short Form and the 103 Yang Zhengduo Traditional Hand Form (long form). Following Helen Thomas's retirement, White Cloud Tai Chi Club was closed to new members, though long standing members carried on meeting privately.

During training at White Cloud Tai Chi Club, Neil attended a various seminars including one held by the Yang Jun Association (IYFTCA) in 2009. He then went on to attend all the seminars being held by Therese (Mei Mei) Teo and Yang Jun and 3 Instructor Training sessions held in the UK over the following three years. During that period, he took and passed the first Association grading, Neil also joined the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain (TCUGB) and passed an independent Tai Chi Instructor examination.

When the Ripley Tai Chi Club opened, the emphasis was on following the ideas of both White Cloud Tai Chi and the Yang Zhenduo/Jun Association. However, the Yang Association only met twice a year with Yang Jun attending once every two years. There was no interest from Ripley Club members to attend Yang Family Association seminars, mainly due to the distance and cost involved, nor the opportunity to attend any other regular weekly training sessions within 100 miles of Ripley.

Ripley Tai Chi Club switched from following that Yang Zhengduo/Jun Association to affiliating with The Tai Chi Union For Great Britain. Rossalynn Soult, Chris Parker, Ken Hazelgrove, Sue Wain and Frank Frost were also listed as Instructors by the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain. This allowed both The Ripley Club and later on, members who became Instructors to be registered and insured locally by TTCUGB. It also means the individual Instructors are free to follow all aspects of Tai Chi practise, not just limited to one Association. It did however leave the Ripley Club with a dilemma, because while still practising the 103 Hand Form, they aren’t associated with that particular Yang Association, or the many other associations who also have a direct claim to the Yang Family name (see Why So Many Yang Styles? article). The club also changed a few of the kicks for safety reasons, given the age of some of those wanting to learn a traditional form (Turn Body and Heel Kick) to an earlier presentation and also practise an earlier style of San Shou.

Following her Tai Chi studies at Ripley Tai Chi Club, Waingroves Tai Chi Club was set up in 2014 by Rossalynn Soult and teaches the Traditional Hand Form.

Following her Tai Chi studies at Ripley Tai Chi Club, Riddings Tai Chi Club was set up in 2016 by Sue Wain and teaches the Traditional Hand Form.

Tel: 07814 526808

Email: enquire@thetaichiclub.co.uk

If you would like to come.

Registered Address

The Tai Chi Club

Derby Road, Ripley, Derbyshire. DE5 3HR

Trading As: The Tai Chi Club

The Tai Chi Club © 2020 - Tai Chi classes near Derby