Martial Tai Chi™

Martial Training Association

Just Practical, Down-to-earth
Martial Training


Please note that until further notice, Joanna is not currently taking on any new students (as of Feb 2011)

All of our classes are held in Yorkshire, England. We have been running classes in West Yorkshire since 2002 and in North Yorkshire since March 2008.

A monthly membership fee of £35 is charged at the start of each calendar month. New students can start at any time and their membership will be calculated for the remainder of the month.

Weekly attendance is expected; advance warning of non-attendance should be given whenever possible. Students who wish to attend more than one class per week may do so at no extra cost. There are no additional or hidden charges for gradings, belts or certificates. Students do have provide their own body armour and uniforms, but they don't have to buy them from us (that said, we can provide them if required). See uniform details below.

Great New Deal - FREE Private Lessons For All School Members

In the interests of rewarding rather than penalising commitment, until further notice, any member of our school who can get to my house can enjoy the benefits of free private tuition - obviously by arrangement, but I don't plan to limit the time available by any factors other than practical ones. I'm hoping to get everything down on tape in the near future, so you may be asked to let Julie film you being taught material or having stuff demonstrated on you, but it won't be compulsory if you're not happy with that.


Please be aware that all students will practice contact / martial application training from the outset, as well as some fairly demanding developmental work. I'm sorry to have to keep hammering this point home, but all too often people see the words "Tai Chi" and think that, even when training the art with a fully martial focus, training is going to be somehow easier and less aggressive than training in other styles and nothing could be further from the truth. As well as teaching you how to defend yourself from brutal attacks, Martial Tai Chi™ also teaches you how to deliver them, with no holds barred.

Rather than thinking in terms of non-contact, light contact and full contact, the impact delivered during much of our training is medium to heavy contact. I don't use the phrase "full contact" because I don't think it is accurate. It would not be appropriate or safe to hit each other as hard as we can during training, especially to the areas we might actually be targeting during a real life hostile encounter. The only time we ever hit each other without holding back is when body and / or limb armour is in place and even then the techniques don't and should not contain the same level of ferocity and intention to cause damage as might be appropriate in a real conflict.

Due to the seriously martial nature of our classes and the levels of precision, patience and concentration required to practice these arts, we regret that we are unable to take students who are under 14 years of age. We generally prefer students to be aged 16+ and like to meet a young person to assess their maturity level on a trial basis before committing ourselves to teaching them long term.

3 Benefits of Membership

1) Half Price DVDs
All members of the School qualify for a full 50% discount off the price of any of our DVD range. To qualify for this offer, please make sure that you buy your DVDs from us at our classes, rather than from this website.

All members may arrange free private coaching at my full-time Kung Fu studio.

3) Access To Our Private Internet Group And Member's Forum
Here you can talk to us and other students, have your questions answered, download diagrams and syllabuses, order DVDs, uniforms or other equipment, let us know about upcoming holidays, swap Youtube clips, cake recipes or chat about anything else you like.

Current Class Times and Venues (last updated July 2010)

Please contact us to let us know you are coming. We can provide you with directions or any further information you might require. You can also telephone us on 01723 882 011.

We usually teach beginning students our Universal Martial Training™ (UMT™) system. This is a powerful unarmed and armed, kick-boxing and grappling self-defence system in its own right, based on the techniques of Martial Tai Chi™ / Taijiquan, Martial Bagua™ and Martial Xingyi™ as well as compatible elements from Boxing, Silat and Escrima. From this martial foundation, students may remain with the UMT™ system or they may branch off to study one or more of the 3 Kung Fu systems we teach: Martial Xingyi™, Martial Tai Chi™ and Martial Bagua™. This decision will be made jointly between teacher and student after discussing their progress and particular needs. Greater emphasis will be placed on conquering individual weaknesses than indulging personal tastes, though natural aptitude will also be considered.

Martial Xingyi™ is often seen as a very good place to start, whereas Martial Bagua™ is most useful when taught as a supplement to another style (usually and historically Xingyi,) chiefly because it is a rather generic, abstract, principle-based system that benefits from having an existing repertoire of techniques to relate those principles to.

Watch some students after a few months of training with us here.

North Yorkshire Classes

We run fortnightly Saturday seminars in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. Every month we teach a full day (8 hours) intensive Universal Martial Training™ seminar - these are particularly useful for our instructors and trainee instructors, but all are welcome. Please feel free to contact us for more information.

We also do monthly 6-hour seminars that explore classical fighting arts in a modern, entirely practical way. As with everything we do, martial function is the sole aim of our training: we call these styles Martial Xingyi™, Martial Tai Chi™ and Martial Bagua™ to reflect this. See our latest seminar list for details of what's coming up.

Tuesdays and Thursdays 5 - 7: Martial Kung Fu (currently focussing on Martial Xingyi)
At a private location in Scarborough. Contact us for details.

Private tuition is also available
The usual rate is £15 per hour and £10 per hour to school members, but for an unlimited trial period, private tuition is currently FREE to school members (you might even get free food, though again, it isn't compulsory :P)

Uniform (not currently in force, but the following info gives you an idea of the kinds of things we wear - people ask what to wear a LOT)

SHOES - Soft or flat soled shoes of some description - no modern trainers. Pumps or baseball boots are ideal; any colour.

CLOTHES - Plain black, comfortable clothes that allow freedom of movement. This can either be:

1) Plain black vest, T-shirt or long sleeved top (no logos, slogans, pictures or labels) - either loose or fitted. With black training bottoms - i.e. jogging bottoms; Kung Fu / Martial Arts trousers (ideally these should be plain, but a side-stripe is OK if you've already got some with one on). No jeans or regular trousers.

2) Kung Fu suit - black cotton. No satin or silk. You can order these through us (£25 - £30 depending on size).

3) Black Salwar Kameez.

Please talk to us if you have any problems with the uniform.

Reasons for wearing a uniform:
1) It helps you to keep the rest of your clothes separate, clean and undamaged.
2) It helps you to get into a different mindset for martial training.
3) It allows you full freedom of movement without fear of tearing or stretching.
4) It allows you to roll around on the floor without having to worry about the state of the floor and the effect this might have on your clothes.
5) It helps to develop a sense of group unity.

Other Considerations

Jewellery should ideally not be worn. Where possible please remove wristwatches, rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings etc.

Nails should be kept short and clean.

As training involves lots of close proximity work, students should try to arrive reasonably clean and free from strong smells (such as perfumes or other scents, cigarette smoke etc.)

Students are required not to smoke, take recreational drugs or to habitually drink alcohol

It is very important that you do not inflict the lethal cocktail of poisons contained within cigarettes on yourself or the people around you (to do so would go against the spirit of the ethical code of the school - defending others and safeguarding yourself). Find out some of the shocking facts about secondary smoking by downloading this NHS leaflet. You might also be interested to discover just how long the health hazards of smoking have been known about. Read this article on Tobacco Effects and Prevention Data showing that health hazards were recorded as far back as 1527. You can also read this fascinating paper from 1916: The Evils of Tobacco and Cigarettes.

If you feel like you need help to give up smoking, check out NHS - Go Smoke Free.

We'd always recommend a completely alcohol and recreational drug-free lifestyle, and students should certainly never ever train while under the influence of intoxicating substances. The more you develop your ability to hurt other people, the more imperative it is that you maintain a clear mind so that you can exercise mindfulness and moral discernment during times of stress and conflict. Whilst I'm on that subject, if you know yourself to be inclined to lose your temper, you should work at improving in that area too.

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