Yin-Yang symbol Oxford University Taijiquan Association


Where are classes held?
University classes are held in the Rugby Fives court at the Oxford University Sports Centre on Iffley Road. Public classes are held at the East Oxford Community Centre on Cowley Road. Take a look at the classes pages for directions, or try this map.

Are there any beginners' classes? Which ones can I go to?
Beginners are very welcome at all classes; there will always be people willing to teach you. The public classes are open to everyone: just turn up and say hi. Just because there's a University class doesn't mean students aren't intended to go to the others too. You don't need to inform anyone that you're coming to any of the classes, but feel free to e-mail any of us if you have any questions.

Who teaches the classes?
All classes are taught by Dave Baker, who is registered with the Tai Chi Union of Great Britain (T.C.U.G.B.) and has been teaching Taijiquan in Oxford for nearly 20 years. He was British Heavyweight Pushing Hands champion in 1990, 1991 and 1992. In 1991 he won the international Heavyweight Pushing hands Championship in Hong Kong, and has since trained many other champions, including British San Shou champions. Dave teaches public classes, the University Association and gives personal training. Dave's phone number is (01865) 724669, and he is very happy to answer any questions. You can also email him.

What should I wear/bring with me?
It's generally advisable to wear loose/sports type clothing. I'm told lycra has been seen in the past, and we will no doubt be delighted should you see fit to indulge in reintroducing it (actually, it has been seen very recently, so don't feel shy if that's what you are most comfortable wearing). Anything which doesn't restrict your movement and that's ok to sweat in basically. You'll probably also want to bring a bottle of water with you. If you're going to either the University or Martial classes, it's a good idea to cut your fingernails, so that you don't scratch anyone's arms in freestyle pushing hands. If you're going to the (public) martial classes and want to take part in the more physical things (like wrestling or sparring), you'll also need a mouthguard - but if you don't bring one, you'll still be able to take part in the majority of activities.

How much do classes cost?
The cost of University classes is £4. The public classes are £5 for students (£8 otherwise).

Do I have to come to every class?
Not at all! You pay per session, so you only pay for the ones you come along to. Obviously, the more you come to, the faster you'll improve, but don't worry about missing sessions. Similarly, you'll get more benefit if you come to both martial and form classes, but if you find you're more interested in one or the other, it's okay just to come to those classes.

I'm not very fit, I've never done anything like this before...
Don't worry! Tai Chi is suitable for all ages and ability - you control how much exercise you get by how far you bend your knees.

Isn't Tai Chi for old people?
Come along to one of the martial classes and see if you still think that!

But the martial classes sound really scary...
They're not really. If you don't want to take part in some of the activities, noone will force you to do them, and you'll still get lots of benefit from the things you do take part in.

What's the difference between Tai Chi and Taiji/Tai Chi Chuan and Taijiquan?
Nothing really. Just a different way of romanising the same thing.

What will my mum say?
Your mum will be proud of you, and tell you how much better you're standing lately.