The London Academy of Wu's Tai Chi Chuan is one of 13 worldwide with direct connections to the Wu family. It's run by Gary Wragg, a founder member and former chairman of the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain, whose aim is to provide the most authentic tai chi classes anywhere. A five-session beginners' course (£65) offers an introduction to the basic techniques; there are ten classes per week to choose from. You can also learn self-defence applications, meditation or chi kung.
Wu's Tai Chi Academy
|Venue name:||Wu's Tai Chi Academy||Contact:|
Unit 2a, first floor
449-453 Bethnal Green Road
|Transport:||Tube: Bethnal Green|
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Probably the best Tai Chi club in London!
Wu's Academy Bethnal Green is almost unique among London Tai Chi clubs in having its own permanent premises, and offers eight beginner classes a week. Unlike many other Tai Chi clubs, this Academy has direct lineage from the current hereditary Grandmaster of the Wu Family style, one of the five main traditional styles of Tai Chi recognised by the Chinese national martial arts bodies. Sifu Gary Wragg is Grandmaster Wu Kwong Yu's senior disciple and instructor in Europe.
Sifu Gary Wragg's skills, honed over more than 40 years, and the breadth and depth of his knowledge of all aspects of Tai Chi (not only the Wu Family style which he teaches), are seriously impressive. Although the club takes the martial art part seriously, at the heart of all the training are the traditional aims of good health and longevity.
The Academy caters for all ages and abilities, and classes are mixed. The syllabus is meticulously constructed to teach from the most fundamental principles up to advanced techniques at each student's own pace, and covers Tai Chi, Chi Kung (Qigong) and the martial applications of Tai Chi, including empty-hand self-defence, and the traditional Sabre, Sword and Spear forms. The club team regularly wins medals at major UK and overseas competitions.
I should declare a personal interest - I started at Wu's Academy at age 56 and now, at 64, am enjoying it more than ever. Tai Chi has also pretty much eliminated the low back pain which plagued me for 25 years. I can't recommend Tai Chi, and this club in particular, highly enough.