Health, Wellbeing

AND Self Defence?



- Its not what you think

January 2022 update.

As far as COVID restrictions are concerned, no masks are needed while training as all vernues provide plenty of space to keep 2m+ apart, and all have great ventilation.

Be aware that some venues still request masks to be worn while entering and leaving the building, usually where the passageways are a bit narrow.

Since ventilation is key with COVID transmission, I'll keep as many windows open as possible (bring a jumper if it's a bit cold) and for now we'll only do limited partner work where there's plenty of air, and as with all things, it's not compulsory if you don't fancy that just yet.

If it's a bit too soon for you, that's fine - come back whenever you feel comfortable mixing with strangers again - however long that takes.

In the mean time, remember there are loads of videos on my Youtube channel including the morning and evening classwarm up routines, foundation exercises and forms - just look on YouTube for Dragon River Tai Chi and they should all spring up.

And remember - there's the Store page for videos to buy - and treasure forever :-)

Whether you join us in person, practice at home with the YouTube videos, or take a break and do something else for a bit - stay healthy and see you in class soon.


Current Class locations: 


Monday evenings, Daybrook Baptist church hall (On Mansfield road, Daybrook)


Tuesday afternoons, Alfreton Leisure Centre (in the park if the weather's fine - down by the cricket circle)

Ravenshead: (just south of Mansfield)

Tuesday mornings, The Centre at St. Peter's church hall, Ravenshead


Monday mornings & Tuesday evenings, St Peter's Centre, Churchside, Mansfield

More details about all of these on the "Current Classes" page - here

Upcoming events:

No upcoming events

What is Tai Chi? & what isn't it?

What Dragon River Tai Chi IS:

Practical - everything we do is based on biology and body mechanics

A physical challenge (at least, if you want to work hard - you can) - there's a fair chance you might ache a little after the health & self defence focused session!

A mental challenge - just like most things that are worthwhile - a little patience and persistence is handy

Like the best things in life - something you sometimes do with a partner

A proven method of self defence, where technique and softness generally take precedence over size and strength (although the daytime classes don't tend to cover this aspect)

What Dragon River Tai Chi IS  NOT:

Mystical and Esoteric - everything we do is explained in practical terms and basic mechanics

Simple - sorry, there's a fair amount to take in, but hopefully you'll enjoy the varied things we do to learn them

Focussed on gaining 'belts' - just learn & improve at your own pace

Something you can learn in 12 weeks - although the basics are straightforward, Tai Chi is something you can keep improving throughout your life

Entirely based on solo work- sometimes you'll be working with a partner too

Overly serious and po faced - you may smile once or twice, or wince at my bad jokes

Just about waving your arms about - There's MUCH more to Tai Chi than just striking a mystical pose in red pyjamas!

But overall, its fun to learn and practice, and in over 20 years practice, I can honestly say I always feel better after a training session, no matter how tired, stressed, or generally rough I felt beforehand - hopefully you will too!

What do you learn in a class?

All classes generally start with various loosening and foundation exercises such as Reeling Silk body mechanics exercises, Chi Kung breathing exercises and then one of several Yang or Chen forms*.  Push hands (2 person drills developing sensitivity, balance and timing) exercises, relaxation exercises and a whole range of other activities make up a big chunk of the class too.

We generally focus on the health benefits of Tai Chi but some classes also offer an option for those who want to practice the self defence aspects and benefit from the enhanced fitness generated by the more dynamic routines of the Chen style hand and weapon forms.

*Form - a pattern of linked postures - what most people think of as Tai Chi

See the "Current Classes" page for more details of sessions currently running and what they focus on.

Who am I?

Classes are taught by me - Dave Ashbey - training in Tai Chi since 1993, and teaching since the mid '90s.

Me in China, 2003, posing for a quick pic in the training hall of the village where some say Tai Chi was invented - before the headmaster noticed!

If you're interested in finding out more, send me an email at [email protected] 

or call me on 07981 488890 to ask any questions you might have. Remember - there are no daft questions!

Alternatively, take a look at my Youtube channel videos or Facebook page.

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