"Mat is not only very skilled at taijiquan, but also knows how to teach it - which is unbelievably rare in my experience, AND the training system he emphases is that Top notch, hard to come by, authentic stuff you only read about! So, brilliant combo. Highly recommended..."
"I’ve been training with Mat for over 2 years. He is an experienced, skilful and dedicated Tai Chi teacher. His classes are always fun, well prepared, and his teaching is clear, concise and insightful. I always learn something new when I train with him. Mat has been supportive and helped me a lot to develop my Tai Chi in the past years. I highly recommend Mat’s class for anyone who wants to train hard and is interested in learning the internal arts."
"The Tai Chi that Mat teaches at the Bexleyheath Classes is really very good. The benefits you gain are diverse and numerous for all, regardless of age. Your life stage is really not important, nor is it a restriction to your learning and development. What is important, (and for me personally), is that you are simply open to learning.
Given that willingness, you will via Mat's excellent guidance and teaching style reap benefits that will give you a confidence you've probably never held before. Mat directs you in the art of meditation, awakening a self awareness of your body and what it can potentially do for you.
At 71 years young, and in just 6 months under Mat's guidance, I have improved my mobility and an ability to work towards harmonisation with my body in a manner that tests you both physically and mentally but ultimately leads itself towards a newfound calmness also.
You can get a lot from the classes each week and Mat always manages to further our understanding of this very deep but rewarding martial art.
Mat's knowledge and skill in this art form is exceptional and he tailors its application to all individuals with ease, regardless of age or varying skill levels.
Engaging in physical exercises that will test you whilst also learning about the 'form', (the physical side of the discipline) you are shown the path to developing one's CHI and how to hopefully harness and ultimately control it through mind/body awareness. This is both an amazing and extremely fulfilling path to follow when experienced through a proven disciplined methodology and something I both aspire to and truly endorse.
To learn more of Tai Chi, why not try it yourself and see. It may well surprise you, as it has me."
"Having trained with Mat for over 3 years I can highly recommend his skills as a tai chi teacher. His personal attention to discover and communicate each individual's needs for development is particularly impressive. In Mat's class you'll learn the invaluable quality of release, fundamental to tai chi which is also such a wonderful benefit to ease the many stresses in life. Training with Mat is also good fun."
"Taiji is an incredible discipline, and Mat's classes are an authentic way to learn in a welcoming and friendly environment. He offers continual personalised feedback to each student and takes the time to ensure that everyone is giving it their best - you always leave a class feeling like you've made real progress rather than just going through the motions.
I'd recommend it to everyone! Since joining my life has improved in so many ways - from being more flexible and in tune with my body, to generally feeling less anxious and more confident while going about my day."
"Mat is a very generous and enthusiastic trainer; there is lots to learn and the class is a nice size for asking questions and trying to get theory behind the practice right; Yang style tai qi is taken very seriously by this club; there is attention to detail but also a lot of good humour; highly recommended."
"Learning tai chi is a great way to bring meaningful change to your health and teach your body a new way of being. Having a competent teacher like Mat keeps you on the path of that change with his helpful continual feedback through verbal and physical corrections."
"I've been training with Mat for over 3 years. He is a keen observer and goes straight to the core, when you act on his advice you feel a direct improvement and will benefit from greater stability and strengthening of the structure. The class is equally beneficial for advance learners as well as beginners. The class really helps you understand the principles and offers a much broader and more complete learning experience."
"As far as Taiji goes and based on my 2 year experience in it, it is very important to be sure of what you need to do, why, and how. This is sometimes challenging without correct and personalised insights. Mat has the rare skill of listening and knowing, evidently acquired through serious systematic practice and experience. This allows him to always pinpoint accurately what can be improved. He is happy to explain in an understandable way the intricate mechanics of Taiji and he does it very efficiently, tailoring his explanations to the level of understanding of each individual. This is invaluable and it makes each training session feel special and unique. I highly recommend his classes to everyone, irrespective of background or age in order to learn Taiji and a bit more of themselves."
"I have been wondering about Tai Chi since I was a teenager. There were no teachers around, I got too busy, my priorities shifted. I am 42 now and I started my Tai Chi classes in 2022. Since then I have never missed a lesson. Tai Chi is not like a traditional martial art and might not fit those who are lacking patience with the practice and are after immediate results. Age and physicality are less important than the ability to concentrate and observe what happens inside your body when you move or stand still. What keeps me coming is the opportunity to understand my body and its limits... if there are any...
Please join our class at Bexleyheath! Mat is a great motivator to sit a little lower or hold a posture for a little longer :) You will never regret giving it a try."
"I started Tai Chi in January 2022 after I realised I needed a new hobby. Like a lot of people, covid lockdown left me stagnating and I needed to get out and do something new.
We have a nice friendly group which has both a community and a personal feel to it. We also have a range of ages and abilities.
Despite the diversity of ability we all do the same things together. It’s not about learning more and more complex exercises, but of continuing to find depth to the core exercises and improving how you relate to your mind and body, so it's easy for beginners to get started, but continues to challenge as you advance.
Every lesson consists of a varying set of exercises for stretching, loosening and developing posture which is then brought together in “the form”. We also do partner exercises working together to test stability and posture and you get to see what it means in practice.
The way Mat teaches means you’re not just going through the physical motions, but understanding the mental aspects of Tai Chi, without feeling like it's some hippy mumbo jumbo.
In my general life I’ve found Tai Chi to have made a great improvement to my mental and physical wellbeing, but ultimately I just know that during a busy, stressful week its a guaranteed 90 mins where I can concentrate and let my mind reset.
If you want something that is great for both your mental and physical health you can’t do better. I would absolutely recommend it."
"I thought I knew what Tai Chi was. I'd seen the films with people in parks practicing these slow precise movements and I thought I could give that a go so I joined Mat's class.
It transpires that what I'd seen was just one aspect of Tai Chi and not Tai Chi itself. I was confused when I started because the first section of the class equated to vertical pilates, something I was used to doing, but it turned out Mat's class has got me results that I failed to achieve in pilates. I went to his class unable to bend to put my socks on and now I am touching the floor, squatting and standing up again (without grabbing onto something to help me).
Over the year that I have now been attending class, I've learned that Tai Chi is an internal art that really does attune mind with body. The pilates style opening exercises are just one aspect. We also stand in uncomfortable stances consciously teaching our bodies to relax in that pose. Hard work but I am using the methods taught to release stress in my neck and shoulders by releasing the outer muscles. Finally we do partner work to bring into play how we can direct our minds to direct our bodies.
Mat explains that if you want to practice Tai Chi you need to train the body - a boxer doesn't just know how to box, he must train his body and mind to place himself in a condition that will enable him to fight.
I didn't think of Tai Chi as something used for fighting and I doubt I will ever use it for that purpose but I can use it for defence and in the meantime I am enjoying my new found flexibility and am continually amazed at how much your mind can consciously direct your body and, last but not least, making new friends. I certainly would recommend it to all ages. I cannot see that it does anything but good for you."