“Where Movement Follows Nature”

About Instructor Nicola

Hello and welcome to Earth Balance Tai Chi, school of internal martial arts, qi gong and Taoist meditation.  From October 2010 to December 2015, instructor Nicola taught Chen tai chi, health qigong and taoist meditation in Dublin, Horsham, Crawley, Worthing and Brighton. During this time her syllabus covered:

In Nicola’s words dated July 2017…

“I have been a student of Tai Chi and Qigong since 2006 and held classes as a teacher on a full-time basis from 2010 – 2015.  I live with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, and when faced with health challenges during the first few years of my personal Tai Chi and Qigong journey, I found the movements so beneficial that it led me to become an instructor.  My circumstances have given me a unique and personal understanding of chronic health issues, relating to healthy exercise, pain management and managing the psychological aspects of degenerative health.

My health base-line declined to the moment I decided to close my school in January 2016, this was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make. It was a very sad moment for me with just over five years of teaching as Earth Balance Tai Chi. Living with EDS, there is an unpredictable nature to the degenerative effects, as I get older I am faced with an increase in symptoms and injury, which results in the management of my base-line becoming much more intensive. In early 2016 I injured my spine and spent some time unable to walk. Together with my physical therapist, I embarked on a ‘hands-off’ method of recovery using Tai Chi, Qigong, yoga, meditation, laughter, creativity and art. Within three months I was able to walk again, and although I have not returned to the same physical health as I had before, I continue to train Tai Chi and Qigong, exploring and studying to help me prevent further degeneration.

I am now playing with a revised base-line to get stronger and fitter to the best of my capability. My life is much different these days and I now realise and accept that teaching public classes to the same degree within my school is not part of my future.  I continually train to improve my own health, developing my Tai Chi and qigong movements, re-learning and adapting to it all with fresh eyes.  I am currently both a teacher and student to myself and draw from the vast amount of resources I have gathered over the years. I feel lucky that I have so many years of learning and training behind me, as I would be a shadow of myself without it. Every movement I make in my practice has purpose, focus, principles and alignment, it is great to be able to teach and correct myself with a good level of developed awareness.

Over the last few years I have noticed more and more the effects of EDS as I age, and that it is a difficult journey to be on.  I try and meet each day with hope and perseverance, some wins and some losses.  Everyday holds potential, even in times of rest and rejuvenation. My aim as an instructor was to show people that there are other routes to improved health and wellbeing, rather than reliance on allopathic medicine. Healthy, frequent and accurate Tai Chi/Qigong movements are a key part of my life and I hope that during my time teaching that I inspired others with my passion and dedication.”

My Teachers/Training

My training has been in Southern Wu Short Form, Old Yang Long Form, Bagua, Chen 11 Form, Chen 18 Form, Chen Laojia Yi Lu, Chen Double Fan, Chen Laojia Er Lu and Chen Sabre.  My Qi Gong training has been in 5 Animal Frolics, 8 Pieces of Brocade, Hun Yuan Chi Gung, Earth Qi Gong for Women, Phoenix Alchemy Qigong, Yi Jin Jing and Eight Energy Circle Walking.

The teachers I have trained with are listed below.

Master Joe Lok of Natural Energy Academy, Hong Kong.

  • Trained with Joe from May 2014 – 2016.
  • ‘Phoenix in Graceful Clouds of Blessing’ Daoist Qigong embraces Dragon Gate Alchemy and Wudang Sanfeng Natural Daoist Art.
  • The Phoenix set embraces energy to circulate the meridians in the body according to Chinese medical heritage.

Master Wang Hai Jun of ChenTaiji Academy, UK

  • Trained with Master Wang Hai Jun from 2013 – 2016.
  • Foundation level instructor teaching Silk Reeling, Chen 18 Form and Chen Laojia Yi Lu (74 Form) dated March 2014.
  • Master Wang Hai Jun is an official 12th generation lineage holder of Chen Style Taiji.
  • From the age of eleven he lived and trained with Grand Master Chen Zhenglei in Chen Jia Gou (Chen Village, Henan Province, China).
  • View over a short film of Master Wang Hai Jun to celebrate World Tai Chi Qigong Day 2015.

Sifu Tina Chunna Zhang of Earth Qi Gong for Women, New York, USA

  • Training with Tina Chunna Zhang since June 2010.
  • Earth qi gong for women instructor dated May 2011.
  • Focusing on the unique female anatomy and medical qigong movements.

Master Faye Yip of British Health Qigong Association, UK

Master Liming Yue of the Tai Chi Centre, UK

  • Trained with Master Liming Yue from 2010 – 2013.
  • Level 1 and level 2 Chen Tai Chi instructor dated 2010 – 2013.
  • 8 Pieces of Brocade and 5 Animals Health Qigong instructor dated 2010 – 2013 (Chinese Health Qigong Association).

College of Management Science, London, UK

  • Taoist Meditation Instructor, Distinction Grade

Special Thanks

  • Cherry Collins, Surrey and Hants Tai Chi
  • My Chen Tai Chi mentor, peer and instructor. Since moving back to the UK I have been lucky enough to be taught by her regularly both in public classes, workshops and private tuition. I remain inspired by her commitment and passion of Chen style Tai Chi.  I am also grateful of Cherry for introducing me to Master Wang Hai Jun.
  • Mat Ward, Inner Harmony School
  • My training partner, who I met at a Bagua workshop and have been cross training with since, sharing and exploring Tai Chi and Qigong. Mat is from the Cheng Man Ching lineage and has a vast mind of knowledge and experience in martial arts, I feel lucky to experience his teachings.
  • Alda Gomez, House of Movement
  • Alda and I met as students learning Yang and Wu Tai Chi. We embarked on teaching training together in Wu style before both our journeys evolved and centred around Chen style Tai Chi and Health Qigong. We spent many many hours training together and I feel blessed to have started this journey with her.

Additional Details

  • As of 2016 Nicola has 12 years experience teaching within adult education.
  • Instructor membership with the Tai Chi Union in the UK – Dated 2011 – 2016.
  • Full professional and public liability insurance – Dated 2010 – 2016.
  • Enhanced CRB / DBS Checked – Dated 2015.
  • Member of Awakening Dragon Taoism – From 2013 to date.


  • 3 month course with a Senior Citizens Club, 2010/2011
  • 4 month programme with Rehab Care, HOPS Centre, 2011
  • Weekly classes with Total Physio Studios in Horsham, October 2012 to April 2013.
  • Introduction to Tai Chi Workshop for Adults with Special Needs with Cavendish Care in Ifield, Crawley – January 2014.
  • Get Active Programme (Weight Management) in Horsham, run by Horsham Wellbeing Hub, part of Horsham District Council – January – February, March, May – July 2014.
  • EDF Energy – 6 week meditation course in Crawley, June- July 2014.

Voluntary Course

  • Horsham Heathers & Crawley Chrysalis Breast Cancer Support Group, May-July 2012
  • Horsham Heathers & Crawley Chrysalis Breast Cancer Support Group, June-July 2013
  • Horsham Parkinson’s Support Group, July-August 2014


  • Horsham Fibromyalgia Support Group, January 2012.
  • Horsham Heathers & Crawley Chrysalis Breast Cancer Support Group, March 2012.
  • Horsham Heart Failure Support Group, June 2012.
  • Horsham Holistic Mind, Body, Health Group, October 2012.
  • St Catherine’s Hospice, Crawley, June 2015.


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