As you can see from my site I have practiced and taught various styles over the years, but I now focus on the the three main 'Internal' systems of China; Tai Chi, Bagua and Xingyi.


I will teach these as individual arts or as a mixed system depending on someones requirements and abilities. Each of these arts has it's own unique traits, yet at the same time they all compliment and balance each other.


I can teach these systems either privately 1-1 or in small groups of up to 5, or in class depending on availability (please see classes below).

Lightning Strike Fighting System

A woman defending herself in combat with Shui Tao Martial Arts against a male attacker

Training, competing and teaching over the years has lead me to creating my own unique fighting system, which brings together many of the more practical elements of the styles I have learned. This system comprises of lightning fast footwork, strikes, kicks, parries and grappling techniques, which can be utilised for fighting sports, self-defence or just for fun and fitness.

Once you have understood the fundamentals, you will be able to build up a repertoire of techniques that all flow from one to the next and even create your own combinations.

Instruction is available both online and in person, all you have to do is contact me and I can tailor a training plan just for you, I also have a free starter course available on my YouTube Channel at Stuart Ford Fitness & Martial Arts Instruction!

Please watch the video below for a taster and I hope to hear from you! 


 I have recently moved to Derbyshire and started teaching again, classes are listed below but will likely be updated soon, please keep an eye out for changes and follow the link for the Timetable .

Tai Chi

Thursdays 5:45pm – 6:45pm

Ashbourne Town Hall

22 Market Place




Class Prices


Single Classes: £8

4 Pack: £28

8 Pack: £48

12 Pack: £65

Note: All Class Packs are based on a 4 week training schedule and thus will be lost if not used in 4 weeks. Family members can all use the same package classes and split them between one-another.




T-Shirt, trousers and other garments can be purchased from my Online Martial Arts Shop, but are not essential unless grading.

Private Tuition

Shui Tao Internal Martial Arts instructor applying an arm lock on his student

I also teach privately to individuals and small groups. This type of training is entirely case specific and parameters are set to suit each student differently according to capability and purpose.  

Online Tai Chi Training

For details on my online training, please visit my dedicated online page 'COACH IN A BOX' and watch the video below for a taster!

Student Requirements

Minimum Age

13 yrs


New students may train for two weeks maximum trial period before applying for membership and insurance.

Shui Tao IMA membership costs: £20 pa

Before commencing the first two weeks trial period you will be required to fill in and sign a Consent & Waiver Form which can be found in the downloads section. This can then either be returned to me before training commences or brought along to your first class.

Is it for Me?

Classical Chinese Martial Arts Practitioner demonstrating a standing meditation posture called 'Holding The Ball'

I have had many enquiries over the years and visits from potential new students exclaiming their life long dream of learning a Chinese Martial Art.


But in truth most people's understanding of what the training is or may entail is somewhat skewed! The training can seem very peculiar compared to some of the modern systems and of course can be quite demanding at times both physically and mentally.


The picture here shows a simple standing posture (Zhuan Zhuang) known as 'Holding The Ball'.


Try standing like this for ten minutes. Your stance does not have to be deep, just bend the knees a little to where you are comfortable, but do try to keep your toes facing forward and your back straight and shoulders relaxed, not hunched or rounded and your head back with your chin slightly tucked. Your body should be vibrant but not tense.


If by the end of the ten minutes you still feel you would like to commit to further training, then I look forward to hearing from you!