Robert Gemmell Tai Chi New Zealand
  Robert Gemmell Teaching Method  
  Quality Management Assurance  
  ACC Falls Prevention  
  Corporate Proposals  
  Training Programs  
  Traditional Tai Chi  
  Chi Gung  
  Clothing and Equipment  
  Pushing Hands  
  Printable Study Notes  
  Full Time Training Centres  
  Open Your Own Branch  
Tai Chi New Zealand Robert Gemmell

Robert Gemmell teaching method

This is the most comprehensive martial arts teaching system currently available in New Zealand.

First documented in 1982 with the “Instructors Manual” the Robert Gemmell System of Teaching evolved out of the need for a comprehensive infrastructure that would encompass Beginner to Expert levels. Evaluation was always the essential basis for Instructor qualifications. Robert Gemmell knew he had no problem with the ability of Instructors in demonstrating techniques. How the students absorbed and developed the movement was closely monitored over a significant period. Thousands of students achieved good levels and grades. Robert Gemmell carefully documented why and how results were achieved.Robert Gemmell quickly appreciated the need to back his already successful art form with an Administration that identified each stage of student development from Introductory through to Advanced. Creating three main levels he established for the first time a Multi-Structured Teaching Plan. This involved the introduction of student programmes.

Historically people found that when they joined mainstream Tai Chi they predominantly became immersed in a single level approach to advancement. In the case of Tai Chi, students merely followed a group moving through the form. This meant progress was restricted to chance that the movements were understood by copying. The physical challenge was so great that attrition rates were high. The fact remains that Tai Chi is complicated to learn when compared to other martial arts styles. What was lacking was an understanding of how the base techniques could be easily learnt if properly structured. Robert Gemmell advanced to his Instructors a programme system that broke down the movements in easy to learn sections. These were cycled to ensure reinforcement. This method of teaching has become the basic practise routine at all branches using the Robert Gemmell teaching method. Results were that everyone joining a class could easily participate without the risk of having to sit on the sideline when following became a problem. Levels of participation ranged from sitting (wheel chair form) to a stationary standing form and advancing to multi stepping advanced Tai Chi.

The traditional methods are still in widespread use today. Many talented Instructors talk about their style or school with some passion but lack the mechanism to produce results.

Further evidence of the success of the teaching methods is that where others have a Branch, Robert Gemmell heads up more than 100 Delivery Sites of quality Tai Chi practise, including Instructor Programme Management. As well as this a clear division is established between Administration and Technical levels. The Robert Gemmell Teaching System identified the failure of Instructors to revise the traditional approach to martial arts training which saw many Instructors and schools go into demise. Dozens of fitness programmes jumped on the bandwagon in an attempt to capitalise on Tai Chi popularity. Tai Chi was at risk of being watered down with the essence and benefit substantially reduced. Without qualified instruction people were at risk of learning nothing more than light exercise routines under the banner of Tai Chi.

In sharp contrast the Robert Gemmell System of Teaching set out to preserve the vital essence of the techniques by carefully structuring Key Training Building Blocks.

Emphasis was placed upon timely advancement and evaluation processes that systemised each level of advancement. Optional grades were established for students along with a comprehensive Instructor Level System.

The Instructor Ranking Structure qualifies each Instructor according to three main attributes :
Teaching experience
Personal ability within the art form
Evidence based student Graduation results

The Robert Gemmell teaching programme has delivered a teaching and administration method that produces a high level of quality along with exceptional results.

Quality control is maintained through a series of Programme Manuals that list requirements and suggested timeframes. This is backed by an annual Calendar of National Teaching Seminars where Instructors and students come together to review, improve and set National standard.

These events have now been run in excess of twenty-five years and remain the principle vehicle for the dispersing of the Robert Gemmell Teaching System, unifying the School and promoting new ideas or troubleshooting. S.C.F. (Shaolin Chuan Fa Association) and its professional Tai Chi Wing, Tai Chi New Zealand, incorporates all Branches within a well disciplined National Organisation.

Results of the Robert Gemmell Teaching System in the area of competition, have seen his students win the majority of tournaments entered through 1980 to 2003. This includes first place in the recent National (Chinese Martial Arts) Tai Chi Championship. Other major non Tai Chi successes have been recorded also. However “people successes are more important than tournament wins,” says Robert. “Everyone must be a winner. Whether it is the ninety year old doing a falls prevention course or a person rehabilitating from heart surgery or a five year old gaining confidence, everyone should have maximum access to the system being offered. This can only be achieved when a quality management system is in use.”

How the Robert Gemmell System works is that although winners do emerge at National Tournament level, at class level everyone is viewed independently and by using the Manual and Instructor guidance properly, everyone can and do excel, by enjoying the health benefits of Tai Chi.

Multi learning levels through voluntary group class setup ensures that students have a user friendly advancement plan that suits their interest and learning level. Health and safety issues can be built into this thus ensuring that prerequisites are met prior to advancement.

Five Instructor Levels range from Level One “Assistant Instructors” through to “Master Instructors.” Qualifications follow a minimum period in the capacity of “Assistant Instructor.” Robert Gemmell personally directs all schools in the chain and works closely with his estimated four hundred strong Instructor team through his own position as School Founder and National Training Director.

Minimum Requirements are well established throughout the SCF and TCNZ schools. These are also widely accepted by the Instructors using the system.

Certification of Instructors is recorded on the Head Office Data Base Register of Instructors. Ongoing progress and management is also closely monitored through the National Instructor Register. Qualifications issued to every Instructor are highly recognised and sought after by Trainees or higher levels within his school. Robert Gemmell is working towards establishing NZQA recognition for his Programme. Three fulltime Centres (Auckland, Wellington and South Island) manage and oversee Branches in each region.

Consultancy is offered to any organisation seeking to establish a high quality programme within the numerous art forms mastered and taught by Robert Gemmell and his team of Instructors.

Upon receipt of an enquiry the Robert Gemmell System establishes key componentry required to deliver a suitable training programme. On going advice and backup service is available.

Age or physical handicap that often restricts individual involvement common with other fitness or exercise programmes is not seen to be a restrictive scenario. Robert Gemmell believes and widely promotes the belief that aging is a natural process and restrictions need not prohibit anyone from Tai Chi practise through careful use of alternative techniques.

Positive and motivational thinking serves to revitalise those who through injury may have slipped into a debilitative mind set. Robert Gemmell Training Programmes have a long proven record of rehabilitation through his attitude to “kick starting” people who temporarily or for a prolonged period have fallen through the cracks.

Negative mindsets are quickly challenged through the Robert Gemmell System.

For Quality Teaching Programmes which use the attributes of martial arts and are complemented by the Robert Gemmell Training System for Tai Chi Falls Prevention, giving respiratory assistance through improved breathing, stress or pain management through meditation techniques or Self Defence and Survival :

Robert Gemmell Tai Chi New Zealand classes operate in Auckland, Wellington, Marlborough and Christchurch region.


* Head Office – E-mail []
* Robert Gemmell – National Training Director
* Mary Davey – National Administration Director
* Wellington Tel. 04 2375 254 – Paul Verrall – Wellington Programme Manage
* Auckland - Quintin Derham 09 376 2355 Auckland Programme Manager
* Website


What is Tai Chi? | Chi Gung | Acc Falls Prevention | Benefits of Tai Chi? | Getting stated in Chen Tai Chi? | Contact
Opening Tai Chi Branches? | Robert Gemmell Tai Chi Teaching Methods | Training Centres | Traditional Tai Chi |
Quality Management Assurance | Corporate Proposals

website created, and hosted by
©November 2004 Robert Gemmell Insights Centre