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Taijiquan syllabus
     

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Trainee teachers

Dedicated students who reach this grade are given the opportunity to undergo teacher training with a view to becoming a taijiquan teacher.


Don't want to teach?

Not everyone wants to teach.
This is fine.
Non-instructors may still work through this grade once they have passed 3rd dan.


Prioritising

The student comes to recognise which parts of the syllabus are most important and shapes their training accordingly.
Time is committed to the fundamentals of art.
The practice is now part of their daily life and the exponent trains each day without exception.


Better form = less qigong

The student starts practicing the round form version of the Long Yang form.
This increases the fitness benefits of form; allowing them to spend less time training qigong.


No more standing

Once the student has learned the final weapons form they can cease standing qigong altogether if they want to.
Moving qigong exercises are not an impediment.
Prolonged standing may hinder higher levels of mobility with form.
Static standing is optional since much greater benefits can be gained through whole-body movement.


Perspective

With the increasing range of skills to practice, the individual begins to see how many exercises are simply variations on a theme.
Rather than learning dozens of unrelated drills, the expert sees that everything springs from the same source.
Instead of acquiring more and more, they understand that the curriculum is merely exploring what is possible.


Read more

A lot of time must be now committed to a comprehensive study of the theory behind the Art.
Years of reading, application and everyday contemplation are required.
The formerly obscure, arcane maxims and principles are now more self-evident.


Revision & refinement

It is important to start this level with the admission that you have yet to master the existing material. Being honest is essential.
The preceding levels contained a lot of drills, insights, skills and form.
And you are a long way from understanding or mastering the material. It is going to require on-going work.


Beginner's mind

You must spend time revising every aspect of the syllabus; re-considering every form movement, application, neigong, qigong exercise and drill.
See them with hindsight. Look anew. Find new meaning and depth.
There are bound to be misconceptions, perceptual errors, faulty awareness and omissions.
Accept this.


Be critical

Refine what you are good at and work to remove all gaps and deficiencies from your practice.
Postural tension, the incorrect use of your nervous system and the failure to remain composed under pressure are of course major areas to consider in your revision.
At this stage in your progress, you must understand the absolute necessity of going with the flow, and demonstrate this insight in every aspect of your taijiquan.
 

Students of the Tao must appreciate one thing:
Every day, mindful practice.
When the mind is disciplined
then the Way can work for us.
Otherwise, all we do is talk of Tao;
everything is just words;
and the world will know us as its
one great fool.


(Loy Ching Yuen)

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Page created 18 March 1997
Last updated 18 May 2017