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The beginners grade is about reaching a basic level of health. It is not a martial grade. Students wear a white T-shirt and explore preliminary concerns.
The onus is upon starting to get fit, stronger, more supple, better coordinated and somewhat more relaxed. Good alignment, ergonomics and elementary physics are all introduced.
Students learn how to focus and work with one another in a constructive manner. It should take the average student about 12 months to complete the beginners syllabus.
Where do you start?
Long Yang form (section 1) (regular & mirrored)
Cardio work (2 sets)
Knife drills (intro)
Leg stretches (2 sets)
Single pushing hands
Yielding basic skills
Theory & principles
provide the adequate, necessary foundation for later practice.
Awaken your brain
According to the book The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal, the human brain is quite literally akin to a muscle.
The more frequently and consistently your brain works on a given area of skill, the greater its capacity to perform the skill with ease.
The student has
nothing to offer but an absolute willingness to follow the teacher's
instructions and direction without question or comments or personal
Train as much as you can
Taijiquan beginners often have high expectations and a low commitment to practice. Often the student struggles to meet their own ambitions.
To break this problem, train frequently. Nothing beats practice. Time committed to practice during your early stages of development will pay dividends in the long run.
Since an exponent is not adept with taijiquan, they need to do a lot of qigong. It will provide the necessary fitness benefits by serving as a stopgap pending higher level taijiquan skill.
The beginners grade is all about improving health and fitness. A student is required to work at notably improving their stamina, flexibility, coordination, cardiovascular fitness and agility.
There is a physical to pass.
For many people, their fitness regime does not take into account 'motor learning'. Motor learning is about the process of using the body, rather than simply exercising the body.
Agility, mobility, relaxed spontaneous movement, balance, structure, alignment, biomechanics, efficiency, ambidextrous body use, joint health, coordination, skill, emotional wellbeing or psychological flexibility.
Taijiquan combines exercise with motor learning.
Beyond the beginning
When learning a martial art there are essentially 3 stages:
Physical fitness (intermediate)
Technical skill (experienced)
want to do stage 3 but
flounder before they even
reach stage 1. The beginner's syllabus is an introductory grade. It
is not stage 1. It is preliminary health training.
• Tailored learning
• Strong mental attitude
• Home training
• The Sword Polisher's Record: The Way of Kung Fu by Adam Hsu
The samurai must maintain his faith in his beliefs, even as the social or
political climate shifts and alters. He must be patient, must act in a
manner that may at times seem irrational or illogical, must resist the
temptations of instant gratification, and must work towards fulfilling what
may seem to be an impossible idea.
As a result, the samurai is often something of an outsider, a rebellious figure because he refuses to conform to the habits of the day.
beginner intermediate experienced advanced expert mastery
18 April 1995
Last updated 21 April 2018