Taijiquan syllabus

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Kid in a candy store

The danger of having an extensive martial syllabus is that some students behave like a kid in a candy store. I want that. I want that...
Frequently they lack the skills required for the level of training their ambition desires. Eligibility is essential. Paying fees and attending lessons does not equal competence.


All learning is incremental. You acquire one skill and then move onto the next. Step-by-step. Shortcuts do not exist in taijiquan.
The student who seeks to jump from beginner's level to expert is guaranteed to get hurt.

Show interest

How keen are you to do taijiquan? Are you watching school DVDs? Have you read The Sword Polisher's Record?


To train taijiquan (supreme ultimate fist), weapons training, self defence, chin na or shuai jiao you must fulfil the health and safety criteria presented by our insurance company.
It states that all students must be taught relative to ability/competence/health.

Mandatory factors

These six items are essential for martial arts training with our school:

  1. No medical/health problems *

  2. Age (over 18)

  3. Good attitude & humour

  4. Weekly attendance

  5. Prepared to practice at home between classes

  6. Not studying another martial art

* this includes being notably overweight

Fitness & attitude

We reserve the right to decline martial tuition:

if we feel that a student is physically unable to study taijiquan safely
if an individual demonstrates the wrong attitude for taijiquan study

Rachel will always act with the
wellbeing of the student in
mind. Insurance regulations prohibit a student from training material that is unsuitable for their fitness/ability level.

5 steps

There are 5 steps to complete in order to commence taijiquan study. Each step must be completed before moving onto the next.

Step 1 - Complete the qigong ticksheet

Martial candidates are given a ticksheet containing all the basic qigong exercises. Each week they are taught a new exercise.
The following lesson the student will be expected to accurately demonstrate the exercise.
Good progress will lead to martial consideration and step 2.

12 week challenge

A great way to take yourself out of your comfort zone is to set yourself a "12 week challenge". Aim to pass all of the qigong exercises on the ticksheet within 12 weeks.
This is quite a reasonable target if you think about it. A whole month to learn the reeling silk exercises, another month for ba duan jin and a third month for moving qigong.

Don't be late

If you want help passing the qigong ticksheet, buy and study the Qigong DVD and make sure you're at the hall by 6:30 PM seeking to have some exercises assessed.

Step 2 - Complete 2 assignments

Candidates complete a questionnaire.

Step 3 - Martial application form & Liability questionnaire

Once steps 1-3 have been completed, candidates fill out a martial application form and liability/health questionnaire before being considered for the physical.

Step 4 - The physical

Candidates undertake 'the physical' - subject to attendance, attitude and performance. If a student can pass their physical they can start learning taijiquan.

Step 5 - Attend 3 workshops

How many workshops have you signed up for? How many boot camps?

If the answer is No...

Do not be offended if we say "No". Not everyone is offered martial tuition and not everyone passes the physical.
If you have a notable medical/health problem, we are not allowed to do combat with you. If you have are just out of shape, we will help with this (but you will have to do the work).

Martial arts practice

Martial training is entirely different to tai chi for health. You will be roughed-up in the course of training. There is no way to avoid this.


There are 13 grades in the taijiquan syllabus:

  1. White

  2. Yellow

  3. Orange

  4. Green

  5. Blue

  6. Purple

  7. Brown

  8. Black (1st dan)

  9. Black (2nd dan)

  10. Black (3rd dan)

  11. Black (4th dan)

  12. Black (5th dan)

  13. Master

Insurance regulations prohibit a student from training material that is unsuitable for their fitness/ability level.

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Page created 2 March 1996
Last updated 15 February 2020