Taijiquan syllabus

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Actual combat

This level is for students who know the basics and are now faced with learning the bulk of the syllabus.
Once you know the fundamentals you can work on acquiring more challenging skills in all areas of study; gaining experience and becoming martially adept.
There is a lot to learn.
The experienced grade uses taijiquan in actual combat.

Kung fu suit

The student wears a changshan rather than a
black T-shirt.

A new horizon

Once the taijiquan basics are familiar, the student realises that the Art is far more complex than they had realised.
The journey ahead is more fascinating than anticipated.

2-person cane drill (regular & mirrored)
5 animals
13 postures
Being hit
Countering a knife
Da lu
Floor work
Form application (7 per movement)
Gravity striking
Holding down the pillow
Improvised weaponry
Jian form (regular & mirrored)
Misplacing the bones
San da
Speed striking
Walking stick form (regular & mirrored)

Not many taijiquan students get this far.


The student is faced with a very steep climb.
They learn a wider range of forms designed to increase agility and martial skill.
Combat is now strongly emphasised; building upon and radically expanding the foundation skills.

Jing becomes a major area of concern; fuelling every movement and determining how the Art is applied.
Evading a knife presents a difficult, risky new area of study.
There is no need for brute force or aggression.
The skills are more subtle now.

Learning curve

This is the main period of growth and development for the student.
Daily home practice is essential and constructive reading is highly recommended.
We offer the opportunity to study baguazhang and undertake teacher training.
The art must become one with the student in order to prepare the Way for the practice that lies ahead.

Advanced martial art

This part of the syllabus is about stripping away hesitancy and doubt.
The material must be employed skilfully and easily.
Every action is thorough and convincing.
By performing any action with full mind, body, spirit integrated... the student expresses the Art earnestly and truthfully.

You can do forms and all that kind of stuff - that's really good when you train on your own. But when you are with other people practicing techniques, it gives a 'live' quality to the training.

(Tim Cartmell)


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Page created 18 March 1997
Last updated 04 September 2017