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Taijiquan syllabus

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Attendance requirement

To train the taijiquan syllabus, students must attend:

Weekly tuition
12 workshops/boot camps/private lessons per calendar year

Failure to do so will mean no grading and no progress. The worst case scenario for very poor attendance will be transfer to tai chi for fitness.

When your teacher demonstrates something for you, you are obligated to practice it,  or else you may invoke the following consequences of your own free will:
 1. Your teacher may not correct you because your actions have shown that you did not really want to learn the skill.
 2. You will not achieve the skill.
 3. If you learn the next stage of the skill, it will be weak because it has no foundation.
 4. Your skill will not rise to a high level until your attitude changes.

 (Bruce Frantzis) 


Students who have passed the white belt syllabus wear:

Black cotton crew-neck T-shirt
Black cotton martial arts/karate trousers
School badge sewn onto the T-shirt
Flat footwear; preferably not training/sports shoes


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

Pale belts

The first 4 belts are introductory. They are for people who have an interest in taijiquan and want a mild taste of the art.


Taijiquan students are encouraged to start learning leg stretches, core strength, psoas exercises, massage and Taoist Yoga at their earliest opportunity.
The training is done carefully, gently - in a controlled manner - without exertion or strain. Aim to perform all of these stretching and conditioning exercises to an adequate degree.
Prioritise suppleness. Students are encouraged to purchase the Taoist Yoga and Exercise DVDs to assist with home study.

Form (section 1)

If you do not know section 1 of the Long Yang form, work with Rachel. When Rachel says that you are competent enough to learn section 2 with Sifu Waller, you can continue with the sequence.
Beginners are encouraged to purchase the Long Yang form (section 1) DVD to assist with home study.
Once the student is familiar with Long Yang form (section 1) they undertake a 4 week drilling challenge in which they practice section 1 for 45 minutes non-stop commencing at 7:00 PM.
Sections 2 & 3 are taught in a similar fashion.

Reeling silk exercises

Although reeling silk exercises are included on the qigong ticksheet, they are not really qigong exercises. They are power generation exercises.

Weapons drills

Students may begin by studying stick drills or knife drills, or both. There are 3 sets of stick drills. When all 3 sets are familiar, the student may study the sword drills.
Students are encouraged to purchase the Weapons DVD to assist with home study.


Cat stepping involves learning the principles behind the main stances and then undertaking a simple assignment designed to test your understanding.


If you can't remember the exercises, buy the Exercises DVD and the Fitness DVD so that you can practice the exercises at home between classes.


The risk of injury in combat sports is especially high. To prevent injury, do the following: 1) Learn to warm-up well before any exercise, 2) Do everything possible to accelerate recovery between workouts.

(Frederic Delavier)


Qigong DVD, Form DVD, Weapons DVD
 and Partner Work DVD are essential viewing for supplementary guidance and revision.



Assignment #1 - Q & A
Assignment #2 - Attitude & etiquette


The ball game
Monkey paws
Partner work
Psoas exercises
Pushing legs
Single pushing hands 

Challenge full circle qigong (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge standing qigong (4 postures) (20 minutes x 4 weeks)
Challenge - yielding exercise challenge (30 mins x 6 weeks)

Assignment #1 - Q & A
Assignment #2 - Attitude & etiquette
Assignment #3 - Q & A
Assignment #4 - Attitude & etiquette


Long Yang form (section 1) (regular)
Constructive rest
Fear of falling
Horse stance
How to escape from a hold
How to punch
Knife drills
Leg stretches (2 sets)
Partner work mistakes
Playing the attacker
- commitment
- range & reach
Punching rehab
Shuai jiao applications (set 1)
Yielding basic skills

Challenge - form challenge (60 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - knife drilling (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - shuai jiao applications (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - yielding basic skills challenge (30 mins x 6 weeks)

Assignment #1 - Q & A
Assignment #2 - A & E
Assignment #3 - The Sword Polisher's Record


Long Yang form (section 2) (regular)
Chin na applications (set 1)

Floor work
- basics
- back-to-back
Hitting a focus mitt

Horse stance qigong
How to slip a hold
Loose striking
Penetrating defences (intro)

Standing post with arms

Challenge - chin na applications (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - form challenge (section 2) (60 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - horse stance qigong (5 mins x 12 weeks)

Assignment #1 - Cat stepping
Assignment #2 - There Are No Secrets


In all martial arts there is a constant, never-ending emphasis on getting your basics right because without those basics, you'll never become all that you could be.

(Bruce Frantzis)

Further reading

Coloured belts
How to pass your first grade
The physical
Working with the instructor
100 days challenge
Black T-shirt
The basics
Not a beginner?


school database

Page created 2 March 1995
Last updated 02 December 2020