Blue - Brown
Taijiquan syllabus

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Students have passed the first 4 belts. They must attend 16 workshops/boot camps/private lessons per calendar year in addition to weekly tuition in class.


Teachers can only teach you to the level that the strength of your basics will allow them to. They can't do anything more, it's impossible.

(Bruce Frantzis)


Students who have passed the green belt syllabus wear

Black changshan or wrap-over
School badge sewn onto the left upper chest and the neijiaquan patch on the right sleeve
Black cotton martial arts/karate trousers
• Flat footwear; preferably not training/sports shoes
Green belt

Physical fitness

This part of the syllabus is mainly about physical fitness, learning the Long Yang form pattern and commencing martial training.

You must get fit

All martial arts require the student to be fit for combat and taijiquan is no exception. There are many lazy tai chi classes in the world. This is naive in the extreme.

Cross-training tai chi
Our taijiquan students train: core strength, massage, leg stretches, yoga, qigong, neigong, form, partnered work, martial concepts and weapons.
The training is done carefully, gently - in a controlled manner - without exertion or strain.


If you don't meet these criteria, you are encouraged to set the time aside and work hard. There's no hurry. Home practice is the key. You just need to develop your organisational skills.

Level of difficulty

These grades are about getting fitter. Not fighting. It is the beginning of the martial training. Expect a challenging learning curve
Students who do not like the prospect of getting roughed up should consider doing tai chi for fitness instead.


A yoga mat is necessary for the warm-up routine at 6:30 PM. A rubber-coated 1" stick and a rubber knife are required if you are interested in weapons night.

Ba duan jin #2

Students learn the second version of this exercise and replace the beginner's/introductory version.
Remember not to pull the shoulder joint back too far when extending the palm. 30°forward is advisable.

Posterior pelvic tilt

A student will not be allowed to pass their grade if they perform yoga with a posterior pelvic tilt.
Performing combat with a back problem is dangerous; so students are required to fix this problem themselves.
Many of the recommended exercises for fixing posterior pelvic tilt look similar to the ones in the syllabus. In fact, we work significantly more muscles than the recommended 'fix'.
We're already teaching exercises that could potentially fix up many conditions but we cannot make a student do the work at home.

Weapons drills

The knife, stick and sword drills are practiced every month on weapons night. If you can't remember the movements, buy the Weapons Drills DVD.


Taoist Yoga
DVD, Fitness DVD, Weapons Drills DVD and Exercises DVD are the ideal titles to watch for supplementary guidance and revision.

Darker belts

Blue, purple and brown are for students willing to make the level of commitment associated with martial arts training.


Long Yang form (section 3) (regular)
4 directions with a partner (no contact)
70/30 stance
- 3 B's: blocking, blending & balance
- 4 stages
- fence
- X-shape
Monkey paws (5 hands)
Shuai jiao applications (set 2)
Silk arms

Qigong development
Tao yin/Taoist Yoga (3 sets)

Challenge - form challenge (section 3) (60 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - qigong development (40 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - shuai jiao applications (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge – silk arms (30 mins x 6 weeks)

Assignment #1 - Martial concepts theory
Assignment #2 - The Essence of Tai Chi Chuan - The Literary Tradition


Long Yang form (revision & corrections)
Chin na applications (set 2)
Floor work
- kicks
- tackling

Martial concepts & qigong
Penetrating defences
Silk arms #1
Square on the inside, round on the outside
Stick drills (3 sets)

Stretches & joint work
Yielding exercise - finishing off

Challenge - chin na applications (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - form challenge (60 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - penetrating defences (30 mins x 6 weeks)
Challenge - stick drills (30 mins x 6 weeks)
Challenge - yielding exercise - finishing off (30 mins x 6 weeks)

Assignment - The Art of War


Long Yang form (mirrored)
Biomechanical advantage
Central equilibrium
- fixed feet
Chair game
Chin na applications (set 3)
Core strength (3 sets)
Crescent moon
High circle qigong

Immovable elbow
Kicking game
- evasive body focus
- sustained & varied kicking
Martial sets: a precursor to form application
Monkey paws (stepping)
Moving qigong (complete set)
Qigong on one leg
Qigong revision
San sau
Slam ball challenge
Strategic stepping
Striking pads
- focus mitt, squashy pad, round pad
Yielding exercise
- take to the ground

Challenge - chin na applications (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - form challenge (mirrored) (60 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge – san sau (30 mins x 6 weeks)

Assignment #1 - The Book of Five Rings
Assignment #2 - The Way of Chuang Tzu  


Reading is not optional

To complete each level, students must answer assignments to prove that they have taken the time to read this website and all of the required texts.
Failure to read the books will impede progress and hinder understanding.


school database

Page created 2 March 1995
Last updated
21 May 2015