Black - 1st - 3rd dan
Taijiquan syllabus

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Students have passed all 7 coloured belts. They must attend 20 workshops/boot camps/private lessons per calendar year in addition to weekly tuition in class.


Students 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
• Sash


The student's responsibility is to practice the art frequently enough for the
muscle memory to remember what to do. This takes time and patience.
Without a strong foundation a taijiquan student is not going to get very far.

Hip kwa

Once the hip bend is familiar, work on relaxing the kwa on the vertical plane during taijiquan practice. This will increase your connection to the ground.

We get good at what we do

If you want to get good at form, practice form. If you want to become proficient with weapons, then practice with weapons. The more often your body undertakes the practice, the more familiar it will be.

It is absurd to think you are going to get anywhere by giving only an hour a week to your practice or that you can regularly skip classes. Martial arts is not like a bridge club, where you drop in when you have nothing better to do. Martial arts will always make greater demands on your time than would most hobbies or avocations.

(Dave Lowry)

Black (1st dan)

Sabre form (regular & mirrored)
2-person cane drill (regular & mirrored)
3-tier wallbag
5 bows
5 bows exercise
5 elements
6 balanced pairs
60/40 stance
Being hit
Biomechanics (qigong)
Breath meditation
Combat stance
Countering punches, kicks & grapples
Countering/pushing peng
Cultivating peng
Da lu
Double pushing hands
Dying ground
Everybody falls
Fa li
Floor work
- control
- expedience
Form applications (section 1)
Gravity striking
Keeping the pressure on when attacking
Long Yang form (lines of force version)
Loose striking
The power/function of 'li'
Pushing peng exercise
Pushing peng (partnered)
Pushing peng (striking)
Qigong revision
Ready/guard stance
Silk arms (peng)
San sau (peng)
Speed striking
Sustaining peng throughout your counter
Sword drills
Tactics used by other arts
Using 3-D to gain optimal power

Challenge - 2-person cane drill (regular & mirrored) (60 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - da lu (60 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - double pushing hands (60 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - floor work endurance (10 mins)
Challenge - lines of force form (regular & mirrored) (60 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - sabre form (regular & mirrored) (60 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - section 1 form applications (120 mins x 24 weeks)
Challenge - silk arms (peng) (60 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - san sau (peng) (60 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - sword drills (30 mins x 4 weeks)

Assignment #1 - The Sword Polisher's Record
Assignment #2 - There Are No Secrets
Assignment #3 - The Essence of Tai Chi Chuan - The Literary Tradition
Assignment #4 - The Art of War
Assignment #5 - The Book of Five Rings

Black (2nd dan)

Walking stick form (regular & mirrored)
4 ounces exercise
5 animals
5 centres
5 elements stepping
8 powers striking
13 postures
Crude fa jing
Cultivating sung
Floor work
- chin na
- dying ground
Form applications (section 2)
Freeform triangle
Holding down the pillow
Meditation on body sensations
Meditation on emotions
Moving with kwa
Neigong (1-10)
Neigong (extras)
Newton’s Laws of Motion
Punching from the centre
Pushing hands development
Reverse breathing
San sau (variations)
Silk arms (
Small stick drills
Small stick flexibility drills
Spiral body

Challenge - s
an sau (variations) (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - section 2 form applications (120 mins x 24 weeks)
Challenge - silk arms (variations) (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - small stick drills (60 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - walking stick form (regular & mirrored) (60 mins x 4 weeks)

Assignment #1 - The Way of Chuang Tzu
Assignment #2 - Moving Zen
Assignment #3 - The New Lao Tzu
Assignment #4 - Zen in the Art of Archery
Assignment #5 - 5 Elements of Effective Thinking

Black (3rd dan)

Jian form (regular & mirrored)
Biomechanics (chin na)
Biomechanics (drills)
Biomechanics (form)
Biomechanics (shuai jiao)
Countering a knife
Floor work
- multiple opponents
- tactics

Form applications (section 3)
Improvised weaponry/knife
Long & short jing
Long Yang form (round version)
– yielding/shuai jiao
– yielding/chin na
– yielding/countering
Neigong (11-20)
Obvious power (ming jing)
San da stage 1: freeform application
San sau (jing)
Silk arms (jing)
Yielding/chin na

Yielding/shuai jiao

Challenge - 10 minute freeform application endurance challenge
Challenge - improvised weaponry (5 minutes)
Challenge - jian form (regular & mirrored) (60 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - round form (regular & mirrored) (60 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - san sau (jing) (60 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - section 3 form applications (120 mins x 24 weeks)
Challenge - sections 1, 2 & 3 form applications (120 mins x 48 weeks)
Challenge - silk arms (jing) (60 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - yielding/chin na endurance (10 mins)
Challenge - yielding/countering endurance (10 mins)
Challenge - yielding/shuai jiao endurance (10 mins)

Assignment #1- 36 Strategies
Assignment #2- Commentaries on Living volume 2
Assignment #3 - Peak
Assignment #4 - Tao of Being
Assignment #5 - The Little Zen Companion


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.

Further reading

• Home routines
• Fit for combat?
• Are you a martial artist?

school database

Page created 2 March 1995
Last updated
21 May 2015