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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.

Yin/yang of home training

If you don't practice often enough, you won't remember the material. If you practice too much, you'll cause unwanted wear and tear. Balance must be found.


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) 


Student routines:

  1. White belt (strength building)

  2. Coloured belts

  3. Black belt

  4. Full strength routine

Instructor routines:

  1. Instructors

  2. Rachel's routine

White belt (strength building) routine

Since an exponent is a tai chi for health student - not adept with taijiquan - they need to do a lot of qigong and the reeling silk power generation exercises.
It will provide the necessary fitness benefits by serving as a stopgap pending higher level taijiquan skill.
Daily practice:

  1. Moving qigong (5 mins)

  2. Ba duan jin (5 mins)

  3. Reeling silk exercises (5 mins)

  4. Standing qigong (10 mins)

  5. Form
    - Long Yang (slow form version) (regular) (10 mins)

  6. Constructive rest

  7. Reading/assignments

Taijiquan is an art where all the principles of other martial arts have been turned upside down.
They practice fast, we practice slow.
They practice hard, we practice soft.

(Cheng Man Ching)

Coloured belts routine

A taijiquan student must increase their skill with form, martial drills and conditioning exercises.


  1. Leg stretches (set 1 or 2) (10 mins)

  2. Form
    - Long Yang (version 1) (regular & mirrored) (10-20 mins)

  3. Taoist Yoga (day 1, 2 or 3), core strength (set 1, 2 or 3) or psoas exercises (5-10 mins)

  4. Reading

  5. Constructive rest

2-3 times a week:

  1. Knife drills (regular & mirrored) (2 mins)

  2. Massage (10-15 mins)

  3. Penetrating defences (regular & mirrored) (2 mins)

  4. Reeling silk exercises (5 mins)

  5. San sau (regular & mirrored) (2-3 mins)

  6. Silk arms (regular & mirrored) (2 mins)

Staggered across the week:

  1. Assignments

  2. Ba duan jin (5 mins)

  3. Full circle qigong (30 mins)

  4. Moving qigong (5 mins)

  5. Pushing peng exercise (2 mins)

  6. Standing qigong
    - standing qigong (10 mins) or
    - horse stance (2-5 mins) or
    - full circle qigong (30 mins) or
    - qigong development (40 mins)

  7. Stick drills (set 1, 2 & 3) (regular & mirrored) (2-5 mins)

  8. Stretches & joint work (5 mins)

Black belt routine

The student starts practicing the round form version of the Long Yang form. This increases the fitness benefits of form; allowing them to spend less time training qigong.
Standing qigong is optional but not necessary. The student may choose not to perform standing qigong. The exponent learns neigong and many more forms.


  1. Massage

  2. Ba duan jin, reeling silk, moving qigong or stretches & joint work

  3. Leg stretches (set 1 or 2)

  4. Form
    - Long Yang (regular & mirrored)

  5. 2-person cane (solo) (regular & mirrored)

  6. 3-tier wallbag

  7. Taoist Yoga (day 1, 2 or 3), core strength (set 1, 2 or 3) or psoas exercises

  8. Reading

  9. Constructive rest

2-3 times a week

  1. Sabre form (regular & mirrored)

  2. Walking stick form (regular & mirrored)

  3. Jian form (regular & mirrored)

Staggered across the week

  1. Assignments

  2. Chin na applications (set 1, 2 & 3) (solo) (regular & mirrored)

  3. Da lu (solo) (regular & mirrored)

  4. Double pushing hands (solo) (regular & mirrored)

  5. Knife drills (regular & mirrored)

  6. Penetrating defences (regular & mirrored)

  7. Pushing peng exercise

  8. San sau (regular & mirrored)

  9. Shuai jiao applications (solo) (set 1 & 2) (regular & mirrored)

  10. Silk arms (regular & mirrored)

  11. Stick drills (set 1, 2 & 3) (regular & mirrored)

If required/desired:

  1. Standing qigong
    - standing qigong (10 mins) or
    - horse stance (2-5 mins) or
    - full circle qigong (30 mins) or
    - qigong development (40 mins)

Full strength routine

This qigong and stretching routine is about increasing strength, stamina and flexibility. It achieves tangible results very quickly.
Daily practice:

  1. Massage

  2. Standing qigong (10-20 minutes)
    - 4 postures

  3. Ba duan jin

  4. Reeling silk exercises & standing post balance exercise

  5. Moving qigong

  6. Stretches & joint work

  7. Psoas exercises

  8. Leg stretches

  9. Core strength

  10. Taoist Yoga

  11. Constructive rest

The routine contains no tai chi.


An instructor's routine may exceed 2-3 hours overall but much of the additional time is spend reading and meditating.
The Tao Te Ching teaches: master self before attempting to master others.
As an instructor, if your own training is lax, you are not doing the art (or yourself) justice. You owe it to your students to set the example. Your skills cannot ever be mediocre or unrefined.

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Page created 2 March 1995
Last updated 11 November 1998