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Self-determining

Usually the student decides for themselves how much practice is suitable for them.
This approach has drawbacks if you are seeking to gain skill.
In what way are you qualified to determine how much training is necessary to get good at taijiquan?
Which criteria are you applying? And why? Based on how much actual skill and experience?



Training tip


The more time you commit to form practice, the better your taijiquan will be.
Practicing form every day at home will aid with coordination, mobility, strength, relaxation and balance.
Even 10 minutes a day is worthwhile. Do more if you can.


Modular

The different exercises in the syllabus usually take between 2-5 minutes to complete e.g. floor exercises, psoas exercises, Taoist Yoga, moving qigong, drills... and so on.
Some take longer but most don't.
The modular nature of the syllabus allows the student to train briefly if they choose to, or commit to a longer session.


No shortcuts

It doesn't get easier. You get stronger.
But only if you practice.


Dream

Many people who commence taijiquan practice are essentially 'daydreamers'.
They have fanciful notions of becoming a martial artist but entirely lack the grit and determination required to accomplish the task.
Instead of committing to a challenging regime of on-going comprehensive, rigorous training, the student is contented with the dream.


Martial athlete

Combat is not easy and there is a risk of injury if the student is unfit. This is true of any martial art.
To reach a high level of skill, the student needs to take a lesson from sport.
They must become a martial athlete.


Nothing can substitute for serious practice. Practice seriously, correctly and patiently. Use your brain, not just your body. Don't hide weaknesses in your training. Don't lie to yourself. If you cheat, you only cheat yourself.

(Adam Hsu)

Routines

Student routines:

  1. Full strength

  2. Intermediate

  3. Experienced

  4. Advanced

Instructor routines:

  1. Instructors

  2. How much does Sifu Waller train?


Full strength

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

  1. Massage (10 minutes)

  2. Standing qigong (10 minutes)
    - hug a tree or standing in a stream

  3. Ba duan jin plus reeling silk exercises & standing post or moving qigong plus stretches & joint work (10 minutes)

  4. Leg stretches (set 1 or 2) (10 minutes)

  5. Floor exercises (set 1, 2 or 3) (10 minutes)

  6. Cardio work (set 1 or 2) (8 minutes)

  7. Taoist Yoga (set 1, 2, 3 or 4) (5-10 minutes)

The full strength routine is easy to learn. Virtually any student could learn these exercises with ease and gain remarkable results. You only need determination and commitment.
Duration: 70 minutes approximately.


Intermediate routine

Less than 1 hour per day.
Since an exponent is a tai chi for health student - not adept with taijiquan - they need to do a lot of qigong.
It will provide the necessary health benefits by serving as a stopgap pending higher level taijiquan skill.

  1. Moving qigong (15 exercises) and/or ba duan jin (8 exercises) and/or reeling silk exercises & standing post

  2. Standing qigong (10 mins)

  3. Leg stretches (set 1 or 2)

  4. Form
    - Long Yang (slow form version) (intro) (10-20 mins)

  5. Taoist Yoga (day 1, 2 or 3)

  6. Constructive rest

  7. Reading

Extras: full circle qigong (30 mins) should be performed weekly, psoas exercises periodically.
 

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)


Experienced routine

1-2 hours per day.
In addition to a notable qigong routine, the experienced student must increase their skill with form, martial drills and conditioning exercises.

Daily:

  1. Massage

  2. Moving qigong (15 exercises) and/or ba duan jin (8 exercises) and/or reeling silk exercises & standing post and/or stretches & joint work

  3. Standing qigong
    - standing qigong (10 mins)
    - horse stance (2-5 mins)

  4. Leg stretches (set 1 or 2)

  5. Cardio work (set 1 or 2)

  6. Form
    - Long Yang (slow form version) (regular & mirrored) (10-30 mins)

  7. Taoist Yoga (set 1, 2, 3 or 4)

Often:

  1. Small san sau (regular & mirrored)

  2. Silk arms (regular & mirrored)

  3. Penetrating defences (regular & mirrored)

  4. Knife drills (regular & mirrored)

Stagger these across the week:

  1. Pushing peng exercise

  2. Pushing hands (solo)

  3. Stick drills (regular & mirrored)

  4. Sword drills (regular & mirrored)

  5. Qigong development

  6. Pushing peng

  7. Shuai jiao applications (solo) (regular & mirrored)

  8. Chin na applications (solo) (regular & mirrored)

  9. Form applications (solo) (regular & mirrored)

Full circle qigong (30 mins) should be performed weekly.


Advanced routine

2 hours per day.
The student starts practicing the round form version of the Long Yang form.
This increases the health 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.

Rest between the 5 parts (meditate, read, lie down, do chores or work):

Warm-up:

  1. Massage

  2. Standing qigong (10-20 mins)

  3. Moving qigong or ba duan jin or reeling silk exercises or stretches & joint work

  4. Leg stretches (set 1 or 2)

  5. Floor exercises (set 1, 2 or 3)

  6. Cardio work (set 1 or 2)

Form:

  1. Long Yang (round form version) (regular & mirrored)

  2. Sabre form (regular & mirrored) & straight sword form (regular & mirrored) or 2 person cane drill (regular & mirrored), staff form (regular & mirrored) & walking stick form (regular & mirrored)

Drills:

  1. Small san sau (regular & mirrored)

  2. Silk arms (regular & mirrored)

  3. Knife drills (regular & mirrored)

  4. 3-tier wallbag

Cool down:

  1. Taoist Yoga (set 1, 2, 3 or 4)

  2. Constructive rest

  3. Reading

Extras (stagger these across the week):

  1. Pushing peng exercise

  2. Pushing hands (solo)

  3. Stick drills (regular & mirrored)

  4. Sword drills (regular & mirrored)

  5. Penetrating defences (regular & mirrored)

  6. Psoas exercises

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

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

  9. Shuai jiao applications (solo) (regular & mirrored)

  10. Chin na applications (solo) (regular & mirrored)

  11. Form applications (solo) (regular & mirrored)


Instructors

An instructor's routine will exceed any shown above.
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.


How much does Sifu Waller train?

Sifu Waller trains over 2 hours a day of taijiquan, baguazhang & qigong, 365 days a year.
He has been practicing since 1975.

As an exponent becomes more adept with higher level taijiquan skill, they only do a small amount of moving qigong.
Quality is more important than quantity.

What Sifu Waller trains:

  1. Massage

  2. Moving qigong or ba duan jin or reeling silk exercises or stretches & joint work

  3. Leg stretches (set 1 or 2)

  4. Floor exercises (set 1, 2 or 3)

  5. Cardio work (set 1 or 2)

  6. Empty hand forms
    - Long Yang (empty form) (regular & mirrored)
    - pao chui form (regular & mirrored)
    - baguazhang palm changes (regular & mirrored)

  7. Sword forms (2) or stick forms (3)

  8. Drills
    - small san sau (regular & mirrored)
    - silk arms (regular & mirrored)
    - pre-emptive methods (regular & mirrored)
    - knife drills (regular & mirrored)
    - small stick drills (regular & mirrored)

  9. 3-tier wallbag

  10. Taoist Yoga (set 1, 2, 3 or 4)

Throughout the day:

  1. Constructive rest - ideally two to three times a day

  2. Reading

  3. Walking or cycling

Staggered across the week: 

  1. Pushing peng exercise

  2. Stick drills (regular & mirrored)

  3. Sword drills (regular & mirrored)

  4. Penetrating defences

  5. Reflex drills

  6. Da lu (solo)

  7. Double pushing hands (solo)

  8. Shuai jiao applications (solo)

  9. Chin na applications (solo)

  10. Sealing the breath (solo)

  11. Dividing the muscle (solo)

  12. Cavity press (solo)

  13. Form applications (solo)

  14. Mother palms

  15. Direction changes

  16. Circle walking

  17. Figure of 8

  18. 9 palaces

  19. Psoas exercises

Sifu Waller also trains partner work with his wife Rachel.


school database


Page created 2 March 1995
Last updated 24 April 2017