Taijiquan syllabus by grade

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Taijiquan is an advanced kung fu method. This complex, detailed martial art needs to be taught in a thorough, methodical manner. Haphazard, piecemeal tuition will not work.
Expect a syllabus that is progressive, differentiated and proven. Every student should know where they are in terms of progress, what they should be working on, and what happens next.

Kung fu styles like taijiquan have become widespread and popular. It is important for all practitioners to understand a major weakness in the transmission of all Chinese arts; a lack of basic training. In fact, a step-by-step training program, standardized terminology, clear explanations and correct interpretations are either entirely missing or woefully scarce.

(Adam Hsu)

1. Beginner (health)

Ba duan jin (8 exercises)
Form posture qigong
Full circle qigong
Moving qigong (15 exercises)
Reeling silk exercises (5 exercises)
Standing post
Standing qigong/3 circle qigong

2. Intermediate (fitness)

Long Yang form (section 1) (regular & mirrored)
Long Yang form (section 2) (regular & mirrored)
Long Yang form (section 3) (regular & mirrored)

4 directions with a partner (no contact)
70/30 stance
Cardio work (2 sets)
Core strength (3 sets)
Crescent moon
Horse stance qigong
High circle qigong
Horse stance
Knife drills
Leg stretches (2 sets)
Martial concepts
Monkey paws
Partner work
Penetrating defences
Psoas exercises
Pushing legs
Qigong development
Qigong on one leg
Qigong revision
Silk arms
Single pushing hands
Small san sau
Square on the inside, round on the outside
Standing post with arms
Stick drills (3 sets)
Stretches & joint work
Tao yin/Taoist Yoga (3 sets)
Yielding basic skills

3. Experienced (technical skills)

Sabre form (regular & mirrored)
Walking stick form (regular & mirrored)
Jian form (regular & mirrored)
2-person cane drill (regular & mirrored)
3-tier wallbag
4 ounces exercise
5 bows
5 bows exercise
5 centres
5 elements stepping
6 balanced pairs
8 powers striking
13 postures
Being hit
Breath meditation
Chin na applications
Countering a knife
Countering punches, kicks & grapples
Countering/pushing peng
Crude fa jing
Da lu
Double pushing hands
Dying ground
Everybody falls
Form applications (section 1)
Form applications (section 2)
Form applications (section 3)
Gravity striking
Holding down the pillow
Improvised weaponry/knife
Long Yang form (round version)
Loose striking
Meditation on body sensations
Meditation on emotions
Moving with kwa
Neigong (1-10)
Neigong (11-20)
Neigong (extras)
Newton’s Laws of Motion
Obvious power (ming jing)
Pushing hands development
Pushing peng exercise

Pushing peng (partnered)
Pushing peng (striking)
Reverse breathing
San da stage 1: freeform application
Shuai jiao applications
Silk arms (jing)
Silk arms (peng)
Single pushing hands (stepping) 
Small san sau (jing)
Small san sau (peng)
Speed striking
Spiral body
Sword drills
Yielding/chin na
Yielding/shuai jiao

4. Advanced (combat)

Pao chui form (regular & mirrored)
5 elements striking
5 pre-emptive methods
60/40 stance
Balance, rhythm, timing
Becoming the centre
Being in the back
Cavity press
Cold jing
Fa jing
First hand/second hand
Heavy bag
Hidden power (an jing)
Large rhythm, small rhythm
Large san sau
Latent movements
Leverage principles (misplacing the bones)
Neigong (21-30)
San da stage 2: freeform combat
Shih (martial advantage)
Silk arms (combat)
Small san sau (combat)
Small stick drills
Wu nien

5. Expert

Bone marrow washing
Cultivating sung
Fa jing (variations)
Form application (cane)
Form application (jian)
Form application (pao chui)
Form application (power)
Form application (sabre)
Form application (walking stick)

Form in self defence
Kinetic pathway
- 20 qualities
- incorporation
Open & close
Pre-natal breathing
Reeling silk
Small circle
Tortoise breathing
Unite upper & lower
Yin body

6. Master

2-person cane drill dismantled
Adapt, change & improvise
Dim-mak (dim-su/incapacitation)
Eastern philosophy
Jian form dismantled
Kinaesthetic awareness
Knife drills dismantled
Large san sau dismantled
Long Yang form dismantled
Martial theory & practice
Neigong dismantled
Pao chui form dismantled
Partner work dismantled
Penetrating defences dismantled
Power generation
Pushing hands (all variations) dismantled
Qigong dismantled
Sabre form dismantled

Silk arms dismantled
Small san sau dismantled
Small stick drills dismantled
Spiritual inquiry
Stick drills dismantled
Striking methods
Sword drills dismantled
Syllabus design
Taijiquan principles
Teaching methods
Walking stick form
Whole-body movement

taijiquan grades     taijiquan syllabus (summary)

Page created 8 June 1995
Last updated 29 August 2018