Taijiquan syllabus
 
     

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Kung fu

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)

Health comes first

The first grade is tai chi for fitness, not taijiquan.


1. Beginner (tai chi for fitness)

Long Yang form (section 1)
Long Yang form (section 1) (mirrored)
Cat-stepping
Full syllabus revision
Knife drills (intro)
Leg stretches (set 1)
Leg stretches (set 2)
Monkey paws
Partner work
Psoas exercises
Pushing legs
Qigong
Single pushing hands
Stick drills (intro)
Yielding basic skills

Challenge - form challenge (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge – full circle qigong (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - knife drilling (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - mirrored form (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge – standing qigong (4 postures) (20 minutes x 4 weeks)

Assignment #1 - Q & A
Assignment #2 - Attitude & etiquette
Assignment #3 - Q & A
Assignment #4 - Attitude & etiquette
Assignment #5 - Q & A
Assignment #6 - Attitude & etiquette


2. Intermediate

Long Yang form (section 2)
Long Yang form (section 3)

Long Yang form (mirrored)
3-D
4 directions with a partner (no contact)
70/30 stance
Broadsword drills
Cardio work (3 sets)
Chin na applications
Core strength (2 sets)
Countering punches, kicks & grapples
Countering/pushing peng
Double pushing hands
Form applications
Form posture qigong (70/30)
Full syllabus revision
High circle qigong
Horse stance
Martial concepts (intro)
Massage
Monkey paws (stepping)
Penetrating defences
Pushing peng exercise

Pushing peng (partnered)
Pushing peng (striking)
Qigong development
Qigong on one leg
Qigong revision
Silk arms
Single pushing hands (stepping) 
Small san sau
Standing post with arms
Stick drills (3 sets)
Stretches & joint work
Tao yin/Taoist Yoga
Yielding/chin na
Yielding/countering

Challenge - broadsword drills (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - chin na applications (30 mins x 12 weeks)
Challenge - double pushing hands (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - form applications (30 mins x 12 weeks)
Challenge - form challenge (section 2) (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - form challenge (section 3) (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - horse stance qigong (5 mins x 12 weeks)
Challenge - mirrored form (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - penetrating defences (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - silk arms (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge – small san sau (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - stick drills (30 mins x 4 weeks)

Assignment #1 - Q & A
Assignment #2 - The Sword Polisher's Record: The Way of Kung Fu
Assignment #3 - Q & A
Assignment #4 - There Are No Secrets
Assignment #5 - Q & A
Assignment #6 - The Essence of Tai Chi Chuan - The Literary Tradition


3. Experienced

Sabre form (regular & mirrored)
Staff form (regular & mirrored)
3-tier wallbag
4 ounces exercise
5 bows
5 centres
5 elements stepping
8 powers striking
13 postures
Being hit
Breath meditation
Countering a knife
Crude fa jing
Da lu
Elbow
Escapes/knife
Folding
Form applications (section 1)
Form applications (section 2)
Form applications (section 3)
Full syllabus revision
Gravity striking
Groundpath
Holding down the pillow
Improvised weaponry/knife
Jing
Kicking
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
Reverse breathing
Silk arms (jing)
Silk arms (peng)
Small san sau (jing)
Small san sau (peng)
Speed striking
Spiral body
Yielding/knife
Yin

Challenge - 13 postures (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - da lu (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - sabre form (regular & mirrored) (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - section 1 form applications (30 mins x 24 weeks)
Challenge - section 2 form applications (30 mins x 24 weeks)
Challenge - sections 1, 2 & 3 form applications (30 mins x 48 weeks)
Challenge - silk arms (jing) (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - silk arms (peng) (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - small san sau (jing) (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - small san sau (peng) (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - staff form (regular & mirrored) (30 mins x 4 weeks)

Assignment #1 - 5 Elements of Effective Thinking
Assignment #2 - The Book of Life
Assignment #3 - The Inner Way
Assignment #4 - Sword & Brush
Assignment #5 - The Book of Five Rings
Assignment #6 - The Little Zen Companion
Assignment #7 - Moving Zen
Assignment #8 - Tai Chi Secrets of the Ancient Masters
Assignment #9 - The Way of Chuang Tzu
Assignment #10 -
36 Strategies
Assignment #11 - Steal My Art
Assignment #12 - Zen in the Art of Archery


4. Advanced

Walking stick form (regular & mirrored)
Straight sword form (regular & mirrored)
5 elements striking
5 pre-emptive methods
6 balanced pairs
60/40 stance
Balance, rhythm, timing
Becoming the centre
Being in the back
Cold jing
Fa jing
First hand/second hand
Full syllabus revision
Heavy bag
Hidden power (an jing)
Large rhythm, small rhythm
Latent movements
Leverage principles (misplacing the bones)
Neigong (21-30)
Reflex drills
Rolling
Shen
Shih (martial advantage)
Silk arms (combat)
Small san sau (combat)
Tools
Travelling
Wu nien

Challenge - reflex drills (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - silk arms (combat) (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - small san sau (combat) (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - straight sword form (regular & mirrored) (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - walking stick form (regular & mirrored) (30 mins x 4 weeks)

Assignment #1 - The Art of War
Assignment #2 - The Art of War (Cleary/Shambhala)
Assignment #3 - The Complete Taiji Dao
Assignment #4 - The Tai Chi Journey
Assignment #5 - Blink
Assignment #6 - Commentaries on Living volume 2
Assignment #7 - Curious
Assignment #8 - The New Lao Tzu
Assignment #9 - Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
Assignment #10 - Free Yourself From Back Pain
Assignment #11 - How to Win Friends and Influence People
Assignment #12 - Tao Te Ching (various translations)
Assignment #13 - The Way To Love
Assignment #14 - The Willpower Instinct
Assignment #15 - Tao of Being
Assignment #16 - Who Moved My Cheese?
Assignment #17 - The Pavement Arena
Assignment #18 - In the Dojo
Assignment #19 - Mindwise
Assignment #20 - Outliers
Assignment #21 - The Road Less Travelled
Assignment #22 - Your Erroneous Zones


5. Expert

Bone marrow washing
Cultivating sung
Disarming
Fa jing (variations)
Form application (power)
Form in self defence
Full syllabus revision

Internalising
Kinetic pathway
Neigong
- 20 qualities
- incorporation
Open & close
Pre-natal breathing
Reeling silk
Rhythm
Small circle
Sung
Tortoise breathing
Unite upper & lower
Waving
Yin body
Yin/yang

Assignment #1 - interpret a koan
Assignment #2 - write a poem
Assignment #3 -
The Art of Chinese Swordsmanship: Manual of Taiji Jian
Assignment #4 -
The Book of Tea
Assignment #5 - Keep it Simple
Assignment #6 - The Power of Internal Martial Arts
Assignment #7 -
Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain: The Essence of Tai Ji
Assignment #8 -
Back to Beginnings
Assignment #9 - Chuang Tzu in a Nutshell
Assignment #10 -
Tai Chi Theory & Martial Power


taijiquan syllabus by grade


Page created 8 June 1995
Last updated 13 June 2017