|Written by Rachel|
classes taijiquan baguazhang self defence qigong tai chi for health about us reviews a-z
Taijiquan fighting method
Learning the taijiquan syllabus is not easy. We are not going to mislead you here. It takes a lot of time and a lot of work. However, you are welcome to work through the material at your own pace...
How long will it take to become skilled?
entirely depends upon you. Everyone is different. There
are so many variables.
Concentrated practice in
the early stages of an endeavour dramatically improves the value of future
People who are new to martial arts training begin with an enthusiastic attitude. They dream of attaining a high-level skill. Then the reality sets in.
Hard work, their own level of commitment, patience, the volume of material to learn, the time it takes to become skilled... these are all key factors.
Only the keenest student gets through even 1% of the overall syllabus.
A sense of perspective
Novices read the syllabus and think that it sounds like a lot to learn. The lower grades introduce:
Form (section 1)
Theory & principles
Note the word 'introduces'.
The student does not have an in-depth grasp of
Their understanding is superficial, cursory, a crude outline in need of
All in all, about 1% of the entire curriculum. If that...
How can it be 1%?
Oh, that's easy to answer. Consider Rachel...
By 2012 Rachel had learned the following skills:
Qigong - to Sifu Waller & TCUGB teaching standards
Tai chi for health - to Sifu Waller & TCUGB teaching standards
Tai chi for fitness - to Sifu Waller & TCUGB teaching standards
Long Yang form (regular & mirrored) - stage 3/shen standard
Theory & principles (studying recommended reading daily)
Sabre form (regular & mirrored) - stage 2/biomechanics standard
Walking stick form (regular & mirrored) - stage 2/biomechanics standard
Jian form (regular & mirrored) - stage 2/biomechanics standard
Stick drills (20)
Small san sau (regular & mirrored)
Silk arms (regular & mirrored)
Penetrating defences (regular & mirrored)
2-person cane drill (regular & mirrored)
Small stick drills (3 out of 5)
5 pre-emptive methods (regular & mirrored)
Self-massage routine (100+ exercises)
Leg stretches (sets 1 & 2)
Cardio work (2 sets)
Floor work (intro)
Pushing peng exercise
Double pushing hands (regular & mirrored)
Da lu (regular & mirrored)
Wallbag drills (4 sets)
Taoist Yoga (3 sets of postures)
Neigong (studying The Book of Neigong daily)
Breath meditation, meditation on emotions, meditation on body sensations
How much does Rachel's training add up to?
Less than 10% of the overall syllabus offered by our school. Maybe only 5%...
Compare it to the beginner & intermediate grades and it is quite easy to see why students are only studying 1% of what is on offer.
What is missing from Rachel's taijiquan?
Mainly the martial skill component:
Chin na (misplacing the bones, dividing the muscles, sealing the breath, cavity press, applications, flowing, freeform), shuai jiao (applications & skills), form application (every movement of every form), san da (freeform combat), striking skills, projections, jing (whole-body power), evading a knife, freeform grappling, kicking, shen, conviction, composure, neigong (whole-body strength), reeling silk, fa jing, throws, how to deal with multiple opponents/gangs, mutual arising, yin/yang, te, 6 balanced pairs, folding, mushin (surrender/immersion), opening & closing, wu nien (not preparing), wu wei (not forcing), zanshin (continuing mind), conservation of energy, minimal movement, accuracy, balance, rhythm and timing, 5 animals, 8 powers, 5 centres, blending, central equilibrium, close-range combat, freeform triangle, groundpath, moving from the centre, practical applications of yielding, small circle movement, strategy & tactics, uniting upper & lower, using the mind instead of force, whole-body movement, breathing methods... and so on.
Rachel lacks a deeper understanding of how Taoism, Zen, martial theory, martial skill, meditation and The Tai Chi Classics all fit together in practice and in everyday life.
What your body remembers is what is important for you at this particular stage
What your mind forgets, your body is telling you it couldn't use anyhow at this time.
7 November 2012
Last updated 09 June 2019