Orange & green belts
Tai chi chuan syllabus - beginner's level

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Students have passed the first 4 belts:

  1. White 1

  2. White 2

  3. Yellow 1

  4. Yellow 2

Attendance requirement

To train the tai chi chuan syllabus, students must attend:

Weekly tuition
A minimum of 15 workshops per calendar year

Failure to do so will mean no grading and no progress. The worst case scenario for very poor commitment will be transfer to qigong & tai chi.
If you haven't signed-up for workshops, don't ask to be assessed/graded in class.

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) 


Black T-shirt
Black cotton martial arts/karate trousers
Flat footwear; preferably not training/sports shoes

Please note that you cannot wear a sash and a sweatshirt. If you have passed white belt and still want to wear a sweatshirt, please transfer to the health group.


A good warm-up in terms of moving qigong exercises is to do 3 x sets in a 30 minute window. Ba duan jin, moving qigong and stretches & joint work. If you can't fit all 3 sets at first - without rushing - just do 5 repetitions per arm to start with. Build up to 10 repetitions per arm. Follow this with leg stretches and reeling silk exercises for a great warm-up.


Tai chi students are encouraged to start learning leg stretches, psoas exercises and massage at their earliest opportunity.
The training is done carefully, gently - in a controlled manner - without exertion or strain. Aim to perform all of these stretching and conditioning exercises to an adequate degree.
Prioritise suppleness. Students are encouraged to purchase the Exercise DVD to assist with home study.


Cat stepping involves learning the principles behind the main stances and then undertaking a simple assignment designed to test your understanding.


Form DVD, Weapons DVD footage
 and Partner Work DVD are essential viewing for supplementary guidance and revision.


Long Yang form (section 2) (regular)
High circle qigong
How to slip a hold
Knife drills
Loose striking
Yang style bow stance (intro)
Yielding basic skills

Challenge - form challenge (section 2) (60 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - knife drilling (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - yielding basic skills challenge (30 mins x 6 weeks)

Assignment #1 - Q & A
Assignment #2 - A
 & E

Recommended reading - The Essence of Tai Chi Chuan - The Literary Tradition



4 directions with a partner (no contact)
70/30 stance

- 3 B's: blocking, blending & balance
- 4 stages
- fence
- X-shape
Leg stretches (2 sets)
Monkey paws (5 hands)
Qigong development

Challenge - qigong development (40 mins x 4 weeks)

Assignment #1 - Cat stepping

Recommended reading - Peak


Further reading

Coloured belts
Kung fu suit
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Page created 2 March 1995
Last updated 05 December 2023