Blue - Brown
Taijiquan syllabus

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Students have passed the first 4 belts. They must attend 16 workshops/boot camps/private lessons per calendar year in addition to weekly tuition in class.


Teachers can only teach you to the level that the strength of your basics will allow them to. They can't do anything more, it's impossible.

(Bruce Frantzis)


Students who have passed the green belt syllabus wear

• Black changshan or wrap-over
• School badge sewn onto the left upper chest and the neijiaquan patch on the right sleeve
• Black cotton martial arts/karate trousers
• Flat footwear; preferably not training/sports shoes
Green belt

Physical fitness

This part of the syllabus is mainly about physical fitness, learning the Long Yang form pattern and commencing martial training.

You must get fit

All martial arts require the student to be fit for combat and taijiquan is no exception. There are many lazy taijiquan classes in the world. This is naive in the extreme.

Cross-training taijiquan
Our taijiquan students train: core strength, massage, leg stretches, yoga, qigong, neigong, form, partnered work, martial concepts and weapons.
The training is done carefully, gently - in a controlled manner - without exertion or strain.


If you don't meet these criteria, you are encouraged to set the time aside and work hard. There's no hurry. Home practice is the key. You just need to develop your organisational skills.

Level of difficulty

These grades are about getting fitter. Not fighting. It is the beginning of the martial training. Expect a challenging learning curve
Students who do not like the prospect of getting roughed up should consider doing tai chi for fitness instead.


A yoga mat is necessary for the warm-up routine at 6:30 PM. A rubber-coated 1" stick and a rubber knife are required if you are interested in weapons night.

Ba duan jin #2

Students learn the second version of this exercise and replace the beginner's/introductory version.
Remember not to pull the shoulder joint back too far when extending the palm. 30°forward is advisable.

Posterior pelvic tilt

A student will not be allowed to pass their grade if they perform yoga with a posterior pelvic tilt.
Performing combat with a back problem is dangerous; so students are required to fix this problem themselves.
Many of the recommended exercises for fixing posterior pelvic tilt look similar to the ones in the syllabus. In fact, we work significantly more muscles than the recommended 'fix'.
We're already teaching exercises that could potentially fix up many conditions but we cannot make a student do the work at home.

Weapons drills

The knife, stick and sword drills are practiced every month on weapons night. If you can't remember the movements, buy the Weapons Drills DVD.


Taoist Yoga
DVD, Fitness DVD, Weapons Drills DVD and Exercises DVD are the ideal titles to watch for supplementary guidance and revision.

Darker belts

Blue, purple and brown are for students willing to make the level of commitment associated with martial arts training.


Long Yang form (section 3) (regular)
4 directions with a partner (no contact)
70/30 stance
- 3 B's: blocking, blending & balance
- 4 stages
- fence
- X-shape
Monkey paws (5 hands)
Shuai jiao applications (set 2)
Silk arms

Qigong development
Tao yin/Taoist Yoga (3 sets)

Challenge - form challenge (section 3) (60 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - qigong development (40 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - shuai jiao applications (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge – silk arms (30 mins x 6 weeks)

Assignment #1 - Martial concepts theory

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


Long Yang form (mirrored)
Chin na applications (set 2)
Floor work
- kicks
- tackling

Martial concepts & qigong
Penetrating defences
Silk arms #1
Square on the inside, round on the outside
Stick drills (3 sets)

Stretches & joint work
Yielding exercise - finishing off

Challenge - chin na applications (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - form challenge (mirrored) (60 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - penetrating defences (30 mins x 6 weeks)
Challenge - stick drills (30 mins x 6 weeks)
Challenge - yielding exercise - finishing off (30 mins x 6 weeks)

Recommended reading - The Art of War



Long Yang form (lines of force version)
Central equilibrium
- fixed feet
Chair game
Chin na applications (set 3)
Core strength (3 sets)
Crescent moon
High circle qigong

Kicking game
- evasive body focus
- sustained & varied kicking
Moving qigong (complete set)
San sau

Challenge - chin na applications (30 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge - lines of force form (regular & mirrored) (60 mins x 4 weeks)
Challenge – san sau (30 mins x 6 weeks)

Recommended reading -
The Book of Five Rings & The Way of Chuang Tzu       


Reading is optional

Reading is optional, but failure to read the books will impede progress and hinder understanding.

Further reading

• Kung fu suit
• Fight for your belt
• Darker belts


school database

Page created 2 March 1995
Last updated
21 May 2015