Taijiquan syllabus
For covid-19 social distancing measures

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Social distancing measures?

In the event that covid-19 social distancing measures are in place when classes resume, we will follow a
more traditional syllabus that will focus on non-contact training.
This syllabus will be provisional. Once social distancing restrictions are withdrawn taijiquan students will follow our normal syllabus once more.

Covid-19 social distancing measures taijiquan syllabus

Detailed below is a modified version of the traditional syllabus. There are 13 subject areas.
The traditional syllabus is suitable for the exponent who is seeking to gain a stronger foundation before acquiring martial skills.

Those subjects that do not adhere to social distancing have been marked 'not applicable':

Part 1 - Qigong

Plate exercise
Standing post
4 directions - forwards & backwards
4 directions - to the side
Opening & closing - to the side
Cloud hands
Pushing peng
Standing qigong/3 circle qigong
Ba duan jin
Moving qigong
Full circle qigong
Form posture qigong
Horse stance qigong
Standing post with arms
Qigong development
Stretches & joint work
High circle qigong
Moving qigong (complete set)
Qigong on one leg
Qigong revision
5 bows exercise
Biomechanics (qigong)
Bone marrow washing
Qigong dismantled

Part 2 - Fitness

Psoas exercises
Constructive rest
Leg stretches (2 sets)
Horse stance
Cardio work (2 sets)
Tao yin/Taoist Yoga (3 sets)
Core strength (3 sets)
Slam ball challenge

Part 3 - Form

Long Yang form (section 1) (regular)
Long Yang form (section 2) (regular)

Long Yang form (section 3) (regular)
70/30 stance
Long Yang form (revision & corrections)
Square on the inside, round on the outside
Long Yang form (mirrored)
Crescent moon
Sabre form (regular & mirrored)
Pushing peng exercise
Long Yang form (lines of force version)
6 balanced pairs
60/40 stance

Walking stick form (regular & mirrored)
Moving with kwa
Reverse breathing
Spiral body
Jian form (regular & mirrored)
Biomechanics (form)
Long Yang form (round version)
Being in the back
First hand/second hand
Large rhythm, small rhythm
Latent movements
Cultivating sung
Open & close
Pre-natal breathing
Reeling silk
Small circle
Tortoise breathing
Unite upper & lower
Yin body
Power generation
Whole-body movement

Form (overview)
Long Yang form dismantled
Sabre form dismantled
Walking stick form dismantled
Jian form dismantled

Part 4 - Pushing hands - N/A due to covid-19 restrictions

Single pushing hands
Monkey paws
Monkey paws (5 hands)
Monkey paws (stepping)
Da lu
Double pushing hands
Pushing hands development
Pushing hands (all variations) dismantled

Part 5 - Principles - N/A due to covid-19 restrictions

4 directions with a partner
Central equilibrium – maintain the centre
Eyes-closed walking
Palm at 3 distances
Peripheral vision - mugger scenario
Posture testing
Yielding exercise
- 90°
- diamond stepping
- leading & following (eyes-closed)
- relative distance (tig)
- avoiding line of force (solo & melee)
- riding the attack
Pushing legs
Partner work mistakes
Yielding basic skills

4 directions with a partner (no contact)
4 ounces exercise
Partner work dismantled
Biomechanical advantage
Martial principles & practice (overview)
Taijiquan principles (overview)

Part 6 - Brain work (meditation, awareness, metacognition)

Breath meditation
Meditation on body sensations
Meditation on emotions
Meditation on hindrances
Kinaesthetic awareness
Eastern philosophy
Spiritual inquiry

Assignment #1 - Q & A
Assignment #2 - Attitude & etiquette
Assignment #3 - Q & A
Assignment #4 - Attitude & etiquette
Assignment #5 - Q & A
Assignment #6 - Attitude & etiquette
Assignment #7 - Q & A
Assignment #8 - A & E
Assignment #9 - The Sword Polisher's Record
Assignment #10 - Cat stepping
Assignment #11 - There Are No Secrets
Assignment #12 - Martial concepts theory
Assignment #13 - The Essence of Tai Chi Chuan - The Literary Tradition
Assignment #14- The Art of War
Assignment #15 - The Book of Five Rings
Assignment #16 - The Way of Chuang Tzu   
Assignment #17 - Moving Zen
Assignment #18 - The New Lao Tzu
Assignment #19 - Zen in the Art of Archery
Assignment #20 - 5 Elements of Effective Thinking
Assignment #21 - 36 Strategies
Assignment #22 - Commentaries on Living volume 2
Assignment #23 - Peak
Assignment #24 - Tao of Being
Assignment #25 - The Little Zen Companion
Assignment #26 - Tai Chi Theory & Martial Power
#27 - Back to Beginnings
Assignment #28 - Chuang Tzu in a Nutshell
Assignment #29 - The Art of War (Cleary/Shambhala)
Assignment #30 - Tao Te Ching (various translations)
Assignment #31 - The Power of Habit
Assignment #32 - The Okinawa Program
Assignment #33 - How to Win Friends and Influence People
Assignment #34 - Smarter, Faster, Better
Assignment #35 - interpret a koan
Assignment #36 - write a poem

Recommended reading:

The Book of Life
The Book of Tea
Deep work

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain: The Essence of Tai Ji
Free Yourself From Back Pain
In the Dojo
The Inner Way
Keep it Simple
The Pavement Arena
The Power of Internal Martial Arts
The Road Less Travelled
Steal My Art
Sword & Brush
The Tai Chi Journey
Tai Chi Secrets of the Ancient Masters
The Way To Love
The Willpower Instinct
Who Moved My Cheese?
Your Erroneous Zones

Part 7 - Neigong - N/A due to covid-19 restrictions

Neigong (1-10)
Neigong (extras)

Neigong (11-20)
Neigong (21-30)
Neigong (31-40)
Neigong (41-50)
Neigong incorporation
Neigong dismantled

Part 8 - Jing - N/A due to covid-19 restrictions

13 postures
Crude fa jing
Offensive (10)
Offensive/defensive (9)
Defensive (12)
Defensive/offensive (10)
Neutral (4)
Long & short jing
Obvious power (ming jing)
Cold jing
Combining chin na, shuai jiao & jing
Fa jing
Hidden power (an jing)
Jing/leverage principles (misplacing the bones)
Projections (sections 1, 2 & 3)
Fa jing (variations)
Kinetic pathway
Refined power (hua jing)

Part 9 - Self defence - N/A due to covid-19 restrictions

The ball game
How to escape from a hold
How to slip a hold
Chair game

Dying ground
Countering a knife
Form in self defence

Part 10 - Martial skill - N/A due to covid-19 restrictions

How to punch
Fear of falling

Playing the attacker
- commitment
- range & reach

Punching rehab

Hitting a focus mitt
Loose striking
Penetrating defences (intro)
- 3 B's: blocking, blending & balance
- 4 stages
- fence
- X-shape
Silk arms
Martial concepts & qigong
Penetrating defences
Silk arms #1
Central equilibrium
- fixed feet
Immovable elbow
Kicking game
- evasive body focus
- sustained & varied kicking
Martial sets: a precursor to form application
San sau
Strategic stepping
Striking pads
- focus mitt, squashy pad, round pad
3-tier wallbag
5 bows
5 elements
Being hit
Combat stance
Countering punches, kicks & grapples
Countering/pushing peng
Cultivating peng
Everybody falls
Fa li
Form applications (section 1)
Gravity striking
Keeping the pressure on when attacking
Loose striking
The power/function of 'li'
Pushing peng (partnered)
Pushing peng (striking)
Silk arms (peng)
San sau (peng)
Speed striking
Sustaining peng throughout your counter
Tactics used by other arts
Using 3-D to gain optimal power
5 animals
5 centres
5 elements stepping
8 powers striking
Form applications (section 2)
Freeform triangle
Holding down the pillow
Newton’s Laws of Motion
Punching from the centre
San sau (variations)
Silk arms (
Biomechanics (drills)
Form applications (section 3)
– yielding/countering
San da stage 1: freeform application
San sau (jing)
Silk arms (jing)
5 challenges
5 elements striking (part 1)
5 elements striking (part 2)
5 pre-emptive methods
Balance, rhythm, timing
Becoming the centre
Biomechanics (combat)
Entry methods
Heavy bag
Penetrating defences against a knife
San da stage 2: freeform combat
San sau against a knife
San sau (combat)
Shih (martial advantage)
Silk arms against a knife
Silk arms (combat)
Sparing yourself
The way of the bear
The way of the bird
The way of the monkey
The way of the snake
The way of the tiger
Wu nien
5 elements striking (part 3)
Dying ground (expert)
Energy drainage
Form application (cane)
Form application (jian)
Form application (power)
Form application (sabre)
Form application (walking stick)

Overwhelming attacks
Adapt, change & improvise
Biomechanics (overview)
Dim-mak (dim-su/incapacitation)
Neigong dismantled
Penetrating defences dismantled
San sau dismantled
Silk arms dismantled

Striking methods (overview)

Part 11 - Chin na - N/A due to covid-19 restrictions

Chin na applications (set 1)
Chin na applications (set 2)
Chin na applications (set 3)
ielding/chin na
– yielding/chin na
Dividing the muscle
Flowing chin na applications (misplacing the bones)
Leverage principles (misplacing the bones)
Yielding/chin na against a knife
Cavity press
Sealing the breath
Biomechanics (chin na)

Part 12 - Shuai jiao - N/A due to covid-19 restrictions

Shuai jiao applications (set 1)
Floor work
- basics
- back-to-back

Shuai jiao applications (set 2)
Floor work
- kicks
- tackling

Yielding exercise - finishing off
Yielding exercise
- take to the ground
Floor work
- control
- expedience
Floor work
- chin na
- dying ground
Floor work
- multiple opponents
- tactics

ielding/shuai jiao
– yielding/shuai jiao
Flowing shuai jiao applications
Freeform grappling
Shuai jiao: footwork
Shuai jiao: elbow & bump
Shuai jiao: mutual arising
Shuai jiao: use of legs
Shuai jiao: throws
Shuai jiao against a knife
Biomechanics (shuai jiao)

Part 13 - Weapons

Knife drills
Stick drills (3 sets)
Sword drills

2-person cane drill (regular & mirrored)

Small stick drills
Small stick flexibility drills
Improvised weaponry/knife
Biomechanics (weapons)
2-person cane drill dismantled
Knife drills dismantled
Small stick drills dismantled

Stick drills dismantled
Sword drills dismantled

moderN syllabus

Page created 18 April 1995
Last updated 22 June 2020