Tai Chi Chuan CurriculumOur Tai Chi Chuan Curriculum was formulated in accordance with the Traditional Family Teaching Approach. Although one person may move through the stages of learning differently from another, the logical progression of this teaching will hold true and develop greater skills in all who continue to train in this regime.
Once the practitioner has been tested on their memorization of the Tai Chi form to the mid way point, they are awarded the Dedicated Level badge. They will continue to refine the form and in addition they will start:
- developing self awareness – learning about the sensations of your own body and using your self awareness to improve you Tai Chi skills,
- refining the Tai Chi stances (70/30 stance, cat stance, breaking step, posting, san ti stance, chicken step, etc.),
- developing perseverance – consistency of practice and dedication to learning,
- standing and moving with the correct posture; alignment of feet, knees, pelvis, shoulders and the head,
- refining the timing in the Tai Chi form,
- standing on the ‘Three Pillars’,
- learning to breath naturally,
- basic push hands fixed step one handed and two handed.
Suggested reading: The Tai Chi Book by Robert Chuckrow P.H.D.
After testing and showing the appropriate improvement of the form, posture, correct bio dynamics and timing the student reaches the 5 Elements Level and will start:
- practicing silk reeling exercises – Tea Cups, Flying Roc, etc.,
- learning the basic circle of push hands moving step,
- eliminating the 12 defects,
- building the bows of the body,
- learning the eight gates and five steps,
- basic push hands moving step,
- qigong massage,
- three stars above,
- sharpening the eagle’s claws,
- rubbing the three Phoenixes,
- replacing heaven,
- tracing the Phoenix tail,
- tracing cheeks,
- pressing the earthly store,
- sticking out the tongue,
- sucking the jade liquid,
- striking the dragon’s face,
- good hearing ears,
- rubbing the dragon’s head,
- cultivating the heavenly pool.
Required reading: The Tai Chi Classics (any translation), T’ai Chi as a Path of Wisdom by Linda Myoki Lehrhaupt.
When the student can perform the Tai Chi form with an unimpeded flow of energy from start to finish, they then move to the Yin Yang Level and begin:
- Sung training,
- rooting development,
- standing and moving meditation,
- developing listening jin,
- uniting the body,
- uniting inside and outside,
- enhancing intent,
- advanced stretching,
- advanced push hands using the postures from the form,
- Fajing exercises,
- five element Hsing-I.
Required reading: Taoist Meditation by Thomas Cleary, The T’ai Chi Boxing Chronicle by Guttmann, The Tao deh Ching (any translation), Molecules of Emotion by Candice Pert.
Once the student can perform the form being sung, with appropriate rooting, intent, and expression of the eight gates they are awarded the Tai Chi Level badge and start training:
- celestial stems Ba Gua exercises,
- freestyle push hands,
- learn to adhere, stick and follow,
- developing draining, blocking, breaking, and weakening energies,
- learn Tai Chi timing,
- advanced Fajing training,
- five elements controlling cycle.
Required reading: The Art of Strategy by Sun Tzu Translated by R.L. Wing, The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi published by Bantam and Tibetan Yoga’s of Dream and Sleep.
Once the student has refined all the acquired skills to an acceptable level and they wish to advance to the level of teacher they must:
- start seated meditation,
- teach one year of each level with minimal supervision,
- learn and demonstrate the proper understanding of Tai Chi’s anatomy,
- demonstrate the ability to impart the knowledge in a multitude of styles.
Required reading: The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine, The Inner Teachings of Taoism and The Muscle/Tendon Changing and Marrow/Brainwashing Chi Kung, Rolfing by Ida Rolf P.H.D.