This is a personal layout after 20 years of exploration into Traditional Yang Taijiquan , and personalized system and collection of knowledge from my Taijiquan journey. We know that there are public, private, traveling masters, regional, local, and so far away masters, and just as many experts of taijiquan. It is most important to find a generation teacher with the "Essence" of the Martial Art, close to the source of the Yang Taijiquan Grandmasters. It is not interested to include any Modern forms such as 24 form, 48 form, 32 sword, 42 sword, 40 yang, 18 Taiji-qigong or 36 Liang Gong Shir Ba Fa, or any other P.R.C China government standardized forms of taiji exercise.
Level 1 Beginner
The Beginner is not first introduced to the higher levels of kung fu. The purpose is to be sure they are at the full mental and physical health. This is understood as the current health of the 12 organs and meridian system used in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). These exercises restore and rejuvenate the bodies healing properties and dispel unhealthy pathogens. Those that are prone to illness and aches will take slower to the training and will need time to build athletic stamina and endurance. After building a healthy and athletic practice as resulted by this instruction and passing the 3 beginner level tests will the Intermediate level be achieved.
All classes would being with salute and Wu De (martial virtue) motto: Diligence, Perseverance, Respect, and Sincerity. Begin into Yang Chen Fu's joint opening exercises, relaxation drill, Wuji Standing (centering and grounding), and 8 special yang style flexibility exercises. 80% of class time is spent on basics of Solo Form , Short weapon, Long Weapon and Two person application training. An integral parts of the system is also
Taiji Walking- front, sideways, and backward without hand movement, with hand movement, and later combinations. Class ends with special warm down drills- self massage or 'Qi Packing' with gliding and percussion techniques. Yang Qigong is slowly introduced as well.
White Level: student will learn the 13 Wudang-Yang Taijiquan form (attributed to Yang Lu Chan) which comprises of the 13 powers or energies inherit in all taiji systems. The student will learn the taiji classics, and 10 Essential points as prescribed by the taiji masters. Pung (ward off), Lu (roll back), Ji (press), An (push) , Tsai (yank) , Lieh (split), Kou (shoulder), Tsou (elbow), Chang Jin (forward), Hou Tui (backward), Zhou Gou (Left), Yo Pan (right), and Zhong Ding (center equilibrium). The student will learn a simple single hand push hand partner routine that balances left and right side of the body, forward
and backwards stepping, a basic "fa jing" (power explosion) movement , jump-stepping, pushing and yielding concepts.
Yang Lu Chan inspired form. This is a section for a 13 movement form encompassing 13 powers- ward off, rollback, press, push, split, pull, elbow, shoulder, forward, back, left, right and center. shown are the last 6.
Yellow level: the student will learn a more complex basic form 13 Yangjia Michuan Taijiquan attributed from Yang Jian Hao lineage that incorporates a more complex arrangement of the 13 energies in the 8 directions of the bagua. This form balances both left and right side of the body equally. Further instruction on fajing explored: kick, elbow, and shoulder. The student will learn to add more single hand pushing variations, and begin incorporating simple two handed pushing drills.
Wang Yien Nian's inspired 13 form based on Yangjia Michuan 'secret yang' taijiquan from the lineage of Zhang Qilin and Yang Jianhao. shown are section 1 west, section 2 north direction, and section 3 northwest direction.
The student is suggested to get deeper understanding of this form through the Michuan Yangjia Association.
Gold level: is comprised 'middle gate' 37 Yang short form medium frame(Zhong jia). The emphasis is on relaxing (Sung). Instruction in this is on 5 basic principles- relaxing, separating weight, beautiful palm style, balance, and continuity. Posture will be held and 'molded' causing legs to become stronger through 'burning'. Posture will have a squareness to them with testing structural integrity. The form taught will be Cheng Man Ching's 37 Yang Short form which encourages middle postures, neither to compact nor long. i
I-Ching Style Key Terms to use for this form: "stillness", "relax", "squareness in the circle","emptiness","middle". The Cheng Man Ching push hands version of pung, lu, ji,and an will also be introduced. The student is encouraged to do seminars with Ben Lo and Willian C.C. Chen for deeper guidance.
Level 2 Intermediate
The next Level the student will begin to deepen knowledge of their mind and body by enduring more stretching, flexibility, wushu basics of kicks, stances, jumping , exploration of Chang Chuan (Tai Chi Longfist). The body will increase in strength by increased Qi in the 8 Extraordinary channels as described in TCM. These channels are developed more deeper by the increased training time, further qigong training, stance work, and an increased range in body motions. Other supplementary trainings for rooting, loosening, and body strength are introduced- Proper execution of the Long form and 13 taijidao will result in Advance Level training.
Green level: student will begin to understand broadsword
Saber basics and learn the 13 Yang Saber. understanding the usage and two person techniques as well. The mental attitude or spirit of the Broadsword is of a "Tiger ready to pounce." The study of the form is first introduced fast like a tiger, then the student will practice slower at Taiji speed. More push hands and applications of yang taijiquan will be introduced. The student is encouraged to seek deeper understanding of this form through such teachers as: He Weiqi, Fu Sheng Yuan, James Fu, Xu Jenghung,
Tung family,Yang Zhendou ,
or Yang Jun. 13 Taijidao is done very consistent among these Yang masters.
Blue level: the student will begin to learn the first half of the Yang Long Taiji form Large Gate (Da jia) of Yang Chen Fu from knowledge acquired by Yang Family (Yang Zhenjia, Yang Zhen Dou, and Yang Jun) and Fu Zhong Wen lineages.
1. Taiji walking exercises (Jou Lian)
2. Stance form: Ma bu, Gong bu, Shi Bu, Pu bu, etc.
3. Single movement (Tan Xing) exercises.
The style of this form will be performed more rounded, lower stance, longer postures, softer and more continual than the previous forms. It emphasis is the lotus leaf palm style. The emphasis is continue to hide jin yet retain the calm martial readiness. Yang style two hand version of 4 corners, (Pung, Lu, Ji, and An), Grasp Bird tale two man set,and Da Lu.
Purple level: the student will learn second half of Long form, more walking exercises and single movements. Freestyle Stationary Push Hands-
The student is encouraged to study deeper and more details with a competent teacher. Yang Family, He Weiqi or Xu Jenheng(USA Yongnian Association), Fu Sheng Wan (Perth Australia), Tung family (New York, Hawaii, Los Angelas), Gin Soon or son Vincent Chu in Boston Mass. This set is consistent, but the details are whats important.
Level 3 Advanced
The fruition stage ends with the student refines and embodies the kung fu body, mind, and spirit after demonstrating sword, tui shou
sets and sensing hands)
and martial knowledge of Fighting Applications and Qin-Na (Seize and grappling)
. This would include a comprehensive understanding of philosophy, principles, history, and physical education .Taijiquan Moving Step Push Hands- Freestyle- Short clips of moving step push hands free pushing.
Red level: the student will start to have a more comprehensible understanding of Yang Taiji and now have completed the Long form in which they need to practice 3 sets at 20 minutes per set. Introduction to more qigong concepts and the Yang qigong set. This would include sitting meditation, lung exercises. the student can begin to experiment with the palm striking that will be introduced, fa jing solo drills,
Brown level: the student will learn all the Taiji sword basics for taiji straight sword and begin to learn the 54 yang Taijijian (straight sword). The mental attitude or spirit of the sword is of a "Dragon Spirit" The movements of the spine are like a unwinding and coiling, twisting and twining serpent. The student will experiment with two person sword- attack and defense concepts and sword sensing exercises.time: 50 hours.
Lineage Mastery and Disciple Courses
There really are no secrets to the art, but it takes responsibility and courage for perseverance in maintaining a tradition. The complete course is layed out for those willing to preserve a physical culture.
Established on respect and trust in the relationship between instructor and student. This level is a continuation of difficult stretches, newer stances, wushu 'Chang Chuan' methods.
It is also marks the beginning of deeper methods of meditiations to open special channels like the "Chong Mei",or central channel in TCM and eastern spiritual traditions. Here we begin the true transmission and family inititation by ceremony into yang taiji kung fu.
Black Level 1: the student will begin to learn the 13 Taiji spear and Spear basic techniques,
spear sensing drills, and partner routine Sticking spears. The student can begin to freeplay in push hands and is encouraged to play with students of many styles.
Small circle two hand push hands from Yang/Wu style introduced.
Black level 2: the student will learn the Yang/Wu small circle fast frame form (Quai Jia) and a 37 Small circle high frame slow form (Gao jia) which looks like the "Wu style" of Wu Chien Chuan. The student is encouraged to compete/demo in tournaments, travel to china (Yongnian, Chenjougo, and Taiwan), continue visit teachers, masters, and seminars. Student can begin teaching intermediate levels.
Black level 3: the student will be encouraged to learn the Yang Saber Hangzhou Variation
A clip on a Yang taiji saber form that is longer than the Yang Family 13 saber form. This form is in 36 movements.
88 two person san shou form. This clip shows a demonstration of the 88 two man attack and defense taiji form, a two person straight sword form with a partner that trains various techniques. An emphasis on self defense: chi-na, boxing principles, multiple attacker, throwing, and groundwork is taught.
Push hand moving step:
Palm striking for SanShou
Two person Taiji Sword demo-
Black level 4: the student is encouraged to understand deeper taijiquan history.
Chen taijiquan was studied for many years by Yang Lu Chan. The student will explore Chen Style: 2 dan Tien, 4 Kua, and 8 circles basics.
Chan su chin (Silk reeling), Chen Lao jia Yi Lu (first routine). The emphasis is on making power more obvious than Yang style, learn jumping, stomping, jump kicks, fa jing (power emission), power kicks.
the students are encouraged to seek Grandmasters Chen Xiaowang, Chen Zhenlei, Xu Tien Cai, Ren Guangyi for details and corrections.
Black level 5: the student is encouraged to explore other aspects of Yang style: Guang Ping form, Imperial Yang Form, Fajing Yang style, Old Yang Tai chi variation, Chen Paotui (cannon fist),
Tung Family style. Begin condensing areas of your research. Teaching publicly and privately the Intermediate and Advanced levels. Continuing sparring, applications,
chi-na, tui shou, two person sets, two person weapon sets. Tai chi San Shou, Lei Tai, Full Combat fighting and MMA competitions. This includes fight conditioning, strength training circuits, San Shou and Shuai Chiao training.
Test Your skills!
You should be going to competitions, taijiquan forums, grandmaster seminars.
You should be encouraged to make commitment to Lifetime Membership and recognition into the International Yang Family Taijiquan and/or Yongnian Taijiquan Associations.
Become a disciple to a famous master you feel is your true teacher. Become a Master and maintain Gong Fu Life!