Tai Chi Rank Testing Requirements

Here is a list of the skills studied at each level.

Block A Beginner: 0 months and up

  • Daily warm-ups
  • Universal Post
  • Seven fundamental stances
  1. Horse
  2. Bow
  3. Back
  4. Cat
  5. Crane
  6. Box
  7. Dragon
  • Dan Tian (belly) breathing
  • “Push the Mountain & Move the Sea” qigong form
  • Basic Tai Chi definitions

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Block B Novice and  Low Intermediate: 3 months and up

  • Tai Chi qigong exercises:
  1. Beat the Heavenly Drum
  2. Pick the Fruit
  3. Polish the Mirror
  4. Shoot the Bow
  5. Pick up the Suitcases
  6. Step Over the Fence
  7. Crane Kicks up Legs
  8. Monkey Hears a Noise
  9. Lean Forward and Search for the Sea
  10. Catch the Insect and Eat the Grain
  11. The Leaning Drunkard
  • Defining three categories of breathing
  • Cleansing breath techniques
  • Bar & partner leg stretches
  • Yin/Yang pushing & yielding drill
  • Seven fundamental stances with stepping
  • Stance training:
  1. Three planes
  2. Lean Forward and Search for the Sea
  3. Rhino Looks Up at the Moon
  4. Angel Looks in the Mirror
  5. Li Kwai Pointing to the Winner
  6. Swallow Skims the Water
  7. Lying Leg
  • Solo Form – Parts I and II (begin)
  • Single-hand Tuishou (push hands) basic patterns, fixed and active stepping.
  1. Grasping the Sparrow’s Tail
  2. Vertical circle
  3. Polish the Vase

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Block C Mid Intermediate, High Intermediate, Low Advanced, and High Advanced: 15 months and up

  • Tai Chi rooting exercises w/ partner:
  1. Horse-stance palm pressing (high & low)
  2. Elbow pulling drill
  3. Grasping Sparrow’s Tail drill
  4. Clasped-hands push and pull drill
  • Diagonal stepping drills:
  1. Double pulling
  2. Grasping Sparrow’s Tail
  3. Two-hand press
  • Advanced stepping: Bamboo, Santi, Ting zi bu
  • Self-defense basics:
  1. Chin na (joint locks) – finger(s), wrist, elbow, shoulder
  2. Strikes to vulnerable targets – eyes, throat, groin, knee
  • Cyclic breathing: 5,7,9 seconds
  • Power breathing technique
  • Reverse breathing
  • Solo Form Part II and III – Corrections and clarifications on full form
  • Tai Chi weapons form: Three-quarter staff
  • Two-hand tuishou basic patterns, fixed and active steps:
  1. Grasping the Sparrow’s Tail
  2. Four corners
  3. Lu-an
  4. Brush knee
  5. White Snake
  • Linear free tuishou

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Block D Advanced: 60 months and up

  • Da Lu forms I and II
  • Sanshou two-person form (solo and with partner)
  • Eight neutralizing and releasing energies
  • Tai Chi advanced weapons forms: Broad sword, straight sword, fan
  • Wall qigong
  • Medical qigong fundamentals: Five viscera qigong in accord with five element theory
  • Basic Taoist meditation methods
  • Basics of Feng Shui
  • Combat applications: throws, strikes, locks
  • Free sanshou/sparring

Block D Lao Shr (Instructor): 120 months and up

Ongoing assistance instructing Peaceful Dragon classes, or forming and instructing new classes or schools.

The above are mandatory for those who want to be proficient in combat and self-defense, particularly those who want to teach tai chi as a combat art form. They are not required for those who want to be certified to teach tai chi as a health art.

Note: To be promoted to Lao Shr (instructor) level, the student must have competed in a minimum of five CACMA or Kuoshu sanctioned tournaments at the Advanced Level, in the following three divisions: Empty-hand forms, weapons forms, push hands.

Training in Pakua Chang or Hsing-I is an optional adjunct to you Tai Chi training.  It is recommended but not required to be certified to teach Tai Chi.  It is required to be certified by The Peaceful Dragon to teach Pakua or Hsing-I.

Optional Training for Pakua Chang and Hsing-I

  • Pakua Chang essentials:
  1. Circle walking
  2. 8 animal chi kung – fixed and on circle with three versions
  3. 8 kua “mother” form, slow and fast
  • Hsing-I Chuan essentials:
  1. San Ti standing
  2. Five-element drills
  3. Five-element form
  4. 12 animal forms
  5. Animal-element linking form
  6. Ker Fu two-person set

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