Tai Chi Curriculum
Beginning Level Tai Chi
The Beginning Level of Cheng Man-Ch’ing’s form is taught in approximately 30-36 one-hour classes, divided into three separate 10-12-hour courses called B1, B2 and B3. Each class hour provides teacher demonstrations, lots of practice repetitions, hands-on adjustments by teachers, and verbal guidance. Students are asked to practice what they know at home in the morning and the evening--and more, if they can. Practice is the heart and soul of learning the form.
B1 – The First Third
In the first 10 classes, students learn the postures and moves of the first third of the form and are introduced to the principles animating these moves. Each class begins with a complete review of the previous class before moving on to the new material. Relaxation is the key to overcoming all difficulties learning the form, and it opens the door to all the benefits of practicing tai chi. The first third is also called the Healing Third.
B2 and B3 - The Second and Third Third
The remaining 20 classes at Beginning Level follow the same pattern established in B1. By the end of B3, you will be able to practice the entire form, from beginning to end.
Learning and practicing the form at the Beginning Level lays the foundation for your future study of tai chi, should you decide to move on to the next levels. But whether you “move on” or not, you now have the basis for a life-long practice of tai chi and the enjoyment of all the health and spiritual benefits of this ancient art.
The Tai Chi Form: Fundamentals Level
In Fundamentals, we review the entire form from beginning to end, working to embody the tai chi principles at a deeper level. In particular, we bring our attention to the feet, legs and hips. As in any art, there are fundamental elements that provide a foundation for one’s practice and future growth. In Fundamentals, we focus on these elements by examining how each posture or transition works (and challenges!) our balance, our relaxation, our connection to our tantien, and our overall awareness. Fundamentals is divided into three 10-week courses: F1, F2 and F3.
The Tai Chi Form: Intermediate Level
At the Intermediate Level, we progress to a deeper and more internal understanding and practice of tai chi chuan. New concepts are introduced that enable us to integrate our form and push hands practice as one body of knowledge with all movement initiated and guided from our tantien. Intermediate Form is a 20-hour course.
Intermediate Form Corrections, a 20-hour course, further explores our focus in the tantien and how the rest of the body is directed by its movement. Our internalization of balance and how the joints articulate while in motion bring us to a new feeling of stance and flow.