Taiji Practice (太极心)
Huang Xingxian 5 Loosenings
ZhengManqing (郑曼青) 37Form
YangChengfu (杨澄甫) 108Form
HuangXingxian (黃性賢) FastForm
8 fixed-step Pushing-Hands
8 moving-step Pushing-Hands
15min guided meditation
When teaching, introduce the 5 Loosening Exercises, then teach the pattern of the Short Form as quickly as possible and the first 5 of the 8 basic tuishou. Add a new tuishou pattern at the beginning of introducing each of the 5 sections of the Short Form. That will take about 6 months (one year if going very slowly).
Next go back over the Short Form in detail while introducing the final 3 fixed pattern pushing hands. After 9–12 months, teach the Long Form and gradually introduce the simple moving step tuishou.
In the 3rd year teach the Quickfist and more complex moving step tuishou. Don’t put in any thing extra before that level is reached and don’t take anything out. These are the basics of Master Huang’s system, designed and supported by long experience.
Consolidate these in the 4th and 5th years. This phase is when people really begin to practise Taiji and is, as Master Huang explained, usually entered after 4 to 10 years of reasonable practice.
Allow 10–30 minutes at the end of each class for meditation. From the first class beginners can practice 10-15 mins. Gradually extend that to 20–30 minutes for the more advanced classes (3 years+).
If traing outside without nowhere convenient to sit, then use the lifting and sinking exercise with its 3 timings.
I don’t really recommend giving too much time and energy to it, based on my experience of practising White Crane for many years. It is more efficient to put effort into Taiji practice and Meditation.
The ‘Quick Fist’ is different. Master Huang changed it completely to reflect Taiji principles. Originally named ’18 Buddha Boxing’ after its Shaolin origins, Master Huang renamed it ‘Sanfeng Quaiquan’ after Zhang Sanfeng, the Taiji founder. Most of the older traditional styles of Taiji have their own Fast Form.
Previous to Yang Chengfu and Wu Jianquan there was no Slow Form. Yang ChengFu created the Long Form. Zheng Manqing created the Short Form. Master Huang refined and developed the Quick Form. Out of respect for these Old Masters I practise and teach these 3 forms.
In our teaching we look for people who are stable in their practice. The purpose is to develop and unite, body, Mind and Spirit. The three methods are Taiji, meditation and daily life.
I have no rules for my students, not to make their life easy, but so that by their actions, they reveal themselves for all to see. Then they either deal with their need for change or feel the pressure and leave.
There are only two ways not to make progress. Of people who begin Taiji, 90% accumulate some knowledge and skill, but their practice is not intense enough to really change them. Of the 10% who do achieve some inner growth, 90% don’t handle their success well.
The ego becomes inflated with attachment to accumulated knowledge and skill, blocking further internal change. This becomes obvious to others but people seldom see it themselves.
Penetrating the depths of the Taiji / Daoist system is not easy. Master Huang gave directions on how to choose instructors.
Well trained people grounded in the third level of Spirit, can direct a whole school.
Trained balanced people with an understanding of the Mind can be semi-independent teachers.
People limited to good technical ability are useful as assistant instructors but will unconsciously lead students in wrong directions if given too much control. Then health and martial arts become the end, rather than the means to a deeper end, and Taiji stops on the body level, either purely physical or occassionally physical-etheric.
Spirit – Higher Energies – Deep Mind – Lower Energies – Body