Yang-Style Medium Speed - Part 1
At intermediate to advanced levels of training, students should begin practicing the Taijiquan form at a moderately faster speed without losing concentration on their energy (Qi), power (Jin), and root (Gen). Medium speed (中速, zhōngsù) practice teaches you how to better coordinate and focus your mind (Yi). This is the first stage to understanding how Taijiquan techniques can be applied in a fight. Developing a natural connection from the ground up through the body and into the arms is essential. Instead of training medium speed for the whole sequence right away, you should begin with just Part 1 of the form.
Taijiquan Martial Applications 1
There are more than 200 fighting techniques in the Yang-style Long Form. In Taijiquan Martial Applications 1 (太極拳應用一, Tàijíquán yìngyòng yī), you must analyze, deconstruct, and demonstrate martial applications of movements from the first part of the Yang-style traditional form. Each application must contain at least one technique from each of the 4 fighting categories: kicking, punching, wrestling, and Chin Na.
Silk Reeling 1
Tai Chi Silk Reeling practice (太極圈纏手練習, Tàijí quānchánshǒu liànxí) is an important foundation to Taiji Pushing Hands and Taiji Sparring. It is also known as Tai Chi symbol training, or Yin-Yang Sticking Hands. A competent level will allow a practitioner to smoothly transition from one technique to another. In this level, students must practice the Yang-side of the form without stepping but with their eyes closed.
The Small Rollback (小, xiǎolǚ) exercise includes Small Rollback, Large Rollback, and Press. However, the focus should be on Small Rollback and Press. Large Rollback should only be used in situations when Small Rollback cannot be used. Small Rollback is a Yang-side coil and seal. Stepping is required, as it is necessary to achieve the correct angles to attack your opponent's empty doors.
Peng Lü Ji An (Moving)
Building upon the skills from stationary Peng Lü Ji An (掤擠按, péng lǚ jǐ àn), students will work on various strategies and methods for stepping. Using the principles of listening (聽, tīng), ward-off (掤, péng), and neutralizing Jing (化, huà) for defense, and rollback (, lǚ), mind (意, yì), and root (根, gēn) for offense, students must learn to smoothly execute the movements with a more focused martial intent.
Freestyle Pushing Hands
Centering (自由推手, zìyóu tuīshǒu) is freestyle Pushing Hands with a particular focus on Central Equilibrium (中定, zhōngdìng). In this level of Centering, students begin to work on the offensive aspects of the exercise. You must try to find and destroy your opponent's center of balance and root while maintaining and hiding your own. The waist, chest, and spine movements should be automatic and natural at this level. Offense and defense do not need to be fast but should be continuous with no pausing.