Tai Chi Montclair follows the curriculum as defined by the International Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan Association, of which we are a part. We begin with empty hand form, primarily the Yang Family Traditional Long Form 103, then move onto weapons--first the Yang Family Sword form (67 movements), followed by the saber form (13 movements). Both forms enhance our understanding of the hand form in terms of energy and shape. It is recommended that students have a basic knowledge of the 103 movement hand form before they begin weapons practice.
Master Yang Jun, president of the YFTCC Association, is sixth generation legacy holder of this almost 300-year-old style. We generally follow the ideas put forth by him, his grandfather, Master Yang Zhen Duo, and great grandfather, Master Yang Cheng Fu, who in the early years of the 20th century standardized the form we practice today. We begin to introduce the practice of Push Hands to the intermediate/advanced students. A two dimensional form becomes three dimensional through the cooperative practice with a partner.
We begin with the four basic push hands “circles” and slowly work ourselves towards understanding and practicing applications. We encourage our students to attend special seminars and trainings, especially in push hands, that happen periodically in our area as well as around the country and world.
Regular serious students are encouraged but not required to pursue the optional Association Ranking system, sometimes with the goal of receiving teaching credentials. While head instructor Judith Rew teaches most classes, a variety of teachers and perspectives can enhance the experience for all students.