Tai Chi Chuan can be a lifetime art! The TCF curriculum is a carefully-designed sequence that is designed to help the serious student develop their tai chi to a deep level, and possibly into a path of teaching.
TCF uses team-teaching throughout our classes. This has several advantages: it means that students have at least two teachers to watch/listen to during class. It means that our teachers work together to improve the learning experience. It helps to keep the focus of the class experience on the clarity of passing the art to the students, rather than being an ego trip for any individual teacher. Also, the TCF curriculum focuses on the principles of tai chi from the very beginning. The sequence of courses, and the sequence of material within a course, are designed to make it possible for anyone studying with us to proceed at their own pace to whatever level of practice fits their needs and desires.
The first level, Beginning Level, teaches us the form: we learn how to go through the entire sequence of movements, where the hands go, where the feet go, and the principles (softness, straightness, relaxation) that motivate these movements.
The next level, Fundamentals, refines our awareness of these movements and starts to bring our awareness inside: we feel our feet on the ground supporting us in the best way; we feel the way our joints open and close; we become conscious of how we can improve our relaxation through the body.
After this level, we begin to learn Push Hands, a partner-exercise that expands our awareness beyond our sense of ourselves to include others . We become conscious of how our partners are standing and moving and their state of relaxation or tension. We also become more conscious of how can we be relaxed and rooted while we deal with force coming towards us.
Coursework at advanced levels helps us to internalize more and more our awareness of tai chi as exercise, meditation, and non-aggressive self defense. tai chi sword and fencing is also taught.
Other TCF coursework brings tai chi benefits outside of the study of the form itself. Courses like The Eight Ways of Tai Chi, and Roots and Branches Qigong ™ may be taken by those who have not yet learned the form, and are at the same time an invaluable aid to the serious student of tai chi.