NSTCC Syllabus


Solo Form

The Solo Form is the core practice of our system. Through this, the student learns natural, relaxed movement, paying particular attention to relaxation and correct body alignment. It is through daily practice of the solo form that the health benefits, for which T'ai Chi Ch'uan has become known, are developed.

Whilst the solo form of Cheng Man-ch'ing might not look particularly martial, it is precisely the emphasis on relaxation which gives rise to the ability to exhibit fast, powerful movement - since there is no residual tension in the muscles to inhibit a rapid change to explosive action. At the same time, the slow, rhythmic movements gently exercise the body, opening the energy channels and promoting a strong and healthy energetic (Chi) system.

Pushing Hands
San Shou

Although T'ai Chi Ch'uan does not generally indulge in sparring, in addition to the solo form there are various two-person exercises for the development of martial skills. These, practised at a speed and intensity comfortable to both participants, provide a non-threatening and enjoyable introduction to martial art practice - even to the most timid of students.

Pushing-Hands is taught through a series of co-operative two-person exercises which teach an awareness of balance, sensitivity and the ability to neutralise force through relaxation.

San Shou comprises two separate solo forms - faster and more overtly martial than the core form. These are then combined to create an (eventually) fast-moving flow of attack and counter attack between the two partners.

Broad Sword

The first of the traditional weapons of T'ai Chi Ch'uan is referred to by the Chinese as the Knife (Dao), being a single-edged weapon, however it is similar in Western terms to our sabre and is often referred to as such.

The movements of the Broad-Sword are characterised by wide, sweeping movements and assist in developing the use of the waist - an important concept in T'ai Chi Ch'uan.

Straight Sword

The second of the traditional weapons is a weapon of finesse and fine movement. This is reputed to be the most difficult to learn and develops sensitivity and a fine awareness of connection with the centre.


The third and final of the traditional weapons from our T'ai Chi Ch'uan system is the Spear. Having developed, through assiduous practice of the solo form, correct body principles and the ability to relax, through Spear practice the student develops the ability to exhibit strong, powerful and explosive movement.

Other Weapons

Aside from the traditional weapons, some teachers have developed the use of other items of weaponry in their systems. NSTCC at present can offer instruction in the use of the short cane, or walking-stick, and the fan. Though not thought of as a weapon in the West the fan has often been employed as a weapon in many different oriental systems and its practice is particularly elegant when performed well.


Yangsheng Gong

Following the trip to China by Chris, Jules & Simon in 2004 - and further teaching received from the system founder when he visited Scotland the following September, some teaching in this health system has been introduced to the class.

Follow this link to find out more about the system.

Download the music for the "Shujin Zhuang-gu Gong" here

Download the music for the "Song of Daoyin Yangsheng Gong" here

(Files are in MP3 format)