Student Related• I have never done Taijiquan, can I still join?
Program Related• How is Taiji Zen different from traditional Taijiquan?
Mechanics Related• How do I join the Taiji Zen Online Academy?
Pricing and Payment Related• What are the costs for the Taiji Zen Online Academy?
Training Related• Where can I find other TJZ-ers to practice with?
Martial Arts Related• How “traditional” is TJZ Online Academy?
Absolutely, this is program was designed for you! The Online Academy is a structured training system starting from the basic building blocks and gradually moving to more advanced concepts. You don’t need an existing understanding of Taijiquan or Taiji philosophy. We will teach you everything you need to know.
The only requirement is a PC/laptop/mobile device, an Internet connection and at least 2 square meters (about 20 square feet) of free space to practice. No special equipment is needed.
Although the Online Academy provides a safe learning curriculum and medical studies suggest Taijiquan can help prevent injuries and improve health conditions, we strongly advise you to consult your doctor or medical advisor first before starting the program.
People often get confused between the terms Taiji / Tai Chi and Taijiquan / Tai Chi Chuan. Nowadays, most people freely use Taiji / Tai Chi to refer to the martial art, which is technically inaccurate.
Taiji (太极) is a philosophy. Simply put, it’s the concept of yin & yang – that the universe is constructed of opposing but complementary forces that are interdependent and inter-be (that is, cannot exist independently).
Taijiquan (太极拳) is a Chinese martial art. In historical times as a fighting style, it was the physical expression of Taiji philosophy as applied in combat situations. In more recent times, the softer aspects of Taijiquan have also been adapted to become a gentle form of exercise with massive popularity.
Taiji Zen offers a new, systematic way to study both the philosophy and martial art of Taiji. More importantly, we hope this can empower our members with the mental and physical ‘Taiji tools’ to face the challenges of everyday life with a balanced mind and body.
Inspired by traditional Taijiquan, the Taiji Zen training program has a wide range of physical benefits. Depending on your training goals and needs, be it as a cross-training athlete, a weekend warrior, a martial artist or something else, you can focus on the aspects which benefit you the most. These could include:
• Overall well-being through improved energy (chi or qi) flow
• Alleviate tension through proper structural alignment of the body
• More efficient motion through effective use of body mechanics and full-body coordination to deliver power
• Faster reaction time through heightened sensitivity and relaxation of the muscles
Mental fitness is an important focus area of Taiji Zen training. In addition to the meditative qualities inherent in the practice of Taijiquan (the martial art), the Taiji Zen training program also specifically introduces some basic tools of meditation to further your practice. Together, this can help you:
• Sharpen the mind. Studies have shown Taijiquan and meditation to lead to improvements in cognitive function, including attention, concentration, mental tracking and even creativity
• Enhance mental well-being. Medical studies suggests that both Taijiquan and meditation practices can help with improvements in stress, anxiety, depression, mood and self-esteem
• Strengthen emotional resilience. By consciously focusing on the present moment, meditatively breathing and learning to physically and mentally let go, you can improve your level of calmness and develop a more balanced life outlook
In the Online Academy, you will progress through a carefully designed curriculum of online instructional videos where you earn Level Rank within the Taiji Zen program. You practice from the comfort of your own home and with friends and family you would like to train with. At the end of each level, you will advance by submitting a self-performance video as well as passing a written examination (At the moment it is not possible to take any examinations). It will take repetition and hard work, but Taiji Zen will be with you every step of the way.
The Online Academy training program is broken down into 9 Levels (段or duan). Levels 1-3 are Beginner Levels, 4-6 Intermediate and 7-9 Advanced. To advance from one level to the next level, you will be tested on two components:
• Theoretical understanding: There will be a written test for each level that will cover names of techniques, essential concepts and cultural background
• Kinetic understanding: You will video record your performance of a set of techniques and form(s) from your current level and upload it to Taiji Zen for review. You will receive detailed feedback in addition to your test scores and pass/fail status
Testing is not available at the moment.
Those who successfully pass the exam will be awarded:
• Confidence of your mastery of the respective Level’s content
• An official Taiji Zen online badge signifying Level Rank
• An official Certificate of Level Rank issued by Jet Li
• Recognition on the Taiji Zen website as a ‘Certified Rank Holder’
*Testing is not available at the moment.
Click on ‘Online Academy’ at the top of our website, or go here to log in and start your Taiji Zen course.
The Online Academy is designed in a specific order to offer a structured training method. If you can’t open a video yet, you will have to watch the currently accessible videos first before you can unlock new ones in proper order.
No, you can learn Taiji Zen at your own pace and can decide yourself when you want to take an exam and move on to the next level.
Pricing and Payment Related:
Level 1-3 of the Online Academy are completely free. Just simply sign up here to get started.
Not applicable at the moment.
Taiji Zen is currently not taking examinations.
Taiji Zen is currently not taking any payments.
Taiji Zen is best practiced with partners, and it's especially beneficial to be a part of a group that trains regularly to help motivate each other. To find training partners and Villages, please visit the Community section of our website and search Academy members. Also join our Facebook group to see what other Academy members are up to.
While the Online Academy makes Taiji Zen’s training program easy to understand and accessible to anyone with an Internet connection, online learning can never fully take the place of studying in-person with a real instructor.
Unfortunately, it’s not practical for Taiji Zen to dispatch certified instructors from our headquarters in Beijing to many global locations yet. Instead, Taiji Zen sincerely hopes that students of the Art can blossom into instructors of the Art, and bring the beauty of Taiji culture to their local communities.
After going through the Online Academy, graduating students will have the opportunity to participate in Instructor Training Seminars. Currently these seminars are only offered in Beijing, but one day we hope to bring them to a location near you! (Or perhaps you to a location near us!)
Martial Arts Related
Taiji Zen’s Online Academy is where traditional meets modern. Traditional Taijiquan encompasses a set of philosophies and principles of movement refined by generations of Taijiquan masters over time. The Online Academy seeks to make this knowledge accessible and applicable to the 21st century lifestyles of today. We utilize a unique, structured teaching approach as well as today’s technology (e.g. online, mobile) to reach people in modern environments.
The Taiji Zen training system does not fall under one of the classical ‘Styles’ or ‘Schools’ of Taijiquan (namely Chen, Yang, Wú, Wŭ and Sun style). During the program’s development, traditional Taijiquan Masters from various lineages and styles participated through Taiji Zen’s partnership with the Chinese Wushu Research Institute, China’s governing body for Chinese martials arts. Thus elements of all styles can be found, although the curriculum has relatively more Chen-style and Yang-style Taijiquan influence overall.
The Beginner Levels 1-3 are based on the Taiji 13 Kinetic Concepts (太极十三势), also known as the ‘8 Energies and 5 Steps’ (八法五步), which are commonly recognized across all Taiji schools as fundamental and unique to Taijiquan. Levels 4-9 take a more concept-based approached to teaching the fundamental principles and methods of Taijiquan.
The goal is to lay a strong foundation for students to “graduate” to more traditional, deeper schools of Taijiquan instruction with a qualified traditional Master in a location near them. Referrals to approved Masters and Schools will be made available at the appropriate time upon request.
If you’re looking to learn how to fight effectively and in the shortest amount of time possible, you’re probably not going to get that from an online training program. We recommend you join your local traditional or mixed martial arts club of choice and get live action practice with as many partners as possible.
However, the Taiji Zen Online Academy will teach you traditional combat Taijiquan techniques through the Kinetic Application section as well as 2 Person Games / Push Hands training. At the end of Level 9, you will have systematically developed the basic technical skills for competitive Push Hands. This knowledge can be effective when applied to competitive combat sports as well.
Taiji Zen is relevant for students of all levels, even for more advanced students of traditional Taijiquan. Instead of starting with forms and routines, the Online Academy curriculum teaches traditional concepts in a new manner, breaking things down into their fundamental building blocks and root concepts. You will improve the things you already knew and get a deep understanding of new concepts at the same time. In addition, the Taiji Zen program also introduces an element of Zen meditation not traditionally taught in Taijiquan courses.
For more questions about the Online Academy you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.