Training schedule and content

by Sarah on 2013/08/01

Hi guys, after the workshop with Chen Zhonghua in Berlin – which was fantastic – I`m planning my training schedule. A minimum to do every – EVERY – day!

I`m thinking about:

50 positive circle right and left
50 negative circle -“-
50 fetch water right and left
50 twisting the towel

shoulder opening exercises (turning arms without moving shoulder – 50 right and left)
3 yilus

What do you think about that. Does anybody have a suggestion what to add/leave.

What would you train, if you have only 30 minutes – one our a day (some days more of course)

greetings sarah

About Sarah

I am learning Taijiquan - Practical Method since 2011.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelvin Ho August 1, 2013 at 3:36 pm



Andre August 2, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Hi sarah, nice to see you keep training.
I have an ultra busy schedule, so I know what its like to not have the time. Right now for instance is 2:04 AM where i live, i trained from 23:30~ till 00:53~, why? many things, basically in the end i never have the time, so i make the time and sleep less sometimes.

With that in mind, my general advice is: do 20 of each foundation, and 1 Yilu each day. If you can get to 3 congratz, if you can/want to also do more foundations good. Master Chen always told me to focus on Yilus, hence why i said 20 foundations should be fine.
Personally also, i’d do some push the wall exercise, if its possible, only a little. It may prove fruitful after in the long run. Watch for that hand foot alignment though.(there is a video on this exercise)

In my case, Yilus take around 10min to finish, so 30min is a very short time for me.
When i only have around that, I do 20 foundations and 1 yilu, it usually fits.

Also, in my experience if you do many Yilus stress free, are you really training? Master Chen talks about constant power, talks about real internal strength and push.
So to get there, I’d rather do one in ‘full power’ than 2 or maybe 3 in dance mode.
This is something to keep in mind, because when you don’t have all day to train, you gotta do your finest with whatever time you got.

One last thing, working with you body requires you to pay attention to it, so you can vary the way you train. Maybe some days you’ll want more foundations, maybe some days more yilus; listen to your own body and what it tells you. 😉

Best wishes Sarah, good luck in your training.


James Chan August 4, 2013 at 5:47 am

Sarah: Your own proposal is fine.


Patrick Dickson August 5, 2013 at 9:09 am

Andre has some great points. Sounds like you have a good routine Sarah. Perhaps some kua opening and closing exercises as well. 🙂 I can feel your excitement from your post….good luck


backfisch August 6, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Thanks a lot for your feedback!! @ Patrick: What do you mean by closing exercises?


Andre August 6, 2013 at 9:26 pm

I cant speak for him, but i believe he meant “kua opening and closing” exercises.
Like here:

I’ve done quite a few of them myself.


Patrick Dickson August 8, 2013 at 9:35 am

oops…..that’s right Andre, that’s what I was talking about….thanks for the assist….I love the kua exercises…


Gino August 6, 2013 at 10:47 pm

Sarah I think you are working hard. Good for you. Whichever fits for you will work best as it can be a challenge to keep a regular training schedule.

Thanks Andre for the reminder of that great lesson.


Andre August 7, 2013 at 10:13 am

Oh, and there is this one also:

They both talk about the same thing, but i never really got the bigger picture until i saw this one.
The kua movements are more simple and therefore more complicated than it seems at first hand.
To me in the end a very important reference was that your knees must absolutely not move, -no matter what-, then everything else is forced to adjust(rotate), and it seems that your center is way more engaged in the process. The word Dantien actually has meaning after that.

I’m still in the process of understanding though.

Good luck!


Byron Lerner August 16, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Sarah, so glad that you are feeling inspired and committed to maintaining a disciplined daily practice. I have found that doing one yilu every morning before breakfast is essential. An ideal morning practice will include more yilus and fundamentals. I may also practice later in the day but that one yilu in the morning is the minimum requirement for me to feel that I have set the tone for my day and maintained the practice. Most days I arise early and do a long and intense practice before breakfast. However, sometimes I arise later and feel very heavy and unmotivated. It is especially important to do that one yilu on those days that I really don’t feel like practicing. After completing one yilu I almost always feel better and more motivated. Keep in mind Andre’s excellent advice about listening to your body and maintaining quality over quantity.

Good luck!



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