Tchoung Ta-Tchen's Dual form of Yang style

Tchoung Ta-Tchen's Dual form of Yang style T'ai Chi Ch'uan distinguishes itself from other forms of T'ai Chi Ch'uan in many significant ways.   Here are a few of the unique characteristics of Tchoung Ta-Tchen's Dual form of Yang style as written by Sifu Harvey Kurland (one of five American instructors directly certified by Grandmaster Tchoung Ta-tchen).

Symmetrical Dual Form:
Grandmaster Tchoung is the head of our system and a testament to the health benefits of T'ai-chi.  He developed the "Dual Form of Yang Style".  This method teaches the Old form of Yang style symmetrically, which balances both sides of the body.   This is significantly different than most styles of T'ai Chi as most styles teach only a one sided form of T'ai Chi Ch'uan.  This form is symmetrical and all movements are done on both sides.  Additional information about Grandmaster Tchoung and his T'ai Chi Ch'uan style can be found here.

Instructor Certification:
The NWTCCA has a certification program to insure that their teachers have a basic level of knowledge.  The majority of T'ai Chi teachers in the country are not certified.   Many only have a minimal amount of basic training in the art while others are very advanced.  The NWTCCA has quantified the training by levels.  These levels relate to colored belts in the Judo, Aikido or Karate arts.  These levels can be used with any other system with some modifications.  The reason for the certification is that many unqualified individuals are teaching T'ai Chi Ch'uan. By adhering to this program teachers will be qualified to teach the public in an honest way.  Additional information about instructor certification can be found here.

Standardized Curriculum:
There is a specific order for the forms to be taught.  The system is based on the method of Grandmaster Tchoung Ta-tchen.

Kuang Ping Exercises
O'mei Ch'i kung
Zhang Zhuang & Ding Gong Standing Meditation
Old Yang Style Dual Form
Short Form
Pushing Hands
Ta Lu
Shan Shou - Partner T'ai Chi form
Fast Form
T'ai-Chi Chien Straight Sword
T'ai-Chi Tao Broadsword
T'ai-Chi Tuan Kune - Walking Stick
Pa-kua Ch'i Kung
Cheng Ting Hua Pa- Kua Chang
Hsing-I Ch'uan
Kuang Ping Form


Additional information about Grandmaster Tchoung and his T'ai Chi Ch'uan style:

Sifu Tchoung originally learned the martial art called "Nature Boxing" (Tzu-jan pai), which is based on the natural way to use the body, and is the foundation for "Section 9".  In 1942, as an Army Officer, he was stationed in Sichuan.   There, he studied with the Abbot Hui Kong at the O'mei (Emmei) Mountain Monastery, learning ch'i kung and T'ai-Chi.  He studied the "Old Yang Style" form with Shi Diao Mei in 1959. This is where our form came from.  Shi was the head of the Police academy and was a student of Tian Zhao-lin.  Tian was a famous T'ai-Chi master and top student of Yang Shou-hou, and Yang Shou-hou's father, Yang Chien-hou.

This is called the "Older Form" of Yang style because it was the form taught before Yang Shou-hou's younger brother, Yang Cheng-fu, modified the form into what is called "Standard Yang Style" today.  What we practice is based on the older form of Yang Chien-hou and Yang Shou-hou.  Similar but different to the more common Yang Cheng-fu form which was said to have modified the form to make it easier to learn.   The Yang Shou-hou version still has the faster kicks and waist movements absent in the newer versions.  The emphasis on pulldown, elbow, split, shoulder, waist turning and faster kicks as well as the symmetrical movement, make this system look somewhat different from the standard Yang style.

Tchoung also studied with the famous Hsiung Yang-ho.  Hsiung was another student of Yang Shou-hou.  Our San Shou form, "Sections 7 & 8", comes from Hsiung.  Tchoung also worked with the famous Cheng Man-Ching on pushing hands.   Cheng was a student of the Yang Cheng-fu, but some say he was influenced by Chang Ch'ing-ling, a student of Yang Pan-hou and also influenced by a Taoist boxer named Dzou (according to R Smith's very interesting book 'Chinese Boxing') but this is a controversial idea.  His form differs from Cheng-fu's and is more similar to the older method.  Tchoung was significantly influenced by Cheng's method.

Tchoung's friends and practice partners were like a "Who's Who" of Internal Arts in Taiwan, including Wang Shu-chin, Yuan Tao, Kuo Lien-ying, Wang Yen-nien and Liang Tung-tsai and many others.  The pa-kua chang he teaches came from Wang Shu-chin.   The Hsin-i (Hsing-I) he teaches came from Yuan Tao and Wang Shu-chin.  These arts are taught as part of his system to complement the T'ai Chi Ch'uan.

Grandmaster Tchoung directly trained and certified 5 "Sifu" to teach his system in the USA.  Three are currently teaching.  They are David Harris and Andrew Dale in Seattle, Harvey Kurland in Southern California.  There are also several Sifu in Canada.

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Additional information about instructor certification:


Copyright Kurland 2001, all rights reserved.

The NWTCCA has a certification program that was originally developed in 1985 and modified in 1991.  This program was used to insure that their teachers have a basic level of knowledge.  This is for quality control, as the majority of tai chi teachers in the country are not certified.  Many only have a minimal amount basic training in the art while others are very advanced and it is difficult for beginning students or administrators hiring teachers to know the difference.  Teaching status in other martial arts does not automatically make one qualified to teach t'ai-chi ch'uan, which means a black belt in karate or tae kwon do does not automatically make one an instructor in t'ai-chi ch'uan, unless they go through the t'ai chi ch'uan training. 

The reason for the certification is due to show which individuals are minimally qualified to teach t'ai-chi ch'uan.  By adhering to this program, teachers will be qualified to teach the public in an honest way and represent themselves accurately. Organizations hiring these teachers can be certain of their qualifications.

The NWTCCA has quantified the training by levels.  These levels relate to colored belts in the judo, Aikido or karate arts. For example Level One is roughly equal to 6th kyu and Level Seven is equivalent to the First degree Black Belt (Shodan) in Aikido.  These levels can be used with any other t'ai-chi ch'uan system with some modifications. 


Teaching certification has a two-part test, written and practical. Students must have the minimum training hours before testing. 

1)      A written test that covers the theoretical and historical information. There will be only one best answer.  The test will be based on t'ai-chi ch'uan and related arts.  This information is included in the class handouts, definition handouts, syllabus, all articles given to students or posted on the websites,  and Sifu Tchoung Ta-Tchen's textbook, The Annotated Theoretical And Practical Tai Chi Chuan.  Other recommended books are on the book list. The test is based on this material and not material coming from other martial art schools, which may or may not be factual.  Terminology, Basic Chinese transliteration and definitions should be studied.  Tests are not returned to students.  They will be notified of their scores.  80% correct is passing.

2)       After passing the written test, a practical test on forms, pushing hands, chin-na and applications of the forms as appropriate for the level. 

3)      Qualification hours, the required classroom hours are listed but it is expected that the student practice on their own regularly in addition to the classroom hours.

4)      Extra Credit: Additional points are given for placing (1st - 3rd) in t'ai-chi ch'uan competitions.  3 points for 1st place down to 1 point for 3rd place.  These points can be used for extra credit in the written or practical test. They are not required.  Once used for testing they expire and can no longer can be used in subsequent testing.

Anyone who wants to be an assistant instructor or instructor should understand the material and techniques of their level. Those who are testing for form only, will only take the form test and they will be given a special certificate. See the Check list for requirements for all levels.* 

Students who train under other instructors can take the certification tests as well.  A NWTCCA membership fee of $35 will be added to non-members.

Cost of testing is $36. Retest fee is $25.  Membership in the NWTCCA is automatic for all official and currently paid students so there is no additional charge above the testing fee.

CERTIFICANTS:  Those who pass the test  and are currently certified will be listed on the "Instructors page"  and the . Certification lasts 3 years from original date of certification.  To maintain certification 50 additional continuing education, class or workshop hours are required for maintaining their certification. 

Certificants are responsible for maintaining their own records and proof of hours and training.  Submit that proof of hours at the time of testing.  Only hours from legitimate workshops and classes taken from NWTCCA approved teachers will be accepted.

  Testing levels are as follows and subject to change without notice.

        Level One Section One or Short form, and O'mei Ch'i kung. Demonstrate extension and 3 Standing meditation exercises. 2 Basic pushing hands drills. 40 class hours (all hours are additive and minimum requirements), Written multiple choice test.

        Level Two: Sections two and three. All Ch'i kung in Sifu Tchoung's text. Perform 5 applications of the form. 2 pushing hands drills. 40 additional classroom hours.  Essay Test.

        Level Three: Sections four and five and ability to do all previous material.  Perform 5 applications and 2 additional pushing hands drills. 50 additional class hours. Essay Test.

        Level Four: Section Six and basic free push hands, Demonstrate 3 basic chin-na.  Demonstrate yielding in pushing hands. 50 class additional hours.  Essay Test.

        Level Five: Sections 7 & 8: solo and with a partner, basic free hands, intermediate level free pushing hands. Demonstrate ward-off energy.  50 additional class hours. Class teaching of applications.

        Level Six: Section 9,  advanced free pushing hands and da-lu. Free hands, 5 chin-na applications. 3 Prearranged Sparring drills. Demonstrate fa-chi striking energy.  100 class hours with a portion of that acting as teaching assistant or class leader.  Class teaching of applications.

        Level Seven: Instructor; Weapons, chien sword form, tao - broad-sword form, walking stick form, two double stick drills, basic exercises, free hands, all pushing hands drills, ta lu and  One other t'ai chi ch'uan or chi kung form  10 chin-na techniques. Hsin-I five elements.  Free Sparring.  Advanced pushing hands or 6 points in competition.  200 class hours, 50 teaching hours.

        Level Eight:  All Tchoung system t'ai-chi ch'uan forms, pushing hands, ta lu, san shou, t'ai-chi ch'en, t'ai-chi tao, t'ai chi tuan kune, pa kua chang eight energy mother palms, hsin-i ch'uan (Hsing I) five elements linking form.  200 additional class hours plus 200 teaching hours.  Free Sparring.

        Level Nine: All Tchoung forms. One additional t'ai chi form. 10 Free applications. 5 walking stick applications. 10 Chin-na techniques.  Pa Kua 8 basic palms, Hsing-I five elements, Hsing-I ch'uan twelve animals,  Five Element Linking form, 5 pa-kua applications. 200 class hours, plus 200 teaching hours.  Adept at free fighting.

Other forms:  Special certificates - Partner forms, 4 hsing-I/pa kua forms, pa-kua ch'i kung, eight old animal palms.  Partner broad sword form, partner stick form, partner sword, aiki-jo form, Tien Shan ch'i kung, Soaring Crane ch'i kung, Kuang Ping form.

Sifu Certificate: Chief Instructor,  Level Ten+.  ALL the Tchoung system forms and pushing hands passed, basic pa-kua chang palms and hsing-I ch'uan on check list, testing was by Grandmaster Tchoung and now by CTCCA Intl committee of Chieg Instructors, by recommendation of a Chief Instructor. (see list of authorized Chief Instructors )

Testing dates will be announced in class.  Requirements are subject to change without notice.

Required Readings:

The Annotated Theoretical and Practical Tai Chi Chuan by Tchoung Ta-tchen. 

Black Belt Magazine, July & August 1998, �The Web Of T�ai Chi Ch�uan pt 1 & 2� (on reserve and online) History of T'ai Chi Ch'uan.

NWTCCA Syllabus

Suggested Readings:

T'ai Chi Ch'uan, by Cheng Man-ch'ing.

T�ai Chi Ch�uan, by Kuo Lien Ying, which is on reserve in the UCR library.

T'ai Chi Ch'uan Its Effects and Practical Applications by Yearning K. Chen

T'ai-chi Touchstones: Yang Family Secret Transmissions, Translation by Wile

Cheng Man-Ch'ing's Advanced Form Instructions, Translation by Wile

Cheng Tzu's Thirteen Treatises on T'ai Chi Ch'uan by Cheng Man Ch'ing

T'ai Chi Ch'uan Ta Wen by Chen Wei-ming

Asian Fighting Arts, Don Draeger & Robert Smith

Type A Behavior and Your Heart, Meyer Friedman, Ray Rosenman

The Relaxation Response, Herbert Benson

Suggested Videos:

NWTCCA Level 2 Video  by Kurland

IWA YTCC-1 O'Mei Chi Kung Video by Dale

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