Master Taijiquan Through Mastering Its Postures and Principles
Improve your health, gain peace and clarity of mind, and develop self-defense skills through Taijiquan by building a strong foundation in the fundamentals
… whether you’re a beginning, intermediate, or advanced practitioner
You probably know that Taijiquan can help you to …
Experience greater health and vitality
Feel relaxed and clear in your mind and body
Learn to protect yourself in self-defense situations
But there are a lot of options out there for learning Taijiquan. You may feel unsure about which one is right for you.
Here are some components of a Taiji course that will allow you to gain the full benefits of Taijiquan …
- A complete framework with the correct nuances about how to perform the movements (postures) of Taijiquan
- An engaging way to practice these nuances correctly in your daily practice
- An understanding of the principles of Taijiquan and how to apply them to your practice
- A methodical way of applying the principles to the postures, so that they don’t fall by the wayside or get applied haphazardly
- A teacher who has deep knowledge and mastery of Taijiquan from a legitimate lineage
Most Taijiquan programs do not have all of these elements
They simply take you through a form, breezing through the postures.
Once you learn the form, you practice the form together as a whole.
During a class, you may get corrections from the teacher, but when you’re at home practicing, you may be reinforcing bad habits without knowing it.
This typical approach doesn’t help you master the fundamentals, leaving you without a solid foundation in Taijiquan
This is what Taijiquan teacher Stuart Alve Olson was noticing with students who were coming to him from other schools of Taiji.
They hadn’t trained the correct details of the postures in conjunction with the principles.
Even though most had been doing Taijiquan for a long time, they hadn’t developed intrinsic energy, root, and the internal skills that come from training a solid foundation.
Because of this, they felt stuck in their Taijiquan practice.
An award-winning author and translator of over 30 books about Taijiquan, Taoism, and related topics.
Over the last four decades, Stuart has been teaching thousands of people Taijiquan all over the world.
If you'd like to learn more about Stuart, click here
Stuart learned Taijiquan from many notable teachers, but primarily from the late Taiji Master T.T. Liang.
Master Liang studied with 15 great masters in the Golden Age of Taiji in Taiwan, the 1950s. After that he moved to the United States and became a central figure in the spread of Taiji to the West.
If you'd like to learn more about Master Liang, click here
Stuart's mission is to create programs that will help others master Taijiquan more quickly and easily than he did.
Before COVID, Stuart and his long-time student Patrick spent decades teaching Taijiquan through in-person workshops, seminars, retreats, and private lessons.
Many of their students had been studying Taijiquan for decades themselves. Many of them were already Taiji teachers.
Often their students would tell them they felt frustrated they weren’t taught these things from the beginning.
They saw the gaps in their previous training. They realized these gaps were keeping them from progressing in Taijiquan.
Seeing this time and time again inspired Stuart and Patrick to create online programs that will provide what they see as missing from most Taiji programs today.
The 16-Postures of Taijiquan
A Taiji Foundational Course
An online course combining recorded video lessons and practices, live classes, and monthly talks for learning the 16 “Before Heaven” postures of Taijiquan
This program helps you master the fundamentals of Taijiquan through training in the postures and principles of Taijiquan. This is how you lay the foundation for a Taiji practice that will help you:
- Feel vital and youthful at any age
- Flow with life with greater peace and clarity
- And feel secure in your ability to protect yourself
How to build a solid foundation in Taijiquan
The path to mastery in Taijiquan requires zooming in and focusing deeply on the postures to lay the foundation. This is far more effective than trying to learning a form as quickly as possible like most people do when they first learn Taiji.
Focusing on the postures individually allows you to do the two things that will lay the foundation for your mastery in Taijiquan:
PRACTICING THE DETAILS OF THE POSTURES
PRACTICING THE PRINCIPLES OF TAIJI
It’s like a master musician who can play masterpieces because of years of drilling the scales.
You may have questions, such as:
How do we focus on the postures?
What is the equivalent of doing scales in music for a Taiji practitioner?
How can we practice the fundamentals in such a way that it’s engaging, not boring?
The answer to these questions lies in one long-standing but under-utilized method that can allow you to do all of this through one powerful practice.
The next section will introduce you to that practice.
This course provides a method for building your foundation in Taijiquan that Taiji Masters have used for centuries:
Practicing the postures slowly and repeatedly as a Qigong practice.
This was actually most likely the original way Taijiquan was taught and practiced before forms were developed.
While incredibly effective, this method is not widely practiced in the West where we've focused more on forms.
The Sanctuary of Tao is bringing together this centuries-old method with modern technology to make it easier for you to cultivate Taijiquan the way the Taiji Masters did.
Why is practicing the postures as Qigong the best way to build your solid foundation in Taijiquan?
It ingrains the nuances of the postures into your body memory
It instills the principles in your body and mind through practice
And with the guided practice videos, you can just press play and follow along. These videos make it easy and enjoyable for you to build a strong foundation in Taijiquan.
Here’s how the course works:
Learn and practice the nuances of the postures
The pre-recorded lessons will give you a complete framework to learn and practice all the correct nuances of the postures.
Learn how to apply the principles of Taiji to the postures
Through his talks, Stuart will teach on how to apply the principles and theories of Taijiquan within the postures.
Put it all into practice by doing the postures as Qigong
For each posture, you’ll get a guided practice video for doing it as a Qigong practice—to put all of this into practice and build Qi.
How does it feel to learn Taiji this way?
In this excerpt from one of the first classes of the course, Stuart talks about the process of learning Taiji. And he shares what it feels like to do Taijiquan after laying this solid foundation.
At first Taiji can be a little difficult. But it gets easier over time. And once you learn and practice the details and the principles this way, you'll start to experience that:
- Every movement feels light and nimble
- Your form is completely consistent, even, and steady—no fast parts, no slow parts
- You're moving your body as one unit instead of separate parts
- You're breathing with your whole body, and moving in unison with your breath
- You feel like you're gliding
- Your arms are floating because they are being moved by Qi, not muscular force
Here’s a preview of what’s inside the course:
What’s included in the course:
Three talks by Stuart Alve Olson
-THREE SEMINARS to help you deepen your understanding of Taijiquan
40 pre-recorded video lessons, including:
-AN INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO FOR EACH POSTURE with all the correct details for each posture, so your Taijiquan can function properly.
-MASTER LIANG'S HALF-BEAT INSTRUCTIONS FOR EACH POSTURE to help you refine your movements and let go of tension
-A GUIDED PRACTICE VIDEO FOR EACH POSTURE to ingrain the nuances of each posture until they become second nature to you
-A QIGONG PRACTICE FOR EACH POSTURE, to help you master the postures and principles and develop your Qi quickly
-THE SELF-DEFENSE APPLICATIONS FOR EACH POSTURE so you can tap into the physics of Taijiquan to handle real world situations
-A GUIDED PRACTICE OF THE BEFORE HEAVEN FORM so you can integrate the postures through a relaxing form practice
-A QIGONG PRACTICE OF THE BEFORE HEAVEN FORM to help you quickly and powerfully build and mobilize Qi
Eight live group lessons with Q&A
-WEEKLY ONLINE CLASSES where Stuart and Patrick guide you to progress in your Taiji with confidence
A two-day online or in-person retreat
-AN INTENSIVE IMMERSION to review and refine everything you’ve learned, put it all together, and develop your Qi
Lifetime access to all the recordings
-ONGOING ACCESS so you can continue to deepen your understanding and practice of Taiji for years to come
Free participation in future live rounds of the course
-FREE REVIEW CLASSES so you can progress in your Taiji with ongoing participation in a group of like-minded practitioners
A path to teaching Taijiquan as a part of a lineage
-COMPLETE A PRE-REQUISITE for entering into this historic lineage and moving further on your path as a teacher of Taijiquan
No matter what level you are at, or what style of Taijiquan you perform, the 16-postures of Taijiquan course will help you master Taiji by helping you master its postures and principles.
In the following interview clips, Stuart speaks about what having this level of mastery of Taijiquan can allow you to experience:
With this solid foundation, your practice of Taijiquan can revitalize your health and your spirit and give you a feeling of confidence in your self-defense.
Why learn Taijiquan online?
First, with an in-person group class you can't always get what you individually need
You can’t slow down the class and focus on the parts you don’t understand until you’ve got it. You may feel lost or behind. Or you may just feel like you’re not getting the level of clarity you want.
And you can’t just move to the next posture when you’re ready to progress. You have to wait for the teacher to finish teaching everyone else before you get to move forward.
Either way, you may start to question if you’re really benefiting from the time and money you’re spending.
With this online course, you can spend as much or as little time as you want learning and practicing each lesson until you feel ready to move onto the next.
And with lifetime access to one of the most complete system of Taiji teachings available online today, there’s no rush to learn everything within one set time period. You know you’ll be able to take all the time you need to fully absorb the course material.
Second, you can only learn so much from each in-person class
When you take a class or private lesson in person, it's usually only once or twice a week. And you can only learn so much in one given class session.
Then you go home and have to practice it from memory, which may or may not be accurate.
Then you go back again to review and get more instructions. It's a slow process that can lead to bad habits—which then require more lessons to correct later on.
With this course you'll have all the instructions available to you at the click of your fingertips—to learn and practice whenever you want.
Third, learning from Stuart in-person would be expensive
Before we created this program, the only way for people to learn the 16-postures from Stuart was to travel to Phoenix and work with him privately over a period of weeks.
To learn the forms, people would pay thousands of dollars for private lessons. It was very time and cost intensive.
This course is like having Stuart and Patrick come to your home and teach you whenever you want.
That’s why Stuart believes this is the best way for anyone to learn from him. This is what he wishes he’d had when he was learning and what he wants all of his students to have—a collection of videos and PDFs that they can reference, learn from, and practice with, anytime.
To summarize …
What you get when you sign up:
- Three Seminars by Stuart Alve Olson: Value- $300 Price $100
- 40 pre-recorded lessons: Value- $1000 Price $100
- Eight weekly lessons with Stuart and Patrick: Value- $400 Price $100
On top of the live and recorded lessons, we’ll be offering a weekend retreat, included in the price of the course (travel, room and board, and food not included. Also, in-person space is limited, but it will be streamed live and recorded). Taijiquan seminars, retreats, and workshops we’ve offered in the past cost more than the price of this entire course.
- Two-Day In-person or Online Retreat: Value- $300 Price: FREE
Also, once you go through this course, you'll have lifetime access to all the recordings and class materials, and you can join us for free the next time we offer the course live.
(The program fee counts toward the After Heaven 64-Posture Program which will be opening for registration in March.)
We want to offer all of this for the lowest possible cost because we want these teachings to help the most people
In this video, Master Liang said to Stuart that he wished everyone in the world would learn Taijiquan—and he said humorously that even though it will be very hard to do, it's up to Stuart to make that wish come true.
He wanted everyone to experience the benefits of Taiji that helped him lived to age 102. This course is a way of working towards fulfilling Master Liang's wish.
Stuart feels so grateful for having had the opportunity to learn from Master Liang.
It's been his and Patrick's life's work to cultivate these valuable teachings and pass them onto the next generation.
We at the Sanctuary of Tao want to support that mission. We see the stress and health challenges people are experiencing in today's world. We believe there is wisdom from the past that holds solutions for our future.
We believe embodying the principles of Taiji through your practice of Taijiquan can help you experience greater harmony within yourself, with life, and with others.
We want to make this level of high-quality, in-depth Taijiquan education and training more affordable and accessible than it otherwise would have been, so it can help as many people as possible.
Sign up today for
The 16 Postures of Taijiquan
Live Course—Winter 2023
Click the button below and immediately after you register you’ll receive an email with login access to your portal. In the portal you’ll be able to access all the pre-recorded modules, along with the program logistics.
Reminder emails will be sent either the night before or morning of and an hour before each class with the Zoom info.
All the live sessions will be recorded and added to the program portal a day or so after the class, and a few days later after the retreat.
The live classes will run from January 28th into March 2023.
12pm Central Time one Saturday per month
Feb 11, 2023
Mar 4, 2023
Instruction and Q&A Classes
Weekly at 6pm Central Time on Wednesdays
Feb 1, 2023
Feb 8. 2023
Feb 15, 2023
Feb 22, 2023
Mar 1, 2023
Mar 8, 2023
Mar 15, 2023
Mar 22, 2023
All day Saturday and Sunday April 1st and 2nd
in Phoenix, Arizona
(Space for in-person participants is limited to 14 people. The retreat will be hybrid so you can participate online. It will also be recorded and saved in the portal)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the price of the course?
Is there a payment plan available?
Is the cost refundable?
What’s included in this course?
How is this course delivered?
What’s the schedule of the live components of the course?
What if I can’t attend the live sessions?
How can I access the online course portal?
Who teaches this course? Is the teacher from a legitimate lineage?
Is this a Teacher Certification program?
How will doing Taiji improve my life?
Do you have to have good mind-body coordination to learn this?
Is this going to be hard, complicated, and take a lot of time to learn?
I’m advanced in another form of Taiji, why should I do this program?
Can I really learn Taijiquan from an online course?
Is this course right for me if I’m not interested in Taiji for self-defense?
I'm not sure if this program is right for me, how can I decide?
Sign up today to learn Taijiquan in a way that’s customized to you!
Practice for whatever length of time and intensity you want each day—as little as 5 minutes a day.
Cultivate your Taiji the way the Taoist Masters did—with the original methods used for training in Taijiquan—now made easier through modern technology.
Through the weekly classes, Stuart and Patrick create a fun and approachable way to learn. They help you focus on what's most important for you at each stage in the learning process so you don't get overwhelmed.
This course is designed to be an easy and enjoyable way to learn and practice Taijiquan—without watering it down to light and fluffy movements with no basis in the theory or physics of Taiji.
When you sign up, you’ll get lifetime access to one of the most complete system of Taiji teachings available today
So there’s no rush to learn everything within one set time period. You can take all the time you need to fully absorb the material and improve your Taijiquan year after year.