There are eight grades open to students of T’ai Chi Qigong, leaving aside those awarded to instructors who have already attained their black sash. A student presenting for his or her first grading wears a white sash, with the colour progressions as represented by the buttons across the top of this page.
“I have chosen to grade in order to have a measure of my progress in Qigong and I am proud of my achievement so far. My practice has a focus, and I have an ultimate goal to aim for. As Qigong is non-competitive, everyone is very supportive, with none of the rivalry that can sometimes mar competitive sports. The atmosphere at a grading is lovely and afterwards you begin to experience the form studied in greater depth.”
Why choose not to grade?
“I don’t want to grade. As far as I am concerned, grading would spoil the relaxation of the classes. If I study for tests, everything becomes far too intense and the pleasure and spontaneity is gone. I enjoy Qigong far too much to risk having this happen.”
The Association holds gradings twice a year, but the interval between gradings also varies from person to person, generally increasing with the complexity of the grade. Your Sifu will advise as to your readiness to grade and the (optional) feedback given immediately after the grading is invaluable.