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STRUCTURE AND WAY OF FUNCTION

The Progress and Certification System of the Hellenic Academy is divided into four levels (Basic, Intermediate, Advanced and Senior), each of them consisting of three sub-levels.

As we have already pointed out, teaching is based on these four levels for all students, regardless of whether or not they decide to participate in the optional exams in order to be certified. If, however, a student is well prepared and willing, they may request to be examined by the Head Instructor in the syllabus of their level. If they pass the exams,  students receive their certificates -one from the Hellenic Wu’s Tai Chi Chuan Academy and another one from the Hellenic Wushu – Kung Fu Federation, recognized by the Greek State -, as well as a special badge denoting their level.

(Note: the Hellenic Wu’s Tai Chi Chuan Academy and its Head Instructor have been given special permission and authorization by Grand Master Wu Kwong Yu to conduct exams and to award degrees and diplomas).

At the Basic Level, students build their base, by practicing the Basic Postures and by performing Exercises aiming to proper body structure, balance and stability, loosening the joints, coordinating the body and synchronizing the movements with breathing.

The most popular side of Tai Chi Chuan, the Form (108 Traditional Form), is being taught at the same time. Students first learn each individual form separately and then they connect them in chains of movements, until they complete all 108 Traditional Form. At the Basic Level, the Form is taught at its First Level (the Mechanical one), with each individual form being analyzed in detail, in its individual movements.

At this level, students also make their first contact with Pushing Hands – the connecting link between the Form and Fighting Applications-, Power Generation exercises (in the air and on targets), as well as with simple applications of some individual forms. Finally, they are taught special break fall exercises and rolls, which are very useful in higher levels (when the student learns the Fighting Applications in greater depth), but also in their daily life, in case of losing balance and falling.
The Level is completed when the student is able to perform the 108 Traditional Form in the First, Mechanical Level, to a satisfactory degree.

For the syllabus of this level, its sub-levels and the minimum time required for their completion, please refer to the respective page of the Curriculum.

At the Intermediate Level, corrections and improvements in the Form go further, highlighting part of its great value through the benefits that students start to enjoy.

The Form is taught firstly in its Second Level (Flow) and then in the Third one (Mind, Conscious Movement). More emphasis is placed on the quality of the motion (which becomes softer, continuous, smooth, flowing and circular), on important details of the body structure, as well as on the mind’s concentration and its guidance of the body. Deepening in the Form is supported by the teaching of the completely round, 54 International Competition Form. Emphasis is also placed on further analysis of the individual elements of the Form’s postures, on their mirror image execution, on the Power Generation exercises and the Applications they contain, while the range of exercises expands.

At this Level, the first four Two-Person Forms, created by Master Wu for the Chinese Wushu Association Duanwei System, are taught along with the first 18 exercises of the Wu Family’s 24 Chi Kung Form, and more advanced Pushing Hands exercises.

Finally, two of four Wu Family’s weapons, the Bang and the Sword are taught in full at this Level, as well as both Spear Forms and their basic exercises.

For the syllabus of this level, its sub-levels and the minimum time required for their completion, please refer to the respective page of the Curriculum.

At the Advanced Level, the deepening in the Form goes even further, as students work on the Form’s very high levels, initially the Fourth Level (Power) and then the Fifth one (Breath / Chi). As Master Wu says, the essence of the Form is the discovery, cultivation and expression of Power (Jin), something that is practiced at the Advanced Level.

At this Level, students are also taught the Sitting Form of the Wu Family while the deepening of the individual forms of the Traditional Form continues in their mirror image execution, in the Power Generation exercises and the Applications they contain. The Chinese Wushu Association’s last two Two-Person Forms, the last six Wu Family’s 24 Chi Kung Forms and more advanced Pushing Hand exercises are now being taught, practicing even Free Style Pushing Hands.

Finally, at the Advanced Level the teaching of the Spear is completed and the Sword is taught in its entirety.
For the syllabus of this level, its sub-levels and the minimum time required for their completion, please refer to the respective page of the Curriculum.

The Senior Level comes as the culmination of the student’s long course, not so much to give big amounts of new knowledge as much as to contribute to an even greater deepening and understanding of what one has already been taught. On the other hand, Tai Chi Chuan requires a lifetime of practice, where studying and deepening are endless.

The new knowledge that the Senior Level offers is the 108 Round Form, in its many different ways of execution and speed levels, and two of the best hidden “secrets” of Tai Chi Chuan and the Wu Family – the Chi Kungs of the Small and Large Sky, intended only for the Inner Students of the Family (Disciples) up until recently, when Master Wu decided to give them freely to all devoted students.

Otherwise, the entire syllabus and the Forms are now examined under a new light and through students’ acquired knowledge and skills, and are now performed at a very high level, including mirror image.

For the syllabus of the level, its sub-levels and the minimum time required for their completion, please refer to the respective page of the Curriculum.