Most Taiji students are familiar with the Peng Lu Ji An pattern ("Ward Off, Rollback, Press/Squeeze, Push" - 4 formal directions). A lesser trained pattern is Cai Lie Zhou Kao ("Pluck, Split, Elbow, Bump" - 4 corners). These "8 doors" plus the "5 strategic stepping" skills are referred to as the Taijiquan Thirteen Postures.
We tested and passed in December 2017. At the time, it was a relief and we felt like we finally started to barely scratch the surface of a deep and complicated but interesting training drill. Looking at it now, it had better improve during my last year at the Retreat Center.
Dr. Yang’s Corrections:
My rooting was better compared to the Fighting Set I did earlier.
“It's not bad.”
The changing of sides (right and left) “is pretty good.”
(He was generally stunned and didn’t say anything else.)
More intent. The strike to the face can be fast and neutralizing it can be difficult so we’ve been holding back. We’re also holding back with the elbow strike.
Lower stances, better root.
Smoother execution overall.
Better understanding of the options when using the postures and how it differs with different training partners.
We started to mix 3 patterns together 1) Peng Lu Ji An, 2) Cai Lie Zhou Kao, and 3) Da Lu, Xiao Lu, Ji and it’s been a lot more interesting. One step closer to Taiji sparring.