To practice Tai Chi Chuan, just as with any other sports, you must acquire a good foundation from the very beginning, gradually improve your skills, and finally Perfect them.
Roughly speaking, learning to practice Tai Chi Chuan may be divided into three stages. In the first stage you should lay a good foundation in the positions and movements. Beginners should first acquire a clear understanding of the basics including hand forms, hand techniques, stances, footwork, body form, bodywork, legwork and eye techniques. Make sure your positions are correct and the movements are smooth and soft. In the second stage, you should begin to grasp the correct method of how to change from movement to movement, and the characteristics of the movements. Make sure that the movements are continuous, connected, circular and coordinated, with the limbs moving in unison. In the third stage, emphasis should be put on the application of force, consciousness, and the combination of breathing and movements. Make sure that the movements are executed lightly and firmly, that hardness is combined with softness and the mind, and that energy and force are integrated both internally and externally.
A brief description of the essential points for learning the 48 Forms of Tai Chi Chuan is as follows: