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Duan-belt Ranking

Our Mission Statement

The World Tai Chi (Qigong) Duanwei Ranking Federation (registered in San Diego, California, United States of America FBN# 2019-9024460) is a worldwide service to anyone seeking a Duan (black belt) ranking for their Tai Chi or Qigong skills. Led by Dr. Jesse Tsao, the federation currently consists of fourteen evaluation committee members from eleven countries. Dr. Tsao's Ph.D advisor, Professor Yu Dinghai from the Shanghai University of Sport, serves as the honorary committee consultant. Professor Yu is the top-ranked double ninth-Duan in both Wushu and Qigong. This organization parallels the Chinese Sports Committee's Wushu Duan ranking system, which is based on technique and athleticism, but our Duan ranking is based on traditional Tai Chi and Qigong practices for inner energy and push hands and therefore focuses less on pure athletic ability. There are two purposes in our ranking service: (1) to recognize and validate your competence in tai chi and qigong, and (2) to provide you the excitation and lead you into the right direction in your tai chi or Qigong journey..

World Tai Chi Duanwei Ranking Federation Committee Members

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Dr. Jesse Tsao, San Diego, CA, USA

The founder of Tai Chi Healthways. Ph.D. from Shanghai University of Sport. 12th generation of Chen family tai chi lineage (Chen Zhao-pi & Chen Zhao-kui > Chen Zheng-lei 师承:陈照丕, 陈照奎 - 陈正雷 > 曹凤山)

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Professor Xie Ye-lei 谢业雷, Shanghai, China

The chief tai chi coach of Shanghai University of Sport, 12th generation of Chen family tai chi lineage (Chen fa-ke > Hong Jun-sheng > Li En-jiu 师承:陈发科-洪均生-李恩久-谢业雷 ). Six-time champions of Chinese national tai chi push hands.

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Professor Liu Jing 刘靖, Nanjing, China.

Nanjing Sport University, the chief researcher on traditional Chinese tai chi and Qigong for health and longevity. Ph.D. from Shanghai University of Sport.

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Lin Wan-zhi 林万枝, Beijing, China.

The chief editor of China Health, former member of the Wushu team of Beijing Renmin University. Chinese national tai chi competition champion.

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Dr. Maurice Olfus, Charleston, SC, USA.

The founder of Olfus Tai Chi. 13th generation of Chen family tai chi lineage (Chen Zheng-lei > Jesse Tsao). Winner of USA national grand-champion.

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Dr. Eike Wilts, Moormerland, Germany.

The founder of Daoyin Health & Healing Center, specialist in tai chi and Qigong for disease prevention.

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Dr. Gianni Denittis, Pama, Italy.

The founder of DE NITTIS CHOY LAY FUT INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION , and "Taiji & Qi Gong and Health Psychology : a multifunctional approach” in Italy. 13th generation of Chen family tai chi lineage (Chen Zheng-lei > Jesse Tsao). Student of GM SunZhijun (Cheng Style Baguazhang and XingYi quan).

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Pavel Ydin, Moscow, Russia

The head coach of Tai Chi Kung Fu in Moscow, Rassia. 13th generation of Chen family tai chi lineage (Chen Zheng-lei > Jesse Tsao).

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Amanda Heidke, Newcastle, Australia.

The founder and head coach of Tai Chi Center in Newcastle, Australia. Winner of Australia national tai chi competition.


Vanessa Puig, Barcelona, Spain

Founder of Tai Chi and Qigong for Health, Sabadell, Spain. Committee member of Tai Chi Healthways Worldwide Instructor Certification program.

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Csaba Tokody, Budapest, Hungary.

Head coach of Tai Chi Kung Fu Budapest. 13th generation of Chen family tai chi lineage (Chen Zheng-lei > Jesse Tsao).

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Bill Drougas, Arta, Greece.

Founder of Cheng-Dao Tai Chi Kung Fu Academy, 13th generation of Chen family tai chi lineage (Chen Zheng-lei > Jesse Tsao)

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Alejandro Schmeda, Paraguay, South America.

The chief instructor of Tai Chi in Asunción, Paraguay and Gran Asunción since 1994 - South America Richard Lautsch, Penticton, Canada. Founder Tai Chi for Health, Tai Chi Healthways certified Instructor in Canada.

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Richard Lautsch, Penticton, Canada.

Founder Tai Chi for Health, Tai Chi Healthways certified Instructor in Canada.

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Who can register for the Duan ranking

This on-line Dan rank registration is for all tai chi practitioners who wish to have their tai chi or Qigong skills rank(s) recognized by and registered with the World Tai Chi (Qigong) Duanwei Ranking Federation(WTCDRF), regardless of rank, system, gender, ethnicity or age. In using this on-line registration form, it is important to know that you are submitting an application for Duan rank certification, validation or promotion. If your application for Duan rank certification of promotion is not approved, the fee collected will be refunded to you less the evaluation fee ($80), or you can spend more time on your practice and re-submit videos for distance evaluation or in-person evaluation. For your convenience, you can send your videos for distance evaluation for the rank of 3rd Duan and under. We suggest you do the in-person evaluation for the 4th Duan and above. We will arrange you to a nearby evaluation committee member for higher ranking.

Benefits of register for Duan ranking

(1) Affiliation with Tai Chi Healthways, an internationally well known long-standing organization with integrity, honor and discipline. (2) We give you two free download links of instructional videos from our DVD library to prepare your Duan ranking evaluation, Make your choice of two titles for free when you fill out the registration and make the fee payment form below. (3) Our committee member will provide you with valuable suggestions on how to develop your real tai chi skills. (4) National and international network of serious tai chi practitioners and traditional internal schools martial artists. (5) Responsible for your validation of any 3rd party’s inquiry. (6) Get 20% off the training fee of Tai Chi Healthways annual summer camp. (7) If you are wishing to get certified as tai chi or Qigong instructor, upon your register for the instructor certificate program, and able to pass the tai chi theory exam, you will be at least get the Associate Tai Chi instructor certificate if you can pass the 1st Duan rank.

Duan ranking standard guidelines:

  • 1st Duan: Able to do any short form, such as Tai Chi Form 24 smoothly with correct posture and clear specification of each move.
  • 2nd Duan: Able to do traditional long form(s), such as Chen, Yang, Wu, Sun, smoothly with correct posture and clear specification of each move.
  • 3rd Duan: Additional to the 2nd Duan, you need to interpret your inner energy flow circulation, and you are able to do tai chi weapon form, such as tai chi sword or any other tai chi weapons smoothly with correct posture and clear specification. You need to show your understand that the weapon training is for your inner energy's extension to the weapon.
  • 4th Duan: Additional to the 3rd Duan, you need to be proficient in Tai Chi Classics theory, and able to interpret those theory with practical tai chi moves, such as you are able to identify the primary tai chi energies of ward-off, roll back, press, push, pluck, split, elbow, and body bump in any posture of a traditional long form. You need to be skillful to do the formal pattern in push hands circle with sticking, adhering, neutralizing, following, and issuing.
  • 5th Duan: Additional to the 4th Duan, you are able to interpret how to use a traditional long form to cultivate your neigong qi.  You need to be able to link tai chi practice with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and the Taoist longevity practice. You also need to be proficient in competitive push hands.
  • 6th Duan: Additional to the 5th Duan, you need to interpret how to convert your neigong qi into tai chi jin (internal power strength), as well as able to use tai chi principles to handle push hands ting-hua-na-fa randomly.
  • 7th Duan: Additional to the 6th Duan, you have distinguished yourself in tai chi teaching nationally, and you need to come to the headquarters, or to attend Tai Chi Healthways worldwide seminar/workshops to meet our chief master for in-person evaluation.
  • 8th Duan: Additional to the 7th Duan, you need to reach international reputation as a distinguished tai chi master.
  • 9th Duan: This is an honorary ranking, that in addition to the 8th Duan, one of your students needs to reach the 8th Duan level, that means your student needs to achieve the international master level.

Start your tai chi Duan ranking application today, fill out the form and select a payment below:

Your full name: (*)

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Your mailing address with street #, city, state, and country (*)

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Email (*)

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Years in tai chi training

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Duan level you are applying (note: for Duan ranking 1 - 3, can be evaluated through video; for the level 4th Duan and above we suggest you in-person evaluation):

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List two free download DVD video titles of your choice from our video library:

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Payment of $198 - methods:

Liability Waiver

With the purpose of unifying the traditional tai chi community in an atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation, the World Tai Chi Duanwei Ranking Federation(WTCDRF) would like each individual register consent to waive the World Tai Chi Duanwei Ranking Federation(WTCDRF) from all liabilities as indicated below:

In consideration of being allowed to participate in any way in the World Tai Chi Duanwei Ranking Federation(WTCDRF) athletics/sports program, and related events and activities, the undersigned: Acknowledge and fully understand that each participant will be engaging in activities that involve risk of injury, including permanent disability and death, and severe social and economic losses which might result not only from their own actions, inactions or negligence but the actions, inactions or negligence of others, the rules of play, or the condition of the premises or of any equipment used. Further, that there may be other risks not known to us or not reasonably foreseeable at this time. Assume all the foregoing risks and accept personal responsibility for the damages following such injury, permanent disability or death. Release, waive, discharge and covenant not to sue the World Tai Chi Duanwei Ranking Federation(WTCDRF), its officers, its affiliated clubs, regional sports organizations, their respective administrators, directors, agents, coaches, and other employees of the organization, other participants, sponsoring agencies, sponsors, advertisers, and, if applicable, owners and lessees of premises used to conduct the event, all of which are hereinafter referred to as ‘releases’ from any and all liability to each of the undersigned, his or her heirs and next of kin for any and all claims, demands, losses or damages on account of injury including death or damage to property, caused or alleged to be caused in whole or in part by the negligence of the releasee or otherwise.

  • List of ranked worldwide: Click to view

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