When people hear “Sash Graduation” at a tai chi school, they fear that they will have to get up in front of a group of people and perform while under intense scrutiny. Nothing is further from this than a Typical Sash Graduation at Internal Gardens Tai Chi (Diamond-Plus Members at the NJ Tai Chi location).

Adults have enough stress in their lives and enough battles they are fighting or have fought. Although you must be able to know your taijiquan (tai chi chuan) forms and techniques and pass an open-book written test, you will never be made to stand up and prove yourself in front of watchful eyes, or pay extra money for your “belt test.” No. None of that happens here. We test everyone quietly during classes before the sash graduation date, if they are applying to “test up,” to make sure they are comfortable and knowledgable where they are, and always at their own pace. Sash graduations and testing is always included free to all Diamond-Plus members of the northern NJ tai chi school

Then, on Sash Graduation day, we get together, do tai chi, share lunch, invite any friends or family, and have a great time in friendship. The afternoon ends with smiles on everyone’s faces and the rest of the day to spend with family, friends, or recreation.

I am so proud that the students at Internal Gardens have a solid background in traditional tai chi and have been able to use it to improve their lives on many levels. – Sf. Loretta Wollering

Here is a slideshow of a typical sash graduation: