Filmed the beginning part of the Yang style long form to show my student the things I wanted him to look out for when refining his form.
Since this was for the purpose of teaching a lot of the exaggerated movements I would do when doing the form to show to the general public has been left out. For example, the snippet of the Yang long form in the earlier post here is what I would call the public version.
The difference between the public and learning versions might not be immediately obvious but if you look long enough you will see it. Or if you still don’t quite get it refer to the instructions in TaijiKinesis Vol 2 – Learning the Taijiquan Form. You will see that the instructions within are more to the flavor of the form shown here than in the previous clip.
What I wanted my student to see are the following :-
- Key alignments of the body; for example the 6 harmonies must be there through out
- One part moves, every part moves. One part stops every part stops
- The movements must make sense from an application point of view. The form is not just about fajing but how to defend, apply strategy, capture position, how to attack and to do it with power – these are played out mentally in the form
- Balance must be precisely controlled; no unnecessary swaying of the body
- Every step hides a kick; thus the balance must be kept nimble
- The flavor must be like pulling silk (as opposed to the Chen style flavor of silk reeling)
- Upper and lower body must be unified all the time
- Stepping must be light and gentle like a cat
- Power must be non-obvious; yet it must come from the ground, building up until released imperceptibly; throughout the form power moves in the manner of a wave
This is why you can’t learn a form by imitating it. Instead, you have to know how the principles are actualized in the movements. The movements in turn give flavor to the characteristics of the form and defines the style. This is why most masters tend to gloss over the way they do their form or do it in a manner that is not immediately obvious what they are really doing. Tai Chi can be a fun puzzle.