INTRO TO THE  ESSENTIAL FORM - BY MASTER YANG JUN

INTRO TO THE ESSENTIAL FORM - BY MASTER YANG JUN

The tradition of Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan follows generations of modifications that
became standardized into the style that we know today during the life of Yang Chengfu.
His form and the character of his practice became the model and representative of the
current Yang Family Style. After centuries of study and practice, this style has been
proven to be great for martial arts practice as well as for health benefits. Following the standard
method of Yang Chengfu’s form is the foundation and root of our style. In China, this kind of
foundational form is called a “Mén hù quán” 门户拳, or door sequence form.

In the world of today, there are two issues that we are aware of with our practice. The first issue is that the traditional form takes a long time to learn and people in modern schools often find it difficult to commit to studying something that requires such an investment of time. The second issue is that tai chi is often performed at social events, and when we are performing on stage we cannot take very much time. Normally, they give us 4-5 minutes to perform at events, so the long form is not very useful for this. Tai chi competition events also limit the performing time to under 4 minutes. It’s important for these events to have a shorter performance time, since it’s very difficult and time consuming for the judges to try to score performers who are doing long forms.

These reasons are why I created the Essential Form, which contains 22-23 movements. It is to meet the needs of the modern world. This form contains three kinds of kicking and all of the stances. The Essential Form has single leg, bow, empty, twisting stances, straight stance, and the lotus kick. I also adopted push-hands 360 degree turning techniques into the Essential Form cloud hands method. As for the hand techniques, the Essential Form has the fist, hook, palm, and most of the other techniques from the traditional form. This is why I decided to name it the Essential Form. I hope that this form can be spread around the world, so that it can be used as a beginner sequence and also as the ranking and competition form. I hope that it will be used for stage performances as well. One important point that I want to make clear is that this is not meant to replace the Traditional (103) Form.

After learning the Essential Form, people should gradually shift to the long form, since to receive the health benefits of tai chi, the Essential Form is too short to provide enough daily practice time. I hope that you enjoy this new form. Please let us know if you have any feedback. My wish is that you will practice it, enjoy it, and help to spread it so that we can move to the next stage of how we will use it. In the future, it will also be used for the symposium.

预备式 — Prepare
1. 起势 – Opening
2. 拦雀尾 – Grasp Bird’s Tail
3. 野马分鬃 – Parting Horse’s Mane (Left)
4. 玉女穿梭(右左) – Fair Lady Works with Shuttle (Right and Left)
5. 搂膝拗步 – Right Brush Knee and Push
6. 金鸡独立(左右) – Golden Rooster Stands on One Leg (Left and Right)
7. 倒撵猴(左右)– Repulse Monkey (Left and Right)
8. 高探马穿掌- High pat on Horse and Thrust Palm
9. 右分脚 – Right Separation Kick
10. 左蹬脚– Left Heel Kick
11. 双峰贯耳 – Twin Fists Box Ears
12. 撤步海底针 – Step Back Needle at the Sea Bottom
13. 云手(左右) – Cloud Hands (Left and Right)
14. 单鞭下势 – Single Whip/Low Form
15. 上步七星 – Step Forward Seven Stars
16. 退步跨虎 – Step Back and Ride the Tiger
17. 转身摆莲 – Turn Body and Swing Over Lotus
18. 弯弓射虎 – Bend Bow Shoot Tiger
19. 进步搬拦捶 – Step Forward, Parry, Block and Punch
20. 如封似闭 – Apparent Close-up
21. 十字手 – Cross Hands
22. 收势 – Closing Form
还原 – Return to Original State

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