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9/21/2006

Present 42 forms Yang Style Taichi



I have bought a Taiji quan demonstration VCD while I was in China in 1997. I was outstation for 6 months and was dying to learn something. Tai Chi came into my mind after Tai Chi sword. The demonstration was done by a renounced Tai Chi champion from China, Chen Xi Tan. The narrator was the coriographer of the 42 forms modified from the original forms, Li De Yin, who came with a long list of title as Taiji Quan and sword judge for numerous ocassion.

I have not managed to view the VCD until last week. Probably it is luck that I did not do so. As I watched the demonstration, I found Chen's movement to be very smooth and steps very stable. His kick is very high where he uses his hands to touch the tip of the toe ( I always wonder why they have to do that ).

If I watched this many years ago, I might be impressed by their demonstration, not now after my completion of the 108 forms of original Taiji long fist from Wu Tunan. There are around 38 rules governing Taichi. Although the strokes shown were elegant, there are many rules that this demonstration have flunt. Here are a few of them:

(1) The strokes were basic and lack the focus on its internal requirement, such as stretching before the start, the entering of environment, the transfer of force from shoulder to palm, etc;

(2) The laogong does not match with the yongquan, which so far have been a requirement for stability, he can easily be drag off balance;

(3) The steps are huge, giving little tolerance for further moves forward, but probably this is Yang Deng Pu style;

(4) The strokes are strokes and lacks the support of the internal strength, therefore is weak if used for fighting;

There may be more and these are just some that I feel are flaws in the demonstration. Strictly speaking, I fail to see the practical side of this 42 forms. I strongly feel that it cannot at all be used in a duel as it failed many of the 38 clauses required for a strong offence. I seriously question the qualification of the so call judge for Tai Chi ( Li De Yin )to make alteration on Yang Style Taichi.

I have read somewhere on the internet about a comment on the sorry state of Tai Chi, which is reduced to merely for display and simple exercise for old folks. To think that it was once used by the formidable Yang Lu Chan who was invinsible with Tai Chi, he would have turned in his grave seeing what had happened to his creation.

Many Taichi thaught nowaday only remains with its skeleton, there is no flesh or organs attached to it. Many claim that you do not need to know about Qi because once you play Tai Chi, you will find the accumulation of qi. I beg to differ on such views. Prior to officially enrolled into a reputed school and witness what it can achieve, I tried to learn the just the strokes, it got me no where in strengthening my internal structures. Only through proper training that I manage to increase my qi and Tai chi become more enjoyable.

To me, it is now a waste of time in joining anyone in the park in the morning and follow their strokes, it would onlu be a stretching exercise, it would not improves on qi, neither would it be a practical martial arts for self defense. For those who are only teaching the strokes, their action would only lead to further deterioration in Tai Chi.

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