I just got through viewing Eo Omwake's T'ai Chi Saber video, which is available from Wayfarer Publications (www.tai-chi.com
). I would very much recommend it for someone interested in Yang Style saber applications.
Omwake's form is clearly a close cousin of Yang Zhenduo's form. It is close enough to transfer most applications, but not quite close enough to learn Yang Zhenduo's form, since too many details differ. One thing I found particularly interesting is that Omwake's form appears to be a somewhat more martially oriented version of Yang Zhenduo's form.
Assuming that both versions reflect Yang Chengfu's choreography and intentions at different times or in different settings, contrasting the two gives interesting insight as to how form "simplification for the masses" may work. In my opinion, Omwake's form shows more detailed applications and with greater clarity, but Yang Zhenduo's form has retained the same essence with greater smoothness.
Basically, where Omwake's form shows something like a sequence of three applications, Yang Zhenduo's squishes these into two with the third implied. Also Yang Zhenduo's form seems to make a greater attempt at regularity of choreography by eliminating evasive steps not necessary to maintain the flow. Lastly, I would describe Omwake's form as somewhat more dramatic, whereas I would describe Yang Zhenduo's form as more elegant and refined.
By the way, I do not recall any difference in form principles between what Omwake shows on his video and what I understand of Yang Zhenduo's teaching. The differences in qualities I have described are fairly slight. In my opinion, they seem to reflect more a difference in the intended purpose of the form, than any real difference in philosophy. One is a study of detailed applications that reflect Taiji principles, while the other is a study of detailed Taiji principles as exemplified through a variety of applications.
If anyone else has seen this video, I would appreciate other opinions.