personalized short form

personalized short form

Postby roh mih » Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:15 am

Having been aware of so many short forms of the Yang Style Tai Chi and learned a number of them, I've now become interested in inventing my very own short form. Should I pursue this or not?
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Postby T » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:18 pm

For what reason?
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Postby Simon Batten » Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:15 am

I agree. Why should you try? Are you dissatisfied with the long form, and if so why? Are you just trying to save time by doing a shorter form, and if so, how much? Five minutes a day, ten, fifteen? How much is that, and is the saving worth it? The Yang Cheng Fu long form is the culmination and arguably, the perfection, of 1000 years of Tai Chi. Why do you want to tinker with it? Various people have done that. The Chinese government came up with a short Yang form, shorn of applications. Cheng Man Ching invented a short form based on the Yang form, but he smoothed out all the movements on the misguided idea that this contributed to the flow of Chi, as if Chi couldn't flow round a bent wrist, and in the process, he tried to convert Yang style Tai Chi into Chi Kung, but ended up with neither. Also he widened the stance, subjecting the inside of Cheng Man Ching practitioners' knees to intolerable pressure. His form only lasts about 7 minutes, is very closed and lacks 'sung', that is relaxation through extension. If you are going to go for a short form, then why not by extension make other alterations as well? But they won't do you any good. The Yang Cheng Fu form has never been bettered, and only takes at most 30 minutes a day and usually about 25 or a few less. Is that too much time for you to sacrifice for the sake of health, longevity, and the capacity to defend yourself effectively? Please, think again about trying to devise a shorter replacement. Kind regards, Simon.
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Postby bamboo leaf » Sat Feb 17, 2007 2:09 am

mmm, so ya say that you don't quite like CMC form?

as to inventing your own short version, i don't quite see the point. you mentioned that you have learned a number of them already. learning and real mastering something is quite different. if you like short just practicing the opening movement to any of the forms that you have learned. really practice it until you master it. this is all the taiji that one really needs.
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Postby César » Sat Feb 17, 2007 3:01 pm

Greetings!

Simon I totally agree with you. It is pointless to try to recreate your own short form. What for? 30 minutes a day is nothing. Besides, I think that someone who attempts to create a new form should have A LOT OF EXPERIENCE in the field. Someone with 40 or 50 years of training. (Someone like Master Yang Zhenduo)
Master Yang Zhenduo says something about his 49 competition form: "... The new form is primarily for competition and demo use, and so the sequence was rearranged with a view to reduce performance time and eliminate repeated moves. However from the point of view of arrangement and structure the new form is not as scientific as the traditional form. So when the new form has only begun, we immediately go into some demanding postures. If the person practicing has not done some warm up exercises prior to starting, there may be a feeling of some strain. The traditional form, by contrast, proceeds gradually from gentle moves toward a climax. The traditional form is particularly clever in that it gently sets up the basis in the first section, and then intersperses the relatively difficult moves throughout the second and third sections, where the repetition of earlier moves has a very good regulating function. This way the person practicing is free and easy, relaxed and natural, and though he may finish an entire round of the form or even multiple rounds, he can accomplish it without the least strain.."
(http://www.yangfamilytaichi.com/ubb/For ... 00043.html)
So Roh mih, as you can see, Short forms are not ideal for training.
Finally I would like to quote late Fu Zhongwen (Yang Chengfu´s disciple): "...Fu Zhongwen said that many people changed the form, but that the form he and his family practice is exactly as it was taught by Yang Chengfu. "Lots of people changed the form. I am the only one that did not change the form. I still haven´t studied everything. How can I change it? The ancients were so good, how can you change something that they developed with their high skills..." (A last interview with Fu Zhongwen, Tai Chi Magazine, Vol 18 No. 6)

Take care

César
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Postby shugdenla » Sat Feb 17, 2007 6:05 pm

roh,

Being objective is difficult so as long as know the form and masterd it, it should be OK for you to develop, as a test, your own vision! Nothing is carved in stone.
From Chen shi taijiquan, Yang developed his version, so did Wu2 and Wu3, Sun also and many others! One of my teachers who taught taijiquan at a Shanghai extension institute course stated that while studying taiji, one of the class assignments was each student to develop his own version and state the background and why certain changes were made It was an exercise but many teachers change based on their own vision.
Form is still form and emptines is still form!
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Postby César » Sun Feb 18, 2007 2:37 pm

Hi

Shugdenla don´t get me wrong: I am not against innovation or developing of a new form. Actually you are right, every single style of Tai Chi Chuan evolved from another (Yang from Chen, Wu from Yang, etc) but what I am trying to say here is that they all have two things in common: 1) They were created by masters who had a LOT of experience, and they already had MASTERED the art (for example, Yang Luchan spent 18 years of training in Chenjiagou).
2) They all took the LONG FORM as a basis to improve, develop, modify, etc. the new form (Yang, Wu, Hao and Sun).
So please, do not think I am against evolution of the art. My very personal and humble point of view is that you first should master the art, and then test your own way.

Take care

César
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Postby roh mih » Mon Feb 19, 2007 12:53 am

Okay, okay. Excellent points, Simon, Cesar and bamboo leaf, and also yours, shugdenia. :-)

I'm not abandoning the long form. Haven't mastered it yet, actually. Until I read your reply, Cesar-- quoting Yang Cheng Fu saying "repetition of earlier moves has a very good regulating function"-- I didn't quite understand before why there has to be repititions of such forms as Repulse the Monkey and Cloud Hands, etc. And frankly, I keep forgetting some sequence in the long form.

But no, I don't intend to replace the long form with any short form. But I do enjoy doing the short form, especially the 40 form which was invented as a competition form years back. Based on this, I came up with a 62-posture form that follows much of the sequence of the long form, especially the first two parts, and lessens some of the repititions.

In practice, I do a short form first (either the 24 or the 40), and then the long form.
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Postby Audi » Wed Feb 21, 2007 12:52 am

Hi roh mih,

I find T's question to be the one that comes to my mind first. Why do you want to create a new form? What is it that you want to accomplish? What are your training goals, if any?

If inventing your own short form would increase your motivation to practice and research, I think that would be a good reason. If you want to do it for enjoyment, that would also seem to be a fine reason to do it. If, however, your purpose is to increase the effectiveness of your practice or make faster progress, I think it is probably not a good idea.

I think that the better forms have many layers that might not be apparent at first examination. They can have built-in warm ups, deliberate changes in rhythm, opportunities to challenge your practice, or moments to rest up. I personally find even moral lessons in parts of the form where I perceive that escalation (or the lack thereof) is linked to certain circumstances.

Designing good forms is very difficult. Many of them are casually described as the work of individuals, but most have needed several generations or the work of many individuals to work out most of the kinks. Also, all forms do not serve the same purpose. The better ones play a specific role within the broader context of a curriculum or a training method.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Until I read your reply, Cesar-- quoting Yang Cheng Fu saying "repetition of earlier moves has a very good regulating function"-- I didn't quite understand before why there has to be repititions of such forms as Repulse the Monkey and Cloud Hands, etc.</font>


I have speculated about other reasons for the repetitions, as well. One reason might be to balance out various aspects of the form. For instance, if the form is to begin and end in the same place, you must balance out the directions of movement.

Another reason might be to balance out muscular usage. If, for instance, you deleted one of the Cloud Hand sequences from the traditional form, you would be substantially effecting the percentage of Horse Stances in the form. This has implications for muscle strength, flexibility, and development, especially if you are talking about long-term or intense practice.

Another reason might have to do with allowing practice within practice. By repeating certain moves, you can try to work on deeper levels without having to worry so much about the basic foundation. This is probably why three reps of the long form can be so effective. You get to set the bar higher and can go deeper each time you repeat a posture.

Another reason for repetition is to show moves in different contexts and to open up possibilities. If the entry into a posture or the exit from it are different, is it really the same posture? Even if you consider it the same, does it not allow you to explore more properties of the posture? For example, Single Whip is a very open posture that can be matched by different ways to close it: e.g., Lifting Hands, Cloud Hands, High Pat on Horse, and Snake Creeps Down.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">In practice, I do a short form first (either the 24 or the 40), and then the long form.</font>


I have heard of people who normally do the traditional form followed by the 49. I had presumed that this order was intentional, to get around the lack of "warm up" in the 49. Why do you do a short form before, rather than after the long form? What is it exactly that you prefer about the short form or about combining it with the long form?

Take care,
Audi
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Postby yslim » Wed Feb 21, 2007 8:06 pm

"For weeks, or about a month now, I've been feeling a little pain in my left knee whenever I do Snake Creeps Down to the right. The result is that I can't bend down my left knee low enough as I want to. Can someone tell me why this happened? What did I do wrong? Or maybe, it's just that I have reached the maximum level such that I can't bend my knee any lower. Is my case serious? How can I get rid of the pain? "

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by roh mih:
Having been aware of so many short forms of the Yang Style Tai Chi and learned a number of them, I've now become interested in inventing my very own short form. Should I pursue this or not? </font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hi Noh Mih

Are you the same person that posted these two posts? Are you trying to create your own form so that you don't have to 'eat bitter'' to master your Snake Creeps Down? You don't need to go that far to create a new form for that reason,just forget the creep downs along with all the hard-to-do stuffs as the Yang form did away with all the hard-to-do stuffs from the Chen form.(some one told me the Yang learn it from the Chen).
How short of the form would you like? The shortest form I know of is the Wuji Stance. For me it is the best one single posture 'form' that give me so much if one do it right. Unfortunately it is a long and short form roll into one as yin yang rolling as one. Because you need to stand for one whole hour or more to get the max.

How much 'bitter can you eat' ? It is so easy to create one's new form than eat bitter. I create my new 'short form' daily when I practice my long form.I call these short forms "My Senior Moments"

You did asked in your Snake Creeps Down post
(is that was you) "What did I do wrong?"
Maybe you should take time to look for an answer to this one before any new creation for the sake of your progress.

Ciao and have a good day
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