'Yang' in the title: "The Yang style, long form" refers
to the Family Yang who developed this style of Tai Chi.
The epithet 'long' refers to the fact that … guess what?
It' long! So, if it is quick or urgent results that you
are looking for - this style is not for you. Not only
does it take time, it can only be ruined if hurried. It's
like a soft boiled egg that takes a certain amount of
time to become soft boiled; or a biscuit that requires
a specific length of time submerged in a particular liquid
at an exact temperature before being 'perfect'.
are 128 or so separate postures in the long form and it
generally takes about three years to properly learn these
postures. Many of them are repeated several times and
therefore do not require actually learning again. However
at that stage of study, learning how to 'get from one
to the other' (i.e. the bits between, the directions and
the footwork) does. I think that an hour or two of instruction
per week in The Yang style long form is plenty.
of the week could be spent in an hour of practice per
day, practising this 'new' lesson and refining the rest.
It is not the instruction that takes so much time; it
is or should be - the practising. The longer the study
goes on, the more practice there is. Eventually perhaps,
'life' becomes the practice. or the practice is life.
At this stage of study 'practice' is never a chore, continued
through choice, dunked or boiled to perfection.
The ongoing participation and practice in Tai Chi is
often called a journey or voyage. This is so because
once underway the practice of form becomes an infinite
process of unexpected encounters and discovery. The
physical form of Tai Chi is no more or less than that;
an individual and creative physical manifestation of
what that particular human body is capable of. The body's
movement within the form is like the paint of the artist
upon the canvas, or the poet's words on a page. We are
fools to believe that it is the canvas, the paint, the
print or the page that expresses the un-sayable and
un-seeable. It is the Artist. A Budoka is a Martial