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Characteristics of Tai Chi
origins, meanings, lineage, analyses and exploration

'Long' Yang

 

calligraphyThe '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'.

There 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.

The rest 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 Artist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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.
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