T’ai Chi Ch’üan Forms

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Most if not all of the various styles of tai chi chuan have a number of different “forms” or “tao lu” (套路) which are a set of movements linked together into one continuous movement.

When starting Wu style tai chi the most usual forms to begin practice are the long form or the short form. Both of these forms are performed at a slow and constant pace. The movements are detailed and performed precisely.

The short form was created by Wu Yinghua and Ma Yueliang in response to the Chinese government deciding that they wanted tai chi to be available to all. It is essentially most of the moves of the long form but without the repetitions and with a few additional joining movements.

There are also a number of weapons forms, that is a set of movements in which a weapon is used; these include the spear, the broadsword, the double edged sword and the stick form. Some styles also perform a Fan form. Traditionally the Wu style did not have a fan form but Dr. Jin Ye, the granddaughter of Wu Yinghua and Ma Yueliang has created one recently keeping the basic principles of Wu style tai chi.

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