Monday, February 19, 2018

Taijiquan 24 Form

"At this period of wushu, the Nanking Central Kuoshu Institute in 1956 tasked the choreography of a Taijiquan routine what would be more suitable for popular dissemination among the masses, in keeping with the government's egalitarian agenda.  The traditional forms were just too long and time consuming to practice, and the traditional methods too arcane and demanding for mass propagation.  The challenge was to reduce the one hundred-odd movements of the traditional Yang Style Taijiquan, prevalent then, to its core, by removing the many repetitive movements as well as the less essential ones.  Thus, the 24-Form Taijiquan set was created.  Instrumental in this simplification effort was Li Tianji (1913-1996) who had been appointed a wushu research fellow at the Institute.  Under official auspices, the 24-Form Taijiquan quickly became the standard form, taught throughout China as part of physical education curriculum in schools and colleges.  It is perhaps the best know Taijiquan form in the world today.  As widespread as it is, the 24-Form is at best an abridged version of the traditional Yang form, a synopsis of the art."
-  C. P. Ong, Taijiquan: Cultivating Inner Strength, 2013, p. 7.  

I practice this Taijiquan form twice every day.  It takes from 5 to 7 minutes to perform.

You can do this indoors by adjusting to the space available, or outdoors.  When done slowly and gently you don't need to do any warmup exercises unless your knees are problematic.  A lovely Taijiquan form!  Good for persons of all ages.  This form is a cornerstone of my personal T'ai Chi Ch'uan practices. 

The first Taijiquan form I learned in 1986 was the Standard 24 Movement T'ai Chi Ch'uan Form in the Yang Style of T'ai Chi Ch'uan.  At that time there were no books or instructional videotapes on this popular form.  Since that time, nearly 31 years have past.  Now there are dozens of books and instructional DVDs and webpages on the subject of the 24 Form. 

My webpage on the Standard 24 Taijiquan Form has been the most popular webpage on the Cloud Hands Website for many years. In the sidebar of this blog, you will find a quick index to this webpage.

Standard Simplified Taijiquan 24 Form.  Research by Michael P. Garofalo, M.S. This webpage includes a detailed bibliography of books, media, links, online videos, articles, and resources.  It provides a list of the 24 movement names in English, Chinese, French, German and Spanish, with citations for sources of the movement names.  It provides detailed descriptions of each movement with black and white line illustrations and  photographs.  It includes relevant quotations, notes, performance times, section breakdowns, basic Tai Chi principles, and strategies for learning the form.  The Peking (Bejing) Chinese National orthodox standard simplified 24 movement T'ai Chi Ch'uan form, created in 1956, is the most popular form practiced all around the world.  This form uses the Yang Style of Taijiquan.  Published by Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Taijiquan, Red Bluff, California:  Webpage URL:  

This webpage provides many good suggestions for a person learning this form on their own if there is no Tai Chi class in their area. 

The best book that I have seen on the subject is:

The Yang Taiji 24 Step Short Form: A Step by Step Guide for All Levels
By James Drewe
London, Singing Dragon Press, 2011.
382 pages, black and white photographs, charts, detailed descriptions, training tips.

I give information on many other fine books by other good authors on the 24 Form in my webpage: Cheng Zhao, Foen Tjoeng Lie, Eric Chaline, Le Deyin, etc.. 

My students tell me that their favorite instructional DVD on the 24 Form is:

Tai Chi - The 24 Forms
By Dr. Paul Lam

I have taught this lovely Tai Chi form to hundreds of people since 2000.  Everyone tells me how much they enjoy learning and practicing this gentle form.

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