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Yang Tai Chi 40 Form


There are several styles of Tai Chi, each named after the family that developed it and each based on the same principles but with variations in positioning, speed, and force of movement.


The 40 Form is used in several styles of Tai Chi:

The Yang Style Tai Chi 40 Form is an intermediate-to-advanced level Tai Chi routine developed by the Chinese National Wushu Association. It’s a more compact version of the traditional Yang 108 Forms and contains all features, techniques, and internal energy of the style. The Sun Family Modern Short Form also uses a 40 Form. This style is characterized by lively steps and a slightly higher stance and is often used in programs for people with arthritis.




Below is an example of the postures of the 40 Form.


Preparation (Yùbèi)

Beginning (Qǐ shì)

Grasp the Bird’s Tail (Lǎn què wěi)

Single Whip (Dān biān)

Raise Hands and Step Forward (Tí shǒu shàng shì)

White Crane Spreads its Wings (Bái hè liàng chì)

Left Brush Knee and Push (Zuǒ lōu xī ǎo bù)

Play the Pipa (Shǒu huī pípá)

Brush Knee and Push (3 times) (Lōu xī ǎo bù)

Play the Pipa (Shǒu huī pípá)

Left Brush Knee and Push (Zuǒ lōu xī ǎo bù)

Step Forward, Parry, Block, and Punch (Jìn bù bān lán chuí)

Apparent Closing (Rú fēng shì bì)

Cross Hands (Shí zì shǒu)

Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain (Bào hǔ guī shān)

Fist Under Elbow (Zhǒu dǐ chuí)

Step Back and Repulse Monkey (3 times) (Dào niǎn hóu)

Diagonal Flying (Xié fēi shì)

Raise Hands and Step Forward (Tí shǒu shàng shì)

White Crane Spreads its Wings (Bái hè liàng chì)

Left Brush Knee and Push (Zuǒ lōu xī ǎo bù)

Needle at Sea Bottom (Hǎi dǐ zhēn)

Fan Through Back (Shàn tōng bèi)

Turn Body, Chop with Fist (Zhuǎn shēn piē shēn chuí)

Step Forward, Parry, Block, and Punch (Jìn bù bān lán chuí)

Step Forward, Grasp the Bird’s Tail (Shàng bù lǎn què wěi)

Single Whip (Dān biān)

Cloud Hands (3 times) (Yún shǒu)

Single Whip (Dān biān)

High Pat on Horse (Gāo tàn mǎ)

Right Separation Kick (Yòu fēn jiǎo)

Left Separation Kick (Zuǒ fèn jiǎo)

Turn Body and Kick with Heel (Zhuǎn shēn zuǒ dēng jiǎo)

Brush Knee and Push (2 times) (Lōu xī ǎo bù)

Step Forward and Punch Down (Jìn bù zāi chuí)

Turn Body, Chop with Fist (Zhuǎn shēn piē shēn chuí)


Note that each “posture” consists of one to four distinct movements, sometimes even more. Various schools use different methods to count postures. The number of unique postures is approximately 40.


Peace


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