Training Styles

Discussion in 'Tai chi' started by dbl0, Nov 6, 2019.

  1. dbl0

    dbl0 Member

    I have been studying the Lee Style Tai Chi form for the last year or two and have over the last few months been learning the Yang Style 8 step form, next month I am due to start the 16 step form.

    I have been enjoying going through the forms, even though it took me a while to relax into them, having spent years of doing Kung Fu forms I found it hard to relax and settle into the movements. I have also found that combing this with my usual Kung Fu has benefited my training in terms of softness and flow.

    Is there any other styles of Tai Chi that anyone would recommend, I only ask I potentially have an opportunity to learn some of the Wu Hao style but this would only be a once a year possibility.
  2. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    Really, collecting styles or forms won't give you a greater benefit than going deeply into one or two styles or forms.
    aaradia likes this.
  3. dbl0

    dbl0 Member

    It's not about collecting styles as who wants to be a field of knowledge with only an inch deeps worth of usable soil. I have trained in the same style for the last 15 years and only dipped my toe in Tai Chi the last two years (one of the two styles is actually part of my Kung Fu, Lee Style) so I am not really someone who would hop around.

    It is more directed at what other styles would people recommend trying, is Yang ideal with the short forms to start with or is something like Wu Hao or Cheng more suitable long term ?
  4. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    Depends really on what your objective is.
    Yang style is a great style. The short forms (8, 16 etc) are relatively modern developments in the style. The "traditional" form is commonly known as the 108 long form. Aside from having the full set of Yang style movements, the long form will give you a longer workout, which will give you more time to work on the neigong as you train, which will ultimately improve your tai chi practice, and argueably give some alternative depth to your other gongfu.

    Other styles such as Chen, Wu, Wu Hao, Cheng Man-Ching, Sun, Lee etc have their own quirks and differences, but a lot will depend on the individual school/teacher and their knowledge. One teacher can really know a single short form inside and out, and be able to pass it on well.
    Another might know the entire long form, but only at a superficial level.

    I think, rather than "what other styles would people recommend trying", the more apt question would be "what would people recommend I try to develop in my current practice".

    Things such as Yang Chengfu's "10 essentials" give some pretty basic guidance, as well as some more esoteric concepts, which are all worth baring in mind whilst practicing.
    If you school teaches Zhang Zhuang, incorperating the softening skills developed there-in into your form and any push hands practice is always good.
  5. dbl0

    dbl0 Member

    Thank you Dan, I will some time into researching the Yang Style some more.
    Dan Bian likes this.
  6. cloudz

    cloudz Valued Member

    I think you would be better off with Wu style in the UK
    Lee style is uk based.
    Either the Hong Kong variant through Dan Docherty, which may be easiest to find or there are a few other good lines over here.

    Yang style is much harder to find a good teacher and or line of transmission.
    I don't mention Chen style, as I don't really know so much about them.

    But really any choice is a good one with the right teacher; that's what you really want to look for; the teacher, not the style.

    Dan Bian likes this.

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