FAQ: Yang Style Taijiquan

Yang Style Taijiquan

The originator of the Yang Style Taijiquan (also commonly known as Tai Chi Chuan) was Yang Lu Chan (1799-1872) who studied with the Chen family in Chenjiaguo Village for eighteen years. After this, he was invited to teach at the Imperial Court in Beijing. In order to teach the members of the Court, Yang modified the form, removing the explosive movements found in the Chen style.

Yang Chen Fu (1883-1936), Yang Lu Chan’s grandson, carried on the teaching of the Yang style with some of his own refinements. The USWA practices this style as exemplified by Yang Zhen Ji, second son of Yang Chen Fu. With its capacity to be practiced by all ages and abilities, Yang style Taijiquan has become the most popular style in the U.S.

The Yang style, as all the Taijiquan styles, is an exercise for the unity of the mind, body, and spirit. It has three components: philosophical, martial, and health. To capture the essence of Taijiquan, one learns to bring together internal energy, continuous movement, centering, rooting, and relaxed alertness. The simplified form taught at the USWA consists of 24 postures practiced in a slow, continuous series of movements. Each movement combines the circular give and take of Yin and Yang energies, which are inherent in the form. Each posture has martial applications.

Students also practice Push-Hands exercises to help refine and understand the movements and energies involved in Taijiquan. These exercises are performed as a two person drill in the same slow, continous movement used in practicing the form. Push Hands exercises demonstrate the martial applications of the movements, develop sensitivity towards another’s energy, and enhance the feeling of internal energy flows. Senior students may also study Yang style Taiji Sword and Saber forms.

The "Ten Essences" of Yang Style Taijiquan by Yang Chen Fu arranged by Christopher Pei in its nature sequences.

1. Lift the head to raise the spirit.
2. Sink the shoulders and lower the elbows.
3. Round the back to loosen the chest.
4. Loosen the waist and hips.
5. Distinguish between substantial and insubstantial.
6. Coordinate the upper and lower body.
7. Continuity without interruption.
8. Unity of external structure with internal intent.
9. Use mind not physical force.
10. Seeking stillness in motion and motion in stillness.