View Full Version : tai chi chuan posture sizes

01-10-2001, 01:34 AM
i was wondering what some of the characteristics of different sizes of tai chi postures.

from what i've seen, the smaller the postures, the more difficult and intricate the movements are, as well as using chi more conservatively (i.e. the hand not bent to make the strike until right before contact).

also, in the latest issue of tai chi magazine, in the article about using different circle sizes in push hands, the guy wrote that large circles a rather impractical. if i am not mistaken, though, the popular yang and chen long forms are done with large postures, with other sizes being quite rare.

what are your impressions or thoughts on tai chi chuan posture sizes?

01-10-2001, 08:10 AM
When one moves in smaller circle, he/she will utilize more twisting power. When moving in large circle, you will generate more power due to the range of motion you have. The usage of large circle is to expand energy to the limbs, i.e. to create a strong flow of energy together with motion. The usage of small circle is to compress the energy to become solid power, like twisting an iron rod into a spring, the smaller the circle the stronger the spring power.

In my style (Yang style), we have a set of small circle frame (Yang shi Xiaojia) which is transmitted down by Yang Shaohou and a set of Old Yang style (Lao liu lu) as transmitted down by Yang Jianhou. I can tell you that the modern Yang style as transmitted by Yang Chengfu is large circle, but Lao liu lu has many twisting motion (as Chansijin in Chen style), which indicates that it is smaller than large circle, and Yangshi xiaojia is a lot faster than Chen style paochui (73 postures must be finished in less than 3 minutes).

Wish for peace

01-10-2001, 08:39 PM
there is a difference in doing large frame vs small frame in forms practice, and there is a difference in doing large frame and small frame in martial applications. (same with medium frame.)

generally, the small frame is less strenuous, and is better suited for those in poor health.
the large frame is better for those who are younger, and in better health. (strictly from the point of view that, for the large frame, you use wider, and lower stances; which may not be suitable for the old or infirmed.)

also, when one does the large frame, as opposed to the small frame, the 'chi' is more dispersed, as compared to the small frame. - if you think of it this way: chi->water, frame size->size of container. - if you practice the form using the large frame, perhaps you won't really feel the 'chi' too much... then try doing the form using a small frame... chances are that you will feel a stronger sensations of chi. (it is more compressed.)

for each posture, there are marital applications for the large frame, and different ones for the small frame. - i personally like "most" of the small frame applications better than the large frame ones, but i almost exclusively practice the form using the large frame. (i should also mention, that there are also medium frame applications... but here, there is some overlapping of techniques.)

e.g. grasp sparrow's tail (ward off left):
- when done in the large frame, can be used to pull the small of the person's back into your abdomen, while pushing the persons chin back.
- when done using the medium frame, can be used to ward off the persons arm and strike the ribs... or, deflect at the elbow, and strike the side of the person's neck with your forearm.
- when done in the small frame, it can be used to catch, and separate the muscles of the bicep, as a set up for a grapple or a throw.

(* i guess i should mention that there is overlap of technique across all frames... e.g. raise hands (first movement, after wu chi posture) has the same application in all frames.)