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Simplified 24 Pattern (Beijing/Yang) Set the Wahnam Way?

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  • Simplified 24 Pattern (Beijing/Yang) Set the Wahnam Way?

    The simplified 24 Pattern Yang (Beijing) Form is the set most Tai Chi Chuan practitioners learn today.
    It was composed by the Chinese Sports Committee in 1956 to create a simplified exercise set for the masses. Its patterns were taken from the traditional longer Yang Family Forms (Postures).

    Many people do not know, that its patterns are not only excellent for health and relaxation, but are also very effective for self-defense and combat. This is no surprise, as Master Yang Lu Chan, the founder of the Yang Family Style was known to be an excellent fighter. Another fact many practioners ignore, is that it can be practiced both slowly, as often seen on videos or with speed and (internal) force, depending on one's needs and objectives.

    While this set is not part of the curriculum of our school, I know there are quite a few of us who know and practice it. We are also going to have a special weekend with Robin Sisook in Switzerland, dedicated to this Set.

    Thus I thought it might be interesting to start a discussion and look at it from our Shaolin Wahnam perspective.
    For those who do not know the set... all but a few patterns can be found in our Cloud-Hands or White Crane Flaps Wings Set.

    Andrea
    Enjoy some Wahnam Tai Chi Chuan & Qi Gong!

    Evening Classes in Zürich
    Weekend Classes in other Swiss locations


    Website: www.taichichuan-wahnam.ch
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/Taichichuan.Wahnam.ch
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  • #2
    To get the discussion started ... here some links to videos showing the entire set demonstrated by some of our Senior instructors:

    By Robin Sisook (Sifu Robin Gamble) with commentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq8dOVcZQR0
    By Manuel Sipak (Sifu Manuel Tirado): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42S3sjMUdxM
    By Anthony Sipak (Sifu Anthony Korahais): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFdovQkXEFU

    There are some small but important differences in the way we practice it in Shaolin Wahnam. If you like to compare, you can watch:
    The video probably most seen on youtube for the 24 Set: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBvF6r6DOvc
    And another video, randomly chosen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DX2vbGv9NeI

    Can you see the differences?
    (Please note: The goal is not to criticize other schools, but to understand how we in Shaolin Wahnam practice the form to get the best benefits.)

    Andrea
    Last edited by Andrea; 3 February 2012, 10:56 AM.
    Enjoy some Wahnam Tai Chi Chuan & Qi Gong!

    Evening Classes in Zürich
    Weekend Classes in other Swiss locations


    Website: www.taichichuan-wahnam.ch
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/Taichichuan.Wahnam.ch
    Google+ :
    https://plus.google.com/+TaiChiChuanQigongWahnamZürich/

    Comment


    • #3
      Interesting discussion, Andrea. I love the set. Honestly, except for a few situations, it's all I need for combat.

      What do we in Wahnam do differently? Simple. We follow the Tai Chi Chuan principles. Watch a Wahnam video, and you'll see us relaxing, rotating the waist, flowing continuously, coordinating top and bottom, sinking & pressing, etc. Watch a non-Wahnam video (almost any of the ones on YouTube), and you'll see virtually none of those principles!

      Another way we do it differently is that we actually practice for combat. I can spar just about anyone using only the patterns from this set. And you'll be able to recognize the patterns. I won't use boxing and then say that I'm following Tai Chi principles through my boxing. I'll use patterns like "Green Dragon Shoots Pearl," and "White Crane Spreads Wings". If you know the patterns, you would be able to name them while watching me spar.
      Sifu Anthony Korahais
      www.FlowingZen.com
      (Click here to learn more about me.)

      Comment


      • #4
        On a more mundane pattern level, the way I was taught the 24 set did not have the elbow and "shoulder bump" move; we went from needle at the sea bottom directly to "fan through the back". Also, "needle at the sea bottom" in the Wahnam set looks more like "trim the bamboo".
        But the differences that are truly important were already mentioned by Sibaak Anthony above.
        I was looking at this video series from the UK Tan Tui camp, and I was reminded of how much of the footwork that I learned in my Yang Tai Chi classes was more shifting our weight, and not really emphasizing the waist rotation. Sigung makes it crystal clear, starting with big movement, and then progressing to smaller movement.

        Best,
        Chow

        Comment


        • #5
          Chiahua, Sifu added the Elbow and Shoulder strikes so that the set would contain all the original 13 Techniques of Tai Chi Chuan:
          1. Peng (ward off)
          2. Lu (roll back)
          3. Qi (pressing)
          4. An (pushing)
          5. Lie (spreading)
          6. Cai (taking)
          7. Zhou (elbowing)
          8. Kao (leaning)
          9. Jin (move forward)
          10. Tui (move back)
          11. Ku (move left)
          12. Pan (move right)
          13. Ding (remain at center)


          As for waist rotation, it should include BOTH shifting back AND rotating. Watch my video, and you'll see it clearly. Watch most other videos (non-Wahnam) and you'll see them shifting, but not rotating.

          A good question is -- why is it important to both shift AND rotate?
          Sifu Anthony Korahais
          www.FlowingZen.com
          (Click here to learn more about me.)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Chiahua View Post
            On a more mundane pattern level, the way I was taught the 24 set did not have the elbow and "shoulder bump" move; we went from needle at the sea bottom directly to "fan through the back". Also, "needle at the sea bottom" in the Wahnam set looks more like "trim the bamboo".
            But the differences that are truly important were already mentioned by Sibaak Anthony above.
            I was looking at this video series from the UK Tan Tui camp, and I was reminded of how much of the footwork that I learned in my Yang Tai Chi classes was more shifting our weight, and not really emphasizing the waist rotation. Sigung makes it crystal clear, starting with big movement, and then progressing to smaller movement.

            Best,
            Chow
            Same, I never learned the elbow and shoulder strikes either when I learned the 24 form at my college. I can relate to the "weight shifting" as well. Hard on the knees, that. Awhile back just for fun I did some of the patterns using Wahnam stances, and it felt so much better.

            Originally posted by Antonius View Post
            Chiahua, Sifu added the Elbow and Shoulder strikes so that the set would contain all the original 13 Techniques of Tai Chi Chuan:
            1. Peng (ward off)
            2. Lu (roll back)
            3. Qi (pressing)
            4. An (pushing)
            5. Lie (spreading)
            6. Cai (taking)
            7. Zhou (elbowing)
            8. Kao (leaning)
            9. Jin (move forward)
            10. Tui (move back)
            11. Ku (move left)
            12. Pan (move right)
            13. Ding (remain at center)


            As for waist rotation, it should include BOTH shifting back AND rotating. Watch my video, and you'll see it clearly. Watch most other videos (non-Wahnam) and you'll see them shifting, but not rotating.

            A good question is -- why is it important to both shift AND rotate?
            To activate the spiral of the dantian, and to differentiate "full" and "empty"? (While saving your knees!)
            Last edited by David Langford; 3 February 2012, 07:51 PM.
            Shaolin Wahnam USA

            "Every morning you are born again. What you do today is the most important thing".

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Antonius View Post
              Chiahua, Sifu added the Elbow and Shoulder strikes so that the set would contain all the original 13 Techniques of Tai Chi Chuan
              A definite improvement
              As for waist rotation, it should include BOTH shifting back AND rotating. Watch my video, and you'll see it clearly. Watch most other videos (non-Wahnam) and you'll see them shifting, but not rotating.
              Contrast this with some Chen style videos that contain lots of "extra" waist rotation.
              As for the reason to include the shift backwards, there might be a few reasons.
              One of my guesses would be that Zhang San Feng empirically discovered that the shifting backwards before advancing confers some tactical advantages, as well as energetic advantages. For tactical advantages, one might be that shifting backward allows some of the opponent's strength to be spent before advancing and delivering the coup de grace. As for energetic, shifting backwards in the stance allows one to better consolidate qi at the dan tian as well as aid in being rooted before advancing and rotating.
              - Chia-Hua

              Comment


              • #8
                If you've done Wahnam push hands, then you know, from direct experience, why waist rotation mush both rotate and shift. If you just rotate, you won't escape. If you just shift, you can't neutralize.

                Shifting and rotating also enables you to generate tremendous power in your techniques. This is the secret that enables a small person to overcome a larger one, even if we subtract internal force from the equation. When you add internal force, it is even more efficient.

                I've got students who previously learned Tai Chi for 10, 20, even 30 years. I wish I could express the look on their faces when, during one of my classes, they finally EXPERIENCE the Tai Chi Chuan principles in action. It's very rewarding to see.
                Sifu Anthony Korahais
                www.FlowingZen.com
                (Click here to learn more about me.)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Very interesting discussion. Thank you for highlighting the 13 Techniques Anthony Sipak. Maybe we can discuss these a bit more. Especially those who are less obvious.

                  I find that changing from shifting only to rotating the waist/shifting is often a challenge for students who have learnt Tai Chi in other schools. Yet as you say Anthony Sipak once they get it, it's a little "Tai Chi Chuan enlightenment".

                  Another aspect are probably the stances, which are different in Shaolin Wahnam, at least compared to what I learnt before. I found that most schools practice a bow arrow stance that looks more like our 4/6 stance.

                  The benefits of both the correct body movement and the stances are tremendous as you have already said. In terms of health, safety, efficiency and internal force... It would be interesting to compare them in sparring, but most Taichi practioners do not spare and most tournaments restrict the allowed techniques, so that the disadvantages are in my opinon less obvious.

                  Andrea
                  Enjoy some Wahnam Tai Chi Chuan & Qi Gong!

                  Evening Classes in Zürich
                  Weekend Classes in other Swiss locations


                  Website: www.taichichuan-wahnam.ch
                  Facebook: www.facebook.com/Taichichuan.Wahnam.ch
                  Google+ :
                  https://plus.google.com/+TaiChiChuanQigongWahnamZürich/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The thing I really notice about Shaolin Wahnam Taijiquan in comparison to the Yang style Taijiquan I was learning some months ago is the stances. The Wahnam Taijiquan stances look identical to the Shaolin Kung Fu stances, which shouldn't be surprising at all.

                    My Yang style Taijiquan sifu, who learnt from Dr. Yang Jwing-ming back in the 70's, used a much shorter heels-not-in-line Bow-Arrow stance and a higher-and-shorter False Leg stance. The hand and arm movements were quite similar, though he greatly emphasized waist movement; for example, in Green Dragon Shoots Pearl following White Crane Flaps Wings he would turn his body around so far that the front of the body would almost be facing completely backwards. He didn't stress chi flow so much as he stressed proper alignment and breathing (especially Reversed Breathing, which he taught me, though I haven't practiced it in a long while). It was rather interesting and educational learning from him.
                    I like making silly videos (including kung fu ones!) every so often on YouTube and taking pictures of weird things on Instagram.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sigung (Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit) has just posted a "History and Philosophy of the 24 pattern simplified Taijiquan Set" on his homepage.
                      It can be found here: http://www.shaolin.org/general-2/kun...4-pattern.html

                      It also includes the links to the 3 videos above and picture series.

                      Thank you Sigung!
                      Andrea
                      Enjoy some Wahnam Tai Chi Chuan & Qi Gong!

                      Evening Classes in Zürich
                      Weekend Classes in other Swiss locations


                      Website: www.taichichuan-wahnam.ch
                      Facebook: www.facebook.com/Taichichuan.Wahnam.ch
                      Google+ :
                      https://plus.google.com/+TaiChiChuanQigongWahnamZürich/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Excellent performances of the 26-Pattern Set by my seniors.

                        Thank you for posting!

                        Bernardo

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Guys,

                          I can't wait to teach this set in Switzerland.

                          All the best

                          Robin
                          "The Power of Tai Chi Chuan. com"

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                          • #14
                            It looks SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much better than the wushu version I learned.
                            Shaolin Wahnam USA

                            "Every morning you are born again. What you do today is the most important thing".

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Indeed it looks so much better than the "most popular" one. I just tried some of the differences (I learnt this set from the most-viewed video in youtube Andrea posted ) and it feels much better, so will keep practicing it this way.

                              Thanks!

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