Yang Style is the most popular and widely practiced style of taijiquan in the world today and second in terms of seniority among the primary five family styles. It is characterised by slow and fluid movements with total body coordination throughout. Yang Style encompasses many forms which can vary greatly in the number of movements but which all adhere to the principles of the style.
24 Posture Simplified Form
The 24 Posture Simplified Form was created through the Chinese Sports Committee in 1956. The aim was to create a simplified form of taijiquan which could be practiced throughout China. The creators shortened the traditional Yang Style open hand form to 24 postures to give the beginner an introduction to the essential elements of taijiquan without distorting the traditional aspects and principles of Yang Style. This form also has many technical points throughout which differ slightly from the traditional Yang forms, which not only assists the beginner in learning but also creates consistency throughout many taijiquan schools with respect to this particular form.
37 Posture Form
The 37 Posture Form is based on Zheng Man Qing’s (Cheng Man-Ch’ing) 37 Posture Form and maintains many of the original characteristics. Some of the repetitions of movements that exist in the the Yang Long Form have been eliminated and it is therefore considerably shorter. The hand and wrist position are more open in this form in what Zheng called the ‘Fair Lady’s Hand’ and the form itself takes on a medium frame style, reducing the range of movements compared to some other Yang Styles. There is a great deal of emphasis placed on the fluidity of the movements and on Zheng’s original principle that one movement initiates the next.
108 Posture Form (Long Form)
The 108 Posture Form has many variations in the specific number used to describe the amount of different postures, however this is a simple result of how different schools classify the movements. This form adheres to the Yang Style principles of taijiquan and concentrates on developing the internal origin of all the movements. The form can take between 20 – 30 minutes to complete depending on the speed it is practiced at and it is therefore an excellent form for developing muscular and mental endurance.
32 Posture Sword Form
The 32 Posture Sword Form maintains the Yang Style taijiquan principles throughout and with the added element of moving a weapon, it is an excellent progression from the empty/open hand forms. The sword is seen as an extension to the body and therefore the practitioner has to increase their awareness to maintain proper technique and control of the weapon.