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The Later Yang Form

At a later period of time, both Yang Ban Hou and Yang Jian Hou changed their forms slightly and in the same way. We don't know if the initiator of this slight modification is Yang Lu Chan, though its certainly possible. Some of the changes was the way the `Grasp Sparrow's Tail' postures were done and the removal of `Turn Body Double Lift Legs' and replacing it with `Deflect Downwards, Parry And Punch' and `Right Kick With Heel'10.

Versions of this form come down to us from Wu Meng Xia who is of the Yang Pan Hou lineage and Wang Yung Quan who is of the Yang Jian Hou lineage. Yang Cheng Fu himself taught this form which retains the strength explosions (Fa-Chin) before he went to Shanghai to teach in public classes.

Yang Cheng Fu's Later Form

Yang Cheng Fu was invited in 1925 by his student Chen Wei Ming to teach in Shanghai. It was there that Yang Cheng Fu began to teach public classes, prior to that it he had always taught in private classes only.

When Yang Cheng Fu began to teach in public classes he taught them from the basics. He removed the strength explosions (Fa-Chin) and replaced them with using qi to extend the limb instead. This is a basic practice which teaches one to bring qi to power the limb, only after this has been achieved can strength explosions (Fa-Chin) be done properly. He also smoothed out the form to emphasize flow, rootedness and relaxation which is primary to the art. Only after the flow, rootedness and relaxation are mastered can changes in speed take place without losing these qualities. These speed changes are evident in Yang Chen Fu's Taiji Long Boxing as well as Yang Shao Hou's small frame.

Other than a few minor variations, his form remained much the same as the Later Yang Form. Yang Cheng Fu travelled extensively throughout China promoting his art. Taijiquan was already well known at that time as a combat art with great curative powers11. Its mode of practice enabled both old and infirmed to take up the art to better their health. Yang Cheng Fu himself was undefeated and was a great boxer, his reputation and ability caused the art to spread far and wide and made it what it is today: the most popular form of Taijiquan in the world.

The great popularity of his form and the huge numbers of people who took it up caused it to become the standard form for Yang Taijiquan. There are those who still practiced the older forms but Yang Cheng Fu's form became the hallmark of the style. Yang Cheng Fu taught and promoted his art as a combat art. There is little evidence other than conjecture that he promoted his art solely as a health art. Both his books12 focus on the art as a combat art and his writings all dealt with the practice towards achieving a combative goal. In practicing the art as a combat art, one gained the health benefits as well, both aspects of the art being inseparable.

Yang Cheng Fu's Advanced Set: Taiji Long Boxing

In addition to the large frame, Yang Cheng Fu also taught an advanced set to be practiced after a high enough level of attainment was reached practicing the large frame. When Yang Cheng Fu began to teach public classes, he dropped this from his public syllabus because this advanced set should only be practiced after learning the large frame. This advanced set was called Taiji Long Boxing. It consisted of 59 postures and is considerably more mobile than the large frame and includes strength explosions (Fa-Chin) as well.

Many advanced combat concepts and practices are incorporated and emphasized in this form. Because its relatively short compared to the large frame, some masters have added additional postures, sometimes resulting in as many as 150 postures. This set is relatively rare today, only a relatively small number of exponents know the form and practice it. Yang Shou Chung, Yang Cheng Fu's oldest son taught this form in Hong Kong where he resided, his daughters and advanced students continue to carry on the tradition of teaching this advanced set to worthy students.




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