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Yang Shao Hou's Small Frame Advanced Combat Set

Yang Shao Hou was also invited by Chen Wei Ming to Shanghai to teach at his Zhi Rou Association. Yang Shao Hou taught the large frame during public classes and his large frame was the same as that of his younger brother Yang Cheng Fu.

Later, he began to teach privately in the homes of students who have already learnt the large frame or Wu Chien Chuan's small frame. In these private advanced classes he would teach an advanced combat set which was later to be referred to as Yang Shao Hou's Small Frame. He began to teach and practice this set exclusively.

Yang Shao Hou was known to be very combat capable. He had been given to his uncle Yang Pan Hou as a foster son and had gained his uncle's skill and his temprament. He had also studied with his father and most probably had instruction from his grandfather Yang Lu Chan as well. His advanced Taiji skills included vital striking, bone locking, bone hitting, sinew splitting, control and blocking blood vessels and psychological attack. Those who watched him were in awe of his abilities and aspired to gain them but few could take his harsh training. It is because of this that he only had a handful of students.

His small frame form was also called the `usage frame' and according to Wu Tu Nan who studied with Yang Shao Hou, this set was created by Yang Lu Chan as a distillation of the essence of Taijiquan. It has elements of both the Old Yang Form and the Small Frame taught by Yang Lu Chan and Yang Pan Hou. Consisting of 73 postures which totals over 200 movements, the form is done very quickly, striving to do the entire set within 2-3 minutes. Even at this great speed the fundamental principles of proper alignment, rootedness, relaxation, continuity of movement, calmness and coordination are not lost. This set can only be properly learnt after mastery of the large frame and its principles.

In order to increase the endurance, strengthen the musculature further and foster proper alignment and root, Yang Shao Hou often made his students practice their postures under a kind of high table which was commonly used in the kitchen for the preparation of food.

Yang Taijiquan Today

It is from Yang Taijiquan that the majority of styles of Taijiquan have developed. Yang Taijiquan continues to be the major style of Taijiquan to be practiced in the world. Sadly, however, many have come to regard it as diluted and devoid of its original martial content. Wang Zhen Nan, a great Internal Boxing expert, once lamented that Internal Boxing was dying out because it did not look strong and some of its practitioners were infusing external techniques into it to make it appear more credible. Fortunately, Taijiquan has had great masters to show that is credible both as a martial art and as a health art.

Yang Taijiquan has not changed all that much since its foundation by Yang Lu Chan, only minor changes have been made to the way its been practiced and its main practice set. Its syllabus is still practiced and still bringing benefits to all who practice it. The Yang family still continues to promote their art vigourously and new generations of teachers are being trained to carry on this glorious tradition.



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