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"Cloud Hands" Tai Chi Chuan Form
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This "Cloud Hands" Tai Chi Chuan form is a simplified version of our fundamental form, "White Crane Flaps Wings". Although it is very short, it incorporates all of the major Tai Chi Chuan movements. It is also comprehensive in terms of combat application, health, and energy cultivation.
When the great Zhang San Feng entered perfect tranquility, his chi started to move. In Tai Chi Chuan terms, this is expressed as: "Extreme stillness generates motion". This is a manifestation of yin-yang interaction. As he let go into the flow of chi, his movements became more vigorous, and were poetically described as "liu shui xing yun", or "Flowing Water, Floating Clouds".
Later this great kung fu master stylized his flowing movements into patterns, which were later linked into a form called "Wu Tang Thirty-Two Pattern Long Fist". This Wu Tang Kung Fu set evolved into Tai Chi Chuan.
My teacher believes that the flowing movements in Tai Chi Chuan came first, and that stylized forms came later. In other words, Tai Chi Chuan was originally performed as a continuous flow; individualized patterns were later invented for the convenience of learning.
It is also significant to note that in Tai Chi Chuan, it was energy flow that originally generated forms, not the other way around. This does not mean that it is wrong to perform forms to generate chi flow (in fact we do this often), but if we understand the original concept and are able to put it into practice, then we can bring our Tai Chi Chuan to a remarkably high level within a relatively short time.
My teacher composed this Tai Chi Chuan form was with this concept as one of the main considerations. Other considerations include functionality and comprehensiveness. The whole set is short enough to be performed in a few minutes, and versatile enough to select individual patterns or sequences to practice independently. The form is comprehensive enough to fulfill our needs for health and vitality, but also to develop internal force, to defend against all major categories of attack, as well as for keeping fit and for recreation.
As a reminder of the manner Zhang San Feng originally developed Taijiquan, we call this set "Cloud Hands".
I hope you enjoy,
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