New forms

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Taijiquan forms were not suddenly created overnight. They evolved over many centuries - adapted and changed by countless practitioners. This process is no different to how language was developed.


The English language did not suddenly appear, complete and unchanging. Nor was it 'invented' as such. It was developed over time and is changing constantly.
Despite attempts to formalise and fix language, it is evolving. It is changing to suit the times. New words emerge and existing words fade from common usage. The language is not static.
But the underlying rules remain the same.



Taijiquan forms were created in order to practice a certain way of moving. By following a sequence/pattern, a number of skills could be trained simultaneously.
The most common forms are Chen, Yang, Wu, Sun, Cheng Man Ching and People's Republic (24 step etc).

New forms

New forms have been created throughout taijiquan history. It is nothing unusual. It is the rule, rather than the exception. Sun Lu Tang  and Cheng Man Ching invented new forms during the 20th Century.
The 24 step and the other competitions forms were introduced within the last half century. Other schools and instructors have created their own lesser-known forms.


The question to ask is - what benefits does a new form bring? Does it make the taijiquan more appropriate to the modern age? More functional? Martially viable?
Does a new form address the needs of the 21st Century urban environment?

Creating a form

Instructors continue to create new forms. This endeavour probably takes a lot of hard work and patience. Ideally the new form should replace the old form, not be trained alongside it.
Collecting forms is pointless. If the aim of the new form is to develop a leaner, more dynamic expression of 13 postures, that is great.

Yang style forms

Sifu Waller practices the Yang style forms. Public version and the indoor ones. He has not invented any new forms.
Although the way in which we perform and apply the Yang style movements may differ from other (often public, non-martial) schools, the sequence of movements is still the same.

The potters expanded their horizons from the leash of symmetry and uniformity and started a move toward a more robust and free expression of beauty.

(Andrew Juniper) 

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Page created 18 April 1995
Last updated 14 December 2019