H. WON TAI CHI INSTITUTE
Yeung (Yang) Sau-Chung Form
Tai Chi Chuan Solo Form (Medium Frame/Tiger Form)
Even though there are several different "Frames" and "Forms" in Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan repertoire, Grandmaster Yeung Sau-Chung has chosen to do Medium Frame/Tiger Form during his lifetime. It is this form that was handed down to the next generation and henceforth. The advantage of Medium Frame/Tiger Form is that it contains both Large and Small Frame elements, and Tiger Form contains both Snake and Crane Form elements. It is this middle road that offers the practitioners the best of all frames and forms. For many large frame practitioners, even though they may or may not experience the medium frame without knowing it, do not experience the small frame; likewise for the small frame practitioners, who will not experience the large frame. Same principle applies to the Tiger Form. Tiger Form contains the elements of the power training of snake form while, at the same time, offering the health benefits of the crane form.
When Medium Frame and Tiger Form are combined, they offer the practitioners the powerful combinations of the internal principles of Tai Chi Chuan. Medium Frame/Tiger Form strengthens the body and 'Peng Jing' without taxing the lower back or without jeopardizing the knees from injuries. Medium Frame/Tiger Form benefits the body without sacrificing the relaxation of the body and maintains the principle of 'Dynamic' power push hand. Medium Frame/Tiger Form practitioners will understand the inner circles of the waist and the joints that are represented as the frames. With the emphasis on the presence of the circles, Medium Frame/Tiger Form practitioners will eventually understand the principles of the 'Nine Pearls'. Without the 'nine pearls', the 'Complete Internal Connection' cannot be achieved. When the 'complete internal connection' is absent, then the practitioners cannot execute the body movements as one unit. Therefore, the concept of one unit refers to 'Peng Jing' energy. In the absence of the principle of 'Moving the body as One Unit', the practitioners cannot coordinate the mind and the body. Moreover, without the mind/body coordination, the intent will be absent.
Medium Frame/Tiger Form eventually guides the practitioners to the understanding the principle of 'Stillness in Motion' and 'Motion in Stillness'; however, these principles are first approached with the principle of 'Minimizing the Motion'. All excessive motions have to be eliminated. Therefore, Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan practitioners strictly adhere to the postures and the execution of the postures that are handed down from the previous generations. When the body remains quiet, e.g., by eliminating the twisting motions of the waist, the flaring of the arms, or the tensing of the muscles in the shoulders, the back, the hands, and the legs, 'Peng Jing' stays intact. It is this presence of 'Peng Jing' that balances the principle of Yin/Yang in Tai Chi Chuan. As the external body relaxes, the presence of 'Peng Jing' is felt throughout the internal body. Thus, the external body is the 'motion' and 'Peng Jing' the 'stillness'.
Executing the movements of Tai Chi Chuan is not done in the manner of 'snake' wiggling, however subtle the movements might be, e.g., using the spine, rib cartilage or inner core muscles. The muscles, whether they are 'core' muscles or regular muscles, are neither the source nor generator of the internal power. The source of the internal power of Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan is 'Peng Jing', which can be only accomplished through 'Dynamic' push hand. Everything else is secondary. Without the presence of powerful 'Peng Jing' energy, the proper usage of the core muscles to root, the coordination of feet, legs, hips, spine, hands is merely external. Any practitioner who emphasizes the physical mechanics of the body to generate the power, more often than not, end up using the 'brute, muscular force', far removed from the true Tai Chi Chuan. Furthermore, let everyone understand that, in Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan, the practitioners need to have a very strong body, i.e., strong feet, strong legs, flexible hips, loose waist, solid and flexible spine, broad upper back, strong shoulders, strong arms, and powerful hands. For anyone who has trained properly, within these body parts, one can perceive the 'nine pearls' proper. However, one should note that, these body parts do not actually represent the nine pearls. Strong body comes with the years of proper training of 'Dynamic' push hand.
The proper execution of Tai Chi Chuan [form] is indicative of the practitioners who understand and coordinate the principles of 'Peng Jing' and the 'nine pearls'. It is these principles that Grandmaster Yeung Sau-Chung taught to his inner students. Along with Grandmaster Yeung's 13 principles, his teachings of the forms, push hands, chi gongs, solo drills, etc. emerge into the development of 'Peng Jing'. A simple emphasis on doingTai Chi Chuan [form], whether it be 'snake', 'tiger', 'crane', or any other 'snake style', will not develop practitioners to attain the much sought after 'internal power'.
Anyone who has trained properly for many arduous years knows what the internal power training of Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan is all about. It is not about just one particular solo form and combined with some lesser exercises. Rather, it is about understanding the whole system: the forms, 'dynamic' push hands, chi gongs, and solo drills. Within these equally important four categories, there are more profound sub-categories. One specific form is not enough, whether it is isolated snake style or the traditional snake, tiger, or crane form, especially, when a certain specific form is questionable and misguided with low-level principles. What makes it even worse is that it is introduced as if it's idea is the only valid one, and the possessor of it thinks it is something unique to his teacher and himself; when in fact, that principle of the body mechanics 'already exist' in all three forms and three frames. What's more sadly laughable is this concept of body mechanics, however profound this person thinks of it's internalization, is a low level knowledge.
Usually, when body mechanics are emphasized, internally or externally, it is because an individual was trying to modify a system, of course, somewhat out of desparation. When a practitioner doesn't quite understand the true nature of the internal power of Tai Chi Chuan, a modification often surfaces. Reinvention happens when a shocking encounter takes a place, ususally when some individual manifests much greater power than oneself; and all of sudden, the latter realizes something has to be done. Incidently, I know of a specific incident about a particular person and his student's encounter of this shocking revelation. I will not disclose this particular event here; however, the time will come when this entire incident will be told.
One might claim that this 'reinvention' is an evolution of his genius. But, he is no genius. In April of 1993, I met him. I have held him in my deepest respect. I admired his knowledge and skill. However, years later, I came upon someone's shocking claim which caused me to investigate and reevaluate his knowledge and skill. In the end, I came to realize that this particular person in question didn't have the profound knowledge and skill. Like many, I too took him for granted because he trained with the best for many years.
To any dedicated Classical Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan practitioners with the proper understanding of the internal principles of the forms, 'dynamic' power push hands, chi gongs, and solo drills, know what it takes to be a knowledgeable and skillful at this profoundly powerful internal martial art; which in turn, elevates the practitioners with a certain insightfulness. The practitioners, then, attain a keen perception to detect and be able differentiate the genuine from any other modified versions or downright fraud ones. This perception will become much more keen as we dedicate ourselves onto the superior understanding of the higher levels of of energy.
The mind becomes more aware itself by perceiving the mechanics of physical movements: the muscle relaxation, the effortless joint mechanics, the lightness of catlike steps, etc. The mind realizes that the body has been longing to center itself with the earth through the practice of the principles of alignment, balance, and relaxation. As the body moves effortlessly through the form, executing naturally the principles of CABR (Centering, Alignment, Balance, and Relaxation), the mind perceives the physical interpretations of Yin/Yang and Pa Qua, and the three dimensional horizonal and vetical parallel lines, and the Pa Qua directions, corners, and the specific angles, etc.
Strengthening of the body is accelerated as one is introduced to 'dynamic' power push hand. In 'dynamic' push hand, the body, the energy, and the mind are further enriched as we apply CABR principles. We are further reminded why the principle of 'full and empty' is so important and emphasized when we are executing Tai Chi Chuan [form]. As a result of undestanding 'full and empty' principle, the principle of 'borrowing energy' is properly executed in 'dynamic' push hand. When 'borrowing energy' principle is properly executed, one realizes the principle of 'minimizing the body motion' to generate the internal power. The joints, the internal organs, and the internal muscles are conditioned and strengthened through the proper execution of 'dynamic' power push hand. Slowly but surely 'Peng Jing' is nurtured. With constant practice, one learns how to maintain the structure of 'Peng Jing' (hence, 'complete internal connection') and generate this formidable power.
As a footnote, the principle of 'borrowing energy' is not the technique of 'yielding', 'neutralizing', or 'deflecting'.
As one understands and becomes proficient on the principle of 'borrowing energy' through 'dynamic' push hand practice, one realizes the presence of the principle of 'borrowing energy' within the execution of the Tai Chi Chuan [form]; thus, the realization of doing Tai Chi Chuan [form] like 'dynamic' push hand, and doing 'dynamic' push hand like Tai Chi Chuan [form].
Internal energy 'Chi', ascends to the internal power energy 'Peng Jing', and as expected, one realizes there are more higher levels of the internal power energy. With this ascension of the internal power energy, the realization of 'Neng' begins to dawn.
Grandmaster Yeung Sau-Chung was extremely powerful and had the utmost understanding of Tai Chi Chuan. Anyone who has seen his private video collection or his solo form video on Youtube can perceive the power within his movements. His 'complete internal connection' and understanding of 'motion in stillness' is flawless. All of his movements are done effortless but with power, a human super-hydraulic in action. To Grandmaster Yeung Sau-Chung, the speed of his execution matters very little. He can go either much faster or slower than what people see in the videoclip if he so wishes. He is in the realm beyond the different frames and forms. His 'Neng' energy has emerged into 'Stillness'. He has become Tai Chi Chuan and Tai Chi Chuan, Grandmaster Yeung Sau-Chung. It is this understanding that he tried to share with those who were lucky enough to train with him. All three frames and three forms are simply paths to that realm. Grandmaster Yeung Sau-Chung travelled a journey that is unthinkable to most of us, and eventually entered the level which most Tai Chi Chuan practitioners cannot begin to comprehend. Most of us will never travel this journey, for one reason or another. From his forefathers, Grandmaster Yeung Sau-Chung inherited the entire family system, and was fully capable of three frames and three forms, and yet, he decided on the middle path: "Medium Frame/Tiger Form".
There is only ONE way of doing Tai Chi Chuan form, Yang Sau Chung SIGONG's way. Period!
Everything else is...terribly plagiarized...horrendously counterfeited!