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The 24 Posture Form

Copied from Simplified "Taijiquan" revised edition, compiled and translated by China Sports Magazine, published by People's Sports Publishing House of China. Also in Tai Chi Chuan, 24 & 48 Postures with Martial Applications by Liang, Shou-Yu and Wu, Wen-Ching, published by YMAA Publication Center.

This apparently goes by many names including Peking/Beijing Form, Simplified Tai Chi, Chinese National 24 Form Taiji, and probably other similar names. It was developed in 1956 and is based on the most popular sequences of the Yang style, arranged in increasing difficulty. As Dr. Paul Lam's article notes the four sections (my book has eight, so I guess he paired them up) are arranged very logically -- the first has gentle stretching of the limbs, the second has more stretching and turning with Grasp the Bird's Tail as the theme of the form, the third has the climax with the most difficult moves like heel kicks, and the fourth has technically difficult but less physically demanding moves and slower, winding down movements to finish. It is performed at a slow, even pace and can be completed in approximately 4-6 minutes.

Section 1

  1. Commencing Form
  2. Part Wild Horse's Mane on Both Sides
  3. White Crane Flashes Its Wings

Section 2

  1. Brush Knee on Both Sides
  2. Strum the Lute
  3. Curve Back Arms on Both Sides

Section 3

  1. Grasp the Bird's Tail -- Left Style
  2. Grasp the Bird's Tail -- Right Style

Section 4

  1. Single Whip
  2. Wave Hands Like Clouds -- Left Style
  3. Single Whip

Section 5

  1. High Pat on Horse
  2. Kick with Right Heel
  3. Strike Opponent's Ears with Both Fists
  4. Turn and Kick with Left Heel

Section 6

  1. Push Down and Stand on One Leg -- Left Style
  2. Push Down and Stand on One Leg -- Right Style

Section 7

  1. Work at Shuttles on Both Sides
  2. Needle at Sea Bottom
  3. Flash Arm

Section 8

  1. Turn to Deflect Downward, Parry and Punch
  2. Apparent Close-up
  3. Cross Hands
  4. Closing Form