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tai chi short form

How the tai chi short form came to be.

24 steps form snake creeps downAs a physician Cheng was convinced that  tai chi chuan would help his patients recover more quickly unfortunately, the traditional forms took a long time to learn. And so he worked to create a form that would maintain the essence of the original form but be easier to learn.

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And so the 108 long form was shortened and the  37 posture form, as  Professor Cheng Man-Ching called it, came into being. The Professor  continued to make adjustments to the form so that you can see differences between the form as it was originally thought of and performances that he gave in later life.    click here for Cheng man ching form

Interesting although it is now often referred to as the yang short form Professor Cheng always called it the 37 posture form.

The story of how the form was developed is a little hazy with some confusion about dates and the sequence of events.

Suffice to say that the professor appears to have taken to tai chi because he was ill and daily practice allowed him to make a full recovery.

Some years later Professor Cheng was approached by the Kuomintang government to help create a formal fitness program for Chinese schoolchildren.

Then in 1934, the Chinese Ministry of Education published the  formal fitness program designed by  YMCA director Charles McCloy, and with the tai chi forms supplied by Professor Cheng. The program ran with a few minor alterations until the  1970s.