Tai Chi Long Form Manual
When I first built my Studio and started to be able to teach as much as I wanted and had a place to keep all the tools and essential goods ( swords, sabers, staffs, shoes, T-shirts, books, videos, etc.), I decided to write a training manual for students studying the Long Form. This was before I got my first computer and had an easy way to add pictures to text. So the text only manual was born. It is like a complete book, almost 200 pages, but without pictures.
The manual was divided into sections. The first was introductory, filled with information on what I thought was important for students of Tai Chi, at the Studio, to know. Things about me, about the studio, then lots on philosophy, Chi Kung (philosophical and many practical exercises), Push Hands, etc. Then came the explanation about the movements. Since I wasn’t using pictures, and all the people reading this manual were students of the Studio, I tried to explain the important aspects of each movement – basic idea (mostly application), feet (exact details of what the feet are doing at all times in the move), torso and arms (exact details), and focus (where the energy should be focused at all times).
The manual came in three binders: first, introductory material and first section, then second section, and finally third section. That way the student wouldn’t have to own a large book if they didn’t go past the first section.
When I finally got a computer, I put this manual onto a CD Rom. Easier to use, small in space. Then I decided to add pictures, and wrote the online course – Yang Style Long Form Tai Chi Chuan. I then put both of these on one CD Rom with the ability to move back and forth from one to the other – say from move #10 on the pure written to #10 on the picture version. The first, pure text, is more detailed with exact angles, excreta, while the one with pictures is more general. I think it worked well.
At some point I put up on my web site the picture version. Now I am adding the text version. I’m not sure yet if we can make the skipping back and forth happen. It takes a lot of time and energy to do this, but we’ll see.
What I think all serious students of my Tai Chi form should do is, when starting to learn the moves, print out the movement explanation of both the Manual and Online Course and put them in a binder. Before, during, and after studying the move, read over the material. Go to YouTube and study the Long Form Master Course lesson. Look at the reference video. With all that supporting material, I see no reason anybody can’t master Tai Chi Chuan.