Greetings. Wow! This week has been cold. Below freezing everyday. I don’t know how the goldfish survive when the pond freezes over, but they do. The Park was beautiful – views of the Cascade mountains all covered with snow. The hardy are bundled up and playing the form. Hope all is well for you. One of our instructors, Kevin Pedrey and his wife Holly, just had a baby girl this week. So cute.

San Shou (Partner Form)
Partner Form is one of the training forms of the Yang school of Tai Chi Chuan. In the course of the history of Tai Chi, this form is a fairly recent addition. I believe it was designed by a student of Yang Chengfu. In any case, it is a masterful blending of the movements of Yang solo form into a partner form. According to Yang Jwing-Ming, these are the key points:

1. Understand the martial applications of the art.

2. Master the skill of angling, trapping, yielding, and actual techniques.

3. Master stepping and sense of distance.

4. Learn how to trap and evade trapping.

5. Train your jin, both offensive and defensive, in movement.

6. Train your sense of enemy.

I originally learned this form from Master Jou, in a beautiful setting on Orchas Island in the San Juan Islands. We were outside during the summer, which helped the participants experience the Yang of the sun, and its opposite, the Yin quality of the water surrounding us.

Quite a few years ago, I, with the assistance of Sifu Rex Long, made a four part video of this form. Very detailed. It is now posted on YouTube. If you have never seen this form, it is worth a view. This form can also be practiced as a solo form with good results, but having a partner makes the experience more meaningful.