BENEFITS OF PRACTICING THE CLASSIC YANG STYLE LARGE FRAME FORM

The Classic Yang Family Large Frame Form sets the standard for all other forms that follow in the Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan curriculum. Stances, timing, and angles are consistent throughout the form. If practiced correctly, the form will strengthen the whole body and open the joints. The Yang Style Large Frame Form emphasizes body alignment as well as proper weight shifting. Consistent and regular practice of the form also helps to develop internal power.

What makes the Yang Style Large Frame Form unique is its use of large circular movements that enable the tendons and ligaments to open and become flexible. It is meant, by design, to open the joints and stretch the tendons and ligaments.

Building The Foundation

A strong foundation in Tai Chi Chuan begins with the waist, legs, and feet. As you learn to relax and move as a single unit, all of your body weight will sink down to the legs and feet. With practice, your legs gradually become strong enough to support your upper body weight. This sinking of body weight also stretches tendons and ligaments. The waist connects the upper body with the legs and feet. Initially, you rely on external muscle strength, but eventually the Yang Family Large Frame Form develops internal strength as a result of its focus on the tendons and ligaments rather than reliance on the muscles.

The Yang Family Large Frame Form emphasizes large circular movements and wide stances consistently throughout the form. These movements are designed to strengthen the legs, stretch tendons and ligaments, and sink the body weight down to the feet. The form normally takes about twenty minutes to complete. When the legs are strong and the weight sinks to feet, a strong "root" can develop.

Opening The Joints

Large circular movements and wide stances help to loosen the waist and open the joints by stretching tendons and ligaments. The Yang Family Large Frame Form requires the arms and legs to be extended but relaxed.

Classic postures such as Wave Hands Like Clouds and Single Whip emphasize twisting the waist and opening the hips. The shoulders, chest, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles will gradually open and become more flexible as a result of practicing the Yang FamilyLarge Frame Form.

Developing Internal Power

Work on developing internal power can begin when the legs are able to support the upper body weight. It is essential that a student understand how to relax before he or she can become sensitive to the body's internal energy. The Large Frame stresses relaxed but structured movement. The body is not limp, it is relaxed with structure. Large circular movements will loosen the body and eventually will allow the chi or inner energy to circulate freely throughout the body.

Advantages

A student who conscientiously practices the Yang Family Large Frame Form will benefit from open flexible joints and limber tendons and ligaments which enable unrestricted movement, strong legs to support relaxed upper body weight, a keen awareness of body alignment, and a sense of being rooted.

It is essential that one develop those primary skills before moving on to more advances levels of Tai Chi Chuan. By John Stein

Back to Articles