Ta Chi Fan

My latest endeavor in learning Tai Chi has been doing the Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan style. It’s been a lot of fun, even though as the only non-Chinese speaker in the class I missed out on a lot of the commentary, I did learn a lot just by watching Master YunXiu Yang.

One of her other students came by and recorded a portion of the form, you can watch it here. I’m the red blob way in the back – it was a bit blustery and cold out that day.

The whole form starts with a slow section, then 2 fast sections, a very brief break, another fast section and ends up with another slow section. Some of the forms are similar to the forms in regular Tai Chi, such as Grasp the Sparrow’s Tail, and Snake Creeps Down. I don’t know Kung Fu, but I expect many of the forms relate to that art. I don’t know the whole history of the fan in Tai Chi, it appears that this set of forms was developed in the past 50 years. Tai Chi fan has been used in the past as a weapon, with blades attached to the tips of the bamboo strips. As a short weapon, it can be hidden easily in the clothing, and then used to block or parry sword or staff blows, and even used to thwap someone on top of the head.

Here’s another video, this time of people who know the form and do it quite well – I hope to be in that class someday. Maybe I’ll post a video of myself then.

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