Tai Chi Chuan hand forms are what most people think of when they think of Tai Chi. The hand forms are immediately recognisable and are performed by thousands of people every single day. The hand form has a well deserved reputation for increasing health and lowering blood pressure. The hand form has a reputation for being meditation in motion and this is true to a certain degree. The hand form does indeed require a degree of focus that is unusual with today’s fast paced lifestyle. In our modern world where TV scenes last a mere 30 seconds, twitter messages are sent every few seconds and Facebook is updated with every minor event actually taking time out to prefect a form represents quite a challenge. Taking the time to examine the minor details of the form, concentrate on every change, pick apart each move and do this time after time requires a dedication not often found nowadays. The form can simply be enjoyed for what it is too but to get the most out of each practice it does need to be examined. The form can often be mistaken for a dance if not taken seriously and as a student of Tai Chi Chuan we want to avoid this, we need the form to mean something.
The hand form is more than just a routine though. It is an aide memoir to each an every application. Every single move in the hand form means something. Every single step, every single change, every single movement means something.
The Wudang style contains a number of forms. Some are core to the style and others are for competitions or self-development. The forms in the Wudang style are:
Long Form – The traditional form of Wudang Tai Chi Chuan
Short Form – A short form that can be used in competitions or at home when time is short.
Advanced Short Form – A form designed for competition use.
Sabre Form – The first weapon form learned.
Sword Form – The second weapon form learned.
Spear Form – The final weapon form learned.