The Wisdom of Beautiful Whiskers
by Bataan Faigao
17 LONG FORM/ SHORT FORM
1. To teach 300,000 (at Huang Po Military Academy) Lao Shr had to simplify the form. Otherwise it would have taken him forty months.
2. Each morning he would practice from 6:00- 7:30 in the morning, seven days a week, for seven years.
3. The long form tends to get sloppy. Even the originator, during a demonstration, forgot a section. Everything is packed into thirteen movements. They are the basis of everything that is. People went beyond the basic thirteen for the money ("to make their rice bowls bigger").
4. The t'ai-chi ch'uan form is not a matter of quantity. The original 128 movements were cut down to 37, and eventually to 13. (*6)
5. Cross Hands at the first third of the form is the 12th movement. Embrace the Tiger and Return to the Mountain is the 13th. The first third concerns the fist. The remaining concerns the foot.
6. Long Boxing: long referring to continuity. The circle goes to the end.(*7)
7. Once you understand one movement, you will understand all movements. This is also true in Push Hands.
*6 And ultimately, to one.
*7 And of course, the beginning.