Don't miss our Sifu demonstration of the Yang Family Form 108 at 10 am. on November 13 at Sunnylands!
Don't miss our Sifu demonstration of the Yang Family Form 108 at 10 am. on November 13 at Sunnylands!
 

Form

The 13 original postures of tai chi are said to have developed in the Wu Dang Temple in the late 1300s. Tai chi later grew as distinct forms rooted in different Chinese families. The Yang Family Form, or Tai Chi Form 108, is the most practiced tai chi form in the world. It is attributed to Yang Lu Chan, “The Unsurpassed” (1799-1872), who is purported to be the father of the Yang Family Form.

Roots in the feet
Shows in the legs
Controls at the waist
Issues from the back
Presents in the hands
Expresses in the eyes

Form 108 is comprised of three segments which increase in complexity as the form progresses.

Segment 1

COMMENCEMENT

Grasp the Bird’s Tail
Ward Off
Roll Back
Press Forward at the Elbow
Push
Root left and turn for Single Whip
Play Guitar right
Shoulder Push
White Crane Spreads Its Wings

Brush Knee left and Push
Step back right and Play Guitar left
Brush Knee left and Push

Twist Step left
Brush Knee right and Push
Twist Step right
Brush Knee left and Push
Step Back right and Play Guitar left

Brush Knee left and Push
Twist Step left
Parry and Punch
Push

Root right and turn
As if Closing a Door
Root left Apparent Close-Up
End of First Segment

Segment 2

Carry the Tiger to the Mountain
Ward Off Fist
Roll Back
Press Forward at the Elbow
Push
Root left and turn for Diagonal Single Whip

Fist Punch under Elbow
Step Back left and Repulse Monkey left
Step Back right and Repulse Monkey right
Step Back left and Repulse Monkey left
Slant Flying right

Step Up right to Play Guitar right
Shoulder Push
White Crane Spreads its Wings

Brush Knee left and Push
Step Back right and Needle to the Bottom of the Sea
Fan through the back left
Turn and Chop Down right

Twist foot right and Parry and Punch
Twist Step left and Ward Off
Roll Back
Press Forward at the Elbow
Push
Root left and turn for Single Whip

Waving Hands Like Cloud left right left right left
Root right and Single Whip
Step Up right and left (Snakes Tongue)
Pat the High Horse to right
Gather Separate and Kick right
Root right Pat the High Horse left
Gather Separate and Kick left
Turn 135 degrees to right diagonal

Heel Kick left
Brush Knee left and Push
Brush Knee right and Push
Brush Knee left and Push
Twist Step left step right to Parry and Punch down (groin)
Turn right and Chop Down

Twist Step right and Parry and Punch
Pull Back right Step Up left, Separate
Gather, Separate and Kick right
Step Behind right, Step left and Punch the Tiger in the Chest and Forehead left
Root right, Twist Step left, Step right to Punch the Tiger in the Chest and Forehead right

Root left Gather and Separate and Kick right
Dual Winds Strike at the Temples with both fists right
Step Back right and Separate and Kick left (heel kick)

Turn 360 Degrees on left
Separate and Kick right
Diagonal Step right and Parry and Punch
Push

Root right and Turn
As if Closing a Door
Apparent Close-Up
End of Second Segment

Segment 3

Carry the Tiger to the Mountain
Ward Off Right Fist
Roll Back
Press Forward at the Elbow
Push

Root left and turn for Horizontal Single Whip
Root right and turn to Slant Flying right
Pull Back left and turn to Slant Flying left
Pull Back right and turn to Slant Flying right
Pull Back left and turn to Grasp the Bird’s Tail

Ward Off
Roll Back
Press Forward at the Elbow
Push

Single Whip
Pull Back, right Root left right left Jade Girl Works the Shuttle NE
Pull Back, right Root left right and Jade Girl Works the Shuttle NW
Root left, Step Behind right Root left Jade Girl Works the Shuttle SW
Pull Back, right Root left right Jade Girl Works the Shuttle SE
Root left Turn to Grasp the Birds Tail
Ward Off
Roll Back
Press Forward at the Elbow
Push

Single Whip
Waving Hands like Cloud left right left right left
Single Whip
Snake Creeps Down right
Rise Golden Cock Stand on one Leg left
Step Back right, Golden Cock Stands on one Leg right
Step Back left and Repulse Monkey left
Step Back right and Repulse Monkey right
Step Back left and Repulse Monkey left
Gather and Slant Flying right Diagonal

Step Up left Raise Hands and Play Guitar
Shoulder Push and White Crane Spreads its Wings
Brush Knee left Step Back right
Needle at the Bottom of the Sea

Root left, Fan through the Back
Turn and Chop Down, right Twist Step right
Parry and White Snake Sticks out its Tongue
Twist Step left and Ward Off
Roll Back
Press Forward at the Elbow
Push

Single Whip
Waving Hands Like Cloud left right left right left

Single Whip
Step up right and left (Spear)
Root left, Turn 180 degrees to right
Separate and Kick right
Step to right Diagonal
Brush Knee left Groin Punch
Twist Step left and Ward Off
Roll Back
Press Forward at the Elbow
Push

Single Whip
Step back right, Snake Creeps Down
Root left, right foot forward to Show the Seven Stars left Hand over right
Step Back right to Ride the Tiger

Left Front Heel Kick
Turn right 360
Root left Lotus Kick Horizontally
Step right Diagonal, Shoot the Tiger with the Bow
Root left Diagonal, Step right Diagonal to Parry and Punch
Push
Root right and Turn right As if Shutting a Door
Apparent Close Up
Conclusion of Tai Chi Chuan 108 Long Form

Principles

Yang Chengfu was the grandson of the founder of Yang Family Tai Chi and the son of second generation Yang Tai Chi master Yang Chien Hou. Yang Chengfu’s “Ten Essential Principles” are well known throughout the world and are considered foundational to the practice of tai chi. These principles address the two essential keys: consistent body structure and integrity, and intentional movement of energy.  

They are an excellent reminder that meaningful tai chi practice is always rooted in principle.