Bob Lau Teaches 3 different Taijiquan forms along with attendant exercises, principles and applications. Bob teaches Spiral Taiji first and most often followed by the Chen New Frame Long form. He also teaches the Yang style Long Form.
The Difference Between Taiji and Tai Chi
There is none, they are simply different spellings of the original Chinese.
The Difference Between Taiji and Taijiquan
The difference between Taiji and Taijiquan is that Taiji is a Qigong, a method of physical nurturance; while Taijiquan is Kung Fu, a method of physical nurturance and self-defense. Many people in the west are now aware of Taiji, of the slow, reflective movements done by Chinese people in their parks, and increasingly by many others all over the world. Taiji, as it is commonly known, is a superb health tonic and moving meditation; and it is beautiful to observe. But the slow, mesmerizing form is but a small part of the Taiji story. Taijiquan is actually a fully developed, complete martial art. It is a marvel of health and a method of deep focus, but it is also very effective in a fight. The moves are first learned and practiced slowly so as to get all of the hundreds of details correct and the body relaxed. When the principles are correct, the body relaxed and the mind calm, then self-defense becomes easy.
More formally called Yin Yang Silk Reeling Taijiquan, this rare Taiji is taught as a part of the Xin Yi Liu He Quan of Master “Q”. Done slowly, many of the moves echo moves from Xin Yi, though done in a way to be able to examine them closely while moving with healing smoothness. The basic form is a 24-move collection that takes about 5 minutes to complete.
Chen Style New Frame
Chen style is more vigorous than Yang style (below), and more complex. Chen family Taijiquan is considered the mother of Yang family Taiji, yet moves in a much more masculine, powerful method. Chen Taiji develops mobility, agility and flexibility.
Chen style can be done either with power or slow like Yang style. The emphasis is on spiral movement of the body—the silk-reeling skills that are so useful in building up the health of the tissues and joints while delivering magnified fighting prowess.
The Chen style taught is Xin Jia (New Frame) which is the form taught by the famous Chen Fa-Ke. It consists consisting of 83 named postures. Expect to take about a year learning just the basic outline of this long and intricate martial dance of beauty. The form takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete one run-through.
Bob’s two main Chen influences are Masters Ma Hong and Zhang Sheng-yi. When focusing on Chen Taijiquan, the classes consist of ji-ben gong (foundational training), learning to execute the first routine well, and push-hands. The student can learn the 2nd Routine (“Cannon Fist”) after learning the first routine.
Yang Style Taijiquan
Yang style is what most people think about (however vaguely) when they hear the word Taiji. Yang style is done slowly and gracefully and is suitable for everyone. It gradually builds strength and flexibility. It promotes stability, open and relaxed movements, joint health, a calm mind, and a strong body. The Yang style taught is the traditional form of 105 postures (pre-Chinese Revolution) as taught to Bob from Master Tung Kai Ying. This is a super-slow form that takes 25 minutes to complete.