So, I’ve been thinking – Taijiquan

My wife called me the other day about a patient of hers looking for a taijiquan class. Her teacher apparently retired. My wife was asking who I could recommend since this person was “advanced”. Not knowing what advanced means, I asked what she meant. She said “doing taijiquan a long time.”
To be honest that means little, could just be doing the form for a long time with no depth, just the dance. Could also mean a lot of depth or anywhere in between.

Then she asked about my Shifu and what he taught these days. I told her he is basically retired and only teaches form. None of his current students have the slightest interest in push hands, applications, or usage…just form.

I am not into self-aggrandizing, I am more likely the one to be self-deprecating, but all of sudden it hit me, I may be the only one in the area that knows what my shifu use to teach, the only one who has any possibility of teaching it as a martial art. I am only talking traditional Yang style by the way. There is a serious student of William CC Chen in my area and anther who is a serious student of the Chen family. There may be one other who teaches the stuff that comes from Erle Montaigue, but I have not heard much from him since the pandemic. However, all the rest I can think of teach only form. I know of a couple who are working on things like push hands and applications, so far they are mostly applying long fist, karate and sanda to taijiquan. However, I give them credit for trying and they are a whole lot of fun to train with, and I do learn from them too.

Before I can get back to doing anything seriously with Yang taijiquan I need to get this knee working properly, then I need to work, then do a whole lot of forms work with associated qigong. Then work with a few people I know on push hands, qinna and applications. Oh, and I hope to work with some aikido folks to get my falls and breakfalls back. Many may not know this, but there is a lot of Shuaijiao in my flavor of Yang Taijiquan too.

So, I’m working on taijiquan and standing practice again. Only able to do the first 15 postures, to “apparent closing” (my shifu refers to this as the first third, even though it is not a third)

Standing, wuji and standing post, wuji is about 5 minutes, standing post is about 3 minutes


Wuji - and my Shigong, Tung Ying Chieh


Standing post - Chen Zhenglei

But it’s a start, and I’m in no rush, have a long way to go to get back. It will be at least a year till I think I will be able to teach forms properly and return to push hands and at least another year for qinna, breakfalls, shuaijiao and the like. And I can’t retire for 2 years and likely it is more like 5, so I have time. Still going to work on Sun Style, can’t help it, it’s the xingyiquan in the style talking to the xingyiquan in me. Also have a few taijiquan teachers, other than mine, I might try and train with too. And I still have my shifu to ask questions, when necessary, as well.

I've trained a few styles of taijiquan but Yang the longest..... So....looks like I am a Yang style guy after all, I mean I’ve only trained if for close to 30 years, so why not.

Enough from me


Wuji now 5 minutes and standing post now 5 minutes as well. Have not gone further with Yang Style long form. May start back working on the first few postures of the short Sun form I know.

Surprisingly, even though the Sun postures are higher and allegedly easier, the actual footwork was a bigger issue than Yang was for my knee and the stresses it put on it.
I know you posted this last month, but to let you know Shifu Erle Montaigue passed away in 2001. His Son, Eli is now in charge of his school / kwoon.
Shifu Erle Montaigue also knew and taught QiGong (Chi Kung). He was very kind to me and helped me years ago with basic QiGong with out cost to me..simply to help me out with a physical issue I dealing with.

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