The 24 Posture Simplified Form

The 24 Posture Simplified form was the result of an effort by the Chinese Sports Committee, which, in 1956, brought together four Tai Chi teachers to create a simplified form of Tai Chi as exercise for the masses. The creators truncated the traditional family style Tai Chi forms to 24 postures; taking about six minutes to perform and to give the beginner an introduction to the essential elements of Tai Chi Chuan, yet retain the traditional flavour of traditionally longer hand forms (in general, 88-108 postures).1

I personally think this is a great form. I have been practicing a number of forms over the years and after I learned this one after many years of practicing longer forms, I stuck with it. Though it is a little faster to perform than other forms, it still has all the elements you would find in any other Tai Chi Chuan form and is not necessarily easier than any other to master. Besides this, the counting in forms is usually very arbitrary and some forms would count movements which other forms consider as one and you can always perform a form slower.

The most important thing is not to dismiss the spirit of Tai Chi Chuan. Practice with the 13 principles and 13 postures in mind and practice consciously. When done this way, it does not really matter what form you choose to do or master. It is just easier to stick with one and expand on it to eventually learn it in depth instead of mastering hundreds of forms and missing the essence of the art.

I also copied a link to coach Li Jing’s instructional video on the simplified Yang-Style 24-Form Taijiquan which I believe is the best one out there.

  1. Commencing (Qǐshì, 起势) (Preparation, Beginning)
  2. Wild Horse Parts Mane (Zuǒyòu Yémǎ Fēnzōng, 左右野马分鬃)
  3. White Crane Spreads Its Wings (Báihè Lìangchì, 白鹤亮翅)
  4. Brush Knee and Step Forward (Zuǒyòu Lōuxī Àobù, 左右搂膝拗步)
  5. Play the Pipa (Shǒuhūi Pípā, 手挥琵琶)
  6. Step Back and Repulse Monkey (Dǎo niǎn hóu 倒攆猴)
  7. Left Grasp Sparrow’s Tail (Zuǒ Lǎn Què Wěi, 左揽雀尾)
    – Ward Off (Bīng, 掤), Rollback (Lǚ, 捋), Press (Jǐ, 擠), Push (Àn, 按)
  8. Right Grasp Sparrow’s Tail (Yòu Lǎn què wěi, 右揽雀尾)
  9. Single Whip (Dān biān, 单鞭)
  10. Cloud Hands (Yúnshǒu, 云手)
  11. Single Whip (Dān biān, 单鞭)
  12. High Pat on Horse (Gāo tàn mǎ, 高探马)
  13. Right Heel Kick (Yòu dēng jiǎo, 右蹬脚)
  14. Strike to Ears with Both Fists (Shuāng fēng guàn ěr, 双峰贯耳)
  15. Turn Body and Left Heel Kick (Zhuǎnshēn zuǒ dēngjiǎo, 转身左蹬脚)
  16. Left Lower Body and Stand on One Leg (Zuǒ Xià shì dúlì, 左下势独立)
    – Single Whip Squatting Down, Snake Creeps Down,
    – Golden Rooster Stands on One Leg, Golden Bird Standing Alone
  17. Right Lower Body and Stand on One Leg (Yòu Xià shì dúlì, 右下势独立)
  18. Jade Maiden Threads Shuttle (Yòuzuǒ yùnǚ chuānsuō, 右左玉女穿梭)
  19. Needle at Sea Bottom (Hǎidǐ zhēn, 海底针)
  20. Fan Through Back (Shǎn tōng bì, 闪通臂)
  21. Turn, Deflect, Parry, and Punch (Zhuǎnshēn Bānlánchuí, 转身搬拦捶)
  22. Apparent Close (Rúfēng shìbì, 如封似闭)
  23. Cross Hands (Shízìshǒu, 十字手)
  24. Closing (Shōushì, 收势)1