In 1956 the Beijing 24 step short form was created primarily for beginners by the National Physical Culture and Sports Commission in China.
It was put together to help make the stylish movements of Tai Chi Chuan, easier to learn by a complete novice. The 24 step short form of Tai Chi has numerous different titles, but is essentially the same set of movements.
The crucial movements from the Yang style long form are included in the 24 step short form, which gives this simple set a great feel for the beginner. Even when elderly, you will find the short set relatively easy to learn, giving you a really good grounding in the fundamental principles of Tai Chi Chuan. Practising this set daily will help to calm your mind, strengthen your body and enhance your everyday life.
Most of the kicks have been removed from this short set, making it easier to learn especially if you have not exercised for some time or have problems with overall flexibility.
It should take you between 4 to 8 minutes to successfully complete this short exercise set. In China the short 24 form has been actively encouraged by the Sports Commission to physically aid health for all. They realised that the whole country should be more proactive in the pursuit of good health rather than reactive. In the west we have really only come round to this way of thinking over the last decade. Doctors now realise that exercise routines like Tai Chi actively promote good health and longevity for all regardless of age.
In China it is very common to see workers practising the short form before they start work in the morning. This is the most common set of Tai Chi exercises practised throughout the world, which is usually taught as a general exercise routine. No official surveys have been done to confirm whether this is the case, but it is a well known phenomenon.
Short Form 24 Step Routine
- Commencing Preparation, Beginning
- Part the Wild Horse’s Mane
- White Crane Spreads Its Wings or Stork Cools Its Wings
- Brush Knee and Step Forward, Brush Knee and Twist Step
- Playing the Lute, Strum the Lute, Play Guitar
- Reverse Reeling Forearm, Step Back and Drive Monkey Away
- Left Grasp Sparrow’s Tail, Grasp the Bird’s Tail
- Ward Off (Peng)
- Single Whip Squatting Down, Snake Creeps Down,
- Rollback (Lu)
- Press (Ji)
- Push (An)
- Right Grasp Sparrow’s Tail
- Single Whip
- Wave Hands Like Cloud, Cloud Hands, Cloud Built Hands, Wave Hands in Clouds
- Single Whip
- High Pat on Horse , Step Up to Examine Horse
- Right Heel Kick , Separate Right Foot, Kick with Right Foot
- Strike to Ears with Both Fists
- Turn Body and Left Heel Kick
- Left Lower Body and Stand on One Leg
- Golden Rooster Stands on One Leg, Golden Bird Standing Alone
- Right Lower Body and Bird Stand on One Leg
- Shuttle Back and Forth, Fair Lady Works with Shuttles, Four Corners
- Needle at Sea Bottom
- Fan Through Back, Fan Penetrates Back
- Turn Body, Deflect, Parry, and Punch
- Appears Closed , Withdraw and Push, as if Closing a Door
- Cross Hands
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