37 posture Wu form developed by master Wang Pei Sheng, a student of master Yang Yu Ting
Wang Mao Zhai Lineages
In 1953, he finished a great work, the Wu Style Thirty-Seven Posture Form. At that time, he was teaching at the Beijing Industrial College. Some faculty and students complained to him that the traditional form took too long. At over 40 minutes, many of the busy college faculty and students often did not have time to finish one repetition of the form. So Master Wang had the idea for a short form.
The first thing he did was to remove all the repetitive movements, so that trimmed down the form to just 37 postures. Then he edited and rearranged these postures to create a new form. The logic he used was to put some of the simple and easy movements in the beginning of the form, with some complex and difficult movements in the middle, and finally some quiet and relaxing movements in the end.
He kept experimenting with the new form as he started teaching it to people. He thought it can be make even more efficient, using even fewer postures. He analyzed the form in detail. Recalling his own learning experience, he realized the traditional approach relied on countless repetitions to finally drill into the student what the correct feelings should be, teachers really didn’t explain much in detail. Using this approach, it is only those who are naturally more
sensitive and intuitive who finally acquired the skills. For many others the skills and concepts remained very difficult to grasp, even after decades of practice.
So Master Wang took the next step of breaking apart the 37 non-repeating postures in Taiji Quan form into their 178 individual movements. For the first time in history, for each of these movements, he standardized them: First, he provided detailed and exacting guidelines on just how each movement should be performed, the direction, angle, and many other aspects. Second, he told people what the correct feeling for each movement should be. Third, he used
the idea of Liu He Ba Fa (six integration and eight basic methods) to explain each movement. Fourth, he explained how to practice shen, ii, and qi in that movement. And five, he told you how to link all these detailed movements, from internal to external, so that energy is transferred smoothly between each link.
After many years of modifications and enhancements, he made his new form public. Today, we can safely say, after observing the experiences of all the people who have practiced this form in the last half century, that this new form is more efficient as a training tool than the traditional long form. Everything is very clean, straightforward, and easy to understand by comparison. It was an instant success. Years later he was to published book and video of this form.
Wang Pei Sheng Taiji youtube.com
Remembering Great Master Wang Peisheng by Zhang Yun ycgf.org
Wu Style Taijiquan by Wang Peisheng & Zeng Weiqi