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What is the difference between the long and short form in Tai Chi?

And which form do most Chinese do daily?


  1. The Length of the stance. Meaning both the number of motions in each form and the spacing of your feet in the rooted position.

  2. Tai Chi like most martial arts has gone through a series of evolutions and changes. The more recent history of taijiquan has taken what was once a very effective form of martial art and turned it into merely a form of exercise for some.
    The short forms came about as a way of introducing the basics of the various forms (Chen, Yang, etc.) to the general public. The idea was to make the whole of the form easier for beginners to learn. For example, I believe the Yang style long form contains 108 postures and was altered by Yang Cheng-fu removing the vigorous fajing movements to the slow moving form most know today to accentuate the health benefits. A student of his, Cheng Man Ching who lived in New York City, introduced this form of the art to America and shortened it to a 37 posture form by removing certain postures and repetitive movements from the longer form of his teacher. Both men’s efforts were to make the art more available to the average person.
    Other styles of taijiquan have developed short forms for similar reasons. Unfortunately, some of these efforts have only served to “waterdown” the art.
    As to which form most Chinese do daily…. Don’t know. But there aren’t just two forms (long and short), there are many various styles of the art as well.
    If you’re looking to begin learning, I suggest you look for a teacher who’s focus is both on the health and the combative elements of the art.

  3. The Difference is the NUmber of postures in the form
    Short Form Tai Chi is about 64 postures long
    Long Form is Closer to 128 Postures
    Both long and short are part of the same forms and the first 64 of long for are exactly the same as Short Form, you just cut the second half off for short form.
    The form practiced varies from person to person
    Now you may be thinking about is it Tai Chi Chuan or Tai Chi Chen these are actuall two differnt form all together and most chinese practice Tai Chi Chuan as it is a little older (out of the temples)

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