HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF 48-PATTERN TAIJIQUAN SET
The present Chinese government popularizes wushu, which is the current Chinese term for kungfu, as a sport. Wushu competitions are conducted in seven categories, namely "changquan" which is Northern Shaolin, "nanquan" which is Southern Shaolin, "taijiquan" which is the Chinese Romanized word for Tai Chi Chuan, "daoshu" which is "sabre techniques", "jianshu" which is sword techniques, "gunshu" which is staff techniques, and "qiangshu" which is spear techniques.
As there were different styles of Taijiquan, the National Sports Council of China first created the 24-Pattern Simplified Taijiquan Set in 1956 for competition purposes. However, this set was totally of the Yang Style. So in 1976 the National Sports Council created the 48-Pattern Taijiquan Set, which included Chen Style, the two Wu Styles and Sun Style, though most of its patterns are still from Yang Style.
Can you find the various Taijiquan styles form the set? "Seven-Star Anchor" and "Double Kick", for example, are from Chen Style, "About Turn Palm Strike" and "Blue Dragon Emerges from Water" are from Wu Yu Xiang Style, "Lift Hand" and "False Leg Press Palm" are from Sun Style. Wu Chuan You Style is similar to Yang Style, from which many patterns can be found in the 48-Pattern Set.
Although the 48-Pattern Set was created for wushu competition, where demonstration was the primary criterion, all the patterns can be used for combat -- if practitioners know how, and Shaolin Wahnam students should have no difficulty to apply them for sparring. The underlying reason is that Taijiquan, whatever its style, is basically a martial art, though wushu practitioners today use it for demonstration.
Wong Kiew Kit
7th January 2016
48-Pattern Taijiquan in Pictures
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