Why the Short and Medium Forms Were Created
The benefits of tai chi come from doing it, rather than only being exposed to or reading about it.
For 50 years Master Frantzis has taught Tai Chi in America and Europe to benefit his students to the maximum extent possible given the time available. From 1987 for 15 years he only taught the complete traditional Wu long form composed of 3 sections, which repeats certain movements regularly within the form.
However, a problem emerged in terms of people learning the long form and more importantly practicing it regularly. This was a lack of patience and commitment by many Westerners caused by modern time pressured lifestyles with the all too common refrain “who has the time?” So Bruce invented a short form which gave most of tai chi’s health and stress relief benefits but took a third of the time to both learn and practice. The short form which only takes 4 minutes to do is composed of bits and pieces of the 1st and 2nd sections of the long form and avoids repletion’s of movements.
Then as many got into the short form, they loved what tai chi did for them. But after practicing for several years they wanted to benefit more. But the time commitment of doing a long form seemed to be too much. So they quit practicing the short form: throwing out the baby with the bath water so to speak. So Master Frantzis invented the medium form which timewise which timewise was longer but not too long, only 7 or eight minutes. It is adds important elements taken from the 2nd and 3rd sections of the long form. For which anyone who has done the long form can always use improvement.
How the Course Will Be Taught
A car is composed of both a body and its engine. In tai chi the body is its sophisticated slow-motion physical movements. The engine is the internal chi methods which empower and maximize the benefits the form can deliver to you. The engine requires the car to house it and make the power of the engine useable for the human body.
In this summer retreat Master Frantzis senior students will teach the fundamental movement basics of the body through the short and medium forms, ie. the body of the car. While Master Frantzis himself will focus on teaching the more beneficial qi work within the form. As well as for those who have done the long form previously to translate the internal chi content of the medium form into the appropriate movements of the long form.
To benefit people most in their lives Master Frantzis has found it is best and necessary to learn the external form movements first and the internal chi movements next. Rather than mixing them together, as he did for so many years. Since his goal is to benefit people the most, this is how his school will work in future.
In tai chi, the short form is the foundation. The medium form goes to the next beneficial level and the long form is the complete source code of Wu tai chi.
To benefit you the most, only after you can sufficiently do the short form well enough, will you qualify to learn the next more advanced step of the medium form. For those who can’t do short form, Bruce’s senior. students will teach them that. For those who can’t do the medium form, the Master’s senior students will teach them that. During this time for approximately an hour a day Master Frantzis himself will move between teaching these two groups. For those who can do the medium and short forms already, Bruce will then teach them for the rest of the day the more internal qi aspects and physical refinements of the medium form and how they translate into the long form.