The 24-posture Simplified Form of t'ai chi ch'uan, (Chinese:太极拳; pinyin: Tàijíquán) sometimes called the Beijing or Peking form for its place of origin, is a short version of Yang style T'ai chi composed of twenty-four unique movements (Wikipedia).
The form was the result of an effort by the Chinese Sports Committee, which, in 1956, brought together four t'ai chi teachers - Chu Guiting, Cai Longyun, Fu Zhongwen, and Zhang Yu - to create a simplified form of t'ai chi as exercise.
The creators truncated the traditional family style t'ai chi forms to 24 postures; taking about six minutes to perform and to give the beginner an introduction to the essential elements of t'ai chi ch'uan, yet retain the traditional flavor of traditional longer hand forms (in general, 88-108 postures). Due to this official promotion, the 24-form is most likely the t'ai chi-form with the most practitioners in China and the world over (though no surveys have been performed).
You can download a very good history and description of the form by Robert Yeoh.
For practice purposes, you can download a MP3 version with a full description and music. Right-click and select "Save as" to save the file to your PC.The movements of the form are listed below:
Illustrations of the main movements
- Parting the Wild Horse's Mane (3 times)
- White Crane Spreads its Wings
- Brush Knee and Side Step (3 times)
- Play the Lute
- Step Back and Repulse Monkey (4 times)
- Grasp the Sparrow's Tail - left
- Grasp the Sparrow's Tail - right
- Single Whip
- Wave Hands Like Clouds (3 times)
- Single Whip
- High Pat on Horse
- Kick With Right Heel
- Strike Ears With Fists
- Kick With Left Heel
- Snake Creeps Down (left) and Golden Rooster Stands on right leg
- Snake Creeps Down (right) and Golden Rooster Standson Right Leg
- Fair Lady Weaves the Shuttle (right and left)
- Needle at the Bottom of the Sea
- Fan through Back
- Deflect Downwards, Parry and Punch
- Apparent Close Up
- Cross Hands
- Closing Form
published by the People's Sports Publishing House in China in 1973.
The form performed by Gao JaiMin with English titles.
Click on a video and it will open in YouTube.
Rear View with captions
24 Form Tai Chi Demonstration Rear View by William Tsai
Ric Bolzan practicing with friends in Quzhou, China, 2012.