A friend of mine had mentioned to me Jou Tsung Hwa’s theory regarding Taiji training, that is start off with the chen and then progress to the Yang. To be more specific:
His theories were simple though sometimes controversial. The practice of taiji should follow the evolution of the art. Chen Form(s) should always be studied first, its principles understood and mastered. Only then should the Yang Form be studied, for only by mastering Chen could Yang be truly understood. The final stage of evolution was expressed in the Wu/Hao Form, which internalized the principles to its subtlest nuances. Beyond that was pure mind method. These, the “four classic forms,” as he considered them, comprised the heart of his taiji study and teachings.Source: Peaceful Wolf Tai Chi on JTH
This is a rather interesting thought and something I’ve been considering and playing around with myself. Perhaps this is another one of the things-I-think-about-so-I-do-not-practice kinda of thing, but who knows…
However, one of the things I really agree with in regards to the article, was JTH’s take on “Back to the Basics”. This is key and something I’ve been really trying to focus on myself. Forget all that fancy stuff, do the zhan zhaung to develop root, do some silk reeling to develop connected movement and integrate into form. Mainly, I’ve been trying to integrate these principles into isolated sections of the form, generally the ones that include lazy tie coat, single whip, wave hands, basically the key postures. I decided a couple of years ago to stop doing weapons and focus purely on the hand until I feel I got things right.