With very limited times these days to train, I must that admit I like to do a short version of the forms I know. For example, if I want to practice the Yang form, I may do only the first 6 or so movements of the long form. The same holds true when I used to train in Chen Village Laojia set.
For me, I don’t really need to practice a long set to feel like I’ve done my share of training. Sometimes, it’s the quality of movement that counts as opposed to the quantity of movements we perform. Example being, in previous practice sessions, I would spend about an hour just going through the first 6 movements. I am not entirely sure how many repetitions of the movements I did, but I know I did a lot. More importantly, I was able to focus on the little things, the subtle things going on with each and every move as opposed to merely glossing over the form.
However, one negative of doing a partial form is not having a feeling a variety of movements to work on. It is hard to just work on the same 6 moves over and over and really tries one’s patience. Additionally, I would often end by just stepping into the ending posture. Sure, this can work but perhaps it would be nice to work on a short set that a trained instructor has put together.
A lot of teachers have created short versions of the forms. Initially, I saw little value in these sets and scoffed at them. But now, I do see value in training the short sets because that is essentially what I do. Long forms have their place in a curriculum as do short forms.
Below is a video clip of “Little Yilu”, a form that was put together by a Brazilian student of Chen Zhonghua. As noted in the comments below, the form is not an “official” version, but can be used as an example and for further exploration.