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Cheng Man-Ching's Tai Chi Short Form Videos

Yang-Style "37 Postures" Short Form From: Essential Sports and Fitness Video Channel

This collection of videos of Cheng Man-Ching doing and teaching the Yang Short Form, includes the complete Tai Chi form DVD from the "Master Tapes" and rare 8mm videos of the Professor's form spanning the late 1950's to early 1970's. (With a subscription you can view these and all the other videos on this channel.)


"Master Tapes" Short Form Class 1

Beginner class in Yang Tai Chi Chuan Short Form

Cheng Man Ching showing Yang short Tai Chi form to class

The Yang Style Short Form was developed by Professor Cheng Man-Ching. It is slow, gentle, even flowing and relaxing. This video starts with a clip of Professor Cheng doing the Tai Chi form "for real" (as opposed to showing students correct positioning). Then, Professor Cheng instructs a beginner's class, with an emphasis on the position of the feet (shoulder-width apart) and shifting of the weight. Ed Young translates and Maggie Newman explains how Professor Cheng successfully communicated mainly through pantomine and by example.

From: Cheng Man-Ching and Don Ethan Miller (Master Tapes DVD) (00:07:55)

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To watch introduction to the Master Tapes Form DVD, click here

"Master Tapes" Short Form Class 2

Step-by-step instruction of the Yang Tai Chi Short Form

Cheng Man Ching doing Yang short Tai Chi form with class


Professor Cheng walks an intermediate class through the first half of the Tai Chi Form, occasionally pausing to emphasize certain positions and the softness of the motions. All the "Master Tapes" were shot between 1969 and 1971 in his New York City school. Yang has become the most popular style of Tai Chi because of its reputation for being excellent for stress reduction, health, self centering, and living a more enjoyable life.

From: Cheng Man-Ching and Don Ethan Miller (Master Tapes DVD) (00:05:38)

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"Master Tapes" Short Form Class 3

How the Tai Chi Form exercises internal organs and promotes health

Cheng Man Ching explaining Tai Chi posture with Tam Gibbs translating

In this class, Professor Cheng explains the connection between how our bodies work and how we should do the Tai Chi Form for maximum health benefits. He begins by showing correct positioning of the knees and hips and the alignment of shoulders and hands. He describes the role of breathing and slow, natural exercise in promoting circulation and helping prevent illness. He emphasizes doing the form at the right speed and with breathing to the "tan tien" (below the belly button). Tam Gibbs translates for the good doctor.

From: Cheng Man-Ching and Don Ethan Miller (Master Tapes DVD) (00:09:10)

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"Master Tapes" Short Form Class 4

Four Corners and Lotus Sweep of Yang Tai Chi Chuan Form

Cheng Man Ching showing Yang short form position

Professor Cheng reviews two sections of the Tai Chi Form where the detail movements sometimes cause confusion: "Four Corners" ("Fair Lady Works at Shuttles") and the "Lotus Sweep" and the kick and movement that follow. (Notice that the foot movement of Four Corners in Professor Cheng's form has been simplified somewhat by Grandmaster William C. C. Chen.) In the Lotus Sweep, Professor Cheng instructs that you swing the left foot and pivot on the ball of the right foot.

From: Cheng Man-Ching and Don Ethan Miller (Master Tapes DVD) (00:03:03)

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"Master Tapes" Short Form Class 5

Internal energy (chi) comes from correct breathing and relaxation

Cheng Man Ching instructing Tai Chi class with Ed Young translating

In this video, Professor Cheng continues his explanation of how to breathe and move the body as a whole to gain the health benefits of Tai Chi. He discusses developing chi (internal energy) and its relationship to sinking the breath down into the tan tien (below the navel). Ed Young narrates, and he and Maggie Newman recount their observations.

From: Cheng Man-Ching and Don Ethan Miller (Master Tapes DVD) (00:13:14)

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"Master Tapes" Short Form Class 6

Another movement-by-movement class on the Yang Tai Chi Short Form

Cheng Man Ching showing position in Yang Tai Chi short form


Professor Cheng leads an intermediate class step-by-step throught the Tai Chi Short Form. He goes out of his way to clarify the positions of the feet, knees, waist, and hands, and proper shifting of the weight. The slow, precise, and relaxed way he goes through the form makes this video an excellent review of the basics.

From: Cheng Man-Ching and Don Ethan Miller (Master Tapes DVD) (00:07:42)

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Two Early Videos of Cheng Man-Ching's Short Form

Taken in Taiwan park in early 1960's or late 1950's

Cheng Man Ching doing Yang Tai Chi Formin Taiwan park

We've repaired (as best we can) one of the earliest videos of Cheng Man-Ching doing his 37-Postures Yang Tai Chi Form. It's a wonderful, energetic version made when Cheng Man-Ching was in his late 50's or early 60's.

From: Cheng Man Ching (00:04:18, 8mm, with music)

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Excellent black and white version of the 37 Postures

Cheng Man Ching doing Yang Tai Chi Form in Taiwan park

Here's another great early video of Cheng Man-Ching's 37-Posture Form, with quite a different feeling and approach from the one above. After finishing, the Professor repeats a few key movements for clarity. (Narrated by martial arts expert, Robert Smith.)

From: Cheng Man Ching (DVD) (00:05:21)

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Yang Short Form (1969)

37 Postures of Tai Chi Chuan at Shr Jung School, NYC

Cheng Man Ching doing Yang Tai Chi Form

Professor Cheng is responsible for creating the popular Yang Short Form out of the traditional Yang Long Form, reducing its length from about 20 minutes to about 8 minutes. He changed the position of the hands, the size of the moves, and the stance to make a more relaxed and natural exercise that retains martial arts effectiveness and offers major health benefits. Grandmaster William C. C. Chen, who was also trained by Professor Cheng, further refined this "37 Postures" Form to create his popular (and similar) "60 Movement" Form (which also takes about 8 minutes.) The video was taken by one of his senior students, Ken Van Sickle, who makes some initial comments.

From: Ken Van Sickle (DVD) (00:08:05)

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Last Video of Yang Short Form (1973)

37 Postures of Tai Chi Chuan at Riverside Park, NYC

Cheng Man Ching doing Yang Tai Chi Form in Riverside Park

This is the last video of Professor Cheng Man Ching doing the Yang Short Form. He died in 1975. His senior students reported his concern that his knowledge be understood and its development continued. We can see in this version his interest in conveying the movements with precision and clarity. (Narration written by Robert Smith.)

From: Cheng Man Ching (DVD) (00:06:23)

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More videos from Professor Cheng Man-Ching:
More Yang Short Form videos: