19 form

It is a little form intended to be a short step from the twining silk exercises and a preparation for studying the traditional long form LaoJia.  It introduces to the beginner the basic framework of Chentaijiquan.

Chen XiaoWang put the 19 Form together in 1997 : we had spent the early months of the year studying with him in Sydney, leaving him there in April.  The next time we met, in May at the Bienne dojo  for our bi-annual small group seminars, he produced intact - as if out of his pocket - the short form that many people had been asking for, something simple to be quickly learnt by new students.

The hallmark of Chen XiaoWang's genius and his keen sense of aesthetics may be seen in the 19 Form.  First of all, he is a precise man : he is asked for a short form : he halves the number of moves of his previous creation, the 38 Form, to give us the 19.  It should be easy to learn : even though most of the moves are from LaoJia, he shows us how to do the same moves more simply, for example in the backward steps (Step Back Whirling, dao juan hong) or in the approach to Six Sealing Four Closing (liu feng si bi).  There is a brilliant touch towards the end : the XinJia version of Wild Horse Parts Its Mane (ye maa fen zong), coiling into the joyful burst of Jade Lady Works the Shuttles (yu niu chuan suo).

It is in the transitions from one main section to another that you see Chen XiaoWang's artistry.  Here in the 19 Form as in the 38, those connecting moves follow his chansijing principles in a fresh and delightful way, never forsaking the complexities underlying the apparent ease and simplicity.

The 19 Form is an elegant composition, with the lightness and asymmetrical beauty of Chen XiaoWang's calligraphy.