Hi there, let's do this shall we. By luck I have uploaded on you-tube a little clip that was asked for on a thread on another forum. The requirement was simply a clip of a taiji posture/movement being used in a contact/sparring/ scenario. this clip was sliced out of the first Kung Fu MAP sparring meet up from years ago.. I'll post this clip first, and then I will find a picture of the posture. Then I will talk about the technique I am doing, what variations I could do. I'll talk about where and what the leg skill is. I'll then start to compare with other styles and systems and the kind of things they do with it. How it can be changed for forms and technique. We'll talk about some of the ways and techniques that leg skill is in tai chi systems of different kinds. Then hopefully we can see what is really missing. then what is really left out - ask why is it left out, or should be left out. That kind of thing. Hopefully some people here who practice a family system like Yang, Wu or Chen can give their experience of how and what they are taught as examples to compare and contrast. So I'll start with the clip, then continue later as I must get on with some work first.. This is specifically Repulse Monkey done with Twist step. This is found in the second round of Wu style taiji, it is often found done this way in older Yang styles and Chen styles. Some styles have both rounds with regular step. The difference in regular step and twist step is basically that in twist step the opposite side arm and leg are forward, in normal step the same side arm and leg interact on the same side. So to be basic. In one version (regular step) one leg steps back and out, whilst the same side arm pulls back. the other side the leg becomes the forward leg as that same side arm strike/pushes forwards. In the twist step version my right leg steps back as my right arm moves forward. So now my left leg is the forward leg and the opposite arm is pushing/striking forwards. Anyway, here is one application used in you could say a san shou/ sanda type format. The first big thing to notice id that we have a "reap" type of sweep in the step back. the catch and pull is a function of the other side arm to the reap. My right arm/ hand which you can't see is pushing forward against his torso and combines with the reap to send him down. In sparring I have used this with the variation of landing a strike/punch to the head - same result, only more painful I imagine.. So there is the leg skill in the posture movement/ stepping pattern. There is another technique in how the front leg draws back to the other leg before it steps back and out. If you know the correct stepping pattern which is diagonal - diagonal in and diagonal out then you have two kinds of trips and sweeps. As may see they work and materialise from leg placement in the form and fixed technique practice. So tai chi often begins with the leg position already established. That is the idea of integration, that can bring efficiency. There are more of these ways of systemising. When I understand the tai chi way of doing things and what's in there (the forms, push hands, techniques, principles, body skills/ methods). I don't need to sit down and right lists of all the possibilities (fixed techniques), the systemisation helps me make it a more efficient and convenient and I can start to know to put together techniques from the idea that there is no fixed technique. [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffBxWyJXMBI"]repulse monkey vs. kick - YouTube[/ame] So does tai chi have fist formations? yes it does. can I swap a fist for a palm anytime I want? Yes you can. So from that, I have a valid tai chi technique applied to sanda. I have every right to call it 'taiji sanda', it's as authentic as it possibly could be. Take away the gloves and I could still use a tai chi fist formation if I wanted. I could change the attack to a downward elbow. That is how it is done in one of Yang Jian Hou's forms - the middle frame. So tai chi has 'elbow' as a body method/skill and set of techniques that come from that. Si I can change the attacking arm component of repulse monkey for an elbow if need be in my technique training. Do I have to change my form. Only if I want to. As long as I understand that I can do this and repulse monkey is still repulse monkey, that it is all still authentic taiji. then it doesn't matter how I organize or train form. Form is not fixed either. Form actually only gets fixed when you teach it. And then only stays so, if you don't teach the key to changing it. So why is there so many forms called taiji that look different - because by and large they were done by people who had the right keys to understand the ways it's done, the different ways form is trained..