View Full Version : frames

03-02-2005, 07:02 PM
hi again!
would you all be kind enough to enlighten me,(and the rest of the novices on this site) as to what exactly constitutes a small
medium or large frame? what does "frame" mean in the context of t'ai chi?

03-03-2005, 09:01 AM

as i understand it, within the context of Yang style taijiquan, there are actually 2 - small frame (jianhou) and large frame (chengfu). it may actually be debatable as to shaohu's frame, whether medium or small, when compared to chengfu.
as reference small frame may be comparable to Sun shi taijiquan and large frame to yang shi taijiquan-specifically chengfu.
To me it is related to body size as it is dificult for me to envision chengfu frame on sun lutang, hence my observation.

when one starts out, movements are larger but as one become more acquainted with the form, they get smaller since the gates of the body become 'opened' i.e. more acustomed to the movements, the body requirements, similar to the concept od periodization. I will send you a persnal email since i feel the link may be obtrusive and this forum is for TCA.

It may only determine which branch of yang family the form came from and personally it is a small to insignificant point.
chen style is also 'rediscovering' it had its own 'frame' history with recent developments.

03-03-2005, 06:30 PM

This is a huge topic which by no means can be covered in a forum post. There is interesting classical reads on Chen Xin's book"Illustrations and explanations of Chen Taiji". Also Chenxiaowang's book"Chen family tradition handed down in generations of the Chen family" gives a lot of insights. Go to these websites and try to find these books:


What applies to Chen style also applies to Yang style in terms of frame. I recall a few articles in Tai Chi MAG re. Yang frames, so you may have a search on these.

Just to make it simple: Physically small frames are compact movements closer to the body. But...........if one starts with the large frame of Chen or Yang style, this is more physical and one gradually develops internal skills through practice until the circles become smaller and express internal skills. The circles become smaller because the path of qi start to take place in your mind. Hope this helps.....

03-03-2005, 08:34 PM
thanks for the most informative input and wonderful references;i know this is a massive topic but i'm going to leave the thread open in attempt to net some more contributions,again thanks