The system developed over-time. The above is an over-view of the core of the style, which consists of the Three Advanced Forms and the Snake Form. In the old days, the Snake Form was the only 'internal' element within the style.
Later, masters developed the Three Basics Forms, as a means to convey what they considered to be the foundational skills required to perform the Three Advanced Forms properly. The basic forms act as a doorway to the advanced concepts, and it is said that only a master performs them properly.
All the other aspects were gathered into the system over a period of hundreds of years, with the Taijiquan (an art in its own right), being incorporated sometime within the last 50 years. The Spear Forms originated from the Hakka village defence system, taught to all members of the village, young and old, male or female. As do the Hatchets and Rice Flails.
The mind is trained from day one. Two strategies are used to order and organise the mind;
1) From the outside 'in'. Using the focus of awareness on the performance of external technique.
2) From the inside 'out', where meditation is used to gain a deeper insight into the structure and essence of the mind.
These two approaches lead to an 'integrative' understanding, beyond the limitation of both.
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