Laojia Yilu: End of Section 4

We are up to the end of Part the Wild Horse’s Mane, Ye Ma Fen Zong, which is followed by Liu Feng Si Bi and Single Whip. I haven’t found a video that shows the transition from Ye Ma Fen Zong to Liu Feng Si Bi. We left off in this position:


His weight is shifted to his left, and he is facing away from front (front being the way you face at the start of the form). The transition is as follows:

  1. Circle counterclockwise to block down and to the right, while shifting to the right.
  2. Circle counterclockwise again to block down and shift all the way to the left.
  3. Ball-change to turn 180 degrees (to face front) and put the right foot where the left foot was.
  4. Circle counterclockwise again to start Six Sealing Four Closing (Liu Feng Si Bi).

Follow Liu Feng Si Bi with Single Whip as usual. Now we’re ready for Fair Lady (or Jade Maiden) Works the Shuttle (or the Loom). Either way, it’s Yu Nu Chuan Suo, which is why I like to learn the names in Chinese: Jade Maiden, Fair Lady, Loom, Shuttle–these are just different translations.

We’ve got three video clips by Grandmaster Gohring for this one:

This move is so interesting. It occurs in so many different forms–the Yang 108, 24, 42, Laijia Yilu, and Laojia Erlu–which are all the empty hand forms I know. The Yang versions are all fairly similar, but the Chen versions in Laoia Yilu and Laojia Erlu are pretty different.

Yu Nu Chuan Suo in Laojia Erlu is this one, with the crossed wrists, four quick half-steps (we call them bamboo steps, but really, the name is ban bu, ban=half, bu=step) to stage right:

Advance with bamboo step right

Fair Lady, Laojia Erlu

We are learning Cheng Jincai’s Laojia Yilu, which is certainly authentic, but it’s quite different from what the Chen masters in China are currently doing. For comparison, here is Chen ZiQiang (Fair Lady is at about 6:35):

In 42, we do Chen-style Ye Ma Fen Zong. The move as I know it does not much resemble what we’re learning in section four of laojia; it’s closer to what Chen ZiQiang is doing. But then, 42 is a modern form. Laojia is a very old form. The oldest! So it’s not surprising that it has diverged as it has been handed down by different masters over the years.

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