Yilu & Erlu

by Xavier Santiago on 2013/02/15

Yi Lu is one of two forms in the Chen style Taijiquan lineage of Chen Chanxin who condensed the postures of the 7 barehand forms of Chen Wanting into 2 forms; Yi Lu and Er Lu. Yi Lu is the training form of Chen style Taijiquan.

The form teaches proper taiji principles, trains and changes the body physically in order to form a solid structure that is able to maintain its integrity while having the capacity to rotate and advance, and teaches the push hands level of Taijiquan in many of its martial applications, with striking thrown in as the form sequence progresses.

The push hands applications include throwing, joint locking/breaking, and sweeping/leg reaps. Its purpose as a training form is perfection of movement to physically master Taiji principles including proper alignment. In this video, Shifu Chen Zhonghua demonstrate the Practical Method lineage Yi Lu of Hong Junsheng, disciple of Chen Fake. It’s main difference to other Chen style lineages’ Yi Lu is that the form is practiced in the same way as you apply the postures in combat. The form here is being demonstrated with proper energy alignment and fajin:



Once you have mastered physically the taiji principles through jie beng gong and Yi Lu training, you are now ready for the actual fighting form known as Er Lu or Pao Choi (Cannon Fist). Er Lu is differrent from Yi Lu in that now stances are shortened, moves are faster and explosive (without loosing your taiji structure at any time), less kicks than Yi Lu, and now striking is emphasized over push hands.

Transition from one posture into another is much quicker where the end of one posture is the beginning of the next one, just like you would move in an actual fighting situation. Stances are now narrower and higher, while maintaining the proper taiji shape, to make them more practical for fighting. In Er Lu, push hands evolves into the cut hand where you no longer make large movements (meant for training) to apply push hand’s throws, locks/breaks, or sweeps. In the cut hand, on the instant of contact in a clinch or grappling range; the move is applied with the instant result of a throw, break, or sweep because the large circles are now so small that they are almost straight lines.

The goal of Er Lu is pure martial applications. The applications look to the untrained eye as Karate or Shaolin or Jujutsu or Shuai Jiao rather than Taiji. Nothing could be further from the truth. Taiji moves in applications at the Er Lu level may look like other martial arts in the surface, but the body mechanics and fighting strategy is very different. The body mechanics do not resemble Shaolin nor any other style at all, to the best of my knowledge.

Er Lu contains many of the same postures as Yi Lu, which now are applied in ways to make them practical at a martial level. An example is “wave hand like a cloud”, which evolves into “the red fist” posture. Er Lu also teaches jumping, angular footwork and other fighting strategies in Chen Taiji.

Yilu was done during Masters Demonstration in Beijing, Erlu was done for students at Daqingshan.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Asad Habib August 9, 2013 at 6:38 pm

The low stance is phenomenal.


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