Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan 2 Person Sparring Set  (Yang Chia Tai Chi Dui Ta Chuan)


This was usually called “San Shou” when I learnt it as a small boy.  This name is odd,  as the term “San Shou” refers to miscellaneous techniques that are not the norm,  but are extras or additions,   or   are techniques taken out from the normal curriculum.    A proper term for a 2 person sparring set would be “Dui Da Chuan”,  and therefore,  this set should be called “Yang Chia Tai Chi Dui Ta Chuan”  (Yang Jia Tai Ji Dui Da Quan).


This is a 2 person sparring routine propagated in the Yang tradition.   The exact origins is obscure,  but there are 2 diversed points of view:-

1)      It was in existence during the time of Yang Lu Chan’s sons.  

2)      A student of Yang Cheng Fu created it from the teaching of Yang Cheng Fu. 


This set is actually a pre-arranged drill in which the 2 practitioners engage in a mock sparring.  The sequence of techniques are fixed.  The whole drill comprises 88 moves,  and therefore is each practitioners execute 44 moves. 


This drill is based on the movements of Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan and therefore based on Pushing Hands.  The footworkwork is based on Da Lu.  Therefore,  students should be proficient in the basic exercise form, Pushing Hands and Da Lu before attempting this drill set. 


Students should also learn this drill set from a qualified teacher who is proficient in traditional Tai Chi Chuan. 


I learnt this drill set in my mid teens but I have only taught the beginning sections to certain Tai Chi instructors in Victoria around 1992. 


To see a very short videoclip of the first move of Yang Tai Chi San Shou performed by Master Lau, click here.



Written by John Chow,  a TCM practitioner, masseur, healer, martial arts and spiritual teacher. 

@2000 copyright