Many practitioners of tai chi once they have fully learnt either the short or long forms of tai chi, usually progress further in their tai chi journey by learning one of tai chi’s weapons forms such as the straight sword( (Jian)’, sabre ( Dao), staff ( gun) or the fan (Shan).
The learning of the tai chi fan form has gradually become a very popular exercise for many individuals, has it is light and easily carried to and from your classes. Plus it is also a very beautiful, graceful exercise that further develops each persons balance, co-ordination and concentration and is ideal alongside the practice of your tai chi form.
The Chinese look at the learning of a tai chi weapon as just an extension of your hand. In the case of learning the tai chi fan form which can be performed with either one or two fans held in each hand. It develops dexterity in the fingers and wrists to be able to open and close the fan, plus it needs timing to co-ordinate the opening and closing of the fan smoothly with your breathing and tai chi movement.
For some individuals they would much prefer to just practice the tai chi fan form rather than the short or long forms. When you see a group of tai chi practitioners performing the tai chi fan form all perfectly in time with each other, opening and closing the the fan in unison with slow, soft, smooth, even movements is a great wonder to watch.