Nobody seems to ask the question why the Li Style Tai Chi is called or known as the “Square Yard Style”. For anyone who as practiced the Li Style Tai Chi Form will know for sure, that in this particular style we only take a single step in any of the Four directions, unlike the other styles of T’ai Chi which can take a series of more than two steps in any direction covering more ground. Hence, this is why the Li Style Tai Chi is known as the “Square Yard Style” because it’s single step method in any of the Four directions.
Today many individuals who study and practice the more larger styles of Tai Chi, like the Yang, Wu & Sun styles for example, really do not have enough room to practice their T’ai Chi indoors in the comfort of their own homes. As the forms are to large, this is one of the reasons why within the last 50yrs the Chinese have been developing and teaching the more “Simplified Tai Chi Forms” which are much shorter in their size and don’t really take up as much room as the more traditional Tai Chi forms.
It is because of the Li Style Tai Chi being known as the “Square Yard Style” and its ability to be performed within a short area, that has made this particular style of Tai Chi so appealing to hundreds of people around the world, as it can be performed in the comfort of their homes as well as outdoors. Irrespective of the size of the Li Style Tai Chi, its actions must still apply to the guiding principles that govern all styles of T’ai Chi, which helps each individual to connect the whole body together promoting their health & wellbeing.
All styles of T’ai Chi have their own typical characteristics such as the swaying or rocking action of the body, as the bodyweight is shifted from one leg to another like in the Yang Style Tai Chi, or the coiling, reeling actions of the Chen Style T’ai Chi or the slanted leaning of the body in the Wu Style Tai Chi. The Li Style Tai Chi has its own characteristic style, which is the many times that you see the whole body being rotated some times 90 or 180 degrees to keep changing its direction.