Basic Similarity of Chen and Yang Style Tai Chi
Although there are some obvious, as well as more subtle, differences between Chen style and Yang style Tai Chi, the similarities are numerous and significant. To beginners, these similarities are usually not apparent; in the early stages of learning anything different can be cause for more confusion. For those who have some experience, it is useful to see past the differences to those things that unite the different styles.
The comparative video below is of the standard Yang style form (on right) as transmitted by representatives of the Yang family, and the the Old First Form of Chen style (Laojia Yilu), as done in the Chen Village. First of all, the length is similar. Secondly, the sequence of moves in their respective forms display a fundamental similarity. This will be wonderfully apparent from the video below showing the two side-by-side. The parallels only seem to increase over the duration of the forms – the beginning shows more divergence. Besides this, many of the movement names are the same, or based on homonyms in Chinese, or at least words that are similar in pronunciation. As to individual moves, you can also see the essential parallels, while it is also easy to imagine how the divergences came to evolve.
The two fine performances below are by high-level practitioners, Chen Zhenglei, and Yang Jun, both representatives of the family lineages of Chen and Yang style Taijiquan. Thanks to bnectar, whoever that is, for putting it together.