Yang family Taiji originally had both the big spear and the little flower spear training. The “big spear” set is the Taiji big spear 13 movements set, and the “little flower” spear set is the Taiji spear 24 movements set. Both spear sets were developed from the six harmonies large spear and Yang Family (Song Dynasty) Pear Blossom Spear (I think). These original Taiji spear sets are trained in both Yang Banhou and Wu/Hao lineages.
In Li Yiyu’s handwritten manuals (Li Yiyu was a nephew of Wu Yuxiang the founder of Wu/Hao Taiji Quan), it contains the names of the 13 big spear movements as follows:
- Single Ward-Off Staff.
- Green Dragon Emerges From Water.
- Child Praying to Guan Yin.
- Hungry Tiger Pounces On Prey.
- Blocking Road Tiger.
- Bend Step.
- Diagonal Posture.
- Wind Sweeps The Plum Blossoms.
- Center Soldiers Send Troops.
- Veteran Bird Returns To Nest.
- Pull Staff Defeating Posture.
- Agile Cat Catching Mouse.
- Hand Playing Lute Posture.
Later, the big spearhead was removed, leaving only the long pole, which was about 3 1/2 meters long. The long pole was mainly used to open, close, and for pressing and shaking for power (Gong Li) training.
The Taiji spear 24 movements used the little flower spear. It was used to train the 13 methods of Taiji spear, such as opening, closing, burst (Beng), split (Pi), and coil (Chan), etc.
It was said that when Yang Lu Chan was active in the martial art world, he liked using the little flower spear and was undefeated with this weapon. Yang Ban Hou was famous for the large spear. There was once a fire in his hometown, and he was able to use his spear to lift heavy rice bags, raising them as high as the roof.
Later, the Yang Taiji spear 49 movements set was developed, consisting of all 13 Taiji sticking spear training techniques. It is the single training set preparing for the two persons set training. The 13 stick spears training is the two-person Taiji spear set, consisting of four sticking spears set, four non-sticking spears set, four trowing spears set, and one coiling set, all 13 techniques.
The four sticking spears set included four techniques:
- Thrust to the chest.
- Thrust to the feet.
- Thrust to the shoulder.
- Thrust to the throat.
The four non-sticking spears set included four techniques, the same as the four sticking spears; however, they were in a different order and had extraordinary names. The four throwing spears set included four techniques to disarm the spear from the opponent’s hand. The coiling set is for sticking with the spear using circular movements. This forms the Yang family Taiji’ 13 spear two-person set.