How to begin the study of this art?
The easiest way is to learn enough to get one going. For this purpose, the 22-form is a good choice.
The study of the form is the study of the principles. Pay attention to what the principles are. Keep practicing until you achieve the breakthrough. Settle for nothing less. There will be days when some of the movements seem difficult or impossible to do but do not give up hope and keep working on it.
Many will be tempted to jump in right away and try working on the force issuance. This will be a big mistake because the intention type of force depends on the principles. So if your body is unable to manifest the principles then you will end up using physical rather than intention type of force. You might not be able to tell the difference but those who have grasped it can tell right away.
With mastery of the principles there will come changes. These changes will confirm to your teacher if you have mastered the art. With these changes you will also begin to have a feel for what intention type of force is really like.
You will also understand why the first two generations of the Yang family was so adamant to keep the art to themselves and why when they finally taught it to the Wang family they had to take an oath not to divulge it. You will also understand why we revere GM Wei for doing his art to preserve the living rather than intellectual art and ensuring that it was passed on.
Today the art may be out in the open but don’t be too happy because the strict requirements for mastery ensure that more often than not the majority will never get it and are just going through motions devoid of the real intention engine.
The knowledge is there. The question now is how much quality time and practice will we put in to get it.
Or will we doom the art to be lost. If it is not to be, it is up to us.